Sustainable Action Guide

Follow these tips to incorporate sustainability into your everyday routine. Sustainability isn't about doing everything perfectly – it's about finding what works for you!

In Your Living Space

Reduce and Divert Waste

  • Sort your waste; check out the online waste guide for your building in the residence halls or The Green
  • Choose reusable items instead of single-use disposables:
    • Reusable water bottle to refill at filtered water refill stations in the Res Halls and across campus
    • Reusable coffee/tea mug
    • Reusable utensil kit
    • Reusable plates, bowls, and/or containers
    • Reusable napkin
    • Reusable hand towel
    • Reusable bag
    • Reusable straw, if able
  • Upcycle, repurpose, or repair items instead of throwing them away or buying new
  • Donate gently-used items
  • Refuse unnecessary swag, single-use items, etc.

Save Energy

  • Use Energy Star Rated electronics/appliances that consume less energy
  • Use the desk lamp instead of overhead lighting (Res Hall students- exchange burnt out bulbs for new ones at the ASD)
  • Use smart power strips
  • Unplug chargers and other electronics that are not in use
  • Stop charging electronic devices once they are fully charged
  • Use power management features on your computer and lower screen brightness
  • Take advantage of natural light and open the blinds
  • Turn off the lights when you leave the room
  • If able, take the stairs instead of the elevator
  • Put on/take off extra layers of clothes instead of using the AC/heating
  • Use your thermostat efficiently
    • Open a window if the temperature outside is more desirable than the temperature inside and turn off AC/heating at same time
    • On warm days, close blinds to reduce heat gain from sunlight
    • Close all windows and doors while the heater or air conditioning is on
    • The Department of Energy recommends 78 degrees in the summer and 68 degrees in the winter
    • Residence Hall students- consult our thermostat user guide online

Conserve Water

  • Turn off the water when not directly in use. (i.e. while brushing your teeth, shaving, lathering hands, or washing dishes).
  • Take efficient showers. Challenge yourself to take a two-song shower!
  • Report leaks using Student Housing and Dining Service's online service request

Practice Green Cleaning

  • Clean your space responsibly using non-toxic cleaning products. Make your own, or look for products that are Green Seal certified or Environmental Choice certified
    • Res Hall students – you can check out green cleaning supplies from the Area Service Desk

In The Laundry Rooms

  • Wash a full load or adjust settings for smaller loads
  • Use the cold-water setting
  • Air-dry your clothing using a drying rack
  • Use non-toxic laundry detergent
  • Use wool dryer balls with essential oils as an alternative to dryer sheets

In the Classroom:

  • Look for school supplies that are made with recycled content
  • Use refillable ink pens and/or mechanical pencils
  • Utilize both sides of your paper when taking notes and printing
  • Use recycled and/or "good-on-one-side" paper
  • Use soy-ink notebooks

In the Dining Commons:

  • "Just Ask" a staff member customize a meal to your liking
  • "Try a Taste" of a dish before committing to a full plate
  • Love food, not waste by only taking what you can eat and one plate at a time. Still hungry? You can always go back for more.
  • Limit napkin use, or bring a reusable napkin to the Dining Commons
  • Choose sustainable food options, such a local, organic, or Fair Trade menu options
  • Choose a plant-forward meal that has a higher proportion of plant-based proteins compared to animal-based proteins.

In the Kitchen:

  • Use reusables dishes, glasses, and cutlery instead of single-use paper or plastic
  • Save leftovers for another meal in reusable containers. Pro-tip: consider upcycling glass sauce, jam, olive, etc. jars as storage containers
  • Store food efficiently to keep it fresh and tasty for as long as possible
  • Correctly decipher 'best before' and 'use by' food dates so food doesn't go to waste. Learn more at
  • Learn to cook through the Student Health and Counseling Center Teaching Kitchen
  • Explore resources to enhance personal food security through Aggie Compass

In the Marketplace:

  • Choose sustainably sourced products, such as:
  • Be a conscious consumer – learn more about the environmental and social impacts of the products you are purchasing
  • Buy used items instead of buying new
  • Purchase items with minimal packaging, or packaging that is reusable, recyclable, and/or compostable items
  • For online orders, ask for no plastic and/or minimal packaging
  • Use the bulk bin to purchase goods and bring your own container, if able

On the Go

In Your Community

  • Find an aspect of sustainability that speaks to you and get involved
  • Talk to your peers about actions you are taking and how they can also get involved
  • Advocate for the changes you want to see on-campus
  • Attend a sustainability event