What You Can Do

20 Tips for Sustainable Residence Hall Living


  • Keep your heat low: put on a sweater and some socks!
  • Don't turn on your heat when there is an open window
  • Add some drapes to help insulate!


  • Only do full loads of laundry and use cold water
  • Buy a drying rack and air dry your laundry (this saves you money too!)
  • Use natural light when possible and don't flip the light switch
  • Unplug your unused appliances
  • Shut down or hibernate your computer when its not being used

Waste Reduction

  • Recycle and reuse (especially your paper)
  • Get reusable cups/dishes
  • Use the china dishware in Wheelock Student Center, just make sure you return it!
  • Print double sided or print 2 pages per sheet of paper.
  • Air dry your hands or use a cloth hand towel to cut back on paper use
  • Use your sustainability mug in the dining area and at the café to save paper and points!




  • Take short showers and turn off the water as you lather (both in the shower and at the sink)
  • Turn off the water as you brush your teeth




  • Use public transportation whenever possible
  • Carpool with your friends when you go on outings
  • Ride your bike when you run errands


off-campus house30 Tips for Sustainable Living Off Campus and Always

Heating/Cooling Systems

  • Keep the settings as low as is comfortable (for every degree above 68 F you add 3% to the amount of energy used for heating)
  • Change filters regularly
  • Choose settings specified by manufacturer for best efficiency
  • Keep the system properly adjusted, cleaned and lubricated
  • Get your central air ducts tested for leaks





  • Provide task lighting so that overhead lights do not need to be used all the time
  • Put light colors on walls to reflect light
  • Place lamps in the corners so that light is better distributed throughout the room
  • Use compact fluorescent bulbs, or pick bulbs based on their efficiency
  • Whenever possible use natural light




  • Do only full loads
  • Follow detergent instructions, do not over use
  • Wash with cold water
  • Empty the lint trap regularly
  • Dry heavier things such as towels separate from lighter things like clothes
  • Get a drying rack and whenever possible air dry your clothes

Waste Reduction

  • Use cloth napkins and towels instead of paper ones
  • Install a compost or worm bin for your food waste
  • Reuse storage containers and bags
  • Use reusable bags whenever you go grocery shopping


  • Wash only full loads, do not overfill
  • Use energy saver cycles
  • When possible allow dishes to air dry


  • Choose a refrigerator size appropriate for your families needs (not bigger or smaller)
  • Put thermometers in both your freezer and refrigerator (keep the freezer component at ~3 F and the refrigerator at ~38 F)
  • Give the unit breathing room and keep the coils clean
  • Purchase a new energy efficient refrigerator if yours was purchased before 1993
  • Avoid large storage freezers


  • Live locally so that you can walk wherever you may need to go
  • Bike!
  • Use public transportation
  • Arrange a carpool with coworkers
  • Sign up for a Zipcar account whenever you need a car