View up through trees in summer.

Take a look below for some tips on how to make your impact on the environment and natural world a little greener.


  • Turn it off: Did you know devices continuously draw electricity even when turned off, such as laptops, chargers, printers, and TVs? Use a power strip that can be switched off to eliminate this “phantom load.”
  • Enable your computer’s energy-saving options: Screen savers don’t save energy, so let your computer sleep. And don’t forget to turn off your computer at the end of the day.
  • Buy Energy Star: Energy Star products use significantly less power. In the long run this purchase will save you money and reduce carbon emissions.
  • Buy compact fluorescent lightbulbs: Replace any incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent lights (CFL), which use a third of the energy.
  • Share a fridge: Empty fridges take more energy to stay cool, so help keep it full by sharing with a roommate or someone from your office. Even better, unplug it when it’s not in use.
  • Air-dry clothes: Try drying at least half of your laundry on a rack to help reduce our carbon footprint.

Heating and Cooling

  • Keep the heat (or cold) in: Room too hot? Don’t open the window, as it only perpetuates the problem. If your space is consistently too hot or too cold, check out residence hall heating for more info.
  • Use less hot water: Take shorter showers and wash clothes with cold water instead of hot. Clothes get just as clean and colors stay brighter longer when you wash with cold water.

Travel and Transportation

  • Walk, bike, and use mass transit: Ditch the car and walk or ride your bike around campus. You’ll save one pound of carbon for every mile you don’t drive. Check out some of our recommended green transportation options (need to build this page).
  • Get a fuel efficient car for field trips.
  • Drive smart: Save gas by driving under 65 MPH and not accelerating too fast. Turn off car if idling for more than 10 seconds, since it emits twice the emissions idling as driving.
  • Reevaluate long distance travel: In some cases a teleconference or webcast can eliminate the need to be physically present. For shorter distances consider taking a train or carpooling.
  • Book direct flights: Most fuel is used during takeoff and landing, so reducing layovers can significantly reduce the carbon emissions for your whole trip.


  • Reduce: New items make lots of garbage, both in packaging and disposal. Find alternatives such as repairing, sharing, or borrowing. For paper, only print what you will use.
  • Recycle: Brush up on your sorting skills. Visit the recycling homepage.
  • Reuse: Visit the campus reuse trailer. Avoid disposable containers, bring your own mug or water bottle, and pack a lunch.