Reduce Waste

Reduce Waste Infographic

Here are ways to reduce your waste footprint:

  1. Recycle your glass, plastic, paper, and cans in the correct bin.

  2. Take advantage of the food waste compost bins provided in most communities to help us divert more waste from the landfill.

  3. Carry a reusable water bottle and fill it up at the nearest hydration station.

  4. Pick up a resuable "To-Go" container when you swipe in for a meal if you have a campus meal plan.

  5. Say "no thanks" to single-use plastics such as straws. Choose reusable utensils and plates. Carry a reusable silverware set when on the go.

  6. Use a reusable, washable hand towel in your hall to cut down on paper towels.

  7. Donate gently used clothes at the donation bins located in your community or organize a clothing or home goods swap with your friends.

  8. Purchase items with recycled content and with little or no packaging when possible.

Energy Efficiency

Energy Efficiency Infographic

Here are ways to reduce your energy footprint:

  1. Always turn off the lights when not in use.

  2. Unplug whatever you're not using, especially charging power cords. These "energy vampires" suck up stand-by power.

  3. Activate energy saving modes and disable screensavers on your computer, monitor, and other electronics. Turn them off at night.

  4. Plug electronics into a power strip for an easy way to turn them off all at once when away or while you sleep.

  5. Purchase energy efficient LED light bulbs and lamps.

  6. Wash clothes using cold water and use a drying rack when possible.

  7. Clean the dryer lint filter between each use.

  8. Coordinate with your roommates (or apartment mates) to share appliances as much as possible.

Sustainable Food

Sustainable Food Infographic

Here are ways to reduce your food footprint:

  1. If you have a meal plan, take only what you'll eat, and eat what you take. If you cook, plan a weekly menu to reduce overbuying and waste. Check out our College Sustainability Cookbook for recipe ideas!

  2. Eat lower on the food chain by adding more fruits, veggies, and grains to your diet.

  3. Try going meatless at least one day a week.

  4. Look for fair trade options for produce and pantry staples such as coffee and tea. Learn more here.

  5. Take home and eat leftovers. Compost the rest! Need help learning how to compost? Check out our video here!

  6. Learn to store fruits and vegetables so they stay fresh longer inside or outside your refrigerator.

  7. Support local food producers and check out the weekly farmers markets.

  8. Plant and grow your food in a UCI community garden.

Water Conservation

Water Conservation Infographic

Focus on your own water use habits, and you will find many opportunities to conserve. Here are some ideas:

  1. Limit your showers to 2-5 minutes. You can save up to 20 gallons of water each day with this small change!

  2. Turn off the tap while you lather in the shower, brush your teeth, shave, and/or scrub dishes.

  3. Only do laundry when you have a full load or combine with a friend! Re-use towels and clothes until dirty.

  4. Enjoy more meatless or dairy free meals.

  5. Choose eco-friendly detergents, soaps, and personal care products when possible.

  6. Carry a reusable water bottle and fill it up at the nearest hydration station. Each disposable plastic bottle takes 3 times the amount of water it holds to produce it.

  7. Bring a drought-friendly plant (such as a succulent) for your room.

Green Your Living Space

Here are a few more ways to live green on campus:

  1. Reusable Tote Bag

    Use a reusable shopping bag every time you go to the store. Keep an extra bag in your car or backpack.

  2. Energy Stars

    Consider Energy Star appliances to help conserve electricity. Go without or share items such as printers, stereos, and micro-fridges to save on costs, energy, and space in your room. Activate energy saving modes and disable screensavers on your computer, monitor, and other electronics. Turn them off at night.

  3. Natural Light

    Live up to the University of California motto “Fiat Lux” meaning “let there be light” and let natural light brighten your room.

  4. Desk Lamp

    Purchase compact fluorescent (CFL) or LED energy efficient light bulbs and lamps. They use 70-90% less electricity than incandescent bulbs. Be sure to turn off lights when not in use.

  5. Bicycle Helmet

    Bike, walk, or skate to class. The League of American Bicyclists recognizes UCI with a Gold Bicycle Friendly University rating. Bike Fit-It stations are available on campus and in some resident communities. Get the latest maps, rules, and safety tips from UCI Transportation here.

  6. Green Cleaning Power

    Consider choosing environmentally safe, biodegradable cleaning supplies and personal care products. Look for organic, cruelty-free, or fair trade items made with ingredients that are grown and harvested in a sustainable manner. Check for post-consumer recycled content in their packaging.

  7. Drying Rack

    Use a drying rack when possible. There are more than 88 million dryers in the U.S., and each one emits more than a ton of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, each year. Remember to wash clothes using cold water to save energy and help clothes retain their color. Use a cloth hand towel instead of paper towels to dry your hands.

  8. House Plant

    A drought friendly succulent plant adds a green touch to your space and helps clean the air naturally.

  9. Organic Linens

    Natural fiber, bamboo, hemp, or organic cotton sheets and towels are grown without using harsh chemicals that harm the environment. Bamboo plants actually absorb 5 times the amount of carbon dioxide (a greenhouse gas) and produce 35% more oxygen than hardwood trees.