Published: Aug. 18, 2015

Join the herd.  89% of CU Boulder students try to make environmentally sustainable choices in the way they live.  Here are some tips for your school supplies.


  • Start shopping in your own closet! Collect supplies you already have

  • Host a back-to-school clothing or supplies swap with your friends

  • Consider digital note-taking apps and eTextbooks so you don't need to use any paper

Get ready to Re-Use

  • Bring a reusable water bottle, coffee mug, shopping bag and eating utensils

  • Buy rechargeable batteries for your devices

  • Look for refillable pens, pencils, and highlighters

  • Get used or recycled furnishings and clothes - check out Boulder's Tour de Thrift

  • Consider renting your textbooks to save money and books

Buying Green

  • For back-to-school clothes and bedding, choose organic cotton and Fair Trade products

  • Look for notebooks and paper with 100% recycled content and high post-consumer recycled content

  • Choose cleaning supplies and detergents without phosphates or other harsh chemicals

  • Pick LED light bulbs - they will last longer and save the most energy

Getting Around

  • Need a new bike or an upgrade? Look for a used bike on craigslist or at Community Cycles for a great green deal!  CU BikeFest will have a bike sale is on September 12th.

  • Make sure to buy bike lights so you don't get a ticket! (Cyclists are required to use lights after dark in Boulder)

  • Rechargeable or solar-powered bike lights will save you hassle, money, and waste

  • Get your bike back in riding condition at one of our on-campus bike stations

  • No bike? No problem. The CU Bike Stations provide free 48 hour bike rentals, low-cost semester bike rentals, and we offer free student memberships to bike sharing through Boulder B-Cycle.

  • You may sometimes still need a car. Campus has multiple carshare vehicles available through Zipcar and eGo carshare.


Find more tips, info and resources in the CU Buffs Green Living Guide