Published: Feb. 16, 2022 By

“You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” - Jane Goodall

Living alone for the first time can be a daunting experience. Many students find themselves responsible for feeding themselves, doing their own laundry, and keeping a household upright on top of pursuing a higher education. On top of this, some students are obligated to pay their own utility bills and rent.  Not to mention, Global Climate Change continues to be a universal threat which has triggered a disorder characterized as eco-anxiety in many students today. 

In an effort to protect the environment and support students in making positive change, the CU Environmental Center offers support to any students who are struggling, have questions, or want to get involved in the process of making our campus greener. The EcoBuffs program offers an EcoVisit service that is provided by students for students. During these visits, students get a FREE EcoKit and a tour around their house to provide insight on how they can align their home with a sustainable mindset while also saving on expenses. Our goal is to develop eco-friendly habits in students now that will be pivotal to a future that values the conservation of our environment and the health of all people.


The primary environmental concerns with bathrooms lie within water and chemical usage. 


  • Colder and shorter showers save energy

  • Added bonuses of cold showers include links to healthier skin and hair, increase in alertness, and decreases in stress

  • An eco visit can provide you with a shower timer to help time out your showers

  • More tips include playing 1-2 songs and turning water off when shaving, scrubbing, and shampooing/ conditioning. 


  • Don't use toxic chemical cleaners such as draino to clear drains. Pouring chemicals down the drain is extremely toxic to our environment. That polluted water goes right back to us as it infiltrates our lakes, rivers, reservoirs, and oceans. 

  • Install rubber drain hair stopper

  • Use a Zip-It drain cleaner which is a non chemical using tool provided in the eco-kit to pull hair and other clogging materials from sink and shower drains

In General

  • Brush your teeth with the water off. 

  • Use eco friendly soaps… you can tell if a soap is eco-friendly by researching the companies and looking under “about us” or “green policies”. Some recommended brands are Dr. Bronners and Lush for skin care/ shower supplies that are eco friendly. 

  • Be diligent in checking for plumbing leaks… 

  • Use toilet tabs to tell if you toilet is constantly refilling its tank and always using water

Free EcoKit Items

  • Toilet Tab which tells you if there is a leak in your toilet

  • Shower Timer

  • Zip-it drain cleaner tool which clears drains without toxic chemicals


The energy we get from the Earth gives us fuel for living out our busy lives. In return, it is only fair that humans use that given subsistence to give back to the planet through composting, conserving energy, and eating plant based. 

Composting, Recycling, & Landfill

  • By recycling and composting at home, you are keeping materials out of the landfill and thus, reducing climate change!

    • Landfills produce methane, a potent green house gas stronger that CO2!

  • Set up compost and recycle bins next to your trash bin in your kitchen to make the choice easy for anyone using your home waste station!

  • The Boulder Zero Waste Ordinance requires the government to provide a compost and recycling container for every trash disposal area. You can reach out and ask for one by by messaging

  • Check out how recycling and composting is done here at CU and for more information on what is recyclable, compostable and what is not recycle compost

Saving Energy

  • Phantom loads are devices that use energy even when they are not in use. Coffee makers, toasters, blenders, ect; are all using energy if they are plugged in even when they are turned off

  • Unplugging these kitchen appliances cuts off the energy source

  • Keeping appliances plugged into a power strip makes it easy to turn them all off from the power source when they are not in use

  • Keep refrigerator at a temperature of 3 on the dial which equates to 40 F degrees or below

  • Cooking releases toxic particulate matter so keep the vent on when the stove is on

  • Electric stoves save more energy and are better for our health than gas stoves.

  • Fit burners to pans

Cooking Green

> Follow link for Reusable produce bag suggestions

Free Eco Visit Items

  • Recycling and composting bins

  • Zero waste poster for details about what you can and cannot recycle/compost

Laundry Room

The process of doing laundry can be seriously draining to the environment. Luckily, us present day students have access to a variety of alternatives to liquid detergents and dryer sheets. In the past few years, companies with the sole purpose of saving the planet have released new eco-friendly products that are replacing companies such as Tide that use lots of wasteful packaging and chemicals in their products.


  • Earth Breeze is a brand that is great for the environment and only costs .33 per load, donates 10 sheets per every box sold to charities, and are 100% carbon neutral in their manufacturing and shipping

  • Washing clothing on a cold setting is just as effective as a hot setting

    •  More than 60% of Americans still wash their laundry in warm water

    • A household could cut its emissions by 864 pounds of carbon per year by washing loads with cold water

    • cold water is better for preserving quality of fabrics

    • Type of machine, detergent, and wash time contribute to clean clothing more so over water temperature


  • Emptying the lint filter dryer clothing quicker which decreases energy which decreases expenses

  • Use Drying racks instead or do a hybrid of both, pre dry to get rid of crunchiness

  • If you must use the machine, user dryer balls as opposed to single use sheets

Here are some dryer ball recommendations, also adding essential oil drops gives clothing a lovely sent

Living Room - Lights/Heating/Cooling

We all know how intense Colorado seasons can be: with snow storms in the winter and hot sunny days in the summer, it's important to have proper insulation to keep somewhat comfortably temperate during these months. With proper efficient heating and cooling devices this can be possible and environmentally sound. 


  • Single pane windows are prone to faster heat loss and thus the house requires more heating to stay warm in the winter

  • Installing window film and weather stripping are an option students can reach out to the enveiomneral center for to get some free ones and instructions on how to install


  • Ideal Efficient Heating: 68-70

  • Ideal Efficient Cooling: 78

  • Use fans and layering before turning on heat/ AC

  • Turn down heat when no one is at home and when asleep 


  • Keep devices plugged in on a power strip that you turn off and on when you leave and return to your house

    • includes chargers, fans, ect

  • Use Led over Incandescent light bulbs

    • incandescent bulbs might be cheaper but last significantly shorter than LED

    • LEDs are also better for the environment: The operate similar to a battery and is wrapped in a conductive material to produce light

    • incandescents on the other hand heat up a wire to produce light which takes more energy

Free EcoKit Items

  • 2 LED light bulbs

Sustainable Transportation

Students at CU Boulder have lots of free options when it comes to transportation. Cutting back on emissions is essential to slowing down global warming. Affluxes of CO2 being released by vehicles is causing a greenhouse effect which traps the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and warms the Earth. This is having drastic effects on our oceans, air quality, and wildfire seasons. Here are some ways students can be cost effective and reduce their carbon output. 

  • Access to a bus pass which covers not only the Buff Buss, but every RTD bus in Boulder

    • Includes free bus to Eldora Ski Resort

    • You pay for this with your student fees, so its free when you ride!

  • A free account with B-Cycle: a riding app with stations located all over Campus and the Boulder Area

    • They now have E-Bikes!

    • You pay for this with your student fees, so its free when you use it!

  • Ski Bus (Winter Park, A- Basin, Copper, Key Stone, Beaver Creek)

Get your FREE EcoKit… sign up for an EcoVisit today!

  • Sign up Here

  • Virtual and In-Person EcoVisits available

  • EcoKit includes:

    • Recycle Bin

    • Compost Bin

    • LED Light Bulbs (2)

    • Reusable Utensil Kit

    • Reusable Straw

    • Reusable Bag

    • Bike Lights (front/rear)

    • Toilet Tabs for detecting leaks

    • Shower Timer

  • More sustainable living resources here