Climate change is a big problem and sometimes it seems like nothing we do will make a difference. But that simply isn't true. If we all take simple steps in our daily lives, we can collectively change the global situation. It all adds up pretty quickly. Here are some easy choices you can make everyday to help turn off climate change.


global climate change poster


Sustainability Innovation Micro-credential

The Sustainability Innovation micro-credential provides students with a foundational understanding of sustainability and an overview of projects and initiatives implemented at CU. Students will participate in workshops that will teach them creative problem-solving techniques, proposal development and how to engage stakeholders. They will receive a 1-1 mentoring session to get feedback and finish with a capstone implementing the newly learned skills in a project proposal or presentation.

Get a Free ECO-Visit

You can start saving energy today  in your house or apartment by getting a free student-run home visit. Two student technicians visit your home to install lots of energy-saving things, like LED bulbs, showerheads, and weatherstripping. Visit our ECO-Visits page to learn more and sign up!

Use LED Lightbulbs

Turn Off Your Lights

 image of light switch being turned offIt seems simple, but when you leave a room, simply turn off your lights. It's a habit for some of us to have our lights on- even during daylight hours when they're not necessarily needed!

Report Campus Waste

Energy Hotline: For campus wide suggestions & input to conserve energy and reduce waste, please call the energy conservation hotline (303) 735-6202 or E-mail:

Monitor Your Thermostat

If we monitor the temperature in our homes, it can save a lot of energy. Keep your thermostat set to 65 degrees in the winter and 78 degrees in the summer to make things more efficient and save yourself some cash. Thermostat on top of dollar bills

We know it's cold out there, but this is a perfect excuse to pull out that ugly thing your grandma gave you and throw a sweater party!

Ugly Christmas sweaterSweaterChristmas Sweater

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Recycling allows businesses to produce plastic, glass, metal and paper products using material that we've already used. So instead of trashing those things, go ahead and throw them in a recycling bin!Students in hero costumes holding a recycling banner

Established in 1976, the University of Colorado’s recycling program, CU Recycling, has become one of the leading campus recycling programs in the country. CU Recycling Page 

Watch Out For Vampires!

We're not talking about Twilight. When you leave a cell phone or computer charger plugged in, it still pulls out electricity, which is costing you money! Even if you're done charging. Those are called "vampires" but they can easily be avoided by unplugging your chargers- no garlic necessary. You can check out a Watt Meter at Norlin Library to learn more about which appliances are sucking the most energy.

Use Public Transportation

Carpooling and taking advantage of CU's bus services cuts way back on CO2 emissions. Plus, RTD and CU buses are fare-free for all CU students, staff and faculty with a valid RTD EcoPass.  If you're driving to school everyday, consider taking the bus, walking or biking! It's a healthier lifestyle and better for the environment.

Bus with bikes loaded on frontman biking in the street

CU Transportation website * RTD Schedule and Route Info

Eat Local

A lot of our industry's CO2 emissions comes from transporting goods across the country. If we stay close to home, by buying local food and local products, we can cut back on the amount of greenhouse gasses we emit through consumption.  This can mean shopping at farmer's markets or buying food in grocery stores that is produced by nearby farms and businesses. If we stay close to home, by buying local food and local products, we can cut back on the amount of greenhouse gasses we emit through consumption. fruit stand

Farmers Market * 100 Mile Diet


Be An Energy Smart Shopper

We fight climate change by helping consumers use their choices and voices We are constantly surrounded by messages telling us to buy the newest coolest thing.  Before you buy something stop to think about whether or not you really need it.  If you do, is it something you could buy used and save some money and energy?  If it really is something you need to buy new, use the site to see if the manufacturer is employing sustainable practices.



Take Shorter Showers

Conserving water saves energy and reduces the impact you have on our environment. Think about whether you need to take as long of a shower. Most of us don't keep the faucet on while we're brushing our teeth or washing our faces, but if you do, turn it off and help turn off climate change.

hands holding water


There's a sleep setting on everyone's laptop or desktop. System Standby (sometimes called Sleep) turns the monitor, hard drive, video and sound cards, and almost everything else off. It saves your current state in the RAM, so you won't lose any of your work.  Once you decide to use the computer again, simply move the mouse and everything instantly turns back on. This saves substantial amounts of energy.  When you're away from your computer for more than a few minutes, go ahead and put it on sleep. Turn your electronics off overnight and when you go on vacation. Image of computer screen with moon and cloud imageDid you know that a screen saver can cost over $100 a year?!

Get Involved

Studies have shown that most Americans are concerned about climate change, but don't know what they can do to solve the problem.  Talk to your friend, family, neighbors and anyone that will listen to tell them about how they can contribute to the solution.  There are many organizations that help spread the word about climate change and the solutions. 

Small actions make a big difference. Pick a couple below to get started.

1. Turn off lights each time you leave the room
2. Use energy efficient light bulbs at home, school and office
3. Take the bus at least once a week or more instead of taking your car
4. Walk or ride your bike to school or work once per month or more.
5. Join or organize a carpool.
6. Buy a fuel efficient vehicle.
7. Join a car cooperative.
8. Eat meat free meals once a week.
9. Buy local and in season food whenever possible.
10. Ask for local, organic and fair trade food on campus.
11. Use a reusable coffee mug.
12. Bring your own cutlery/chopsticks/cup/tupperware to CU.
13. Just say no to disposable plastic water bottles.
14. Use a stainless steel water bottle.
15. Purchase used furniture, clothing, school supplies and books.
16. Print Double-Sided.
17. Buy 100% recycled paper.
18. Support local businesses and Colorado made products.
19. Buy 100% biodegradable and non-toxic cleaning products and toiletries.
20. Share what you learn with family and friends.

Measure your energy usage

The Environmental Center and Xcel Energy have partnered to bring you Watt meters avaiable for check out at Norlin Library.  All you need is your Buff One Card!  Bring it to the Norlin circulation desk and they will give you a Watt meter! You can use these meters to figure out where you electricity is going.  Simply plug them into the wall and plug your electronics or appliances into the meter.  Figure out exactly how much electricity you can save by unplugging unused electronics and appliances.