person riding bike on suspension bridgeIf you made New Year’s Resolutions this year, you may have already failed at them, as experts say most of us will. Looking to build habits, rather than make resolutions, will set you up for success.

Here are 5 simple habits we recommend making sustainable in your life (if you haven’t already) for a sustainable future:


  • Use reusables more

  • Recycle and compost

  • Eat more plant-based products

  • Commute by bike or public transit

  • Take steps to conserve energy and water at home

Pick one at a time to implement. Turn each one into a measurable and realistic goal for you like ‘I eat a plant-based meal one time a week.’ Here are some more tips to help you implement sustainable habits like these.

Connect with internal motivation

While it may be a nice idea to bring a mug to reduce paper cups in the landfill*, the idea just doesn’t keep you from forgetting it. Find a mug that you love and you’ll probably look forward to remembering it every morning. Research shows people with internal motivation like this exercise willpower more successfully than those with external motivation.

Use if-then thinking

Even if bike commuting is already a habit for you, finding a flat tire in the morning is going to derail your plans. With new habit, think of scenarios like these to be ready to deal with likely hurdles on your journey to building a regular habit. Plans like stopping by one of the Bike Stations if mechanical issues come up will come in handy.

Leverage your resources

Sometimes a lack of know-how is what prevents us from making the changes we want to make. Sign up for a free Green Home Certification Visit if you live on campus or an Eco-Visit if you live off campus to learn more about how you can conserve energy and water in your home and get free stuff.

CU PIPs Rewards is an app that lets you earn PIPs (Positive Impact Points) for sustainable choices like these on and off campus. During the month of January new users to the app will earn DOUBLE the sign-up bonus. PIPs are redeemable for tons of great prizes and can be used toward tuition and fees.

Search ‘PIPs Rewards’ in the App Store and on Google Play to download and make sure to sign in with your Identikey to access the many earn actions and rewards specific to campus.

*Unfortunately, paper cups are not recyclable, although some are compostable (like the ones from the Starbucks in the UMC)