Published: Oct. 26, 2018
Green plant growing out of a person's hand

Our everyday actions can lead to a ripple effect throughout our communities. Taking small steps toward living greener and becoming a more environmentally friendly community member can leave a positive impact. Whether you live on or off campus, here are a few things you can do to live more sustainably.

Keeping your space warm

As the temperatures cool down, we may feel the need to turn our thermostats and space heaters up. To help keep your living space warm and energy use low, make sure furniture, rugs and clothing are not blocking air ducts and heaters.

If you live on campus, ask your RA or check the heating and cooling webpage to learn about the heating system in your residence hall (each hall is different). Depending on your hall, you may need to keep your windows closed during the winter months to avoid overloading the heating system. If you notice any heating issues in your room, be sure to submit a Fix-It request.

If you live off campus, now is a great time to do some simple maintenance steps such as changing furnace filters and cleaning off radiators. You can also save money on utilities by lowering your thermostat when you aren’t home.

Powering down

Simply shutting down electronics and unplugging appliances can help save energy and money! An easy way to cut down on your power use is by using a power strip—instead of unplugging multiple cords, flip the switch on your strip to cut off power use.

Reuse when possible

Invest in reusable items when you can to cut down on plastic use. Reusable grocery bags are particularly helpful in Boulder and can help you avoid the tax on plastic bags. Other environmentally friendly reusable items to consider are travel coffee mugs and water bottles, metal straws, food containers and eating utensils. Some coffee shops even offer discounts when you bring in your own mug!

Learn more

Earn free swag or food when you participate in these services:

Green Home Certificate

Anyone living in the residence halls, Bear Creek Apartments and Graduate & Family Housing can take part in this free program.

  • How it works: Sign up online, and a sustainability liaison will contact you to set up a 20–30 minute meeting. They will review everything you’re already doing to live green and give you some additional tips to further reduce your carbon footprint.
  • What you’ll get: You’ll get a swag bag with things like bamboo utensils, a bike light, a reusable shopping bag and more. You can also earn CU PIP rewards, which can be redeemed for gift cards and discounts at local businesses.

ECO-Visits program

Anyone living off campus can take part in this free program through the Environmental Center.

  • How it works: Sign up online and a home visit will be set up with two trained CU student technicians. They will visit your home and install energy- and money-saving upgrades such as CFL light bulbs, weather-stripping, window film and water-smart shower heads free of charge.
  • What you’ll get: If over half of your roommates are present during the ECO-Visit, you will receive a free pizza from Cosmo’s. You can also earn CU PIP rewards, which can be redeemed for gift cards and discounts at local businesses.