Sustainability in the Residence Halls

An important aspect of community living in the responsibility students have for their interactions with the environment. Practicing sustainable living during your four years at Gustavus is essential to developing your life-long awareness of your impact on the environment. Here is a compliation of sustainable living tips for students who live both on-campus and off-campus! This is just the start - we hope to add to this page and promote sustainable living practices for all Gusties. Information below was gathered by representatives of Residential Life and the Gustavus Greens.

Tips for Sustainable Living

  • Recycle!
  • Turn off your lights when you leave your room.
  • Turn off the bathroom light when you leave (if no one else is there!)
  • Turn off the water while brushing your teeth.
  • Buy recycled content notebooks, tissues and other paper products.
  • Unplug electronics (hair dryers, coffee makers, chargers) when not in use because they continue to use energy while plugged in!
  • Donate your old clothes and unwanted items instead of throwing them out. While you're at it, shop used and traffic in recycled clothing instead of buying new!
  • Turn off your computer at night and run it in sleep mode instead of using a screensaver when not in use!
  • Carry a reusable water bottle. Over 1.5 million barrels of oil are used to manufacture a year's supply of bottled water in the U.S.
  • Shower in 5 minutes or less! One minute of shower time = 12 bottles of water.


"The purpose - where I start - is the idea of use. It is not recycling, it's reuse." - Issey Miyake

  • Before throwing something away or even recycling it, consider if you could reuse or repurpose it.
  • Paper: All paper can go in the paper recycling. Glossy, post-its, magazines, newspaper - even if it has staples or tape on it!
  • Commingling: Includes glass, aluminum, tin, plastics 1 & 2, and steel. Rinse all containers before recycling.
  • Cardboard: Flatten cardboard and place it beside recycling containers. Regular and corrugated are both fine. You can also recycle the tops of pizza boxes - just tear off & throw away the bottom if it's greasy.
  • DON'T recycle caf boxes, anything greasy or soiled, notebooks (separate paper from metal ring binding), plastic bags (resuse or return to Family Fresh!), plastics 3 & above.


  • Green tips and Facts:
  • Dorm Sustainability:
  • Living Sustainably:
  • Driving Sustainably:
  • Eating Organic:

Help us out!

Other thoughts or ideas about how to live sustainably? Let us know! Contact us at or stop by Res Life. We'll happily link resources and ideas to this page.