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Be Green In Your Dorm

In Your Residence Hall-Conserve Energy
In Your Residence Hall-Reduce Toxicity
Ways to Protect Our Air
Ways to Use Less Water
Create Less Trash
Use Your Own Energy

In Your Residence Hall - Conserve Energy

    • Set your refrigerator temperature at 36 to 38 and your freezer at 0 to 5.
    • When using an oven, minimize door opening while it is in use; it reduces oven temperature by 25 to 30 every time you open the door.
    • Clean the lint filter in the dryer after every load so that it uses less energy.
    • Turn off lights, computers and other appliances when not in use.
    • If possible, unplug appliances (cell phone charger, microwave, etc.)
    • Keep your thermostat at 68 in winter and 78 in summer.
    • Use cold water instead of warm or hot water when possible (dishes, laundry, etc.) 
    • Let dishes air dry instead of using your dishwasher’s heated dry function.
    • Keep your microwave clean and it actually cooks more efficiently.
    • When watching TV late, set the sleep timer.
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In Your Residence Hall– Reduce Toxicity

    • Review labels of the household cleaners you use. Consider alternatives like baking soda, scouring pads, lemon or a little more elbow grease.  When no good alternatives exist to a toxic cleaning item, find the least amount required for an effective, sanitary result.
    • Use soy-based inks, which are less toxic.
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Ways To Protect Our Air

    • Ride the bus, walk or ride your bike instead of driving, whenever possible.
    • Reduce the use of aerosol.
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Ways to Use Less Water

    • Don't wash dishes with the water running continuously. Scrape, don’t rinse, dishes before loading the dishwasher. Pre-rinsing can use up to 20 gallons of hot water.
    • Wash and dry only full loads of laundry and dishes.
    • Take shorter showers. Turn off the water when soaping, shampooing and conditioning. Don’t let the water keep running while you’re shaving or brushing your teeth.
    • Wash fruits and veggies in a bowl of water instead of running hot water.
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Create Less Trash

    • Avoid products with lots of packaging. About 33 of what we throw away is packaging.
    • Buy products that you can reuse.
    • Maintain and repair durable products instead of buying new ones.
    • Reuse items like bags and containers when possible.
    • Use cloth napkins instead of paper ones.
    • Ask your professor to accept assignments via Blackboard or email instead of printing them out and using paper.
    • Use reusable plates and utensils instead of disposable ones.
    • Limit the amount of napkins you take in the Dining Hall.
    • Bring your own reusable containers with you to the dining hall instead of using a plastic take-out container.
    • Use reusable containers to store food instead of aluminum foil and cling wrap.
    • Shop with a canvas bag instead of using paper and plastic bags.
    • Buy rechargeable batteries for devices used frequently and recycle your old batteries.
    • Reuse items like envelopes, folders, ink cartridges, paper clips and shipping materials. 
    • Take a reusable cup/mug with you and get discounted drinks at campus dining locations for coffee/tea/other drinks.
    • Use rags (like old t-shirts) instead of paper towels and wash them then re-use.
    • Mend and repair instead of replace or discard clothes.
    • Think before you print. Print on both sides. Use recycled paper.  
    • Give up the tray in the Dining hall.  A tray adds to amount of food wasted on campus.
    • If you are a member of a student group, organization or athletic team, collect and recycle cans and plastic after events.
    • If you are marketing an event on campus, rely on internet, Facebook, whiteboards or on-line evites instead of paper flyers.

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Use Your Own Energy

    • Bored?  Do something that uses only your own energy. Like biking, hiking, shooting hoops or throwing the football around.
    • Take the stairs.  It's good exercise for you and less energy for the building.
    • Work with your Hall Council to have an end of the year yard sale to sell or trade goods that would otherwise get thrown away.
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University of San Diego Sustainability/Climate Change Program Task Force Report

Created by: Rebecca Kitchell
Associate Director Residential Education, Office of Residential Life