Tips for a Green Move-In and Sustainable Time at College

Back-to-school season is upon us, Bruins! Less than a month, to be exact. Making sustainable choices right at the start of the fall quarter can set the tone for a greener academic year ahead.

Here are nine ways to pull off an environmentally friendly move-in and have a more sustainable college experience. These actions will protect the environment and save money, time, and space. Sustainable practices you get into on campus at UCLA can last a lifetime.

  1. Pack with items you need to bring anyways: backpacks, duffel bags, suitcases, laundry bins, and other containers. Wrap breakables and delicate stuff in towels, sheets, and clothes instead of bubble wrap or packing peanuts. Used newspaper works too. If you use cardboard boxes, be sure to break them down and recycle them using UCLA’s centralized waste bins.
  2. Only bring essentials. Coordinate with roommates to share items, wait on big purchases till you arrive, and buy used. Check out UCLA’s Surplus Stop for free new-to-you, pre-loved items like office supplies, kitchenware, furniture, and more. Also, consume more consciously shopping at the UCLA Thrift Shop, which carries quality merchandise at bargain prices and gives back to the community.
  3. Stock up on reusables like a refillable water bottle, travel coffee/tea mug, and reusable utensil set. Include reusable shopping bags, food containers, and a reusable straw.
  4. Decorate your space —and purify the air—with plants. The snake plant, spider plant, peace lily, and succulents all green up your living area and make it homey.
  5. Power up right. Use better for the planet LED bulbs instead of incandescent and CFL bulbs. Opt for a power strip to reduce energy consumption and easily switch off devices when not in use. And when shopping for appliances like a monitor and laptop, microwaves, minifridges, and coffee makers, look for ENERGY STAR labeled products.
  6. Don’t forget the environmentally friendly cleaning products and detergents as well to keep it green and clean.
  7. UCLA Dining’s award-winning eateries feature lots of vegetarian fare. Eating less meat is something individuals can do to help the environment. Westwood Village also hosts a Farmers’ Market every Thursday on Broxton Ave for all your in-season fruit and veggie needs.
  8. Go green by walking, borrowing or bringing a bike, and taking public transit.
  9. Join UCLA’s sustainability community! Get involved through a student club or organization, study sustainability by taking a class on the subject, attend a green event, and follow us on Facebook, X, and Instagram for news and other resources.