Tips for living a sustainable lifestyle

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Think green

Sustainability in Action at the University of Victoria begins with sustainability leadership and environmental stewardship. Student, faculty, staff and the community can all be sustainability leaders.

See Green life for students (Centre for Social and Sustainable Innovation) for even more sustainability tips.

Top 15 tips for students

Reduce your environmental footprint at UVic and beyond

  1. Cycle to school - you'll eliminate GHG emissions with your daily commute, save money and get in shape. 
  2. UVic is an official Fair Trade Campus! As a consumer, choose to buy local and FairTrade certified products. 
  3. Carry your own coffee mug and water bottle (drink tap water). 
  4. Re-use any packaging that is resealable (bottles, containers, etc.). If you can't re-use an item, make sure to dispose your product properly using a Sort-it-Out station. Recycle all paper products, bottles, cans, glass and plastics. Compost all food scraps and compostable products. 
  5. Instead of purchasing new textbooks, see if you can purchase digital versions or a used copy. Visit the bookstore and SUBtext to find out if your course materials are available in online or used versions. 
  6. Turn off the lights when you leave your room, classroom, or study space. 
  7. Challenge yourself to take shorter showers. To save extra water and energy, try turning the water of while soaping!
  8. Turn off your computer when not in use. Set it to sleep mode after 15 minutes of inactivity. 
  9. Wash all your clothes in cold water and only do laundry when you have a full load. Try hanging your clothes to dry instead of using the dryer!
  10. Rather than driving to school, activate your U-Pass using your UVic ONECard to receive 4 months of unlimted access to BC Transit on Greater Victoria buses. Visit to learn more. 
  11. If you're living in residence, volunteer with the Residence Green Team! If you're not in residence but still live in Victoria, volunteer with the Greater Victoria Green Team! Both have safety measures in place for COVID-19. 
  12. If you need to drive, consider carpooling or using EVO mode car share. Students are eligible for a free membership and 45 free driving minutes using the code “SCHOOLVIC” during registration. 
  13. Get involved by joining a UVic club focused on sustainability or participating in a sustainability event on campus. Check out our Campaigns Page to find out when the next one is!
  14. Commit to reducing your meat and dairy consumption by a few meals per week.  
  15. Submit your sustainability initiative idea to the Office of Campus Planning and Sustainability at

Top 20 tips for staff and faculty

Small actions done by a lot of people can have a big impact

Pick a few of these to get started:

  1. Cycle to work - you'll eliminate GHG emissions with your daily commute, save money and get in shape. 
  2. Register with a team for Go By Bike Week. Check out our Campaigns Page to find out when the next one is!
  3. Purchase a discounted monthly employee bus pass from Campus Security (over 50% off the regular price).
  4. Set a goal to bus to work at least three days a week instead of driving.
  5. Join the UVic Employee Modo or EVO Car Share Co-operative program.
  6. Always turn off the lights when you leave your office, meeting room or classroom. 
  7. Connect all of your electronic equipment to a power bar that you can shut off when you leave to reduce standby power. 
  8. Set your PC and screen to go into standby mode after 15 minutes of inactivity (uses 90% less energy).
  9. Don't use a screensaver, they consume more energy with graphics. 
  10. Close your office blinds at the end of the day to conserve energy.
  11. Use hand dryers instead of paper towels in washrooms when possible. If you use paper towel, be sure to 'Shake and Fold'!
  12. Go paperless, think before you print, and avoid printing wherever possible.
  13. Always carry a re-usable coffee mug and water bottle with you.
  14. If you forget your reusable mug, remember to recycle your disposable cup properly using a Sort-it-Out station.
  15. Order pens with refillable cartridges.
  16. Get a copy of the "Zero Waste Events" guide before you plan your next event.
  17. Keep an "orphan tray" of unneeded one-sided papers to reuse the other side for notes or printing unofficial documents. 
  18. Join the Staff Sustainability Network to collaborate on sustainability initiatives. 
  19. Volunteer with the Greater Victoria Green Team to remove invasive plants from Cunningham Woods.
  20. Submit your sustainability initiative idea to Campus Planning and Sustainability at

Sustainability tips for attending events

Large-scale events can be mass producers of landfill waste, among having other potential negative environmental impacts. While the idea of having zero waste events is becoming increasingly popular, reducing waste at large events requires both the organizers and the attendees to do their part. Here are some things you can do to make the events you attend more sustainable:

  1. Look out for recycling and compost bins and take care to dispose of everything properly.
  2. Bring your own reusable water bottle to cut down the number of plastic bottles being used. It's cheaper too!
  3. Bring your own tupperware and utensils to use at food trucks and food vendors. This may be unconventional, but it works!
  4. If you or your children purchase or recieve balloons, make sure you dispose of them properly. When helium balloons float away, there's no telling where they will end up and which creatures may ingest them. The same goes for leaving popped balloons on the ground!