1. Use the cold setting when washing your laundry— this consumes less energy, and with today’s technology a cold wash is more than sufficient for the average load. Then instead of the dryer, consider line-drying!
2. Recycle your batteries— alkaline batteries are toxic and hazardous when they end up in landfills; to recycle your used batteries, tape the ends (for safety reasons) and drop them off in the E-Cycling cabinets in Newcomb Hall (near the game room), O’Hill (lower level by the main stairs), or Runk Dining Hall (near the entrance).* Or invest in using rechargeable batteries (and save money too!)
3. Bring reusable bags to the grocery store— cut down on the plastic bags and keep several reusable bags in an accessible place so you can grab them on your way to the store. If you drive rather than walk, bike, or catch the bus, it can be handy to keep reusable bags in your car.
4. Freecycle!– we all love free things, so join Charlottesville’s Freecycling Network. It’s a network where you can both post and claim free items (like furniture or kitchen wares), while saving money and keeping junk from landfills. Also check out the free items section on Craigslist.
5. Beware of vampire power! When appliances are turned off but still plugged into an outlet, they still use electricity (vampire or standby power). Unplug appliances (like phone or computer chargers, microwaves, hairdryers) to ensure that no energy is being wasted.
*check out UVa’s recycling website or the Student Council Environmental Sustainability Committee for more information