Sustainable Winter Break Checklist

Make sure your preparations for winter break are sustainable! Here are some things to think about as you prepare to leave campus for winter break:

  1. Turn off all lights before you leave. Turning off any lights in your dorm room, common room, or office space will help conserve energy over break. 
  2. Turn down the heat. If you have control over the heat in your room/common room, save energy by turning it down just before you leave!
  3. Close windows. In addition to ensuring that your windows are closed, shutting your curtains/shades provides additional insulation that can help save heat. This tip is courtesy of Facilities from their Winter Shutdown Information
  4. Unplug your devices and appliances. Empty, unplug, and defrost your mini fridge to save energy and prevent unintentional science experiments from developing while you’re away! While you’re at it, be sure to turn off power strips and unplug all devices and appliances in your space such as your microwave, printer, lamp, etc. They can still continue to draw electricity while plugged in, even if powered off!
  5. Clear out trash, recycling, and compost. Empty your trash and recycling bins to help custodians keep the dorms clean and pest-free. Not sure if something is recyclable? Have odd items you don’t know where to recycle? See our comprehensive recycling guide here to find what goes in your bin and where to drop off items that need to be recycled separately!
  6. Help dishes make it back to the dining halls. Are you amassing a dirty set of dining service dishes in your room? Help them make it back home via the yellow bins around campus. Returning your dishes enables dining services to continue offering them instead of resorting to all single-use products. Please do not return sharp knives in the bins. Instead, take them back to the dining hall in person. Whatever you do, be sure to Bring it Back! 
  7. Make environmentally-conscious travel plans. Use WSO ride share or Switchboard to carpool, reduce emissions, and make new friends! This student-created sustainable transportation guide provides tips for how to get places more sustainably.  Did you know that direct flights are more energy-efficient than multi-stop flights? Calculate your flight’s carbon emissions to learn more about your impact. 
  8. Reuse! Make sure to reuse any disposable boxes and bags you’ve saved for packing up your belongings or for gifting! Also, if you find clothes you no longer need, you can donate them to the ABC Clothing Shop on Spring St. during their store hours.