Saint Louis University

Changing your lifestyle to be more sustainable can seem daunting without helpful tips, advice, and support. Sustainability is a way of life that considers the health and longevity of our environment, society, and economy. Altering our lifestyles to become more environmentally conscious helps to build stronger communities, save money, and improve the longevity of our limited resources.

Below are some guides, tips, and resources to help make your life a little more sustainable:

Green Office Guide | Think Before You Ink | Energy & Water Tips | Fun Tips & Ideas | Carbon Footprint Calculators


Green Office Guide

Want to green your office space and daily life. Check out this handy guide that provides 32 simple tips that you can implement to make your office more sustainable.


Think Before You Ink Flyer

Print out think flyer to hang by your office printer to help remind others to use paper consciously. These 3 easy tips can help save paper and trees.

SLU's Green Office Guide



Energy & Water Tips: 

 Energy Tips    

Slay Energy Vampires: Electronic appliances are constantly using energy; even when you think they are off. They instead go on "stand-by mode" and suck energy when you are not using them.    

- Unplug all small appliances when not in use: cell phone chargers, coffee makers, microwaves, etc.
- Plug all computer equipment into a power saving strip that can be shut off with a switch
- Rule of thumb: anything that has a plug should be unplugged when not in use, if possible
- For a printable handout about how to slay energy vampires click here  

Shutdown your computer at night: Leaving your computer on overnight can waste enough energy to laser-print 800 8.5 x 11 pages.
- That adds up to 2,600 kWh of energy each year and producing 1.9 tons of CO2 

Switch off the lights when you are the last person leaving a room, even if there is an occupancy sensor.

Make to most of natural daylightt: Instead of turning on the lights, check to see if you have enough natural daylight to brighten your day.


Water Tips

Turn off the faucet while brushing your teeth: This saves up to 10 quarts of water each time.
- Assuming two brushings a day, that totals more than 500,000 quarts over the average person's lifetime

Bath or Shower?: The average bath uses about 20 gallons of water whereas the average shower uses about half so reserve baths for special occasions.
- However, keep your shower time to below 5 minutes, otherwise you will be using at least as much as a bath.

Low water shaving: Instead of rinsing your razor under running water, use a few inches of warm water in the sink.
- This will rinse your razor just as effectively, using far less water

Report leaks: If you see any water leaks around campus (bathrooms, water fountains, etc.), use the FAMIS Work Order site to place a service request.

Fun and innovative ideas for living life a little more sustainably

  1. Kick the plastic addiction
    Single-serve items - bottled water, food storage containers, and plastic bags - are all easily eliminated plastic items
  2. Unjunk your mail box:
    Opt out of credit card offers, cancel your weekly shopping flyer, cancel catalogue
  3. Grow your own herbs:
    Store-bought herbs are often individually packaged in plastic. Added bonus: grow them organically
  4. Reduce vehicle idling:
    10 seconds of idling wastes more fuel than restarting. 2 minutes of idling = 1 mile of driving
  5. Love your tap water:
    Plastic water bottles often end up as landfill waste. Carry a reusable bottle. Bonus: Learn about water bottle waste and how bottles are recycled.
  6. Re-evaluate waste:
    The 3Rs and you - Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Upcycle your waste
  7. Shoes, Wheels, or wings:
    Your travel style matters. Learn about alternative transportation options available to you at SLU
  8. Eat local food:
    Support your local community with your purchasing power.
  9. Make your waste work for you:
    Compost your food scraps. Added bonus: use worms!
  10. Think outside of the gift-wrapped box:
    Give meaningful rather than material gifts. e.g. Go to a concert together, give to charity, try a "buy nothing" holiday season.

Footprint Calculators

Your carbon "footprint" refers to the damaging impact you have on the environment around you.  Here are some online tools to help you determine your carbon footprint and strategize ways to minimize it.