Sustainability Tips


  • Unplug your electronics when not in use to stop them from using ‘vampire energy’

  • Plug electronics into a powerstrip or SmartStrip and turn the strip off when not in use

  • Use the sleep or hibernate setting on your computer or laptop, NOT a screensaver!

  • When you leave your room, follow this checklist of items to turn off lights, powerstrips, fans, and air conditioning

  • Leave radiators and space heaters off and use a sweater instead

  • Set your thermostat a little higher in the summer and a little lower in the winter (try 76 degrees in the summer and 68 in the winter)

  • Use an LED desk lamp

  • Switch to LEDs and remove incandescents

    • CFL (compact fluorescent lamp) light bulbs use one-fifth to one-third the amount of energy for the same amount of light provided by traditional incandescent bulbs. LED (light emitting diode) bulbs use up to one-tenth the amount of energy as incandescent bulbs, and last up to 50 times longer.

    • Standard incandescent light bulbs use only 10 percent of their energy towards light – the remaining 90 percent goes towards heat. In the summertime, this means students must run the air conditioner more to keep their room or apartment at a comfortable temperature

  • Wash your clothes in cold water

    • Up to 90% of the energy used during a washing machine’s cleaning cycle goes into heating the water, so use the cold setting.

  • Air dry your clothes on a clothesline or drying rack


  • Take shorter showers

    • 1 minute = 12 bottles of water

  • Wait to do your laundry until you have a full load

  • Turn off the water when you brush your teeth

  • Report any leaky plumbing as a work order


  • Reduce or eliminate your use of plastic bottles.

    • Take back the tap! Bring your own reusable bottle.

    • 23 water bottle refill stations are located throughout campus

    • According to The Water Project, only one out of every five plastic water bottles is sent to the recycling bin, which means that 80% of all those bottles go back into the environment, where they create a variety of hazards. It takes three times the amount of water that’s in a water bottle to create the bottle in the first place!

  • Say "no" to bags at the store

    • Bring your own reusable bag instead!

    • Plastic bags are now banned in Hoboken, and you will be charged a fee for paper bags.

  • Look for products that have less packaging, which equates to less trash and less material that will end up in a landfill to emit methane and other pollutants.

    • The average college student produces 640 pounds of solid waste each year, including 500 disposable cups and 320 pounds of paper.

    • In a lifetime, the average American will throw away 600 times their adult weight in garbage. This means that adults leave a legacy of 90,000 pounds of trash for their children.

  • Use reusable water bottles and coffee mugs

  • Be a responsible consumer:

  • Don’t purchase aerosol sprays

  • Buy commonly used goods secondhand:

    • Rather than buying commonly used items brand new (e.g. coffee makers, wall hangings, books, backpacks, couches, furniture, etc), purchase them secondhand. Many students will get rid of these items at the end of the academic year, and these bulky items will end up in the landfill. 

  • Think before you print!

    • Only print when you absolutely need to.

    • If you have to print PowerPoint presentations, print multiple slides per page.

    • The average American uses seven trees and 680 pounds of paper per year.

    • Only print double-sided!

  • Take notes electronically

  • Recycle, and encourage your peers to do the same!

    • The energy saved from one recycled aluminum can will operate a television set for three hours.

    • The energy saved from recycling one glass bottle will light a 100-watt light bulb for four hours.

  • Be sure to rinse your recyclable containers out before disposing

    • China, who is a major importer of recycling from the US, recently increased their contamination standards – meaning the more we can reduce contamination the more we can be sure our recycling is going to the right place. When in doubt, throw it out!

  • Only take your food to-go if you’re really in a rush – those take-out containers add up!

    • If you know you will have to take your food to-go, bring a reusable container

  • Participate in




  • Recycle your e-waste

    • The US accounts for 50 million tons of electronic waste comprised of old computers, cell phones, televisions and many more. Of that large amount of waste, only 20-25% is recycled properly. The majority of discarded electronics end up in a landfill or are incinerated. Depending on the method of disposal, harmful chemicals including; lead, mercury and cadmium leach into the soil or atmosphere. (


  • Start composting

    • Over one third of all food produced for human consumption ends up unconsumed and treated as waste.


  • Reduce use of single occupancy vehicles.

    • 93% of campus already uses more sustainable transportation methods!

  • Rent, borrow, or share a bike!

    • In 2015, the transportation sector was responsible for 27% of all greenhouse emissions in the United States, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). 


  • Reduce your meat consumption

    • Raising and preparing meat produces between 10 and 40 times more greenhouse gas emissions than growing and harvesting vegetables and grain

    • Livestock produces more greenhouse gases than planes, trains, and cars combined!

    • Skipping meat and cheese for one entire day, is equivalent to taking your car off the road for five weeks

    • A hamburger per week (52 in a year) equates to roughly 350 miles of driving emissions

    • If everyone in the US ate Meatless Monday it would equal 7.6 million cars off the road

    • According to a United Nations report, “cattle-rearing generates more global warming greenhouse gases, as measured in CO2 equivalent, than transportation, and smarter production methods, including improved animal diets to reduce enteric fermentation and consequent methane emissions, are urgently needed.” Additionally, “when emissions from land use and land use change are included, the livestock sector accounts for 9 per cent of CO2 deriving from human-related activities, but produces a much larger share of even more harmful greenhouse gases. It generates 65 per cent of human-related nitrous oxide, which has 296 times the Global Warming Potential (GWP) of CO2.”

    • Stevens Dining Services provides many vegetarian and vegan options

  • Eat local

    • Shop at Farmers’ Markets

    • On average, the fresh produce at the supermarket spends seven days in transit before reaching store shelves. The amount of emissions can total hundreds of pounds of emissions. Buying local produce will severely cut the transportation-related emissions. Local produce is much healthier as nutrients begin to break down immediately after harvest. The seven-day transit period reduces the nutrient content by half. ( 


  • Eat organic

  • Eat sustainable seafood


  • Take a sustainability class! 

  • Learn recycling rules on campus 

  • Join a sustainability club!