Sustainability at the University of Maryland

What Can You Do?

Explore each category:

In Your Residence Hall (On-Campus Students)

At Home

Waste Management

Dining (On and Off Campus)

In Your Classes


At Work


  • Buy Less Stuff. Purchasing environmentally-friendly products is good, but not purchasing any products is significantly better. Focus your shopping on needs instead of wants.
  • Shop Online. Shopping online eliminates your need to drive to a store. However, be careful not to purchase goods that must travel a long way to get to you.
  • Buy Local Goods. From office equipment to vegetables, buy products that are produced locally. Doing so promotes a healthy local economy and reduces fuel consumption from the transportation of goods.
  • Avoid Excessive Packaging.
  • Buy in Bulk. Buying products that are packaged in larger quantities reduces the use of packaging material, but only buy what you will use.
  • Reuse Foil and Plastic Baggies.
  • Avoid #5 Plastic. The recycling process for #5 plastic is less efficient than other plastics. Because of the relative inefficiency, many recycling plants do not accept #5 plastic.
  • Bring a Bag. Use reusable bags or a backpack at the grocery store to avoid using plastic bags. The U.S. uses 100 billion plastic shopping bags per year. That\'s roughly 333 bags per year per person -- nearly a bag per day! Some places give you a discount for bringing your own bag.
  • Recycle Plastic Bags. Return any plastic bags you have to the grocery store to be recycled.
  • Buy Recycled Materials. If society recycles, yet doesn\'t use the recycled material, the benefits of recycling stop with diverting trash from the landfill. The benefits of producing from recycled material are lost. Buying products made from recycled material will close the recycling loop. It will also make recycling more cost-effective.
  • Buy Energy Star Products. Look for the Energy Star logo on products such as light bulbs, windows, TVs, and air conditioners. Energy Star products might cost a little more upfront, but they use significantly less energy than non-Energy Star products.
  • Buy A More Fuel Efficient Car. When it is time to replace your vehicle, buy a car that suits your needs and is fuel efficient. Some hybrid cars today get around 60 mpg and a couple 2009 models expect to get around 80 mpg.



To view these tips in a complete list, click here.

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