Live Green

Green Living Guide Energy Reduce! Reuse! Recycle! Food Water

Consumption Investments 

Green Living Guide 2018


  • Take public transit, carpool, vanpool, bike, or walk instead of driving your car, which on average emits 4.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide a year
    • Learn how Seattle University incentivizes alternative means of commuting to campus: see here
    • If you live on or near campus, you can check out a ORCA pass for free from the Student Center front desk
    • The average car owner spends $9,000 on their car a year (this does not include the price of Seattle parking!), save money by opting to walk and take public transit, or take a carbon neutral Lyft when necessary. If you went car-free you would have to buy an unlimited Orca pass each month in addition to spending $651/month on ride shares like Lyft to match the amount you spend having a car.
  • Take the stairs and make your heart race for sustainability!
  • Turn off and unplug your lights, computer, monitor, speakers, printer, and lights at night. Appliances plugged in but off still suck energy! Read this article on how to oust those energy vampires in your room and home. Plug electronics into a smart power strip so you can flip 1 switch to turn everything off and eliminate standby (vampire) power consumption.
  • Replace the lamps at your desk, in your office, or at home with LED light and save up to 60% of energy. For on-campus spaces, contact Facilities if LED lighting has not yet been installed.
  • Launder thoughtfully: wash only full loads and use cold water, then hang them dry! The drier is the second highest energy-consuming appliance after the fridge! Read more tips on how to save energy when doing your laundry here.
  • Learn about the benefits of going solar and how you can retrofit your own home: visit Solar Washington or Let’s Go Solar. It is easier than you think!!
  • Localize Sustainability is a web site where King County residents can calculate and improve their sustainability profile to save money, improve health, and lighten their environmental footprint.

REDUCE! REUSE! . . . and then Recycle

  • In trash cans on SU campus, 50% of waste found is actually compostable, 13% is recyclable (2018 data). We can do better! Support SU in its goal to divert 80% of its waste from the landfill by 2020.
  • Find out "What Goes Where" and choose the right bin next time you need to throw stuff away.
  • Not sure what to do with your batteries? Put them in an envelope labeled ‘SU Recycling’ and slip them into any on-campus mailbox. They will be properly taken care of!
  • Donate rather than throw away: Have any electronics, furniture, or other items in your office or dorms you want to get rid off? Consider donating to local non-profits.
  • Repair rather than replace: instead of throwing out items after they break, have them repaired. Check out DIY tutorials on youtube or get them professionally repaired.
  • How much plastic do you consume? Take this quiz to find out what your plastic footprint is! Here are 11 easy ways to reduce your plastic waste.Or use this tool by the Earth Day Network to calculate your personal plastic consumption, create your personal plastic plan, and track your progress.
  • Seattle University is a plastic water bottle-FREE campus. Use your reusable water bottle at all times, both on and off campus.
  • Processing recyclables and compost takes large amounts of energy. A few easy ways to reduce even recyclable and compostable waste is to use reusable mugs (you get a discount at C-street and almost all coffee shops in Seattle!) and C-Street reusable plates instead of clamshells and compostables.


  • Grow vegetables for yourself at one of the Community Gardens on campus, or harvest from one of the many campus edible gardens! Download the Campus Edibles Map.   
  • Caffeinate sustainably and buy SU's MotMot coffee (previously called Café Ambiental) from the bookstore. This Fair Trade product was made possible through the efforts of Seattle University and the University of Managua, Nicaragua, working towards improving the livelihood of Nicaraguan coffee farmers. Learn more!
  • Check the labels on food. They matter!
  • When enjoying a meal on campus, only take the food servings you can finish and help SU reduce its food waste. learn about the causes and impacts of food waste here.
  • Join the Clean Greens' CSA (community supported agriculture) and get fresh organic vegetables delivered directly to your door that support local farms, low income families and food justice efforts as well as creating local green jobs.
  • Farmers markets are not only a great way to support your local economy and reduce your ‘food miles,’ but are also a great outing to go on with your friends. The Capitol Hill Farmers Market happens right by SU on Broadway every Sunday 11am-3pm year round. 
  • Eat organic and see here why.
  • Eat with the seasons. Learn why eating seasonally is important. And find out what is currently ripe and delicious by visiting Seasonal Cornucopia.
  • Eat meatless at least one day a week. If everyone in the US replaced one meat meal with a plant-based meal once a week, the greenhouse gas emissions reductions would equate to taking 500,000 cars off the road! Learn more about the environmental benefits of a vegetarian diet here.


  • The average American uses 100 gallons of water per day, read here about 20 ways you can reduce your water consumption 
  • Calculate your water footprint: Do you know how much water you use on a daily basis? How much water goes into making the things you use each day such as clothing, food, and electronics? Calculate your footprint here.
  • Check out information on harvesting rain water in Seattle here as well as Seattle's Rain Barrel User Guide
  • Gain a better understanding of water consumption and get in touch with your water supply by learning about where and how Seattle gets its water: the Cedar River Watershed 


  • Buy in bulk! It not only reduces your packaging waste, but also the energy used to produce and transport your purchases. A three-in-one!
  • When you need to purchase items, shop at thrift stores like Lifelong Thrift, Crossroads, or Goodwill before going to other stores, learn more about the benefits here.
  • Visit a local reuse center such as Second UseBallard Reuse or check out Craigslist for anything from furniture to plumbing to appliances.
  • Purchase Fair Trade Certified products. Seattle University is a Fair Trade Designated University since 2015 and you can find several Fair Trade certified products at the campus cafes.
  • Eat out responsibly and see if a restaurant serving up sustainable fare can satisfy your dinner craving. Try local minded restaurants such as Homegrown, Local 360, or the first organically certified restaurant in WA state, Broadfork Cafe. Or have a meal at FareStart, teaching people in poverty the life skills they need to succcess in the food service industry.
  • Learn about the price of materialism in this quick video, and reconsider your wants and needs. Or visit the Story of Stuff Project to learn about the ways we make, use and get rid of our stuff.


  • The Seattle University Employees Retirement Plan includes four Socially Responsible funds. View the List of Investments.
  • Use the CSR Hub to explore environmental ratings and sustainability behaviors of major companies in North America, Europe and Asia.

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