New Hall with spring flowers blooming

Sustainable Residence Life

How do we live together? Sustainably. 

Our Dorms

Each of our 38 residence halls, including Main Street houses and Reimert, among others, have sustainable features and practices in place to ensure that we’re showing some love to the planet. Each residence hall has recycling bins, motion-activated lights, and paper products (toilet paper and paper towels) that are made from recycled materials in our bathrooms. We are also in the process of updating our lights with LED bulbs, which are currently used in BPS, BWC, New Hall, and North Hall. Facilities monitor indoor temperatures to save energy when possible, and generates much of the electricity that we use right here on campus. We’re working to continue to improve the residential experience, and create more sustainable practices that will help us achieve carbon neutrality

What You Can Do

  • Recycle! Here at Ursinus, we can recycle plastics #1-7, glass, aluminum, paper and cardboard. Not sure if it’s recyclable? When in doubt, throw it out! This ensures that our recycling stays free of contamination. 
  • Turn off your lights when you leave your room, and use energy efficient bulbs in your own fixtures.
  • Bring real plants instead of plastic ones. 
  • Invest in reusable utensils, plates, mugs, and straws to avoid plastic waste. 
  • Eat a plant-rich diet, and look for fair-trade and plastic-free options in the C-Store. 
  • Buy Energy-star appliances, and share items with your roommate when possible. 
  • Use a power strip, and turn it off when possible. 
  • Unplug appliances when you can, especially over break. (Fridges are okay to leave on!)
  • Participate in Sustainable Move-Out instead of throwing out unwanted items.
  • Get reusable K-Cup Pods or a more traditional coffee maker or French press to avoid plastic waste.
  • Sign up for Bikeshare to get around town, and look into sustainable transportation options.
  • If you have an air conditioner in your room, turn it off whenever possible and keep it on the lowest comfortable setting.
  • Properly dispose of JUUL pods and e-cigarette cartridges. They can’t be recycled, and should be thrown in the trash (not on the ground!)

Green Living Certification

Take our Green Living Certification to see how sustainable you’re being! You’ll get a certificate and a free sticker for your time. Already taken it? Make sure to do it each year to see your improvement. Encourage your friends to take it as well!

Registered Events

Whether you’re a Greek organization, sports team, or other group hosting a registered event, check out our tips for keeping your event sustainable! 

  • Decorations: Painted banners and signs are great reusable options for decorations. Try to limit the amount of balloons and other single-use decor you use. 
  • Recycling: During clean-up, recycle what you can (click here to find out what can be recycled) and consider placing your recycling and trash bins near a Social Host who can make sure they’re being used properly.

Greek Organizations

  • Consider the environmental impact of your recruitment week activities and letters night events. Reusable decorations like painted signs are awesome, and help you limit the number of single-use plastics like balloons. For recruitment activities, make sure any crafts are reusable (like decorating wine glasses) and not plastic-based.
  • Volunteer with us! We have opportunities to help you complete your Five Star evaluations and spend time together as an org. Click here to learn more about our opportunities.

Plant Registration 

  • Bringing live plants to campus helps to create a healthier and more sustainable living space for all. 
  • Indoor plants provide us with clean and fresh air, boost productivity and allow the Ursinus community to connect with nature indoors.
  • Now more than ever, creating an environmentally friendly and sustainable campus is essential to meet our climate goals. Plants aid in the sequestration of carbon dioxide from our atmosphere which directly pushes us towards our campus environmental goals. 
  • To help create a sustainable living environment here at Ursinus, register your dorm plant, classroom plant, or any living indoor plant on campus. 
  • By registering your plant you will help us to keep track of how much carbon we are sequestering as a campus and determine how we can better greenify the campus.