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Sustainable Living Tips

An example of a "green" residence hall room at Virginia Tech. Image provided by the Office of Sustainability internship program.

Part of being a Hokie means trying to reduce your impact on our local community and the planet.

Your environmental impact is determined by your everyday life choices, and Housing Services wants to help you live more sustainably! Below are some easy tips for going green while you are an on-campus resident.

Shine Bright

LED light bulbs use 75% less energy and can last up to 25 times longer than incandescent light bulbs*. Make the energy and financially smart choice, and choose LEDs for your lamps.

Bring Your Own Bag

Don’t waste a plastic bag when you’re in a dining center or visiting the grocery store. Bring your own bag! Reusable bags prevent plastic bags from ending up in landfills or being littered around campus.

Air it Out

A laundry drying rack will save energy and money, and will help keep your clothing looking its best. Washing on cold also helps to save energy and extend the life of your clothing. You can also use higher concentration laundry detergents or detergents with plastic-free packaging to reduce the number of plastic jugs going to landfills.

Eat Green

Dining Services’ Reusable To-Go Program makes it easy to be sustainable when you take your food to go. Just ask for a “green” container when you get your food, and make sure to bring your container back so that future Hokies can use it, too.

Try Organic

Organic sheets mean fewer pesticides and chemicals were used to make your bedding. Another sustainable option to consider? Bamboo. Natural fiber sheets like cotton and bamboo prevent the use of plastics found in synthetic blends.

That's Not All!

These tips aren’t the only way to live green! Using Energy Star appliances, taking shorter showers, and turning off lights during the day and when you leave the room are all easy ways to cut down on your environmental impact. Together, we can make Virginia Tech a greener place to live and work.

Drink Smart

Reusable water bottles can be used thousands of times, while plastic bottles are usually only used once. Ditch single use plastics and fill up with a reusable bottle!


Virginia Tech uses single stream recycling, which means papers, plastics, and cans can be commingled. Not sure where something goes? When in doubt, throw it out! If your room is missing a blue recycling bin please submit a work order to request a replacement.


You can reduce your energy draw by unplugging electronics and appliances while not in use. A simple trick is to plug multiple cords into one powerstrip and turn it off when you're not using it!

This page was developed in partnership with the Office of Sustainability interns.