Washington University in St. Louis is committed to increasing community awareness of energy efficiency and sustainable living by empowering students, staff, and faculty to make informed decisions wherever they live.

We are only beginning to feel the worsening impacts of climate change, including rising sea levels, flooding, drought, the spread of vector-borne diseases, refugee crises, and famine. These impacts universally threaten public health, ecological systems, and economic stability. It is paramount that our generation takes immediate and multi-faceted steps to live in better balance with the intricate ecosystems that we depend on. 

Locally, St. Louis faces a complex network of challenges related to health and the environment. For example, St. Louis has one of the highest child asthma rates in the country due to air pollution, and hundreds of households face high energy burdens (the percentage of income spent on utilities), especially in low income and black communities. Your actions to decrease energy usage can reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase air quality, and combat respiratory disease.

Explore the digital version of the guide

Download the Energy Efficiency & Sustainable Living Guide

Table of Contents

Thermostats

Laundry

Outlets
Fans

Kitchen & Bath

Products

Windows

Food

Transportation

Lighting

Waste

 

Additional Resources

Swap your light bulbs for LEDs

If you live on the South 40

Look out for a light bulb swap event as part of the annual Green Cup, an energy saving competition among Residential Colleges. You must bring your old CFLs and incandescent bulbs in order to receive a free LED bulb. 

If you live in off-campus WashU housing

WashU off-campus living, Quadrangle Housing, offers free LED replacements for incandescent and CFL bulbs. Email quadrangle@wustl.edu to request a free LED bulb.

For everyone else

If you don’t have access to free LEDs through your landlord, we recommend using the Ameren online store to browse for affordable LEDs. All LED bulbs in this store have earned the ENERGY STAR® label, indicating that they surpass federal standards for energy efficiency and provide high-quality light output and color.

 

Swap conventional for low-flow showerheads

If you live on the South 40

Great news! Since the summer of 2017, WashU has transitioned to high efficiency plumbing fixtures across the South 40, with the installation of 1,273 low-flow showerheads! Read more about this project here.

If you live in off-campus WashU housing

WashU off-campus living, Quadrangle Housing, can install low-flow showerheads upon request. Email quadrangle@wustl.edu to ask for a low-flow showerhead in your residence.

For everyone else

Here again, we recommend using the Ameren online store to browse for affordable low-flow plumbing fixtures. Aim for a maximum of 1.8 gallons per minute (gpm) for true water and energy savings!