Becoming a part of WashU means joining a community committed to addressing climate change and improving global public health. Here’s how you can start making an impact!

Universities have historically been at the forefront of addressing major global issues. Climate change and related public health concerns are two of the largest challenges our species and generation will ever face. Sustainability is a core priority at Washington University.

This commitment to sustainability is woven throughout the student experience – from course offerings, to student-run groups and activities, to the ways you will experience daily life on campus.

Welcome Webinar!

View a recorded version of a webinar that takes incoming students on a virtual tour of campus!


Utilize WashU Shuttles.

Get to campus and move between classes quickly and safely by using one of the many WashU Shuttles. Conveniently explore off-campus neighborhoods, on-campus residential zones, local retail, and more. Check out routes and schedules to plan your trips! Download TripShot for real-time tracking!

Get a bike and helmet.

For those able to, biking is the quickest way to get around. Choose a used or refurbished bike from local non-profit BWorks.

Register your bike.

Register your bike for free with WashU Parking & Transportation to deter theft and facilitate the recovery of a lost or stolen bike. WUPD also sells at-cost U-Locks to ensure the maximum safety of your bike.

Maintain and repair.

The Danforth campus is equipped with six bike repair stations with air pumps and tools for basic tune-ups. Also, keep an eye out for free bike tune-ups on campus. Every April and October, we host two on the Danforth Campus and two at the School of Medicine. Bikes are tuned-up on a first-come first-served basis by mechanics from a local bike shop.

Register for a Metro U-Pass.

Register for a FREE Metro U-Pass and enjoy unlimited rides on the region’s public transit system, including MetroLink and MetroBus. Download the Transit app for real-time Metro tracking & remember to renew your U-Pass each semester! Have fun exploring your new home city and get where you need to go!

Sign up for WashU Rides.

WashU Rides is a commuter platform to help you plan how to get around sustainably and find matches for carpools and bike pools, either for your daily or occasional trips.

Review the policies.

WashU has a set of policies for bikes and scooters to ensure safety and comfort for all users of the road.


Pack light.

Pack light to stay flexible and resilient. During the move-in period, thrift affordable dorm essentials at the Share Our Stuff (SOS) Sales and SWAP Move-In Sale. No need to bring printers, fridges, microwaves or televisions, as they are provided in every ResCollege! Check out this guide to packing along with more move-in and housing tips.

Reusables To Go With ReusePass.

Reusable to-go boxes are available at Bear’s Den, the DUC, and the Village when you opt into WashU ReusePass. After you eat, compost your scraps and return your box to a dish rack or ReusePass return receptacle within 3 days!

Get your free utensil set.

You can save the equivalent of 1,500 single-use plastic forks, knives, spoons, and straws this school year by bringing your own! Sign up for a free reusable utensil set (including a knife, fork, spoon, straw, straw cleaner, and travel pouch) made of bamboo! Fill out this form to request your own. Valid while supplies last.

Waste Sorting

Look for compost bins in dining areas and request a free compost bucket for your room! Check out our waste sorting guide.


Join a student group.

Explore the numerous “green groups” and connect with the Student Environmental Council. Students are also invited to join the Sustainability Committee of the CS40.

Study sustainability.

Seek classes on climate change, environmental studies, energy, or public health. Regardless of your major, explore how your field can help develop sustainable solutions. In addition, learn and test yourself with our Sustainability Basics Canvas Module which covers topics from waste sorting to conscious consumerism.

Connect with us.

Subscribe to the Office of Sustainability newsletter and follow us on social @washu_sustain to receive opportunities for deeper engagement, including internships.


Low carbon dining.

Indulge in a wide variety of plant-forward and low-carbon meals, avoiding water and land-intensive red meat when possible. Educate yourself on the impacts of your food choices and check out the WashU Sustainable Food Guide.

WUSM Farmers Market

Check out the WUSM Farmers Market held every Thursday from 10:00 am-2:00 pm at the University of Health Sciences and Pharmacy Quad. *During the winter/on rainy days it will be at McDonnell Pediatric Research Building Lobby. The market supports our local economy as well as our community’s health and well-being. Subscribe to the WUSM Farmers Market newsletter for attending vendor and in-season produce information.

Energy & Emissions

Save electricity.

Use LED lights and Energy Star appliances as much as possible. Bring a smart power strip so you can control your power use. Check out our energy efficiency guide!

Wash and dry cool.

Laundry is one of the highest-impact ways to conserve energy. Use the low heat settings for both the washing machine and the dryer, which will also lengthen the life of your clothes. Even better, air-dry your laundry!


Hug a tree.

Did you know that WashU is an arboretum? The WashU Arbor Walk is a self-guided tour highlighting 109 trees on campus which can be taken at any time during the year! Guided tours are provided during the Fall and Spring seasons.

Take a break with the butterflies.

The Elizabeth Danforth Butterfly Garden is open 24/7. The garden offers a quiet place to relax on campus and includes benches, picnic tables, an arbor, and native plants that midwestern butterflies need for all four stages of their life cycle.


Save water.

Take shorter showers and turn off faucets when not needed to decrease water consumption. Report any leaks by submitting a housing maintenance request (for on-campus residents) or contacting Quadrangle Housing (for Quadrangle residents).


Take the Sustainability Tour.

Discover eighteen locations showcasing WashU’s efforts to transform this historic campus into a truly sustainable campus through these interactive Sustainability Tours. Follow the suggested routes to discover these spaces through a self-guided tour or navigate the campus virtually.