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!

As part of the 2020 Summer Engagement Series, we hosted a webinar during which we took incoming students on a virtual tour of campus! The recording of the webinar is available below or here.

Less is More

The greenest thing you can do is to consume less.

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.


Wash and dry cool.

Laundry is one of the highest-impact way 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!


Pack light.

Pack light to stay flexible and resilient. During the move-in period, thrift cheap dorm essentials at the SWAP Move-In Sale. No need to bring printers, fridges, microwaves or televisions, as they are provided in every ResCollege!


Save water.

Take shorter showers and turn off faucets when not needed to decrease water consumption.

Shifting Gears

Drop the car habit.

Get a bike and helmet.

For those who are able, biking is the quickest way to get around. Chose a used or refurbished bike from local non-profit B-Works or rent one from student-owned Bears Bikes, who also sells at-cost helmets for $15.


Register your bike.

Registration serves as a theft deterrent and facilitates the recovery of lost or stolen bikes. It is mandatory and free with Parking & Transportation. WUPD also sells at-cost U-Locks for $25 to ensure 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.


Try your new U-Pass.

You have the privilege to receive a free U-Pass from WashU, so enjoy unlimited rides on Metro buses and trains to explore your new home city and get where you need to go!


Signup for WashU Rides.

WashU Rides is a new commuter platform to help you plan your car-free trips and find matches for carpools and bike pools, either for your daily or occasional trips.


Review the policies.

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

Green Dining.

Know the impact of your food choices.

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! All WashU students are eligible to receive a free reusable utensil set (including a knife, fork, spoon, straw, straw cleaner, and travel pouch) made of rapidly renewable bamboo! Fill out this form to request your own.


Request & return eco2go.

Reusable eco2go boxes are available at the four main campus eateries: DUC, Bears Den, Village, and Parkside Cafe. Make sure to return your eco2go box empty at one of the return collection point.


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.


Compost your scraps.

Look for compost bins in dining areas and request a compost bucket for your room. Follow the signs to achieve zero waste!

Get Involved.

Even further!

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.


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 – application will open September 4 on WUGO. Stay tuned!


Connect with us.

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