Get involved

We can dramatically reduce the waste we produce and the energy we consume by changing a few simple actions we take every single day. Learn some facts and a few easy changes you can start making to have a big impact over time.

Waste reduction

  • Based on a 2019 waste audit, 99.8% of waste disposed of in our general waste bins are recyclable. Think about the items you throw away and use the numerous recycling facilities across campus.
  • Refrain from using disposable cups for your drinks. Bring in a cup/mug from home; this will save waste and you may be eligible for a discount off your beverage cost.
  • Rather than buying bottled water and having to dispose the empty bottle, get a re-useable water bottle instead.
  • Try to avoid buying food which comes with lots of disposable packaging and consider bringing in your own food with re-usable containers. The Refectory containers can all be disposed of in our organic waste bins.
  • Check out the Love Food Hate Waste website for tips on how reduce food waste.
  • Use double sided printing or print to a networked photocopier whenever possible.
  • Use “print preview” to arrange print to fit the page, as well as reduce margins and font size to maximise the use of your paper.
  • Use email wherever possible and only print if essential.

Heating and cooling

  • A 1°C rise in room temperature can increase your heating bill by 8-10%.
  • Windows lose up to 40% of the winter warmth and gain 50% of the summer heat.
  • The ideal office temperature is between 18 and 20°C.
  • The room will not heat up faster if the thermostat is set higher than needed. Instead, it just wastes energy.


  • Avoid unnecessary lighting, like in an empty room or when there is enough sunlight.
  • If your office has zoned lighting, make use of this by lighting only the areas of the office you are working in.
  • Take advantage of natural lighting, which has associated benefits on wellbeing.
  • Make sure lights are switched off at the end of the day.


  • ‘Stand-by’ is an energy-inefficient mode.
  • Where equipment is used infrequently throughout the day or week, remember to switch off at the wall to reduce the electrical load.
  • Screen savers do not save energy. Change the power settings on your computer are set to turn the display off rather than simply switch to a screen saver.
  • Chargers left turned on at the wall still consume a small amount of electricity, even if they’re not charging anything.

Contact us

Questions about sustainability at the UC or want to explore your role in a sustainable future?

Email us