There are so many ways that you can live a more sustainable lifestyle. Take a look at some of our suggestions and let us know if you have suggestions that you would like us to add.
a student waters a uOttawa garden plot

Green Space Tips

Don’t litter
Tossing your waste on the ground creates pollution for humans and animals.

Take advantage of the space
If green space on campus is important to you, engage with it! The more the space is used, the more it will be incorporated into campus design and culture. So bring those textbooks outside and take in some fresh air.

Ask for more plants
Being close to plants when you study can promote calmness and wellbeing. You can book space inside the plant room of the Wellness Lounge to get closer to plants indoors or you can send us requests to increase the number of plants in study spaces.

Sign up for a community garden
Learning how to garden can be tough, but on campus we try to make it easier by offering free garden spaces and gardening parties. 

a student explains her project to group of onlookers

Sustainable Learning Tips

Take a sustainability course
There are hundreds of courses related to sustainability offered at uOttawa. If you have an elective and want to learn more about sustainability, check out our list of sustainability related courses.

Find a sustainability scholarship
Take a look at the list of sustainability related scholarships available at the University of Ottawa.

Volunteer for a sustainability activity
Not all learning is done in the classroom. You can learn more about sustainability and meet like-minded people by volunteering for some of the activities offered by our office. Or check out our list of on-campus sustainability groups to find even more opportunities.

Find events outside the classroom
The University of Ottawa offers lectures, symposiums, and extra-curricular activities related to sustainability. Follow us on social media to find out what some of these activities are.

a veggie burger with a smiley face made out of ketchup

Climate tips

Turn off equipment before leaving the office. If you are the last person in the office, you can also turn off common equipment, like projectors, monitors, and photocopiers.

Keep things local
When ordering food for a conference or event, work with Food Services to get food that has a smaller carbon footprint. Beef, for example, has a very large carbon footprint.

Tell us about problems
Report heating issues and energy waste by contacting the call centre at extension 2222.

Travel green

  • When making trips to nearby locations for meetings or conferences, prioritize using the train instead of flying.
  • Ask your supervisor if you can work from home on occasion. Fewer trips create less CO2 created from commuting.
  • Use public transportation, the shuttle bus, or active transportation to come to campus whenever you can. This will reduce hundreds of kilograms of CO2 every year.
employees lean over their bikes on campus

Sustainable Transportation Tips

Ditch your car
Using public transit and sustainable transportation can save you thousands of dollars each year.

Learn how to fix a bike
You can learn to repair your bike at the workshops run by the Bike Coop.

Work from home
On days that you absolutely do not have to be on campus, take advantage of working from home and reducing carbon emissions.

Take the train
Students and alumni get a travel discount when using VIA Rail to travel. Taking the train for trips under 500 kilometres produces fewer greenhouse gas emissions.

an employee puts her waste in the compost bin on campus

Waste Diversion Tips

Litterless lunches
Try reusable containers and bottles when packing your lunch.

Reusable mug discount
Whenever you bring your reusable mug to campus, you will get a discount at all food service locations.
*Also don't forget to bring your reusable water bottle. Water fountains on campus are equipped with goosenecks to easily refill your bottle.

Recycling should be a last resort
We too often think of recycling as an ultimate sustainable task. Always remember, Reduce-Reuse-Recycle is an order of processes. Reducing the amount of stuff you use should be the first priority.

Relocate recycling bins!
Recycling bins should be in every building on campus but they might not be in the best locations. You know the habits and patterns of your co-workers best; if you see that a recycling bin would be more effective if it were in a different location, contact Sanitary Services and ask them to move it.

Reduce paper usage
Send documents and memos electronically. If you must print, print double-sided. Be mindful of how much paper you will use when printing and adjust your document accordingly. Reduce your margin size. Print single spaced. Delete text you do not need.

Reuse single sided paper
Set up a bin to collect paper printed only on one side. For drafts use this previously used paper rather than new paper.

Use air dryers to dry your hands
Even when you factor in the amount of energy required to operate air dryers, they are much better for the environment than single use paper towels.

Buy reused textbooks or rent your textbook
You can find old editions of textbooks on various resale sites. You can also rent textbooks from the uOttawa Bookstore instead of buying it.

Before you buy something new...
Check out the Free Store! We have office supplies, home decorations, and clothing that just might be your style. Prioritizing second hands reduces waste and GHG emissions!

a leaky tap on campus

Water Saving Tips

Report leaks and drips
Whenever you see a leak or a drip, report it right away. Did you know you can report leaks or drips with social media? You can send us a tweet with a picture or location of the drip! @uOttawaSustain

Don’t let the water run
Turn off the tap in between washing your hands or brushing your teeth.