Going Green at UF
Whether you are a new student, faculty member, employee, or a parent or family member of a student, we extend our warm welcome to the Gator Nation! We hope that you make your time at UF as memorable – and sustainable! – as possible. To get you started, we’ve put together some quick links for information that will help start you off on the ‘green’ path.
As always, if you can’t find an answer or resource you’re looking for, just e-mail us!
Sustainable Move-In Guide
We’ve put together a useful PDF with tips for making your move-in as sustainable as possible! There’s also a handy checklist to make packing a breeze. Download the document here.
UF offers a number of courses either related to or focused on sustainability issues. These courses are available at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, and are offered throughout a number of different colleges and departments across campus. View the sustainability-focused and sustainability-related course offerings list to choose your favorite!
Reusable Bottles and Travel Mugs
- Water bottle filling stations provide a quick, free way to hydrate on the go! UF has many water bottle filling stations located in buildings across campus, so be sure to bring your reusable bottle with you when you’re on campus. Not only will you reduce your impact on the environment by limiting single-use bottles, but you’ll also save money: Bottles of water from the vending machine are $1.50 each!
- Are you a regular customer at Starbucks? You’re in luck: There are six locations on the main campus! Just don’t forget to bring your reusable mug with you when you visit: Each drink you purchase in a reusable cup at campus Starbucks locations will save you 10 cents!
- We encourage all members of the campus community to think about their environmental impact when commuting to, from, or around campus, and to use alternative transportation whenever possible. Sustainable options include using the Regional Transit System (RTS) bus system (it’s free with a Gator 1 card!), riding your bike, walking, carpooling either through the UF employee carpool program or through Zipride’s car-sharing service, and more. Read about all of the alternative transportation options available on our webpage here.
- Biking is a very popular way to get around campus quickly and easily. If you are a student and don’t have a bike, you may be able to rent one through the Gator Gears Student Bike Rental Program. If you’re a faculty or staff member, you can request a departmental bike through our Department Bike Share Program.
- Need information about registering your bike, bike safety, or bike laws in Gainesville? Check out the information on bikes.ufl.edu!
Self-Service Bicycle Repair Stations & SG Bike Repair Service
- UF has a number of convenient, self-service bike repair stations located throughout campus. Self-service bike repair stations can help you fix a flat tire or perform basic repairs. The bike repair stations come equipped with a pump, as well as all the tools necessary to perform basic bicycle maintenance. Not sure how to complete a repair? Scan the QR code sticker on the station to view how-to resources on your smartphone or view a fix-it station overview here.
- If you require additional maintenance or need help with your bike, you can visit the Student Government Bike Repair service, located in the Reitz Union.
Waste Reduction & Recycling on Campus
- If you’re new to the Gainesville or Alachua County area, you can familiarize yourself with what is – and is not – recyclable in our system by visiting recycling.ufl.edu or Alachua County’s recycling website.
- Take an extra moment to be sure you’re sorting your waste correctly when on campus, and you’ll be helping UF move toward its goal of Zero Waste.
- Campus has a number of initiatives in place designed to reduce waste and increase sustainability. Our dining locations are all free of Styrofoam products and plastic bags. In 2013, UF also began its composting initiative, beginning with Ben Hill Griffin Stadium during home football games. Both dining halls compost pre- and post-consumer food waste, and catering services are also adopting sustainable practices by composting food waste and providing compostable serviceware and utensils as an option for events. In 2015, UF also began collecting paper towels in restrooms across campus for composting. Learn more about our composting and waste reduction initiatives here.
- Each year, the Office of Sustainability also hosts a Collection Day event, where members of the campus community can bring their unwanted household items, electronic or hazardous waste, school supplies, non-perishable food, and more. These items are either donated for use in the community, or recycled or disposed of properly. Look for more information about this initiative each spring, usually in April around the reading days.
- The #GatorsBEATWaste Station was launched in the summer of 2019 in the Reitz Union dining area. Through this station, students and guests are asked to sort their waste into the appropriate bins. It provides the first on-campus opportunity for post-consumer composting. Note: The #GatorsBEATWaste Station is currently undergoing improvements and will return in early 2023.
- Did you know? Each year, UF’s electric bill is around $40 million! We’re helping to reduce energy consumption across campus, and you can help too by turning off equipment and lights when not in use. In your home or residence hall, you can adjust your computer power settings, unplug electronics that aren’t being used, switch out incandescent light bulbs for LED or CFL bulbs, and adjust the AC or heating when you’re not home.
- Learn more about what UF is doing to reduce energy consumption and combat climate change by visiting our webpage here.
Food & Dining
Updates coming soon!
- Want to get involved with sustainability efforts at UF? There are a number of related student organizations that you can join, you can volunteer with Sustainable UF, or pursue an internship with the Office of Sustainability!
- Make your event more sustainable! We offer a guide for creating sustainable events, as well as a process to certify your event. It doesn’t matter the size, or whether it’s a student event, a department event, or even a conference – we’ll help you make it as eco-friendly as possible.
- If you’re a student, Gators Going Green offers the Green Cord Challenge program – an initiative designed to reward students who participate in sustainability efforts throughout their time at UF to graduate with a green cord, signifying their commitment to environmental issues. It’s never too soon to start!