There are many ways you can be sustainable when it comes to preparing for the new school year.

Sustainability is one of Humber College’s six values and we are creating a culture of sustainability on our campuses and in our surrounding communities. As a learning institution and a member of the community, Humber is a central place to shape the future of sustainability. However, we can’t do it without your support.

Check out the top 12 ways the Office of Sustainability suggests keeping the earth greener come September:

1. Plan a green commute to campus

There are plenty of ways to get to class besides driving your car — take transit, carpool with a friend, bike or even walk. Start planning today and find all of your sustainable transportation options here.

Plan a green commute to campus

2. Save on paper by going digital

The Humber Bookstore has digital textbook options so you can start the year paperless. Also, conserve paper by printing only when truly necessary and ask for at least 50 per cent recycled paper when you do.

save on paper by going digital

3. Pack a zero-waste lunch

Skip the brown bag and bring your reusable containers and cutlery to avoid single-use waste. Don’t forget your reusable water bottle to fill up from one of our many water-refill stations on campus.

water refill

4. Say “no” to supply overload

Don’t be tempted to load up on back-to-school items you may not really need. Ask yourself if the item will be of use to you, or if the item is more of a want than a need.

Say “no” to supply overload

5. Recycle your style

Want a new outfit for the first day of school? Get yours from a local thrift shop or arrange a clothing swap with your friends. Do this for any items you may want but don’t need such as a brand new backpacks, lunch bags and more.

recycle your style

6. Unplug it

Unplug your devices, shut your computer down and switch the lights off when you leave class to save energy.

Unplug it

7. Put waste in its (correct) place ​

We want to avoid waste in landfills so learn what goes in recycling, compost or trash on campus. Join the Office of Sustainability during Welcome Week to test your skills and win some zero-waste prizes at their Sort it Out event.

Put waste in its (correct) place

8. Eat less meat

Raising and preparing meat produces up to 40 times more greenhouse gas emissions than vegetables and grains. Reduce your consumption of meat and dairy and try the vegetarian options on campus.

9. Grab a Fairtrade coffee

We are a Fair Trade designated campus which means we have Fairtrade certified products available. All non-branded coffee is Fairtrade as well as select chocolate and tea. Use your purchase to support farmers in developing countries by looking for the Fairtrade mark!

Grab a Fairtrade coffee

10. Improve your mood 

Take a break from class and focus on improving your well-being by spending more time outdoors. The Student Wellness & Accessibility Centre regularly hosts Mood Walks so you can boost both your physical and mental health.

Improve your mood

11. Meet new friends and get involved 

There are lots of opportunities to develop your leadership skills, volunteer in the community, or just meet new friends. Visit the LGBTQ+ Resource Centre, Black Academic Success and Engagement (BASE)Aboriginal Resource Centre, or join a student-run club and share your passion!

Meet new friends and get involved

12. Make yourself a priority 

School can be stressful, so it’s important you make time to take care of yourself. Whether it’s hitting the gym for a workout, getting a check-up at the health clinic, or scheduling a counselling service, prioritize your mind and body to avoid back-to-school burnout.  

Make yourself a priority

Visit humber.ca/sustainability for more tips or send an email to sustainability@humber.ca with questions about how you can lead a more sustainable lifestyle.