Sustainable Living

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Sustainability is widely reflected in Cal Poly Humboldt's vision and values.

Conserving resources, championing social responsibility, as well as reducing our overall carbon footprint, are goals of numerous initiatives and policies. We are deeply involved in creating a campus that operates with sustainability in mind. Read below to find out more about what housing does to help our residents live sustainably, and click the link below to visit the office of sustainability’s website.

Office of Sustainability







Compost On-Campus

Humboldt keeps over 150 tons of food waste out of the landfill each year! This comes from our residents that opt-in to composting, as well as pre-consumer food scraps from The J kitchen. Housing’s compost goes to The Local Worm Guy, where it goes into a vermi-compost and is able to be sold back for finished garden compost and composting worms. This is yet another way that Humboldt contributes to our local community.

Compost bucket

You can start in your own room by keeping compost-able materials in a counter-top 1 gallon compost bin. Food scraps (meat and dairy ok), fruit and vegetables, coffee grounds, bones, soiled paper products, and egg shells are all accepted. When full, empty the compost bin in your room or kitchen into the green, rolling compost bin near the dumpsters labeled, "COMPOST". Counter-top compost bins are available to residents on a first come, first serve basis. Please email to get a compost bin in your room.

For residents staying in Canyon and the Hill, we provide 5 gallon compost buckets in the communal kitchens, picked up weekly. Simply follow the guidelines on the containers to get started!

If you have any questions about composting on campus, please reach out to the Resident Sustainability Advisor at

Donate, Swap or Sell Your Items

Residents that have items they want to donate, swap or sell can use Campus Wall. Go to Campus Wall to list items or see what items are available from other Humboldt students.

Donation Dash

Every May, the Office of Sustainability and the Waste Reduction & Resource Awareness Program (WRRAP) host Donation Dash, a collaborative event designed to minimize landfill-bound waste generated during the move-out week. Donation and waste separation stations are set up to assist residents in sorting reusable items, recycling, and compost from landfill waste. Local charities also participate in this event to collect any reusable items that residents no longer need or want when moving out of their room. This annual event keeps over 25,000 pounds of waste from the landfill every year.

Lucky with recycling bins

Donation Dash not only diverts waste from the landfill, but also encourages participants to rethink our consumer, throw-away culture. This event also offers hands-on learning opportunities that help students take responsibility for the campus’ waste flow and make a positive contribution to the quality of our campus environment. By educating residents and the campus community that we are living on a finite planet with limited resources, it is possible to encourage active participation in practicing zero waste principles.

Get ready for Donation Dash! In your room, separate your move-out stuff into the following categories: 1. Donations 2. Recycling 3. Compost 4. Landfill waste. Once you've done this, bring your donations to your nearest Donation Station. You can donate all kinds of things from your old clothes and jewelry, to unopened food, to school supplies, to household items, and even just your cool stuff! Its good for the planet, your community, and for you! Donation Stations will pop up Wednesday - Saturday of Finals Week.

E-mail if you are interested in volunteering at Donation Dash.



Go Cold for Green & Gold

It’s better for your clothes and better for the environment. Cold water reduces fading, shrinking, and bleeding colors in clothes. Even some stains like coffee or tea, chocolate, grass, or blood are removed better if treated with cold water (source). About 90% of the energy use in washing machines goes towards heating water (source). If a household switched to cold water washing for a year, they would save enough energy to charge an iPhone 4S 30,861 times (source).

We hope you join us in using cold water for your laundry and help to make our earth a little greener in the process!

Green Restaurant

All of our dining locations on-campus are Green Restaurant Certified. This means that Dining at Cal Poly Humboldt is focused on ecological sustainability when making decisions about what foods to use, how food is served, prepared etc.. When you choose to eat on-campus, you are contributing to ecological sustainability. For more information please visit

Green Restaurant

Green Room Tour

Having a green room means choosing to reduce the amount of energy and water used, waste created, and consumption of limited natural resources. It also means being creative, staying healthy, saving money, making friends and having fun! 

What does a Green Room look like?

What should you bring – and not bring – from home to set up your own Green Room?

Green Room Virtual Tour

Think you have a green room worth recognizing? Follow the link below and get certified!

Green Room Certification Program


You can have wheels when you want them with Zipcar's car-sharing program. There are five cars available on campus, 24/7, to be reserved by the hour or day. Zipcar is car sharing, an alternative to car rental and car ownership that gives you the freedom to take a car when you want it, and put it back when you’re done. This program makes it easy to get off campus whenever you need to while avoiding the hassles and expense of owning a car and finding parking on campus.  For more information go to


Humboldt Bikeshare


Don't want to bring your bike to campus, or don't have one? Not a problem! We have bikes you can use on-campus as an Humboldt student. It's pay as you go! What do you need to know?

  • Users will need to download the Movatic app onto a smart device. 
  • Pay as you go = $1.50 per 30 minutes.
  • Annual membership = $30 with free trips under an hour and $1.50 per 30 minutes thereafter.
  • Humboldt students will receive a discounted annual membership = $20 with free trips under an hour and $1.50 per 30 minutes thereafter. Student must sign up as a member with a email address).
  • Want more information? Go to
  • Watch this video if you need help signing up.




Resident Sustainability Advisor

The primary objective of the Resident Sustainability Advisor is to reduce the ecological footprint of Cal Poly Humboldt by means of public education, energy conservation, and coordination with established environmentally conscious organizations. As well as provide residents with resources to reduce their carbon footprint, learn about sustainable practices, and start projects of their own.  

Energy Campaign

Every year our Resident Sustainability Advisor (RSA) conducts an Energy Campaign to determine which residence hall community can reduce their energy use the most. The top three communities are awarded prizes.

How much energy are you using in your room? Find out by downloading this excel document with everything you need to conduct your own energy audit.

Day-to-day Waste Reduction

Our Waste IQ

In your room sort out recycling into the blue bin, trash into landfill bin, and compost into the compost bin. How well do you know your waste? Test your waste sorting IQ by taking this two-minute quiz. Go for the win, use the right bin and become a waste reduction champion!

How We Sort

Humboldt has a single stream recycling system. Paper, cardboard, bottles, cans, Plastics #1-7, tin, plastic grocery bags, paper milk and juice cartons, aluminum, and magazines can be thrown into the blue recycling bin. When full, empty the blue recycling bin in your room into the green dumpster outside your building marked "MIXED RECYCLING". (College Creek residents - recycling goes down the chute marked "MIXED RECYCLING").


Electronic waste is anything with a circuit board, such as cell phones, laptops, microwaves, and stereo equipment. For proper disposal of electronic waste, place them in the E-Cycler bin nearest you: 3rd floor JGC, main exit of the library, or in the alcove near the College Creek mailroom. Batteries, compact fluorescent light bulbs, CD/DVD discs and printer cartridges can also be thrown into E-cycler bins. IT IS AGAINST THE LAW TO PUT THESE ITEMS IN THE TRASH!

Bulb Exchange

Are you currently using an incandescent bulb and want to exchange it? Residents have the ability to exchange any incandescent light bulb for a compact fluorescent light bulb for free. Housing will then properly dispose of any incandescent and broken CFLs for residents.

Sustainable Sourcing in the Office

When office supplies are purchased we do our best to purchase items that are recycled or made from post consumer waste. Housing’s custodial services use the most environmentally friendly cleaning products available that still meet campus safety standards. These cleaning products have been certified as environmentally friendly and or are Green Seal certified.