At UVM, reducing and reusing waste is a community effort. Many university stakeholders and community organizations offer programs and resources that help us to reduce, reuse and repair.

What is Zero Waste? Zero Waste is is a goal that is ethical, economical, efficient and visionary, to guide people in changing their lifestyles and practices to emulate sustainable natural cycles, where all discarded materials are designed to become resources for others to use. Zero Waste means designing and managing products and processes to systematically avoid and eliminate the volume and toxicity of waste and materials, conserve and recover all resources, and not burn or bury them. Implementing Zero Waste will eliminate all discharges to land, water or air that are a threat to planetary, human, animal or planet health.

Learn more in this infographic about Our Road to Zero Waste.


Waste Reduction and Prevention Tips for New Students

  • Connect with your future roommate(s) to determine who is bringing what items to campus. Plus it's a great way to get to know them as well!
  • Remember to bring your refillable water bottle and reusable coffee/tea container and develop the habit of bringing it with you everywhere you go. Not only will you be cutting down on waste from buying new product but you'll also get discounts at campus locations like Henderson's Cafe and more! Save $.25 on the price of a large coffee when you bring your refillable mug!
  • Rent a fridge/microwave combo from the UVM Bookstore or approved vendor. Don't bring your own. Some residence halls also have kitchenettes that allow students to cook and make meals. Explore your new residence hall and find out what is available.
  • Sign up for the Ecoware program in the dining halls
  • Visit the campus library (Howe Library) or Burlington's Fletcher Free Library. Both have an amazing amount of resources, not just books!
  • Speaking of books, look into renting textbooks or e-books, it's a lot cheaper than buying new ones. Check Facebook Marketplace for reusable books.
  • Don't bring laundry detergent to campus. We have an amazing partnership with Generation Conscious which dispenses package-free laundry sheets. The kiosk is located in the Davis Center just outside Brennan's on the first floor.
  • Bring you bike to campus if you can, it's a great way to get around. If you can't bring your bike to campus or you don't have a bike, UVM Bikes will rent you one for the semester or the year! Plus there are great area bike shops that sell used bikes including Old Spokes Home.
  • Did you know that you can compost your food scraps in your residence hall? That's right! Free compost bags are available at your res hall front desk. Take the bag back to your room and fill it up. Once full, deposit it in any of the green compost carts located in your lobby. Help keep UVM loyal to soil!
  • There are wonderful second-hand stores in the Burlington area for items such as sporting goods, clothes, records and more! Don't buy new. Check out these locations first for cool finds at great prices!

Thanks for doing your part to reduce, reuse and recycle!


On Campus Re-Use Programs