Humboldt State University

HSU Green Room Virtual Tour

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Humboldt State encourages you to practice healthy and sustainable living habits while residing on campus. Choosing a greener lifestyle helps decrease your environmental impact while connecting you to your peers, sustainability-themed courses, and student organizations.

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, saving money, making friends and having fun!

Ready to green up your room or apartment? Here are some ideas to get you started!

Green Cleaning

Green cleaners work just as well as generic cleaners, but without the volatile organic compounds (VOCs), acids and other harsh chemicals that are bad for you and for the planet. Look for cleaners that are biodegradable — they will naturally break down in the environment.

Or try making your own! White vinegar, baking soda and lemon juice are just some of the natural ingredients you can use to make your own human healthy and planet healthy cleaners!

Check out the Campus Center for Appropriate Technology for classes on how to make your own cleaning agents.

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Looking for a ride home for the holidays? Looking to carpool locally or long distance?

Zimride is an online ridesharing service that connects drivers and passengers for local or long-distance trips. It’s a great way to meet people with shared interests, save money on gas and parking, and reduce your carbon footprint.

Join the HSU ZimRide community at

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Need a car? Borrow Ours

You can have wheels when you want them with Zipcar's car-sharing program. There are three 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.

Join today at

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Ride the Bus for Free

The Jack Pass is your chance to ride green and save some gold. All HSU students have unlimited free ride access on bus systems serving Humboldt County. What a great way to save on car and parking expenses while helping to protect the environment at the same time! And you can take your bike on Redwood Transit System (RTS) buses! Learn more about the Jack Pass.

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Get Green Room Certified

The Green Room Certification program encourages campus residents to practice healthy and sustainable living habits while residing on campus. The certificate is awarded to residents for choosing to reduce the amount of energy and water used, waste created, and consumption of limited natural resources.

Once certified, you will receive a customized certificate to post on your door as a way to recognize your achievements and commitment to sustainable living.

Go to the Green Room Certification Checklist to get certified.

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clothes drying

Clothes Drying Rack

It takes a huge amount of energy to run a clothes dryer—all to do something that the air, given a little more time, can do energy-free.

Air drying your clothes also saves you money and is much gentler on your clothes than electric drying. Clothes drying racks are available at local hardware stores.

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Thrift Stores

Take advantage of the numerous thrift stores in our area! Purchasing second hand means looking good while saving money and cutting back on the energy, water and nasty chemicals used to make new clothes. The Waste Reduction & Resource Awareness Program (WRRAP) hosts clothing exchanges each year. To learn more go to

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Clothes Washing

An easy way to clean green is to turn the dial on your washing machine to cold. Most loads don't need hot water, and 90% of the energy used by washing machines goes into heating. The higher the water temperature, the higher the cost to you and the planet.

Wash only full loads of laundry to save energy and water.

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Ride a Bike

The League of American Bicyclists recognizes Arcata as a Bicycle Friendly Community. So leave the car at home and use a bike to get around campus, town, and local open spaces. You can even take your bike on the Redwood Transit System (RTS) buses!

The Bicycle Learning Center is a student club on campus that will help you repair and maintain your bike. To learn more go to Show Your Bike Some Love For bike storage, there is a large shed behind the Canyon that residents can access with their keys. Creekview also has bike storage rooms located at the bottom of the buildings.

There is also bike parking conveniently located all over campus. No need to pay for parking!

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Don’t have a bike? Rent one!

The Zagster bike share service helps students, staff, and faculty get around campus and town while reducing their carbon footprint.

There are five bikes at each Zagster station, located at Jolly Giant Commons and Harry Griffith Hall. Bikes are reserved with the Zagster app and can be returned to any station, including ones planned for downtown Arcata. They come with a basket and a built-in lock that allows riders to secure bikes mid-trip without having to return them to designated stations.

Riding a Zagster bike costs $2 per hour, up to $30 per ride. People who plan to use the bikes often should consider the annual membership, which costs $20. This option gives you the first hour for free each time you borrow a bike and costs $2 per additional hour.

For more information and to download the app, go to

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Potted plants bring cheer to your room and are a great way to naturally clean the air. The Arcata Farmer’s Market, and the Botany and Biological Sciences departments hold frequent plant sales throughout the year. To pick up a plant for your room, check out

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Efficient Lighting

TURN OFF THE LIGHTS! Something easy to do that will make a big difference. Whenever possible turn off the lights during the day and take advantage of the daylight! A post-it note left over the light switch plate reminds everyone to turn off the lights when they leave the room.

Compact fluorescent (CFL) light bulbs use 75% less energy than a standard incandescent bulb and last ten times longer. Light Emitting Diode (LED) lamps use over 90% less energy than a standard incandescent bulb and last 30-50 times longer. LEDs cost more than CFLs up front but save more money over the long run.

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Power Strip

Most electronics these days continue to use several watts of power even when they are turned off. To prevent this, plug electronics, such as TVs, printers and stereos, into power strips; turn the power strips off when the equipment is not in use. If you don’t have a power strip, just unplug electronics to stop the “phantom load”.

Power strips are available at local hardware stores.

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Kick the bottled water habit!

HSU is among the first campuses in the country to initiate a phase out of the sale of plastic water bottles.

Be a part of the solution to plastics pollution – buy a reusable canteen and refill it for FREE at one of the filtered hydration stations located on the 2nd floor of the JGC, in the Depot by Muddy Waters café, or on the first floor of the K&A building. Most water fountains on campus also have a spigot to refill your water bottle.

Our water comes from the aquifer under the Mad River watershed. Aside from local, it is clean, healthy and delicious!

To learn more about the negative impacts of disposable bottled water on the environment and our communities, check out the HSU chapter of Take Back the Tap at

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Know what? It's not that hard to print on both sides of the paper. But even though most printers give that option, most of us still print only on one side of the page. Consider this: the U.S. alone uses 4 million tons of copy paper annually, about 27 pounds per person. Save dough and your local landfill. Print on two sides.

If you are buying new paper, make sure it is 100% post consumer recycled paper, or a tree free alternative such as kenaf, sugar cane or bamboo.

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Campus Center for Technology (CCAT)

Need a book on eco-living, gardening, or how to make your own natural cleaners? Check out the extensive library at the Campus Center for Appropriate Technology (CCAT), attend one of their many workshops, or drop in for a tour of this student run, eco-living center. Find out more at

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Energy Star

Set the sleep mode on your computer so it powers down after ten minutes of non-use.

Look for the ENERGY STAR label when purchasing new light bulbs, appliances or electronics. ENERGY STAR products use less energy, save money, and are better for the environment. You can view a list of EnergyStar products at

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Reusable Office Supply Exchange (ROSE)

Why spend money when you can stock up on gently used or unused office and classroom supplies for FREE? The ROSE storefront has everything you need, from binders to paper clips. It is located on the HSU campus in the Warren House between Campus Apartments and Gist Hall, and is open Mon-Fri, 8am – 5pm. At the end of the semester you can drop off classroom and office supplies for others to use in the future.

To learn more go to

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coffee mug


The US landfills around 20 billion paper cups per year! Be part of the solution to this waste - Bring a mug with you wherever you go for take out beverages. You will get a discount for using your own cup while doing your part to reduce the waste caused by single use coffee cups.

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Electronics, batteries, CFL’s, Disks and Ink Cartridge Recycling

Did you know it is against State law to put batteries or used electronics in the trash?

Drop off electronic waste (e-waste), used batteries, used ink cartridges, disks and spent CFL’s (compact fluorescent light bulbs) to the special recycling bins located at the College Creek Mail Room, the hallway on the second floor of the JGC, or inside the main exit of the library.

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No matter where you are at HSU, you can recycle just about everything!

Rooms come equipped with blue bins to keep mixed recycling separate from trash. All paper, cardboard, aluminum, metal, glass containers and plastics #1-7 can go into this bin. Once full, empty your bin at the mixed recycling location outside of your building.

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Composting is a natural process involving the decomposition of organic matter into nutrient-rich soil amendment.

You and the planet win when you compost, because your organic waste doesn’t have to be transported to a landfill, where it will decompose anaerobically and release methane, a greenhouse gas that’s 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide.

Use a container with a lid to collect food scraps, coffee grounds, tea bags, food soiled paper and other compostable items. When full bring your compost container to a green bin located at the trash and recycling location outside of your building. Each compost bin has a label indicating the items that can be accepted as compost.

To learn more about composting at HSU, go to Kitchen style compost containers are locally available at: Hensel’s Ace Hardware, the Co-Op, and Wildberries Marketplace

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Free Kitchen Supplies

Why buy new stuff that you will just get rid of when you move out? Residence Life loans out pots, pans, cutting boards, cutlery, and other kitchen tools at no cost. Ask for a bin of kitchen supplies at the Housing Information Desk in the JGC during their regular hours: 4pm – 1am weekdays, 10am-2am weekends.

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Local, Organic Food

Check out the seasonal (April - November) open air market on the Arcata Plaza, every Saturday from 9-2. The market has a lively, social atmosphere with live music, lots of fresh fruits and vegetables and other goods. Check out for more information on Farmer’s markets and the local food scene.

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To-Go Containers

Don’t let disposable packaging litter our beautiful campus or fill up our trash dumpsters!

Bring your own bags when shopping and use your own containers for bulk items, snacks and other foods.

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Conserve Water

Delivering water to your residence requires lots of energy—to bring it to campus, to treat it so that it is safe to drink, and to deliver it to your room. More energy is used to heat water and, after use, to convey it and clean it at a wastewater treatment plant. So the bottom line is that saving water protects a finite resource, saves energy and reduces greenhouse gas emissions. How much can you save? Turn off the water while brushing teeth or shaving. Take 5 minute or less showers. Wash only full loads of dishes and clothes. Immediately report any drippy faucets or leaks by calling the Housing Office at 707-826-3451.

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Plastic Bag Dryer

Discarded plastic bags are a major problem in our landfills, oceans and environment because they take hundreds of years to completely degrade. Help stop plastic bag pollution – wash and reuse plastic bags. You can get plastic bag dryers at local hardware stores, or make your own!

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keeping sustainability in mind