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sustainNU - Office of Sustainability

Green Shopping List

We encourage you to make environmentally conscious choices when purchasing household or office items. Check out some of our suggestions below.


  • Mini-fridge: Consider sharing with a roommates/workmates and be sure it’s an ENERGY STAR® certified fridge.
  • ENERGY STARLaptops, printers, and other electronics: When purchasing TVs, DVD players, and microwaves look for ENERGY STAR® certified products or EPEAT certification. Before you buy a new printer, see if you can share with roommates/workmates and make sure it has a sleep mode option and can print double-sided.
  • Smart strips and power strips: Power strips and smart strips are a great way to make it easy to save energy by switching off electronics and chargers when they aren’t in use. Learn the difference between smart strips and power strips.
  • Lighting: Desk lighting is one of the most efficient ways to light your space when you’re working. Consider an LED bulb for your desk lights, they might cost a little more, but they’ll last over 20 years!
  • Irons: You would be surprised how many irons and ironing boards we find in the move-out donation boxes at the end of the year! Before purchasing these items, check if you can borrow them from your roommate(s) or friends.

Furniture and Bedding

  • Wash ClothesSheets and Towels: Consider organic cotton and other materials (ex. bamboo fiber) which eliminate pesticides and herbicides, making it better for your health and the environment. Don’t forget a clothes drying rack to save money and have your clothes last longer!
  • Furniture: Higher quality and durable furniture can be donated and reused; low-quality particleboard-based furniture usually ends up in a landfill.

Food and Water

  • Evanston Farmers marketBottled Water: Why waste a $1.50 each time you’re thirsty, Evanston has great tap water so bring a reusable bottle or cup and fill from the tap or bring a water filter.
  • Reusable items: Reusable water bottles, mugs, shopping bags, and food containers are a convenient and less wasteful option than single-use materials.
  • Grocery Stores: When it comes to purchasing the food you prepare, be sure to take advantage of Evanston’s options:
    • You have the opportunity to meet local farmers at Evanston’s year round Farmers Markets!
    • Look for local and organic produce in several of the Evanston grocery stores.