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sustainNU - Office of Sustainability

Purchase Consciously

Every choice you make while shopping can make a big difference for the environment. There are many ways that you can make conscious purchasing decisions that are environmentally conscious, too.


washclothsChoose to reuse

When you’re shopping, select reusable items like washcloths rather than disposable items such as paper towels. Bring your own reusable shopping bag for your purchases and a reusable mug or thermos for the coffee or tea you need to get you through your jam-packed day.

Be a digital-worm

Buy digital or used books. The Norris Bookstore offers students the option to purchase school books in used print and digital forms.

Be hip and thrift

Consider secondhand items - they’ll be unique and reduce the energy and material needed to make new clothing.

Fix it

Try to repair items before throwing them away and buying a replacement.

energy starBe a star

Purchase electronics (laptops, fridges, etc.) that are ENERGY STAR® certified. Check out the Shop Green 'energy' section to learn more.

Go bottled water-free

Buy a Brita or PUR water filter to avoid using bottled water and fill up your reusable water bottle before you leave.

Ditch the toxics

Buy less toxic cleaning and personal care products. Read the ingredients and look for natural or organic, rather than chemicals, chlorine bleach, and detergents with phosphates.


  • Use your phone to download applications like Buycott, which allows you to scan and see if products reflect your principles.
  • To learn more suggestions, check out the Green Shopping List