University Sustainability

Defining Sustainability since 1899

Tips & Facts

Please browse the information below for waste reduction tips and facts provided by

Reduce the amount of stuff you buy, reuse when you can, and recycle or compost the rest.

Waste Reduction Tips

  • Double-side copy and use old sheets as scratch paper for notes.
  • Minimize paper use by distributing info electronically.
  • Buy recycled content products.
  • Reuse notebooks, folders, hanging file folders, cardboard, pasteboard, plastic bottles, plastic bags, etc. There are many resources online for inspiration.
  • Use a reusable coffee mug or cup instead of disposables. 350 million pounds of coffee cups end up in landfills every year. 
  • Pack lunches in reusable containers.
  • Take Tupperware to restaurants or ask for aluminum foil for leftovers.
  • Shop with reusable shopping bags.
  • Donate unwanted items to a local thrift or charity.
  • Share ideas with a friend!


  • North Carolina fills enough trash dumpsters to reach from Boone to Bald Head every 47 days.
  • Almost 80 percent of U.S. paper mills rely on recovered recycled paper. In fact it supplies 37 percent of their material.
  • In a year, North Carolinians throw away enough plastic bottles to line the Blue Ridge Pkwy 642 times.
  • One ton of uncoated virgin (non-recycled) printing and office paper uses 24 trees.
  • Glass bottles can be used hundreds of times over to make new bottles. North Carolina has three glass plants capable of consuming thousands of tons of "cullet" or recovered glass.
  • Recycling an aluminum can saves 95 percent of the energy required to make the same amount of aluminum from virgin materials.