student group at LOVE statue

New Student Guide

Become a part of Penn's sustainability movement

Welcome Class of 2026! Penn is committed to reducing its environmental footprint, and students play a large role in contributing to sustainability initiatives on campus.

Read about all the ways you can become involved in helping make the university a greener place.

Watch our welcome video below (which can also be found here on our Youtube channel) for a 3-minute overview of what Penn Sustainability is all about!

Green Your Move-In

  • Consider renting a MicroFridge and microwave unit from
  • Bring LEDs (light-emitting diode bulbs) or CFLs (compact fluorescent light bulbs) in all of your lamps to save energy.
  • Bring reusable cups/mugs, plates/bowls, and utensils.
  • Bring a reusable water bottle. Water bottle filling stations across campus make it easy to stay hydrated.
  • Penn is a bike-friendly campus. Bring your own bike, or utilize the Philadelphia bike share program Indego.
  • Recycle your cardboard boxes and plastic containers after you've moved in. Remember, bubble wrap and packing peanuts cannot be recycled! Learn what can and cannot be recycled on-campus.

Get Involved

Visit the Participate page to learn more about:

Reduce Your Footprint

Reduce your environmental impact by following these tips:

  • Familiarize yourself with Penn's recycling guidelines. Penn offers single stream recycling throughout campus, which means you can put all your glass, metal, plastic, paper, and cardboard in the same recycling bin. This year, all on-campus students have been provided recycling bins in their College House rooms in order to boost sustainability efforts.
  • Use LEDs or CFLs instead of inefficient incandescent bulbs.
  • Set energy-saving features on your computer.
  • Turn off the lights when you leave the room.
  • Use power strips and turn them off when not in use.
  • Rent or buy used textbooks whenever possible.
  • Take these simple steps to save water:
    • Turn off the faucet when brushing your teeth and take short showers.
    • Report leaky faucets to Facilities or your college house's Info Center.
    • Only do full loads of laundry and use the "Bright Colors" (cold water) setting.

Become Green Living Certified and win prizes for adopting green behaviors. Read our program manual to learn other ways to minimize waste, save energy and water, purchase green products, and adopt a variety of environmentally friendly habits.

Become an Expert

Explore the Penn Sustainability website

Visit the FAQ page to get answers to your sustainability questions

Read Penn's Climate and Sustainability Action Plan 3.0 to learn more about how the University is committed to:

  • Learning Sustainability
  • Conserving Energy
  • Designing Green
  • Minimizing Waste
  • Reducing Emissions
  • Purchasing Sustainably

Contact us at with any additional questions.