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at a glance

students outdoorsThere are lots of ways to be part of VIU’s community of conservation.

Here are a few suggestion of ways to make small changes. 

We all have the Power to Change!




  • Because we’re surrounded by it, we often take water for granted.  Be mindful of your water use and help us conserve every drop!
  • Drink tap water.  There are fill stations all over campus to fill your personal water bottle.
  • Use only the water you need.  Turn the tap off when you’re not using the water running out of it! (e.g. brushing teeth, reaching for a paper towel, washing dishes)


  • Bring your own reusable container/utensils.  It cuts down on packaging waste and excess water use.
  • Increase meatless meals.  Meat production results in a great deal of methane, a greenhouse gas that contributes around 20x more to trapping atmospheric heat than CO2.
  • Make local/seasonal choices whenever possible.  VIU’s food services incorporate many local ingredients!
  • Keep the cold in!  Make a beverage/food choice BEFORE opening the cooler door. 


  • Turn off any light not in use. 
  • Turn off any equipment not in use BUT leave computer towers on.  They are programmed to go into ‘deep sleep’ and receive network updates.
  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
  • Only use electric door openers if needed.
  • Take advantage of natural light and turn on as few lights as possible.
  • Click here for more electricity ideas
  • Draw blinds at the end of the day to help prevent heat loss/heat gain through the windows.
  • Report any temperature spikes to Facilities (6500) to help them keep systems running efficiently.


  • Print only when necessary. 
    From 2010 to 2012, VIU has decreased its paper consumption by about 22%.  Nice!
  • Print double sided.
  • Decrease margins and use smaller font where possible.
  • Recycle paper.
  • Choose paper with recycled content for your office.


  • As much as possible, be self-propelled!
  • Take the bus
  • Ride your bike.  Bike racks and showers are available on most campuses
  • Walk
  • Get to know your colleagues and/or classmates and carpool/rideshare whenever possible
  • Click here for more!


  • Take a few extra steps to compost or recycle waste rather than putting it all in the bin destined for the landfill. 
  • All washroom bins are for compostable materials
  • Plastic or tin?  Rinse items, put them in separate bags, (one for plastic, one for tin) and place beside a central recycling bag.
  • Click here for more on recycling/composting! 
  • Recycle your pens/mechanical pencils/markers!  Take end-of-life items to collection bins located at the Welcome Centre, in front of the bookstore, at student residence, or at Cowichan campus reception area.  You can also send them to Margot Croft B305, R272. Click here for more!
  • Reduce waste to start with!  Get in the habit of reusable containers, utensils, and bags.
  • Take what you need.  Take a look at this video about paper towel use 

Do you have other suggestions?

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