Starting down the path
While the information provided below primarily focuses on individual actions we can take, it does not mean that collective action is not needed.
The path to living more sustainably is neither uniform not linear; each person will experience varying degrees of success or failure for each new behavior they adopt. Don't worry if you aren't consistent at first, just keep trying to improve, from day to day, and week to week.
In the end, the most important behavioral change you can make is the one that you'll still be doing a year from now.
Good luck on the path and stay determined!
Consumption and waste
Whenever possible, refuse to generate waste. Just say no to:
Offers for free stuff you don't want and won't use - and anything else that'll end up in a junk drawer or go directly in the trash.
Extra or excessive packaging.
Single-use plastic bags and food service items.
To reduce the amount of waste you generate and resources you use:
Borrow, rent, or share things you'll use infrequently.
Research what you need to buy, taking into account the durability, longevity, and repairability of the item as well as the amount and type of packaging it has.
Plan your meals and start with smaller portions.
Only buy items you need and in a size you'll use. (Avoid bundled or jumbo-sized items if all you'll actually use only one thing or a small amount.)
Use and reuse your possessions until they wear out, break, or get damaged. Then instead of throwing them away:
Repair or replace the damaged parts or components.
Mend or patch tears or holes in your clothing.
Be creative and repurpose your stuff - search the internet to learn how other people have repurposed theirs.
Before placing an item in a recycling bin:
Check whether it's recyclable in your area. Visit our recycling page for more details.
Rinse out any solids and dump out an liquids. (Not into the recycling bin)
If you don't know whether an item is recyclable, it's better to throw it in the trash than to contaminate the recycling. Remember:
When in doubt, throw it out.
Eat more plants
Substitute plant protein for meat, dairy, or eggs (even one meal per week can reduce your impact).
Avoid highly-processed foods; a long ingredient list is a telltale indicator.
Choose food with minimal or no packaging.
Prioritize items packaged with recyclable paper, metal, or glass instead of plastic, which can often only be recycled once.
Energy and water
Credit: Roy Luck
To conserve electricity and save money:
Turn off the lights when you leave a room.
Turn off electronics when you're not using them; unplug them to avoid using standby power.
Adjust your thermostat a few degrees higher in summer and lower in winter.
Wash laundry in cold water; hang dry, if possible.
To conserve water and save money:
Turn off the tap when you are not actively using it, for example brushing teeth, shaving, rinsing dishes.
Take shorter showers.
Walking is beneficial to your physical and mental well-being as well as the environment. If your destination is less than a mile away, help protect the environment and walk there.
Bike around campus or commute from a few miles away, or farther if you’re really hardcore.
Visit the Trinity Trails interactive map to learn where to cycle in Fort Worth.
Plan your trip in advance and let someone else do the driving.
The public transportation provider for Tarrant County is Trinity Metro. Their services include a bus network, a commuter rail line – TEXRail, and an on-demand ride service – ZIPZONE.
Carpool and car share
If you must travel by car, plan ahead so that you can make multiple stops on the same trip or coordinate with your friends and colleagues to carpool. Even one fewer trip per week can have an impact.
If you're on campus and you need a car, this article from TCU360 explains what services are available at TCU and how to use them.