How-To & DIY

Get crafty with sustainable DIY's and tips


Whether you live in a house with a big back yard, or an apartment with no outdoor space, composting is easy!  

  • Using a large plastic or ceramic container, poke holes in the lid and the base of your container to create ventilation and to allow water to drain out. It’s important to place a tray beneath to capture any drainage.  
  • Find a nice, cool place for your container, but remember to keep it in sunlight.  
  • Start layering it up with strips of old paper (newspaper will work great for this!) soaked in water. Use half of the strips to coat the bottom of your bin, and then pour in some soil and drop in your worms. The amount of worms you’ll use should be relative to the container size.  

Start tossing in your food scraps and the worms will take care of the rest. Each time you add scraps to your compost pile, make sure you cover them in soaked paper strips, just like you did the bottom. If you want to avoid a smell, avoid things like citrus, meat, bones or dairy. For more tips on how to make an at home composting pile, look here.

  • The average American used about 80-100 gallons of water per day (Water USGS)! Start cutting back on your daily water use with these easy tips.  

    • Take shorter showers with a 5-7 minute shower playlist! The average American takes about an eight-minute shower, but for each minute the water is running, 2.5 gallons of water is being used (Washington Post).  
    • Don’t run the tap while you’re brushing your teeth, only use it when you need it. 
    • If you can, consider getting a pack of faucet aerators for your sinks. An aerator limits the flow of water through the faucet, helping to cut back on your water use with very little difference in water flow.  

    For a detailed list on ways to cut back on water use throughout your house, check here

  • The average American wastes 283 kwh of energy per month (x). Keep your energy use in check with these simple tips. 

    • Make sure your lights are off before you head out for the day! If you have a night class, or know that you’ll be getting home late, consider a plugin light rather than leaving a lamp or an overhead light on.  
    • Invest in blackout curtains to help keep your room cool, and keep pressure off your AC. While you’re at it, keep your AC filters clean! The dirtier they are, the harder they’ll have to work to keep your space cool (or warm). 
    • Try to wait until you have a full load of laundry before running your washing machine, and when you do, use cold water! 
    • If you can, consider changing out your lightbulbs to more energy efficient bulbs like LEDs, CFLs or halogen incandescents. This can be a bit pricy, but worth it in the long run! 

Unfortunately, not all apartment complexes offer a recycling program, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be an active recycler! 

  • UCF Recycles just launched a new recycling trailer with 6 receptacles on board at the corner of Libra and Perseus, just behind the UCF Police Department. It’s a 24-hour facility, and accepts plastics #1-7, paper, cardboard, aluminum cans, pallets, and scrap metal. 
  • UCF students have a lot of options when it comes to transportation around campus, and that includes the UCF shuttles 

    • UCF Bike N Gold offers long term rentals that can last you a week, a month, or even the entire semester! If you’re looking for an easy way to get around campus, then look no further. For more information, check out the Bike N Gold website:
  • Shopping sustainably can be tough. Whether it’s for clothes, gifts, or beauty products, ensuring that your purchases are environmentally friendly is made easy with our quick guide!  

    • For a guide on the go, check out the Good On You app, available in both the Apple and Google Play stores. Good On You allows you to search items by brand, and rates companies not only on their environmental impact, but in the way that they their workers are treated, all the way down the supply chain. ( 
    • Additionally, try to look for brands with Fair Trade certification. For more information on what Fair Trade brands are, and what it takes to get certified, check out the Fair Trade website. 
    • For beauty brands, check the backs of your packages to make sure that they’re cruelty-free! The Leaping Bunny certification sets strong standards for both domestic and international brands, which can be found here 
    • Cruelty-Free Kitty is also a great resource for finding cruelty-free brands! You can narrow down brands based on whether or not they’re cruelty-free certified, 100% vegan, organic, palm-oil free, and attached to a parent company that doesn’t test on animals (
    • If you’re curious about the products you’re currently using and how their ingredients stack up, or if you’re looking for some suggestions, check out the Environmental Working Groups cosmetics database:
  • Ecosia – Planting Trees Through Searching the Web
    • Ecosia is an Internet search engine that plants trees by donating 80% or more of its surplus income to non-profit organizations that focus on reforestation and conservationism.
    • The search engine has planted over 59 million trees in Haiti, Nicaragua, Spain, Peru, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Madagascar, Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia, Kenya, Morocco, and Indonesia.
    • They publish monthly receipts to increase transparency and have all receipts for tree purchase and locations of tree plantings.

Many people may feel discouraged about their impact on our large society; however, you can make it count. It is important to remember that you don’t just vote every 2 or 4 years, you vote every day with the money you spend. Divest your own wallet from companies that support fossil fuels or use excessive plastic packaging.

  • Shop at stores that allow you to buy in bulk, and when you do buy bulk, bring a reusable container.
  • When buying your produce, put it all in one reusable bag and separate them at checkout instead of getting individual plastic bags.
  • Shop at Fair Trade Certified Companies, such as Madewell, Patagonia, or Athleta.
  • Incorporate sustainability into bedrooms too by shopping for bedding and home textiles at shops that use minimal processing and work with Fair Trade shops, such as Coyuchi or Crane and Canopy.
  • Walk with more pep in your step when you wear shoes that are guaranteed sustainable by purchasing shoes at companies such as Allbirds, Converse, or Toms.
  • Try using the app “Good On You,” which has rated thousands of fashion brands from “Not Doing Enough” to “Great”.
  • Green your shopping list:
    • Shop for B Corp Certified brands, or items with the cruelty-free leaping bunny and USDA Organic are great starting points.
    • Replant your food scraps to produce veggies at home.
    • Save the tops of carrots, onions, celery, and other veggies to make a homemade vegetable stock.
  • Buy in bulk and buy only what you will eat or freeze within two weeks.
  • Say no to paper and plastic, say yes to canvas reusable bags.
  • Buy biodegradable garbage bags.
  • Purchase non-toxic cleaning products or check out our DIY page to make your own!
  • Choose bamboo! When you’re in the market for new kitchenware, buy bamboo. It’s naturally antimicrobial, biodegradable, and helps reduce the need for logging hardwood forests.
  • Know your certifications! “Greenwashing” is a popular marketing strategy, and you should only trust certified labels like these.
  • Follow the seasons! Buy food that’s in season to reduce the amount of produce imported.