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Sustainable Move-In Practices



The University and Residential Services are committed to reducing our impact on the environment. As you prepare yourself to move into Penn, you can help us promote sustainability and lower our carbon footprint. Here are a few tips to make the Move-In experience as efficient and environmentally friendly as possible:

  • Plan Ahead Save time and money by knowing what will and will not fit in your room. You can view room diagrams, features, and furnishings at Make sure you have a discussion with your roommate regarding who will be responsible for bringing particular furnishings to the room. There’s no need for two televisions, two microwaves, two irons in one room!
  • Buy Secondhand There are many options online for finding used lamps, textbooks, etc. from current and former Penn students, whether it’s Facebook (Free & For Sale group only open to Penn), eBay, or Penn Thrifter (a new website started by Penn students).  Many used products still have years of life left in them and do not have a high environmental cost to transport.
  • Reuse & Repurpose - Ask your local grocer if they can spare any empty cardboard boxes instead of buying new ones. This will not only be a smart way to reduce waste, but a great way to save money on moving material. Better yet, use plastic storage containers and suitcases that you can re-use over your college career. Also, consider purchasing reusable cups, plates, and utensils.
  • Avoid Bottled Water - Instead of purchasing a large case of bottled water, we suggest taking advantage of the free refillable water stations located across campus or investing in a water filtration pitcher. Just one of our stations filled approximately 25,000 bottles this past academic year! You will find a resuable water bottle from Residential Services in your dorm when you move in, or you can pick one up at the Green Campus Partnership table at the Student Expo in Houston Hall on 8/22 and 8/23.

  • Rent a MicroFridge - Purchased mini-fridges and microwaves are two of the most abandoned items at the end of the year. The University of Pennsylvania has a partnership with for MicroFridge rentals. This energy-efficient and cost-effective unit has a mini-fridge, freezer, and microwave and is delivered to the room before Move-In and picked up after Move-Out. No physical labor required!
  • Choose Energy-Efficient Products – Our washers require high-efficiency laundry detergent to maximize their effectiveness and efficiency. Bring LED or CFL bulbs which require 70-75% less energy. You can get free LED bulbs from the Move-In Green tables at the Upper Quad Gate or the Lauder College House/Hill area during Move-In. In addition, power strips can help you manage power to your appliances. Buy ENERGY STAR qualified products.

    Inspired by these tips and want to do more for residential sustainability? Visit our website for more tips on living sustainably. Once you’re all settled in, also check out the Penn Green Campus Partnership website at to find out about opportunities to get involved.