Sustainable Purchasing Recommendations

Considerations Before Purchasing

Before purchasing goods with college funds, consider the following questions. Remember, the most eco-friendly and cost-effective product is one that is not purchased.

  • Is the product really needed?
  • Is the product size and amount necessary?
  • Can a product already within the college’s possession be refurbished, repurposed, or reused?
  • Can you purchase a thrifted or gently used product instead of purchasing something new?

How to Purchase Sustainably

If you determine that you must purchase a new product, please consider purchasing ecofriendly products with the following labels:

  • Recyclable, compostable, or biodegradable
  • Made from recycled materials
  • Reusable or long-lasting
  • Free of toxic chemicals and heavy metals
  • Energy and water efficient
  • Fair Trade Certified
  • Green Seal Certified
  • EPA Safer Choice Certified

Regarding product shipping, we recommend:

  • Buying locally to decrease shipping costs and greenhouse gas emissions
  • Shipping multiple items on the same day to reduce packaging waste


Many departments purchase their supplies through Guernsey, which makes it easy to purchase sustainably:

  • To filter your search to eco-friendly products, click “Green” on the left tool bar, then click “Y.” The filtered products will have either a recycling symbol, a leaf symbol, or both. The recycling symbol means the product can be recycled, and the leaf symbol means the product is biodegradable, made from biodegradable ingredients, compostable, or nontoxic. Note that some labels only refer to liquids, sprays, or inks, and not their respective containers or cartridges
  • For specific information about the product, click on product details. This will indicate the product’s compliance standards (EPA Safer Choice Certified, Green Seal Certified, ACMI AP Non-Toxic Certified, BPI Certified, etc.), percentage pre- and post-consumer recycled content, and biodegradability and composability indicators
  • To search all of Guernsey’s eco-friendly products, scroll to the bottom of the page, then click “Sustainability,” then “shop now.”

After Purchasing

  • See Facilities webpage for recycling and reuse guidelines