Sustainability & Green Living

University Housing strongly supports Planet Blue and encourages residents and staff to adopt sustainable living practices. At the same time, we have adopted a number of housing facility practices that help make the University of Michigan a greener environment.

Energy Conservation

Ann Arbor temperatures range from winter lows of -15°F to summer highs of 95°F. Conserving energy in the way we heat and cool our apartments is a cooperative effort between residents and Northwood administration. When we work together, we can reduce our energy needs, conserve fuel and keep our operating costs and rents as low as possible.

Here are a few suggestions on what you can do to reduce energy consumption at Northwood:

  • Dial down. Even a one degree reduction will reduce fuel usage by 3%. Northwood IV and V residents are encouraged to set their thermostats at 68°F or lower when the apartment is occupied during the day and to 63°F at night. Northwood I, II and III residents have less control because central heating is provided via boilers. However, you can reduce your heat by adjusting the radiator valves in your apartment.
  • Instead of turning up the heat, pile on the clothes, socks and blankets. Wearing several loose layers of clothing is an easy way to stay warm during the winter months.
  • Keep doors and windows closed when the heat or air conditioning is turned on.
  • Let the sun shine in. Open your curtains and blinds during the day to capture the natural heat and close them at night to help keep the heat inside. During the summer months, do the reverse.
  • Don’t block heat circulation. Keep furniture away from radiators and registers.
  • Turn off lights, televisions, computers and other appliances when they are not in use.
  • Conserve gas while cooking by using the lowest possible oven temperature.

Water Conservation

  • Reduce hot water usage. Avoid running hot water for extended periods (while brushing teeth, combing hair, shaving, doing dishes, etc.).
  • Report any leaking faucets or toilet tanks to FIXIT(online FIXIT system.) .
  • Adjust water levels on washing machines to the size of the load.


Recycling reclaims finite resources and reduces the amount of waste going into landfills. Ann Arbor processes single stream recycling. No sorting of recyclable papers, glass, aluminum, plastics, and other materials is necessary. Just place all recycling waste into one of the blue dumpsters marked RECYCLING located in the parking lots.

Dispose of all other trash in the TRASH dumpsters.

Visit Sustainability and Green Living in University Housing for more helpful information.

University Housing is a unit of Student Life, and an equal opportunity educator and employer.

For housing related questions, please contact University Housing.
Phone: (734) 763-3164