Student Leadership Opportunities

For the upcoming summer and Fall semester, there are a number of opportunities for students to engage in sustainability leadership events and programming. We have compiled some of these opportunities below. Apply to the SPARK student leadership program SPARK: Sustainability Leadership Training Program is a program hosted by the Office of Sustainability. The second cohort will […]

From Classroom to Community

ENST Impact Intern Applies Architecture Knowledge to Energy Burdens in St. Louis In the fall of 2021, Austin Tsailin served as a Renewable Energy & Affordable Housing Intern for Idleburg Consultants as part of Environmental Studies’ Impact Internship program. Austin reflects below on his experience as an impact intern, and how he applied knowledge from […]

April is Active Transportation Month

April is the first of two Active Transportation Months (ATM) at Washington University. The goal of ATM is to motivate staff, faculty and students to kick the car habit and try active, low-carbon means of transportation. If you cannot imagine going car-free, consider carpooling or budgeting time to try transit one or two days during the […]

New Way to Explore Campus Sustainability

Written by Office of Sustainability Student Associate, Julia Feller, Class of 2022 This month, WashU is launching the Danforth Campus Sustainability Map, the one-stop shop for navigating all things sustainability at the university. The map is the end product of four different Office of Sustainability interns spanning nearly five years, providing each an opportunity to apply GIS course […]

The Return of CarShare

Written by Becca Gilberg, Sustainable Transportation Coordinator, Washington University Parking & Transportation Enterprise CarShare is back with hourly car rental on campus! Enroll now to enjoy self-service, hourly car rentals available 24/7 from dedicated spaces on and around campus (reservations required). How does it work? Reserve online or via the app, unlock the car with […]

Green Cup ResCollege Competition Returns

What is Green Cup?  Every spring since 2011, WashU’s South 40 Residential Colleges compete to reduce energy use and adopt more sustainable lifestyles, preventing hundreds of metric tons of CO2 from entering the atmosphere and helping the university save money on electricity costs.  The Green Cup competition will kick off this year on Wednesday, February 16 […]

Bike. Run. Drive: My Active WashU Commute

Written by Rachel Twedt, Multimedia Content Management Specialist, University Marketing & Communications There are many great reasons to actively commute to WashU by foot or bicycle – not having to search – or pay – for a parking spot; no sitting in traffic; saving money on fuel; a reduced carbon footprint – but the reason […]

DocuSign Aims to Impact Sustainability at WashU

Photo of forest taken by Steven Kamenar.

Written by Brian Lallish, Communications Specialist, Office of the Vice Chancellor & Chief Information Officer Does your department or group use written agreements that require ink-on-paper signatures with a printing, faxing, scanning, and emailing process? Washington University in St. Louis uses DocuSign to automate and manage documents that require signatures. DocuSign enables faculty, staff, and students at […]

Winter Break Carpools

Written by Parking & Transportation’s Alternative Transportation Coordinator, Becca Gilberg. Driving home for winter break or just heading to the airport? Need a ride, interested in helping a student who doesn’t have a car or looking for someone to split the cost of gas? Check out WashU’s commuter platform – WashU Rides – to search Rideboard listings, post your own, and contact potential carpool matches.  Getting […]

WashU Adds Solar to Four East End Buildings

Written by Office of Sustainability Student Associate, Serena Earp, Class of 2024 In mid-September of this year, WashU completed the installation of solar arrays on four buildings on the East End of the Danforth Campus—another step in the right direction for WashU’s sustainability goal of decreasing reliance on fossil fuels. The panels were energized on […]

A Summer on the Farm

Written by Office of Sustainability Student Associate, Stephanie Berger, Class of 2022 While many of my classmates spent the summer working in offices or on Zoom, I spent every day of my summer outside, working as a farm apprentice at Zumwalt Acres (ZA) in Sheldon, IL. Zumwalt Acres’ mission is ambitious: cultivating the land through […]

Ensuring Food Security for Students

Written by Claire Conroy, MS, RDN, LD, Special Events Coordinator – Dining Services & Business Operations At the end of the semester, some students may find themselves running out of meal points.  There is no consequence to running out of meal points, and students have the option to add Bear Bucks to supplement their remaining […]

Active Commuter Hub Re-opens!

Active Commuter Hub

The Active Commuter Hub is a campus amenity available to WashU community members. The Hub had been opened initially for only a few short months before being closed due to COVID. The Hub is located in the basement level of Schnuck Pavilion and features daily cubbies that are openly available and four shower rooms and […]

U.S. Declares 23 Native Species Extinct

By Julianne Aronson, Talia Ogliore, Angela Yokley The U.S. Fish and Wildlife service announced on Sept. 29 that 23 species endemic to the United States are now extinct. Among this declaration are eight freshwater mussels, eleven birds, one bat, two species of freshwater fishes, and one flowering plant.  The U.S. Fish and Wildlife’s proposal for […]

WashU Student Develops Environmental Justice Tool for The Nature Conservancy

During the spring semester of her junior year, Julia Feller, an intern with the Office of Sustainability, worked for The Nature Conservancy in Missouri. There, she created the St. Louis EcoUrban Assessment, an interactive project that maps environmental racism in our region. Using ArcGIS technology, she compiled, processed, and analyzed environmental and demographic data, and made a […]

October is Active Transportation Month!

October is Active Transportation Month (ATM) at Washington University. The goal of ATM is to motivate staff, faculty, and students to kick the car habit and try active, low-carbon means of transportation. If you cannot imagine going car-free, consider carpooling or budgeting time to try transit one or two days during the month. If you are […]

A Decade in Sustainability

Phil Valko is the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Sustainability at WashU. He is a WashU alum, avid bicyclist, proud girl dad, and champion of sustainability efforts across WashU’s campuses and the St. Louis region. Phil just celebrated his 10 year anniversary working at WashU, so we thought we would take advantage of the opportunity to learn more […]

New Students Welcomed to WashU’s Sustainability Culture

Students pose in front of recycling compacter. They stand amidst trash that has yet to be sorted.

The class of 2025 is the largest and most diverse class in the history of the institution. A record 1,987 first-year students have joined our vibrant campus, and we look forward to the richness they will bring to our community. First-year students were met warmly by Washington University Student Associates (WUSA) and offered professional assistance by movers […]

Participate in Strategic Planning!

Beginning in early 2021, Washington University in St. Louis launched an 18-month strategic planning process to develop a roadmap that will guide the university’s direction over the next decade. The planning process has been organized with working groups exploring nine issues that cut across any one school or department, including a working group focused on […]

New Director Position opens for WashU School of Medicine

WashU School of Medicine has created a new position: Director of Energy, Sustainability, and Infrastructure. This position will be housed within the Operations and Facilities Maintenance Department. Now with two dedicated full-time staff, the visibility and impact of sustainability initiatives on the Medical School campus have expanded leaps and bounds, and highlights the importance that […]

Sustainability on Display at Historic Commencement

On the Friday evening before commencement, Danforth Campus faculty and staff received a communication that the university would no longer restrict the number of guests allowed each graduate. The recent lifting of local Covid-19 restrictions enabled graduates to invite all of their loved ones to witness this momentous occasion in person; a wonderful gift to […]

Join July’s Plastic Free Challenge!

The past 16 months have turned all of our routines on their heads, even impacting many of our sustainable habits. Whether you’ve fallen off the wagon or are getting on for the first time, the Plastic Free Ecochallenge is a great opportunity to get on track with sustainability goals. There are myriad ways to curb […]

Welcome, Heather Craig, New WUSM Sustainability Coordinator!

The Sustainability Team at Washington University continues to grow with the addition of its newest member, Heather Craig. Heather will be taking over the role of Sustainability Coordinator at the School of Medicine. Heather is located in the Operations & Facilities Management Department on the WUSM campus and will work closely with the Office of […]

Sustainable Commencement Celebrations

This story was updated in April 2022 to reflect WashU’s 161st Commencement. Since 2014, Washington University in St. Louis has pursued zero waste receptions throughout commencement celebrations. In years past, WashU has provided recyclable or compostable serviceware at receptions, set up waste collection stations, collected paper programs for recycling, and donated leftover food. During commencement, […]

Non-Fungible Tokens and Climate

Although cryptocurrency has been around for at least a decade, public discourse on digital currencies has been evolving as society finds new ways to implement and interact with it.  NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, are increasingly becoming a popular investment vehicle (read: dalliance) in the crypto realm as artists and content creators are finding a new, […]

April is Earth Month!

Check out what’s going on during Earth Month 2021. Office of Sustainability Join the WashU Ecochallenge! | ongoing through April The Story of Plastic panel discussion | April 1, 6 pm Gephardt Institute Walk and Talk | April 14, 3 pm E-waste and Confidential Paper Shredding, Danforth | April 20, 7:30-10:30 am E-waste and Confidential […]

The Grow Solar Program Returns

Washington University, Missouri Botanical Garden and the Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA) are partnering on a third phase of Grow Solar St. Louis, a solar education and group-buy program that makes it easier and less expensive for residents to pursue solar on their homes. If you or anyone you know has considered solar for their home or […]

Join the WashU Ecochallenge!

Once again, we are participating in Ecochallenge’s annual Earth Month challenge. The Office of Sustainability invites all of the WashU community to join in on the fun! The Earth Day EcoChallenge is a 30-day environmental and social engagement program that began April 1st, 2021 and will remain open for registration and participation throughout the month […]

Welcome, Aamna Anwer, New Sustainability Coordinator

The Office of Sustainability is excited to announce that a new member has joined the team! Aamna Anwer has filled the position of Sustainability Coordinator to become one of the seven full-time staff in the office. As the Sustainability Coordinator, Aamna will work with partners across the university to embed sustainability into campus life and operations. Specifically, she […]