Get Involved with the Student Environmental Council

Looking for ways to get involved this semester but not quite sure where to start yet? The Student Environmental Council (SEC), a collection of WashU environmental student groups, offers many opportunities for students to engage, learn and take action for sustainability on campus. You do not need to be a member of a sustainability group […]

De-icing Solutions at WUSM

Last fall, WashU and the St. Louis Higher Education Sustainability Consortium (HESC) hosted a Brining Workshop to bring together authorities from the St. Louis region to discuss the use of road salt during snow and ice events. The workshop featured speakers from the St. Louis Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD) and a Biologist from SLU to […]

Native Planting at Greenway Apartments Enhances Natural Habitats

Last fall, the landscape surrounding the WashU-owned Greenway Apartments was not looking too great. Vast openings of mulch was the only thing left after the decline and removal of most ornamental plants, most likely due to the maturing maple trees shading out the sun-loving plants underneath. Witnessing this degradation, the WashU ResLife and Facilities departments […]

A Garden to Unite the Restorative Justice Movement Center’s Community

Noah Offenkrantz is a junior majoring in Global Health and the Environment. Enrolling in the Environmental Studies community internship program last fall, he had the chance to work directly with the Restorative Justice Movement Center (RJMC) on the creation of a garden for the Center’s community. The RJMC is a non-profit organization in North St. Louis […]

Happy Sustainable Holidays!

  [Photo Credit: residentialwastesystems.com] It’s the holiday season – the time of pretty lights, gift-giving and family feasts. While we truly love it, we also know that it’s the time when we tend to consume excessively, creating waste and using greater quantities of energy. Remember, the greenest thing you can do is consume less! From […]

Recycling Relay with Normandy Middle School Students

Waste Intern Jacob Halladay-Glynn recounts his experience working with middle school students from local Normandy Middle School, who visited Washington University for the Engage 360 program on the first Friday of November. (Note: the picture above was taken during a recycling relay game with WashU students). “On your marks, get set, go!” Two teams of […]

Office Supply Drive Through Jan 31

Take advantage of the slower days over the winter break to clean out your office supply cabinets and drawers, then send surplus items to stock the shelves of the new Office Supply Exchange! Nervous about parting with the supplies you’ve been hording for the past 5 years? Relax – that is the beauty of the […]

Students Advocate for a Straw-Free Campus

Every day, between 170 million and 390 million straws are used and thrown out in the United States (according to a recent New York Times fact check). Overall, over 8 million metric tons of plastic makes its way into our oceans every year, killing marine life that ingests it, introducing dangerous toxins into the food chain. Student […]

Happy Sustainable Holidays!

[Photo Credit: residentialwastesystems.com] It’s the holiday season – the time of pretty lights, gift-giving and family feasts. While we truly love it, we also know that it’s the time when we tend to consume excessively, creating waste and using greater quantities of energy. Remember, the greenest thing you can do is consume less! From gift […]

WashU Relaunches Closed Loop Cooking Oil Recycling Program

This November, Washington University in St. Louis is starting a new partnership with the Rockwood School District Renewable Fuel Project to re-launch a closed loop, cradle-to-cradle cooking oil recycling program. This program will allow WashU Dining Services to fuel its three diesel catering trucks with a 50/50 blend of biodiesel year-round. It anticipates reducing the […]

IPCC 1.5 Report: A Climate Change Teachable Moment

On November 15th, dozens of students and faculty braved the snow to gather, reflect and discuss climate change in light of the recently published “IPCC 1.5°C report”. Sitting casually on the stage and among the audience, the 10 panelists represented areas of environmental science, public policy, engineering, architecture and law, from both the faculty and […]

5 Tips to Conserve Energy in the Winter Months

With shorter days and often below-freezing temperatures, winter comes with greater energy needs. While it’s tempting to turn the heat all the way up to make it through the cold season, being mindful of our heating habits is critical to avoid energy losses and unnecessary consumption. The five tips below will help you maintain a […]

New Green Event Certification Program Launched

This fall, the Office of Sustainability is launching a green event certification program that provides a framework for best practices, easy access to resources, and recognition for exemplary events and event planners. With hundreds of events planned by professional and non-professional event planners across the university, there is a high potential to reduce, recycle and […]

The Restorative Power of Ginkgo Leaves

Hannah Richter is a lover of trees. She is also the author of an op-ed about keeping the fallen gingko leaves on our campus grounds. This golden carpet, as she writes, “provides the students of this university with joy, with rapture, and with a moment of pause in the daily torrent of academic work.” Focal […]

Multiple Internship Opportunities Related to Sustainability, Climate, and Community Engagement

Since its inception in 2012, our internship program has on-boarded over 80 students. Bringing a variety of skill sets and backgrounds to the team, student associates have significantly expanded our reach and impact at the university, while gaining valuable experience through professional development and enrichment activities. Turn over occurs as students are graduating or studying abroad, […]

New Opportunity for Students to Engage with Campus Solar Installations

July 22, 2013 - Kevin Denzl works on solar panels on the roof of Brauer Hall. Photos by James Byard

Low costs, consumer demands, and organizational commitments to mitigate climate change have resulted in rapid growth of the renewable energy industry that is transforming how the US and the world generates energy. In response to growing student interest in renewable energy careers, the Office of Sustainability is launching a new program that will provide students […]

New Resources Unveiled to Honor Danforth Campus Trees

Fall is officially here, and what better way to celebrate with events and resources that honor and acknowledge WashU’s magnificent trees? This fall, WashU is pleased to unveil trees.wustl.edu, a new website that catalogs and highlights trees of merit across the Danforth campus. The website will continue to grow as additional trees are selected for […]

Mind the Lights for Bird Migration

[A flock of birds flies past the Gateway Arch – Photo Credit: Jeff Roberson/AP] St. Louis on the Bird Migration Route Many species of animals migrate during the fall and spring seasons, but one of the most prominent migrations in North America is that of birds and butterflies. Seeking a better climate, seasonal food sources, and […]

Bon Appetit Sustainability Programs Make it to Campus

This September, WashU Dining Services challenged its chefs to buy and cook even more local and seasonal foods than usual. Two remarkable sustainable food programs initiated by WashU’s main dining provider Bon Appetit Management Company, made their way to campus. The One Ton Tomato Challenge In the United States, more than 20% of the fruits […]

St. Louis Transit Moving Forward

The future is bright for transit in St. Louis! Three projects, one completed and two upcoming, aim to enhance Metro’s current offerings and bring exciting new transit options to the region. Cortex Metrolink Station Grand Opening About a month ago, the long-awaited Metrolink station opened in the Cortex Innovation Community, just east of WashU’s medical […]

Mackenzie Welcomes the Class of 2022 with Green Living Tips!

Hello and welcome to the WashU Class of 2022! My name is Mackenzie Hines-Wilson, I’m a sophomore Arts & Sciences student and just one year ago I was in your exact same situation: a little excited, a little confused, and a little uncertain of how exactly I, as a first-year student, could start to make […]

WashU Earns National Recognition for Sustainability Efforts

Washington University in St. Louis is being recognized nationally for its institution-wide sustainability efforts: the school recently earned a gold STARS rating from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). STARS (Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System) measures and encourages sustainability in all aspects of higher education. The university also landed in […]

Electric Vehicle Charging Arrives at WUSM

The Clayton Parking Garage at the Washington University School of Medicine is getting a sustainability upgrade! The Operations and Facilities Management department, which oversees parking and transportation on the medical campus, recently installed 20 electric vehicle (EV) chargers throughout the garage, bringing the total EV charging capacity to 21 spots. Most levels of the garage […]

Green Offices Gather to Network and Share Best Practices

On July 26th, the Green Office team hosted the Green Office Luncheon in College Hall as a way for offices to network, learn more about the Green Office program, and recognize participants for their sustainable practices. Twenty offices who certified or recertified in the first part of the year received their 2018 plaque tiles. The […]

WUSM Bon Appétit Cafés Begin Phasing Out Plastic Straws

“The Last Straw” for Bon Appétit The School of Medicine campus has two major dining facilities – Shell Café in McDonnell Medical Sciences Building and Farmstead Café in McDonnell Pediatric Research Building. Both of these cafés are operated by Bon Appétit Management Company, a full food-service management company based in Palo Alto, CA. Sustainability is […]

Melinda Kramer, Founder of of The Women’s Earth Alliance

Melinda Kramer graduated from WashU in 2003 with a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology and Environmental Studies. In addition to working with various NGO’s, such as CARE International, Pacific Environment, and the Natural Capital Institute, Melinda is best known for her founding of The Women’s Earth Alliance (WEA), a nonprofit that seeks to foster sustainability […]

Expanded Incentives Make Living Near Work Even More Attractive

  Live Near Your Work, WashU’s employee housing assistance program, is growing! The program, established 10 years ago, provides forgivable loans to WashU and BJC Healthcare employees who buy homes in certain neighborhoods near campus. Recently, the Washington University Medical Center Redevelopment Corporation announced the addition of new eligible neighborhoods, including Visitation Park, Academy, Fountain […]

Changes in the Recycling Industry Raise the Bar for Waste Sorting on Campus

[Pile of plastics in China – Photo Credit: Fred Dufour/Agence France-Presse] In 2010, WashU made the transition to single-stream recycling on all campuses, making it easy and convenient for the university community to recycle. At the time, this change helped the university to nearly double consumer waste diversion. Today, about 42% of the waste generated by […]

Rediscover the Danforth Campus Through a Sustainability Lens

With input from a variety of campus collaborators, the Office of Sustainability is releasing an interactive, multimedia, GIS map-based Sustainability Tour of Washington University’s Danforth Campus. The tour features eighteen locations that showcase WashU’s efforts to transform our historic campus into a truly sustainable campus. These locations make up a small sample of the variety of ways by which WashU is fully committed to […]

Green Event Best Practices Showcased at 2018 Commencement

Since 2014, Washington University in St. Louis has pursued zero waste receptions throughout the Commencement celebration. Typically, receptions achieve 98% waste diversion through recycling and composting. Some of our standard practices include: 100% recyclable or compostable serviceware at each commencement reception. Waste collection stations with trained volunteers and staff to help attendees correctly sort waste […]

Summer Commuter Resource Fair Series Returns, on the Danforth and Medical Campuses

This summer, the Office of Sustainability, in partnership with Parking and Transportation Services (Danforth) and the Operations & Facilities Management Department (WUSM), is bringing back the Summer Commuter Resource Fair series, featuring services and service providers that support employees and graduate students in their transportation choices. Alternative transportation – which includes biking, walking, public transit, […]

Irene Compadre, Landscape Architect

L. Irene Compadre graduated two times from WashU: in 2008, with a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture that she completed after studying a combination of architecture and sculpture, and in 2012, with a Master of Landscape Architecture. Today, in addition to working as an adjunct faculty at the Sam Fox School of Visual Arts, she is the founding principal of Arbolope Studio […]

Summer Garden Membership at the On-Campus Burning Kumquat

The Burning Kumquat is the on-campus, student run, organic garden located right next door to the Alumni House on the South 40. During the school year, the farm functions as a student club involving members pitching in at workdays and selling produce at DUC markets. But in the summer, when most students are gone and […]

A Program to Enhance Transportation Safety

“Walk Smart. Bike Smart. Drive Smart.” – The Pedestrian and Vehicular Safety and Education Program has the straightforward goal of making the WashU School of Medicine campus a safe place for all types of commuters. The WUSM community had the chance to see this program represented at the recent Earth Day festival in Hope Plaza. […]

Share Our Stuff: An Initiative to Minimize Waste

As the semester ends, students pack up their St. Louis homes and transition to summer experiences. With only so much space in the car or storage unit, a portion of belongings become available for new uses and new owners. Thanks to the Share Our Stuff Initiative, a tremendous amount of usable goods are diverted from the landfill, […]

Composting in the Dorms Pilot A Success

This article was written by Mackenzie Hines-Wilson, Communication Associate at the Office of Sustainability and resident of Dardick where the composting pilot took place. According to the EPA, about 38 million tons of food is wasted every year, of which only 5% is composted. The WashU Green Ambassador (WUGA) Waste Team, a peer-to-peer education program […]

A New Position for Sustainability at the School of Medicine

A couple of weeks ago, the WashU School of Medicine welcomed Alicia Hubert, who will be the first Sustainability Coordinator for the medical campus. In her new role, Alicia will be in the Operations & Facilities Management Department on the WUSM campus and she will also work closely with the Office of Sustainability to coordinate […]

Dockless Bike Share Programs Launch in St. Louis

As of Monday morning, Mayor Lyda Krewson has officially announced the launch of Bike Sharing in the City of St. Louis. Ofo and LimeBike, two private companies who have been granted permits to operate within the city, have deployed hundreds of colorful bikes around various St. Louis neighborhoods, available for anyone and everyone. This milestone […]

Displaced: An Art Installation for Climate Justice

Last Friday, nearly 40 members of the WashU community came together to talk about the connections between climate change, disasters, and displacement, to acknowledge the end of “Displaced: An Art Installation for Climate Justice.” Seniors Kristen Patino and Julia Widmann spearheaded the project, with the help of Fossil Free WashU and funding from Student Sustainability […]

Active Transportation Challenge: April 9 – April 30

As part of this spring’s Active Transportation Month, the Office of Sustainability and Parking and Transportation Services are bringing back an old favorite offering, the Active Transportation Challenge! The Challenge galvanizes teams of faculty, staff, and students to drop the car habit and to use alternative forms of transportation when commuting to WashU: walking, biking, […]

A Record of Decision for Radioactive Waste Removal

Above: “Barrel Mountain” by Jason Hargrove was inspired by his visit to the Weldon Springs toxic waste containment site where uranium was processed and stored. On February 1, the EPA released a record of the decision announcing its new proposal to remove radioactive waste from the West Lake Landfill. This removal strategy proposes the excavation of […]

Tapping for Sugar Maple Sap on Campus

As you walk up Wallace Drive from the South 40, there is a peculiar sight tucked into the landscape on your right. Tubes coming out of trees and emptying into large white buckets are almost reminiscent of an alien harvesting scene if you don’t know that they are for tapping the maple trees for sap […]

Student Sustainability Board to Fund Green Initiatives

Last month, the Student Sustainability Board (SSB) allocated $2,200 to support a project that aims to introduce composting in on-campus residential areas. Thanks to the funding allocation, the WashU Green Ambassadors’ waste team will be able to implement a pilot phase of their project in Dardick Hall, one of the Residential Colleges of the South 40 […]

Success at Washington University’s First Climate Day

Last Friday, Washington University in St. Louis hosted its first Climate Day event. This exciting event brought together students, educators, community members, and leaders in climate action in important discussion about today’s pressing climate issues. Climate Day featured a keynote speech, 3 panels consisting of professionals working in government and in the non-profit sector and […]

Students to Compete at the Eighth Annual WashU Green Cup

The Office of Sustainability, in partnership with Residential Life and Facilities, is excited to announce the launch of WashU’s eighth annual Green Cup competition! Among Washington University’s South 40 Residential Colleges and School of Medicine residents, leagues will compete to reduce their energy usage. A Competition to Save Energy On the Danforth campus, electrical energy use from […]

Tim Biello, Organic Farmer

Tim Biello graduated from WashU in 2002, where he studied anthropology and biology. He now runs Featherbed Lane Farm located in the Eastern part of New York State, just north of the capital, Albany. Born in St. Louis, Tim taught environmental education and did trail work before setting his sights on owning and operating his own farm […]

Green Ambassador Program Recruits Directors

The WUGA program (Washington University Green Ambassadors) is currently seeking applicants for two student director positions. The WUGA program is a student-led, peer-education program supported by the Office of Sustainability that orients new students to sustainable living practices at  WashU. WUGAs play a critical role in training first year student to adopt behaviors that align […]

Danforth Designated as a Tree Campus USA 2016

Washington University in St. Louis is proud to announce that it has recently been re-certified as a “Tree Campus USA” for its commitment to encouraging students and university personnel to care for our planet’s tree resources. Tree Campus USA is an initiative through the Arbor Day Foundation that has recognized 333 other universities for their […]

Environmental Studies Program Post New Internship Positions

The Environmental Studies Program has announced five open internship positions for Spring 2018. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis and reviewed starting November 20. Applicants are encouraged to apply as soon as possible for the best chance of receiving consideration. [accordion] [accordion_tab title=”Positions” active ] We are looking for enthusiastic and hard-working graduate or undergraduate […]

Crop Boxes CSA & Mini Market Officially on Danforth

It’s official! Local Farmer CSA, in partnership with the Office of Sustainability and the Department of Human Resources, now offers CSA (Community Shared Agriculture) Crop Boxes on Danforth campus! Farmer Dave Smith will set up his farm van and a mini market every other Wednesday from 4:00 to 6:00 PM in the Music Library parking […]