Green Carpet Awards Recognizes Leaders and Green Offices

On February 4, over 120 guests convened to celebrate sustainability leaders, green office liaisons, and participants in the Green Office Program during the 3rd annual Green Carpet Awards. This highly-anticipated event recognizes the participants of the Green Office Program, which encourages the adoption of policies and practices that minimize the environmental impact of office operations. Completion […]

WashU Dining Services Continues Improvements in Sustainability and Efficiency

Since last fall, campus-wide efforts toward sustainability have taken hold at WashU. Thanks to successful partnerships with Bon Appétit, student groups, the Green Dining Alliance and the Office of Sustainability, WashU Dining Services has recently reached some notable milestones. Ibby’s Receives Top-Tier Sustainability Certification Last October, WashU Dining Services went through the process of certifying […]

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 […]

UCollege: A Unique Opportunity for WashU Employees to Learn About Sustainability

Officially founded in 1931, University College has the mission to give adult students the opportunity to experience the excitement of attending and earning a degree or certificate from a world-class research institution. As the professional and continuing education division of Arts & Sciences, UCollege offers tuition rates that are surprisingly affordable and competitive for everyone, […]

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 […]

WU Beekeepers – A Student Group Revitalized

Back after a period of dormancy, the WU Beekeepers are abuzz with activity once again. Sophomore Kane Koubsky re-started the club last spring, and now leads alongside sophomore treasurer Lucas Dionisopoulos. Koubksy, the club president, started beekeeping the summer before college and came to WashU with the goal of revitalizing the club and sharing his […]

Join the Tree Campus USA Advisory Committee

The Tree Campus USA Advisory Committee is recruiting; a great volunteer service opportunity for WashU students who love our campus trees. Context Since 2010, WashU is certified Tree Campus USA in recognition to its commitment to encouraging students and university personnel to care for our planet’s tree resources. Tree Campus USA is an initiative through […]

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 […]

Themed-Party Clothing for Rent On-Campus!

The new store on the South 40’s storefront came out of necessity. Facing the recurring challenge to find affordable and sustainable clothes for their themed Greek Life parties, Leah Carson, Katie Kim, and Jordan Bloom decided to grab the bull by the horns and to create Weekend Wear. “We wanted to create a solution that […]

Gearing Up to Double WUSM Green Office participation in 2019

The Green Office program is a university-wide initiative that has had great success over the past several years with over 100 certified office spaces across all campuses. The medical school had 15 certified offices in 2017 and is planning to double that number by the end of 2019. With the recent Green Office Luncheons (pictured […]

WashU Green Ambassadors Lead by Example

Move in 2018

This August, a new cohort of WashU Green Ambassadors started their journey to spread sustainability culture on campus with a two-day retreat at Shaw Nature Reserve. During this retreat, the Green Ambassadors connected over team-building activities and received training in various aspects of sustainability at WashU, including green buildings, waste-sorting, alternative transportation, and dining. This […]

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 […]

WUSM Sustainability Student Group Tackles Waste Reduction

Throughout each semester, the medical students at WashU School of Medicine attend daily lunch lectures. The Operations and Facilities Management Department (OFMD) recently supported the Student Sustainability Group in their effort to reduce the waste footprint for these catered events for the first 2 weeks, when lecture attendance is highest. The student group’s leader, Alex […]

Free Bike Tune-Up Series Returns on the Danforth and Medical Campuses

Free Bike Tune-Ups

This fall, the Office of Sustainability, in partnership with Parking and Transportation Services (Danforth) and the Operations & Facilities Management Department (WUSM), is bringing back the free bike tune-up series. After construction in the East End and parking changes, alternative transportation has become increasingly significant at WashU, leading many car commuters to drop the car […]

A Renewed Cohort of Sustainability Associates for the Fall 18

The Office of Sustainability is pleased to welcome six new part-time associates this semester. This dynamic group of students will work alongside 11 returning associates and 5 staff members to provide the vision, organizational strategy, and leadership for advancing operational and cultural sustainability efforts at the university. Noah Rennert has joined the Renewable Energy team; […]

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 […]

Alumni Series: Melinda Kramer [Part 3] – Grow the Movement

This is the final section of a three-part interview with Melinda on her journey through the world of sustainability. You can find the first part of this interview series here. In this section, we discuss the impact that we can all make in our daily lives […]

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 […]

Opportunities for Students at the U.S. Green Building Council – Missouri Gateway Chapter

Since it was founded in 2001, the Missouri Gateway Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council works hard on creating and restoring buildings and communities that will regenerate and sustain the health and vitality of all life within a generation. Consistently honored as one of the top USGBC chapters in the nation, the USGBC-Missouri Gateway […]

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 […]

Recycling Genius Lunch & Learns Summer Series

This summer the Office of Sustainability will be hosting a series of Recycling Genius Lunch & Learns. The Recycling Genius training consists of a brief, yet in-depth, training on what can be recycled and composted and why. Once you are trained as a Recycling Genius, you can provide presentations to groups (like your office) or […]

Part-Time Job Opportunity: Student Brand Manager for Lime

Lime Bike Logo

Lime, the dockless bike share company recently introduced to St. Louis and soon to campus, is currently seeking a Student Brand Manager (SBM) to help execute marketing initiatives and support operational efforts at WashU. The SBM will work alongside Lime’s Local Operations Manager and WashU’s Bike Share Coordinator to assist with the execution of Lime on […]

Welcoming Another Cohort of Summer Associates

The heat has kicked off and so have the associates working for the Office of Sustainability. About two weeks ago, the Office welcomed six new full time summer associates coming from diverse backgrounds. The team consists of three undergraduate students, one graduate student, and two College Prep graduates, a program for first generation college students […]

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. […]

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 […]