Demystifying Sprinkler Usage at WashU

By Jarea Fang  The grass is greener where you water it, and that is certainly true of WashU. Danforth Campus, which is known for its park-like landscape and plots of green, uses irrigation to water about two-thirds of its green space. Every year irrigation becomes a familiar sight to WashU eyes, and passersby have long learned to swerve in their […]

Join WashU Together in the Plastic-Free Ecochallenge!

We’ve been thinking a lot about plastic lately. First, our team of staff and summer associates all watched “The Story of Plastic”, an award-winning documentary directed by WashU alumna Deia Schlosberg (free streaming opportunity provided by Ecocyle until the end of June). The movie tells the story of a product that was introduced to us […]

Green Carpet Awards Recognize Sustainability Leaders

On February 5th, liaisons representing offices from across WashU campuses gathered to celebrate participation in the Green Office Program and recognized sustainability leaders during the 4th annual Green Carpet Awards. The Green Office Program encourages the adoption of policies and practices that reduce environmental impacts of office operations. This highly anticipated event recognized offices for […]

The Need to Regulate Confined Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs)

Sydney Welter is a senior majoring in Environmental Earth Sciences. She enrolled last fall in the Environmental Studies community internship program allowing her to work directly with the Missouri Coalition for the Environment (MCE) as a River Protection Intern. To mitigate the dramatic impacts that Confined Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) have on human, animal and environmental health, MCE has been […]

Shoe Donation Drive Returns at WUSM

For the 4th year in a row, the WUSM Operations and Facilities Management Department is accepting new and gently used shoes for donation from March 11th through May 31st. Since 2015, the WUSM community has collected over 4 tons of shoes for donation to the ShoeCrew Water Projects, a local non-profit that provides clean water […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Sustainability, Health, and Development: Dispatches from Costa Rica

A few weeks ago, a group of Public Health and Social Work graduate students returned from a 10-day field trip to Costa Rica.  Along with Professor of Practice Joe Steensma, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Sustainability Phil Valko, and Director of Global Programs Tammy Orahood, the students had the unique opportunity to observe and study the complex […]

Share Our Stuff 2018: Seeking Volunteers!

SWAP is getting ready for Share Our Stuff, its end-of-semester donation initiative, and is looking for volunteers! Partnering with WashU ResLife, the Office of Sustainability, and WashU Facilities, SWAP is mobilizing a campus-wide (and off-campus WashU owned) collection for anything usable that would otherwise be thrown out. How it works: Donation bins will be placed […]

New Signage in Laundry Rooms

The Office of Sustainability is excited to be partnering with student Eco Reps and Residential Life to distribute a new poster to laundry rooms on the South 40 and the Northside Apartments, reminding residents to keep it cool when washing clothes. This communication campaign is part of an initiative to reduce energy usage and greenhouse […]

Showerhead Retrofit: A Small Change for Big Savings

Did you know that every day in the St. Louis metropolitan area, a volume of water equivalent to 212 Olympic swimming pools is used for domestic purposes? Did you also know that a large percent of this water could easily be saved by preventing leaks and transitioning to high efficiency plumbing fixtures? That is what’s […]

Apply to be Washington University Green Ambassador

The WashU Green Ambassador (WUGA) Program is a student-managed, peer-education program supported by the Office of Sustainability that orients new students to the sustainability initiatives on WashU’s campus. WUGAs play a critical role in training first year student to adopt behaviors that align with WashU’s culture of sustainability, behaviors that they will carry with them during […]

Green Cleaning Guide for Offices and Home

Green Cleaners Finding environmentally-friendly cleaning products can be incredibly confusing from the glut of “green” advertising, especially around products often used in the home. However, third party certifications usually indicate that a product’s self-claimed sustainable promotions are trustworthy. Green Seal, Safer Choice, EcoLogo, and Design for the Environment are some of the most well-known certifications […]

Used Shoe Drive for Clean Water Continues

As the weather warms up, many people begin to think about spring cleaning. This year, start your spring cleaning early by checking your closet for old shoes. If you have shoes you no longer need or wear, consider donating them to Shoeman Water Projects. This local organization works to collect and re-sell gently used shoes and […]

Green Cup 2017 Comes to a Close

WashU’s annual energy reduction and sustainability competition has come to a close! Green Cup is a four-week competition to reduce energy use among South 40 Residential Colleges, North Side housing, fraternities, and the School of Medicine’s Olin Dorm and Farrell Learning and Teaching Center (in four separate leagues). Throughout February, leagues competed to reduce their energy […]

Apply to be WUGA Team Leader

Are you interested to enhance your student leadership skills while fostering a sustainability culture on campus? Apply to be a team leader for the 2017-18 Washington University Green Ambassador (WUGA) program! The Office of Sustainability launched the Green Ambassador program in 2013, and it transitioned to being a student-managed program in 2015. Under the guidance of […]

Welcome New Office Associates

The Office of Sustainability is pleased to welcome ten new part-time associates this semester. From left to right: Sam Emery, Jenna Schnitzler, Alexis Vidaurreta, Ankita Bhalla, Camille Rieber, Sofia Joison, Annalise Wagner, Sean Fallon, Channing Hunter, and Ashwin Sundaresan. This dynamic group of students will work alongside 12 returning associates and 3.5 staff members to […]

Shoe Drive for Clean Water Projects

Do you have unneeded pairs of gently used shoes? If so, please consider donating them to a great cause! WashU is participating in an annual collection drive in partnership with area universities and Shoeman Water Projects, a local nonprofit organization that exports shoes to street vendors in developing communities around the world. The funds generated from this year’s […]

Get Caught Green Handed!

WashU’s annual energy reduction and sustainability competition is back! Green Cup is a four-week competition to reduce energy use among South 40 Residential Colleges, North Side housing, fraternities, and the School of Medicine’s Olin Dorm and Farrell Learning and Teaching Center (in four separate leagues). Students compete to reduce their energy usage below a baseline. […]

Prominent Israeli Activist to Speak on Danforth Campus

Etai Pinkas, a leading Israeli activist, will speak at two programs on Monday, November 14. The first event, entitled “From Water Recycling to Urban Green Spaces: A Talk with Israeli Environmental Leader Etai Pinkas,” will take place at 4p in the Women’s Building Formal Lounge and will be followed by a light reception at 5p. The talk […]

Missouri Votes on State Parks, Soil, and Water Conservation Funding

While the presidential election has been covered extensively, it is not the only issue on the ballot on November 8. Missouri residents will vote on several amendments, including Amendment 1, which aims to continue the sales and use tax allocated toward state parks, soil, and water conservation. The tax of 0.1% would generate about $90 million annually […]

Green Rehab Experiment: Engaging Tenants Toward Net Zero Energy

Believe it or not, buildings use an estimated 40% of all energy consumed in the United States. That’s a big contributor of greenhouse gas emissions, and although we can now construct extremely energy efficient buildings like the Bullitt Center in Seattle, we still need to worry about all of the existing ones that were built decades before […]

WUGAs: Sustainability Champions

The Washington University Green Ambassador (WUGA) program launched in 2013 and gives students the opportunity to become sustainability leaders across campus. This year, 30 WUGAs completed training and are volunteering across residence halls, dining facilities, and at large events to help first-year students with waste sorting and to provide sustainability resources. Over the first 40 days of the semester, they helped […]

Reducing our Campus ‘Foodprint’

Green Monday is a growing global movement that urges consumers to consider the environmental and public health impacts of their food choices. It began in Hong Kong and has grown to include universities and organizations across Asia, Europe, and the United States. WashU is proud to be one of the first American universities to launch […]

Detention Basin Performs During Heavy Rain Events

Nearly a year ago, at the corner of Scott and Taylor Avenues, a detention basin was constructed as part of the landscaping associated with the newly constructed 4515 McKinley Research Building. Since then, the St. Louis area has received periods of heavy rain including a couple of record-setting events. Detention basins are a low-lying area designed to […]

WUGAs Fostering a Sustainability Culture

The Washington University Green Ambassador (WUGA) program launched in 2013 and gives students the opportunity to become sustainability leaders across campus. First-year impacts included making numerous orientation events near-zero waste (over 90% diversion from landfill); recycling 100,000 pounds of cardboard; and distributing hundreds of Eco To-Go reusable box program memberships. Ingrid Archibald, Alex Symes, and Lily […]

Summer Sustainability Round-Up

Over the summer, WashU staff and faculty supported a variety of sustainability projects and initiatives across multiple campuses. Learn more about several key accomplishments below. Energy Efficiency and Green Building Projects Installed a 25 kilowatt (kw) rooftop solar array on the Academy Building, just across Forest Park Parkway from the Danforth Campus (the photo above shows the installation mid-process). Over […]