Here at the Center for Sustainability, we encourage everyone to do their part in making the world more sustainable. Here are several ways you can "do your part".
Who are the Faces of Sustainability at DU?
How can sustainability become a part of what you do at DU? See how others have done it!
- Bike/Walk – Biking (or walking) is a great way to get around Denver, especially with our great weather and bike friendly city. Check out the bike share program for students, or the B-Cycle rentals on campus for bicycles to rent. Come by the Center for Sustainability for a Denver Bike Map, or use this great student designed application. But, make sure to use a U-Lock on campus for safety.
- Public Transit – The University provides all full time employees and students with the EcoPass, providing access to all RTD bus and light rail services. Many bus routes pass campus, the proximity of light rail allows bus and rail combinations, and the pass will even get you to the airport for $5!
- Drive – If you have to drive, try carpooling with colleagues. Transportation Solutions can help set up carpools. A membership with Enterprise CarShare provides easy hourly access to a car without the hassles of insurance, gas, or maintenance, a great option for running errands around campus.
- University Ski Transportation- Do you love to ski or snowboard but have no way of getting to and from the ski hill? Ride the ski bus! Coming soon, ride the Bustang to these locations around Colorado!
- Plane – Consider offsetting the carbon created by the flights you take, for business or pleasure. Organizations such as the Carbon Fund can help you offset your impact.
- Reduce – Reducing your use of disposable items is an easy way to lower your ecological footprint. Fill your reusable water bottles at filling stations on campus, and use reusable grocery bags for shopping. When purchasing, buy in bulk to reduce packaging.
- Reuse – Repurposing items you were going to throw away can save you money and reduce your impact! Websites like Craigslist and Freecycle help you find gently used items.
- Recycle – Almost all plastics, glass, and metals can be recycled on campus through our single stream recycling program. Check out Alpine Waste and Recycling for the most up to date list of accepted materials. On campus, facilities recycles e-waste. The Denver Recycling website explains how to recycle other odd items, like hazardous waste or electronics.
- Compost – Composting is the process of converting biologically based products into nutrient-rich soil. On campus, any food items or compostable-ware (check the labels carefully) can be composted at food service areas.
- The composting pilot program on campus is a student run initiative that's purpose is to expand efforts of waste diversion and minimization by diverting compostable items from the landfill. The program began during the Winter Quarter of 2014, in the Johnson-Macfarlane building. For the remaining winter quarter and spring quarter of the 2013-2014 school year 1394.73 pounds of compostable material was diverted from the landfill. Currently, the program has expanded to Nagel Hall and Nelson Hall, along with JMAC. If you would like to be a part of this program please contact Kaela Martins at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Energy and Water
- Electricity – Keep your thermostat a few degrees higher in the summer and lower in the winter to save electricity. Open curtains (and turn off your lights) to use daylighting, but close curtains in the summer to block direct sunlight (and the heat it brings). Shut down all desktop electronics at the end of each day (and turn off their powerstrip). Washing clothes in cold water and letting them air dry saves a lot of energy.
- Appliances and Electronics – When purchasing new appliances, make sure they are Energy Star or EPEAT certified (for electronics), to maximize energy efficiency.
- Water – Denver is currently in a drought, and the University is committed to reducing our water consumption by over 25%. Do your part by taking shorter showers, being aware of sink use, and reporting any leaks or drips that you see. At home, consider converting your lawn to native grasses, gardens, or xeriscaping to save even more water!
- Buying sustainably grown, local food saves energy from transportation costs, eliminates petroleum-based pesticides and fertilizers, builds precious soil, and helps the local economy. Join one of the CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture) supplying shares of fresh fruits and vegetables to campus weekly or visit local farmer's markets. Also, going meatless just one day a week can save a lot of energy and water used in food production.
Everyone is welcome to attend and participate in Sustainability Council meetings. This is a great way to understand what is happening across campus, and to find ways to contribute to these efforts by becoming active on a committee that best fits your interests.
If you would like a more academic approach to sustainability, pick a minor or concentration that focuses on sustainability. If you are a faculty member that would like to increase applied, authentic sustainability practice in your class, or want to request a guest lecture on a sustainability topic, please contact us.
Learn more about the Sustainability Minor.