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Educational Initiatives

Nelson Bike Rack


Our department is committed to taking action on sustainability issues. We sponsor numerous programs to increase awareness of, and educate our community about, the importance of sustainability. 

Energy challenge: du it in the dark

Energy Challenge

Every February, students in the residence halls are invited to take a pledge to reduce their personal energy usage. The Center for Sustainability hosts a full schedule of events to get students out of their rooms and doing activities that will help them reach their energy conservation goals and win prizes. The more events you attend, the more chances you have to win some awesome swag.



move-out collection and move-in thrift store

Thrift StoreDo you have stuff you don't want to bring home with you at the end of the year? Give it a second life and donate it to the Center for Sustainability collection instead of throwing it in the dumpster. Check out the list of acceptable items here. The items are kept over the summer and then sold in a thrift store to incoming students at a deeply discounted rate. About to move to campus? Don't run to Target or IKEA to furnish your space. Check out the Thrift Store during Orientation instead. Find some great items for far cheaper than the stores sell them, and know that you are helping the environment by reusing gently used items instead of buying new ones.


eco reps


EcoReps is a program for first- and second-year students who are passionate about the environment and sustainability and want to make a change on campus through their residence halls. The students in the program receive training, resources, and support from the Center for Sustainability, their RA, and their RDs for programs, plus a resume booster for applications to become an RA with HRE or an intern at the Center for Sustainability. Students will come away from the program with a cohort of friends from across campus, a solid understanding of basic sustainability content areas, and a new set of professional and program management skills. Email Emily at the Center for Sustainability with questions, for more information about the program, and how to apply.



Weigh the waste

Food Waste


Food waste is a very important issue to DU and our food service provider, Sodexo. In order to better understand the food that gets wasted in the dining halls, Sodexo hosts periodic "Weigh the Waste" events where students sort their own food waste and provide information about why they did not finish their food. Our hope is that we can get our food waste down to nearly nothing on a daily basis because everyone only takes what they actually can and want to eat.


Lobby tri-bins

Zero Waste Program

Housing & Residential Education has been working with the Center for Sustainability and Facilities to place a waste tri-bin in the lobby of every residence hall. These bins accept compost, recycling, and landfill waste, which will allow students to compost food waste and compostable to-go containers from Nagel Dining Hall and on-campus cafes, as well as food waste from their rooms and common spaces.

hard to recycle stations

DU Recycle

Every residence hall at DU has a station that allows students to recycle unusual items like batteries, printer cartridges, and small electronics (like cell phones, iPods, and other small items - please no computers!). Please make sure of these instead of letting the items go to the landfill. Is your lobby bin full? Let the Center for Sustainability know! Email, and they will empty them.

green room certification

Want to make your room as sustainable as possible? Participate in the Center for Sustainability's Green Room Certification program. This program provides and online checklist of many actions you and your roommate(s) can take to reduce your ecological footprint in the residence halls. It can often fell like you don't have a lot of control over your living situation when you are living in the residence halls, but this is far from the truth - there is a lot that you can do every day to bring DU closer to its sustainability goals!

du food pantry

DU Food Pantry

Did you know that many students and staff at DU and other universities are food insecure? That means that they are unable to purchase enough food to feed themselves and their families every day. To help alleviate this issue, the DU Food Pantry is open to all members of the DU Community. The food is free to those who say they need it, and is intended to supplement the food that people are able to get through other means. The Food Pantry has drop-in hours every Tuesday from 4 - 8 PM, and is also available by request. Please email if you would like to set an appointment to use the food pantry or if you would like to donate food for others to eat.

bottled water

Since the fall of 2009, we have not used any departmental funds to purchase single-use disposable bottled water. We instead encourage use of reusable containers at our programs, meals, trainings, and other events.