As a student at DU, you'll have the chance to live and learn as part of an intellectual community that's committed to sustainability and a healthier future for our planet. Against the backdrop of Denver and the Rocky Mountains, you'll be inspired from day one to discover your relationship with the environment and find opportunities to turn your ideas into actions.
A range of student-led organizations work with our staff and faculty to help carry out exciting plans for a more sustainable campus, and our innovative academic programs offer interdisciplinary paths to a greater understanding of the environment and our place in it. Along the way, we'll provide you with tools and support to help you bridge your academic interests and personal passions with your ambitions toward a better world.
Sustainability at Orientation
When you first join us here on campus, you'll begin learning with your fellow students how you can make a positive environmental impact. All students receive an education in sustainable living during first-year orientation, so while you discover your new home, you'll also find ways to improve and protect it by reducing waste and energy consumption. From there, how you choose to make a difference is up to you.
Housing & Dining
There are many ways to live a sustainable lifestyle at DU. Most of our undergraduate residences are outfitted or constructed with water-saving fixtures, energy-conserving lights and high-efficiency windows, along with other sustainability improvements. Recycling bins included in every residence hall room and compost bins located in every residence hall lobby make it easier than ever to reduce the materials you send to the landfill. Help us by taking the time to properly sort your waste!
You'll also have opportunities to connect with like-minded students who share your ideas about sustainable life. Students can apply to join the Environmental Sustainability Living and Learning Community, which places accepted first-year students in housing alongside environmentally conscious peers. Members take classes together and carry out community service projects related to the environment and social justice. And in fall of 2020, we'll be launching even more living communities to bring students of all years together with a commitment to living energy-efficient, zero-waste, car-free lifestyles while at DU.
Among the varied dining options on campus, you'll find many choices sourced from local suppliers, minority-owned farms and other sustainable, community-based enterprises. As an anchor institution in the region, we're utilizing our status and purchasing power to form partnerships with organizations that can bring healthy food options to campus, including an increasing array of plant-based meals.
Our primary dining partner, Sodexo, works to provide vegan meal options, Fair Trade coffee and more sustainable "real food" choices, all while using low-emission, low-impact operational practices in our dining facilities. The Social Good Cafe — a coffee shop and eatery located in the Korbel School of International Studies — supports our Ready for American Hospitality program, which provides training and education for refugees looking to build a life and livelihood in America.
Other Student Resources
DU Food Pantry
In support of an equitable community, our students have also created the DU Food Pantry, which aims to address food insecurity among our student body. Students can donate to the food pantry and help their peers experiencing food insecurity — a great way to make an immediate, tangible impact on the lives of others while helping address one of the most critical social justice issues related to sustainability.
Students can participate in community gardening and grow some of the food they eat while learning about sustainable agriculture. It's all a part of our students' collective drive to shape a better future.
Students for Sustainable Food
Students for Sustainable Food (SSF) is committed to bringing awareness and transparency to our food system. SSF works to provide food options that are environmentally sound, humane, fairly traded and healthful to the DU community. We maintain two plots in the Community Bridge Garden, and invite anyone interested in learning more about growing their own food to stop by and lend a hand during the summer season.
Divest DU is dedicated to combating climate change though divesting the endowment from fossil fuel companies. In doing so, we help to foster a rich debate on campus regarding climate change and engage the student body in one of the most significant threats facing our world.
DU Pollinators Club
A group of students from a Living and Learning Community recently launched the DU Pollinators Club, which aims to raise awareness of the threats facing bees and other pollinators critical to ecosystems, working to make campus a better and safer environment for these essential creatures.
DU Botanical Society
The DU Botanical Society brings students together to pursue gardening and other plant-related activities, such as hikes in the Rockies to observe and learn about Colorado's wide palette of colorful flowers.
Study Abroad, Sustainably
The University of Denver is consistently ranked among the top study abroad schools in the nation, thanks to the Cherrington Global Scholars program. Now, we're working with the Office of International Student and Scholar Services to craft study abroad options that give students opportunities to select sites that match their specific academic and career interests.
Students planning to study abroad during their time at DU can choose to offset the carbon emissions of their primary travel by opting in to a one-time $25 fee, which supports Native Energy and their methane capture projects on Colorado tribal lands.
Contact the Center for Sustainability for details on offsetting your study abroad-related travel.
DU Gear Garage
With the Rocky Mountains so close, it's no wonder so many students choose to spend their free time camping, hiking and exploring the natural beauty Colorado has to offer. The DU Gear Garage provides equipment rentals at low prices so that students can enjoy the outdoors without breaking the bank.