Even small campuses are large when it comes to purchasing power. Collectively, colleges and universities spend more than $360 billion a year. Spending a higher percentage of that money on environmentally friendly goods and services brings numerous benefits to campuses and their surrounding communities.
Such a policy can create new jobs, lower prices, boost environmental protection and build the market for environmentally friendly goods and services. Students can play key roles in helping their colleges and universities identify and purchase more environmentally friendly options, thus using this buying leverage to create more sustainable communities.
What can you do as a student to reduce your institution's waste and consumption?
Improve your campus recycling efforts- start a Zero Waste campaign.
Work with your food service vendors to compost pre and post-consumer food waste.
Engage with your office of sustainability to conduct a waste audit
The buying leverage can also be used to make current goods and services ‘greener.’ Colleges and universities have profound opportunities to influence each point along the lifecycles of these goods and services, from how products are made and where they come from to how they are packaged and used, and whether or not they are re-used and recycled
- St. Edward’s University case study demonstrates how the university is saving paper
- University of North Carolina case study shows how changing housekeeping procedures can save money and make the process more sustainable
- University of Wyoming recycles textbooks and donates 10,000 pounds of books to Better World Books in this case study example
- Generation E: How Students are leading for a Sustainable, Clean Energy Future, Recycling and Waste: pages 35-39
- 2015 RecycleMania Case Study Winners of "Waste Less - Promote More: Engagement and Innovation Competition"
You can pledge to be a Butterfly Hero from March 27 through June 1, 2017 for your chance to win a $500.00 Visa Gift Card and Ranger Rick Habitat Fun Pack!