4 Ways Penn State is Increasing Sustainability

April 22 is Earth Day in the United States, and we wanted to share about some of the exciting Penn State sustainability initiatives that strive to cut down on waste, increase recycling, and promote sustainable living.

1. “No Can Do”

Penn State Earth Days
Photo courtesy of Penn State News.

The “No Can Do” initiative has the ambitious goal of having zero waste on campus. Recycling stations for plastic and paper are found all over campus with some stations incorporating composting as well. These stations encourage faculty, staff, and students to think about where their waste is going. Since the implementation of the initiative, Penn State has seen at least 20 percent and up to 40 percent in the recycling rate.

So far, the program has been implemented in select buildings, but plans to equip all the University’s buildings with stations in the next three years. One zero waste area is Shaver’s Creek, Penn State’s nature center and environmental education program. Shaver’s Creek recently won the 12 percent Energy Challenge with the goal of showing the community that anything can be reused, recycled, or composted.

2. Penn State Earth Week 2013

In honor of Earth Day, Penn State is dedicating an entire week to sustainability. There will be events ranging from author talks to an Earth Day expo and sustainability awards to film screenings are available near the University Park campus.

3. Sustainability.psu.edu

Penn State is committed to integrating sustainability into the University’s research, teaching, and service to encourage faculty, staff, and students to become the leaders of tomorrow. You can visit Penn State’s website on sustainabilityto learn about initiatives, educational programs, steps Penn State is taking, and steps you can take to make your life more sustainable.

Recycling bins on the University Park campus.
Recycling bins on the University Park campus. Photo courtesy of Penn State news.

4. Penn State’s Center for Sustainability

Penn State’s Center for Sustainability helps students to be creative to explore real sustainability challenges through courses and co-curricular activities. Built for the 2007 Solar Decathlon by Penn State, the MorningStar Solar Home is a net-zero home: it produces all the energy it uses. Currently, it is used for education and research for sustainable housing.

The American Indian Housing Initiative (AIHI) is the flagship service learning program that collaborates research and educational programs focusing on the application of sustainable building technologies such as strawbale construction and solar energy systems on American Indian Reservations. To check out all the projects at Penn State’s Center for Sustainability, visit their website.

What are you doing for Earth Day to promote sustainability?

We want to know how you’re promoting sustainability in your neck of the woods. Post here and show us how you get your “green” on!