Achieving meaningful change requires collective action. We encourage students, faculty and staff to take an active role in developing and promoting green initiatives on campus. Thanks to their work, our campus is now home to a number of local, national and worldwide environmental programs, ranging from energy competitions to video-based awareness initiatives. These programs have helped foster an awareness of green initiatives that enable the university to decrease its solid waste percentage and energy conservation rates.
Office of Sustainability
The Office of Sustainability offers a limited number of paid and unapid internships during the academic year and summer. Interns work on a variety of projects related to campus sustainability and take a leadership role in coordinating volunteers and campus outreach projects. In addition interns will be able to take part in the day-to-day activities in a dynamic office setting and work with the Sustainability Manager, the university planners, and facility managers. Interns must work at least seven hours per week in the Department of Facilities at General Services. To apply, download an application and return it to email@example.com.
If you are not ready to commit to an internship (or one is not available) but would like to be involved, you can volunteer. Volunteers can work any number of hours and do not have to fill out an application. Sign up to receive our newsletter to stay in touch with opportunities and email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here are some projects that students can help with:
The Adopt-A-Campus cleanup campaign was instituted in 2006 to remove litter and debris from high-traffic areas of campus. The campaign recruits students, faculty and staff members to adopt and pledge to keep one of eight designated areas of campus clean. Adoptions can be made individually or as a group, and several clean up sessions are held annually.
Since its inception, the Adopt-A-Campus campaign has improved the quality of Towson’s environment and contributing to campus appearance. It is jointly run by the Office of Student Activities and Facilities Management.
Annual Environmental Conference
Taking place each April, Towson University's Environmental Conference is developed by TU students, faculty and staff to raise awareness amongst the campus community about environmental topics, issues and solutions. Typical conference themes are sustainability, the impact of individuals and communities on the environment and actions that individuals and communities can take to positively impact the environment and create a more sustainable world. Members of the campus community gather to hear presentations from faculty, students and environmental leaders in the Baltimore region.
Each October, the university celebrates sustainable action and education during Campus Sustainability Day. A range of programs, events, informational displays and giveaways help to spread awareness of global sustainability initiatives and invite students, faculty and staff to take part in the campus's sustainability goals. TU celebrated the 2011 Campus Sustainability Day on Wednesday, October 19 with a recycling challenge, free bike maintenance, local/organic foods in dining halls and free t-shirts.
Earth Month Events
Every April, the university celebrates Earth Day with a month of activities aimed at promoting awareness and education of sustainability environmentalism. Events include recycling collections, round table discussions, film screenings, and art competitions.
Energy Conservation Contest
TU’s University Residence Government (URG) holds an annual Conservation Contest among campus residence halls to raise awareness of energy usage and encourage students to take personal responsibility for reducing their energy intake. Throughout the month of February, the energy usage of each residence hall is tracked and compared with its usage during February of the previous year. The building that has the largest year over year energy reduction wins the contest, and the building’s occupants receive free burritos. In 2009, the winner was Scarborough; in 2010, West Hall took the prize; and in 2011, Tower B came out on top.
RecycleMania is a recycling and waste minimization competition held among more than 600 colleges and universities across the United States. During the ten-week competition, institutions track and submit their recycling and refuse statistics, which are then ranked according to the total amount of recycling collected, recycling collected per capita, total refuse collected, and recycling rates. The competition not only educates and energizes the campus community in recycling, it also helps Towson to benchmark itself against similar universities.
The 2012 RecycleMania competition will go from January 22 to March 31. A complete listing of weekly recycling and trash totals during the competition is available on the TU RecycleMania Standings page.
Students broke ground on the Towson University Urban Farm in spring 2010. Students were given a plot of land near the Administration Building, which they tilled and prepared for planting. They plant seeds in the garden during springtime and tend to it throughout its growth and into harvest in the summer and fall. Vegetables such as sweet potatoes, corn, and tomatoes are grown in the garden and donated to local non-profit organizations.
Wonder where the dining hall trays went? As part of our Trayless Tuesdays program, the Glen Marketplace and Newell Dining Hall go trayless every Tuesday to reduce food waste, decrease the energy and water used to clean trays, and encourage healthier eating habits. Join us in one of the dining halls today and Go Green!
Reusable Mug Program
Towson University's reusable mug program enables students, faculty and staff to receive a discount on all drinks purchased in a 20oz. insulated Go Green mug, which is available at Brick Street Cafe, Arts Cafe, The Den, Fresh TRAX and Paws Cafe for $6.99. Refills with the Go Green mugs are $1.09 for fountain beverages, tea and coffee. Trade in your personal reusable mug and become part of the Go Green mug program, mugs sold at a discounted price of $3.99.
Each semester, Towson University places donation boxes in residence halls during student move-in and move-out. Students place their unwanted furniture, clothing, computers and non-perishable foods in the boxes, and at the end of the move-in/move-out period Aramark collects the contents and distributes them to local charitable organizations. In the past, items have been donated to organizations such as Bea Gaddy. Look for flyers in your building for information on donation box locations.
Each spring, the university coordinates an annual recycling drop-off which enables students, faculty and staff to sustainably dispose of used personal electronics, batteries, fluorescent light bulbs, printer cartridges, metals, and single stream materials. This year's drop-off, held Wednesday, April 20, collected nearly 5,500 pounds of recyclables.
Go Green Orientation
Towson’s freshman orientation weekend includes a “Go Green” program in which students learn how they can go green on campus and engage in discussions about environmental initiatives. The program introduces students to representatives from environmentally-focused campus groups and provides them with information about how to get involved in green efforts. This year's Go Green Orientation focused on how to green your dorm room.
Office of Sustainability
General Services Building, Room 132A (map)
Hours: Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.