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Utah State University

What is Sustainability?

Sustainability is a concept that integrates economics, social equity, and the environment into a society that can support current and future generations. President Albrecht signed the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) in 2007, committing the university to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. Utah State University achieved a Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System Silver rating as well as a Bike Friendly University Silver in 2013.


Sustainability Planet


USU Sustainability Policy 106

Utah State University (USU) is one of the nation’s premier, student-centered, land-grant, and space-grant universities. The University is committed to enhancing the quality of life for individuals and communities by promoting sustainability in its operations and academic and service missions. USU will develop appropriate systems for managing environmental, social, and economic sustainability programs with specific goals and objectives. This policy supports the goal of the USU statewide system to prepare students, faculty, and staff to proactively contribute to a high quality of life for present and future generations.

Other Sustainability Definitions "Then I say the earth belongs to each...generation during its course, fully and in its own right. . . Then, no generation can contract debts greater than may be paid during the course of it's own existence." Thomas Jefferson,1789 "Our duty to the whole, including the unborn generations, bids us to restrain an unprincipled present-day minority from wasting the heritage of these unborn generations." Theodore Roosevelt, 1916 "Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs." Our Common Future, 1987


Table of Contents

Checklist 4 Lights & Electronics 6 Transportation 7 Laundry & Bath 8 Furnishings & Waste 8 Meals 9 Fun & Involvement 10 Resources 10 Education & Research 11

Fast Facts

• Utah State University is rated Silver by the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System. • The League of American Bicyclists awarded USU a Bicycle Friendly University Silver recognition. • The Princeton Review's “Guide to Green Colleges” has included USU since 2010. • USU became a signatory to the American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) in 2007, committing the university to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.


Lights & Electronics Transportation [ ] Share appliances or electronics with your roommates.

[ ] Walk on campus, and save time looking for parking.

[ ] Turn off & unplug electronics when they aren’t in use to conserve energy.

[ ] Ride your own bike, or borrow an Aggie Blue Bike for FREE.

[ ] Dress for the weather to avoid over heating or cooling.


[ ] Report drafty window and doors.

Energy Wars


[ ] Choose CVTD or Aggie Shuttle. They’re FREE. [ ] Try USU bike share service, and use a car only when needed. [ ] Share a ride with Zimride, and save on a parking pass.


[ ] Use natural lighting, LED, or CFL bulbs for lighting.

Open Streets Festival National Bike Challenge

Fun & involvement

[ ] Choose fruits and vegetables when they are available.

[ ] Join the Students for Sustainability Club.

[ ] Eat locally from the USU Student Organic Farm, USU Farmers Market, or Cache Gardeners’ Market.

[ ] Intern with the Student Sustainability Office, Student Organic Farm, Utah Conservation Corps, Aggie Blue Bikes, or Sustainability Council.

[ ] Reuse your dining services containers, and refill your own drink cup, mug, or bottle. [ ] Container garden indoors, or get a student plot garden.

[ ] Compete in the sustainability competitions and events.


[ ] Take only what you’ll eat. Avoid wasting food.

Blue Goes Green Grants


Laundry & Bath

Furnishings & Waste

[ ] Wash full loads of laundry to save time, water, and money.

[ ] Shop the True Blue Reuse Store to pick up furnishings and clothes for your room, and donate back in the spring.

[ ] Wash laundry in cold water. [ ] Air dry clothes, or remove clothes as soon as they are dry. [ ] Take short showers. [ ] Use only the water you need it while washing your face, brushing your teeth, or shaving.

[ ] Make your move easier, only bring or buy what you need. [ ] USU recycles, so take your recycling out to the recycle cages .


[ ] Report leaks, dripping faucets, running toilets, etc.

Game Day Challenge REcycleMania

Education & Research Resources [ ] Study in a Sustainability Course. [ ] Choose a Sustainability Major or Minor. [ ] Take a service -learning course, or become a service learning scholar. [ ] Become an Ecorep

[ ] Stay up-to-date with USU sustainability social media @SustainUSU Google+ YouTube Newsletter @ususustainability



Lights & Electronics Minimize electronics • • •

Dress for the weather

Coordinate with your roommates to save space and share appliances. Use community appliances when they are available, and avoid minifridges and personal space heaters. If you need to purchase an appliance, choose ones with an ENERGY STAR logo.

Turn off & unplug electronics •

Electronics continue to draw energy even when they are turned off. Save energy by unplugging electronics you aren't using.

Heating and cooling are over half of the energy consumption in the average US household, so dress for the weather and set your thermostat to save energy.

Report Problems •

Leaking windows and doors can be the equivalent to a football-sized hole in a house. Contact maintenance staff to correct the problem.

• •

Daylighting saves energy, so use the sun whenever possible. LED and CFL lighting are the most efficient bulbs on the market, so choose these when possible.


Use efficient lighting

Energy Wars USU residence halls compete every fall to save resources and win prizes. How low will you go to win big?

7% 14% USU students have a sustainable commute 16%


34% 29% 6

Photo Credit: Donna Barry

Transportation Walk



• Aggie Blue Bikes is located next to •

the USU Fieldhouse, M-F 9-5. FREE three-month and 24-hour bicycle rentals are available, including commuter, tandem, mountain, and race bikes. FREE tool board use and instruction are available.

Transit • • •

Aggie Shuttle is the campus FREE bus service. Track Aggie Shuttle through or by texting the bus. Cache Valley Transit District (CVTD) runs throughout Cache Valley every half hour or more often. It's FREE for all riders!

USU is now offering self-serve car access by the hour. Register online. Pick up a car at one of the designated areas.

Rideshare •

Students can login to a secure site and find others who are traveling to the same destination and carpool


Walking is the most common form of transportation for USU students. It's a great form of exercise, and it helps saves on purchasing parking.

Open Streets Festival Celebrate transportation options in the street! Games, food, and non-motorized traffic take over Aggie Bulle-vard one night only.

National Bike Challenge USU cyclists of all types are invited to join together and log miles all summer wherever and whenever they ride. USU has won among universities four times!

Laundry & Bath Wash full loads •

Save water and money by washing full loads of laundry.

Take short showers. •

Wash laundry in cold water •

Heating water uses energy, whether for laundry or showers. Run your clothes in cold to save wear on your clothes and save energy.

Air dry clothes •

Clothes drying typically accounts for 6% of US household energy use. Save energy and help your clothes last longer by air drying.

Showering can use upwards of 2.5 gallons per minute. Save water by taking a shorter shower and ensuring your showerhead is efficient.

Use only the water you need •

While washing your face, brushing your teeth, or shaving, turn on the water only when you need it.

Report leaks •

Leaking faucets and toilets can waste gallons of water. Contact maintenance to fix the problem.

Furnishings & Waste

Shop the Vintage and Second-hand •

• • •

The True Blue Reuse Store helps students save money and car space by selling student-donated clothes and furnishings in the fall. The bulletin board in the TSC and Statesman online can also be useful second-hand resources. USU Surplus and local thrift stores provide other good options. Donate your clothes and furnishings for others in the spring.

Bring only what you need

Avoid overpacking or overbuying. Bring only the items you'll use.


Recycle •

USU produces over 2,500 tons of solid waste, and recycles about 25% each year.

USU recycles:

• Plastics 1-7 • Aluminum Cans • Steel/Tin Cans • Scrap Metal • Glass

• Rigid Styrofoam • Mixed Paper • Paperboard • Cardboard • Batteries

USU Does NOT recycle:

• Food wrappers • Waxed Cups • Styrofoam Cups • Wet or greasy paper products • Logan landfill recycles electronics.

Game Day Challenge Show your Aggie pride in this fall by out-recycling other universities at a USU football game. Athletics and recycling- it doesn't get better than this.

Recyclemania Reduce waste, recycle more, and have fun with this spring event where USU tries to do more with less and beat other universities.


Photo Credit: Camilla Bottelberghe

Meals Choose fruits and vegetables •

Plants consumption is more energy and water efficient.

Eat local •

Volunteer at the Student Organic Farm to learn about organic farming, make friends, and get your hands dirty. Numerous other locations in town provide local products: Cache Valley Gardener’s Market, Student Organic Farm Stand, and other retailers. Learn more: Utah’s Own, Pick Your Own UT

when you bring your own mug or reuse a meal container. Help USU reduce waste by reusing your own containers.

Garden • •

Garden plots are available for USU Housing residents each spring. Indoor herbs can improve mood and flavor your food.

Take only what you’ll eat. • •

Save money and landfill space, take only food you plan to eat. USU dining services donates some leftover foods, so the kitchen leftovers are going to people, animals, or compost.

Reuse containers •

Dining Services offers discounts

13% Of Dining Services food is Grown or Processed within 250 Miles of Logan

Fun & Involvement

Students for Sustainability Club •

Join the student club for free activities, service opportunities, grant applications, and more! Make a difference and friends on campus!

Intern •

• •

The following organizations frequently employ student interns. Watch for opportunities to apply! The Student Sustainability Office is where students funnel their ideas, obtain grants, and participate in sustainable living. The Sustainability Council is comprised of students and employees striving to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. Join a work group! The Utah Conservation Corps sends crews to conduct trail and restoration projects across Utah. Extension Sustainability provides fact sheets, information, and trainings in sustainability.

Participate in events & competitions •

Learn about sustainability; participate in activities, and win prizes.

The website, @SustainUSU, and Facebook have announcements.

Apply for a Blue Goes Green Grant.

• Blue Goes Green Grants are a

student-led initiative funding student ideas at USU. Past projects, and ideas are available online. • Blue Goes Green Fee funds the grants, a $0.25/credit hour fee. • Typically, $30 - 40,000 is available per school year for grant proposals. How do I apply? 1. Come up with an idea to promote or improve sustainability on campus. 2. Choose a project advisor who can help make your idea a reality. 3. Complete an application on a rolling basis for amounts up to $1500 or by the spring deadline for larger grants to the Student Sustainability Office at

EcoHouse EcoHouse is student-driven theme housing in the Living Learning Community, promoting sustainable practices.

Resources Access and Diversity Center Campus Recreation Dining Services Association for Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education

Student Organizations Val R. Christensen Service Center Wellness Center USU Housing EcoHouse


Photo Credit: Camilla Bottelberghe

Education & Research Sustainability Courses • •

A sustainability course is online. Twenty-seven of the 50 departments on campus offer at least one sustainability course.

Sustainability Majors or Minors

A Sustainable Systems Minor is offered at the undergraduate level through the Department of Environment and Society in the College of Natural Resources. Climate Change and Energy Minor is offered at the undergraduate level through the Dept. of Plants, Soils and Climate in the College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences. The Environmental Studies BS degree is offered through the Dept. of Environment and Society.


• Master of Professional Studies in Hor-

ticulture, Water Efficient Landscaping Specialization is offered through the Dept. of Plants, Soils and Climate.

Service -learning •

Service-Learning integrates community service with instruction and reflection to enrich the learning experience and strengthen communities. Service learning courses are listed online and in Banner.

Become an Ecorep

• Ecoreps is a sustainability practicum service-learning course. Students learn about sustainability through field trips and guest speakers and pass the information on through peer to peer education.

Research opportunities The Office of Research and Graduate Studies offers several opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students to apply for funding and engage in research. Design a sustainability project and get going.

Green Living Guide18  

Carbon neutrality by 2050 may seem like a lofty goal. Faculty, staff, and students formed the Sustainability Council when USU joined the Pre...

Green Living Guide18  

Carbon neutrality by 2050 may seem like a lofty goal. Faculty, staff, and students formed the Sustainability Council when USU joined the Pre...