Last month, the University of Houston Office of Sustainability gave out the first ever Green Office Awards to campus offices that have made efforts to cut waste, reduce consumption, and generally make their offices more sustainable. Now, to kick off 2020 right, the UH Student Center has become the first ever GOLD ranked UH Green Office.
“Sustainability started as a pretty hard sell.” Said Andrea Trevino, Student Center Program Manager and Sustainability Committee Chair. “But when we showed how it tied into the vision of the SC, we saw we had the opportunity to become a role model for the rest of campus.”
Sure enough, what began as an effort to get a companion recycling bin for every single trash can in the Student Center has blossomed into a cohesive culture of sustainable practice within the Student Center. They even have an entire section of their webpage devoted to sustainability along with a committee to generate new ideas and action. While much of their score comes from practices that directly reduce consumption, like printing double sided and unplugging their computers at the end of the work day, what took them all the way to gold were their efforts to spread the culture to the rest of campus.
For example, each year the Student Center shows films on various sustainability topics from plastic waste to climate change. Additionally, they hold regular Sustainability Lunch and Learns to educate interested individuals on campus over their lunch breaks (next coming up February 4th). They even have exhibited student art to highlight sustainability’s diverse impacts on and beyond campus.
“We are very thankful for being recognized for our efforts to make the Student Center more sustainable and we truly hope that other campus buildings and departments join us as we all work to make campus a more sustainable environment.” Said Eve Esch, Student Center Director.
For more info on Student Center Sustainability, click here.
For information on the Green Office Certification, click here.For more information on Office of Sustainability events and activities, be sure to like the office on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram or visit the official office calendar.