In the News

LEED “Green” Buildings are the New Normal for UH Buildings

Back in 2013, Cougar Woods Dining Hall was the first campus building to be certified as LEED Silver by the U.S. Green Building Council. The building’s use of natural lighting, 20% water use reduction, and 30% energy reduction, all illustrate just how impactful even a silver certification can be for campus sustainability metrics. Today, however, this level of certification is now campus standard.

Annual Electronics Recycling Drive Returns Earth Day 2021!

The Office of Sustainability is holding an e-waste recycling collection drive to celebrate Earth Day! The entire UH community is invited to bring any acceptable e-waste to dispose of in the most environmentally friendly way. Over the years, these events have diverted multiple tons of e-waste from landfills. This year, the event will be "drive thru" style to assure maximum COVID safety measures. Read more for full details.

Sustainability Conference Merges Digital Means with Indigenous Perspectives

Staff attended sessions on the usual topics like zero waste practices and community engagement, but the overarching theme of the conference was integrating indigenous knowledge into the conversations of a just economic transition. Many of the keynote speakers were elders from first American people’s tribal groups such as Lakota, Ojibwe, and Pawnee. Their talks focused on how their ancient knowledge applied directly to modern trends in sustainable thinking regarding an environmentally just economy.

COVID-19 and the 2020 Transit Revolution

Over the last year, people around the world have been navigating the challenging landscape of COVID-19 precautions. Looking at the news, most of what is shown relates to the frustrations of these measures: uncomfortable masks, tricky zoom calls, social distancing, etc. However, simultaneously, there has been a silent revolution going on in Houston transit of which telecommuting is only a small part. In fact, this revolution is possibly one of the most substantial shifts towards sustainable transit Houston has ever seen. All one needs to do to begin to grasp the shifting bedrock is try to visit a local bike shop.

Office of Sustainability Discusses Links between Pandemics and Climate

Throughout the spring and summer, local climate action groups have not let the uncertain times curtail their efforts to keep up the fight against climate change. In fact, many groups like the Climate Action Team (CAT) at Unitarian Universalist Church see the world’s response to COVID as a kind of “pop quiz” for the coming hurdles of addressing climate change. To fully unpack the connections, they invited Gabriel Durham, UH Sustainability Coordinator, as a discussion moderator and presenter for their monthly teleconference.

On the 50th Earth Day, Houston Sets Ambitious Goal of Carbon Neutrality by 2050

On the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, Houston published its strategy to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. The Houston Climate Plan is the result of a year’s worth of collaboration between business, academia, non-profits, students, and communities. As the report makes clear, carbon neutrality entails nothing less than the total restructuring of the city.

Sustainability from Home: 5 Ways Quarantine is Reframing Sustainable Thinking

The events of the past weeks have the world changing in many unprecedented ways. It is a challenging and uncertain time to say the least, but one thing is certain: people all over the world are trying to make the best out of the unique daily challenges they are now faced with. How to get food, how to work, how to educate ourselves, all of these aspects of life are being met with new strategies and ingenuity. Interestingly enough, many of these adaptations have been studied by sustainability experts for years and have positive effects beyond virus containment. So, to help find the silver lining amongst all the challenges, here are five aspects of quarantine that are actually benefiting sustainability and might help individuals and society rethink basic habits.

UH Shows Love for Trees this Valentine's Day

This past Valentine's Day, UH came together to plant hundreds of trees to show their love for campus green space. Teams of volunteers from multiple campus departments, as well as community partners reforested areas of the Technology Bridge, Cougar Woods, and around the newly built Elgin street garage.

UH RecycleMania 2020: Recycling Events Every Week!

Each spring semester, the UH Office of Sustainability facilitates RecycleMania, a friendly recycling competition for universities to promote waste reduction to their campus communities. Along with auditing recycling information, the Office of Sustainability also holds weekly events to help fellow coogs be better recyclers, or just get started in the first place. Below is a list of all the events you can take part in this coming spring. The more events you attend, the better your chances are of winning awesome zero waste prizes!

University of Houston Student Center Earns Green Gold!

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.

Your Comprehensive Guide to Living Sustainably for the Spring 2020 Semester

Spring is a time of renewal. It is the season of blooming flowers and budding trees. Want to take Nature’s lead? Here are all the ways this Spring you can make the campus and yourself more sustainable.


Houston, Jan. 10, 2020 – Every year, at the beginning of the fall and spring semesters, University of Houston students, faculty and staff have the opportunity to help reduce plastic waste and win prizes by participating in the Office of Sustainability’s #UHBYOBottle social media campaign.

The Office of Sustainability Presents First-Ever Green Office Awards

The Office of Sustainability recently held its first-ever Green Office Awards. The inaugural event served to officially certify and honor university offices involved with the Green Office Program, which is sponsored by the Office of Sustainability.

UH Sustainability Represented at AASHE 2019

This October, the University of Houston Office of Sustainability returned to the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education’s (AASHE) national conference and expo to present two posters detailing campus sustainability. With approximately 2,000 participants, AASHE’s annual conference is the largest stage in North America to exchange effective models, policies, research, collaborations and transformative actions that advance sustainability in higher education and surrounding communities.

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