Michigan State University is and has always been at the forefront of sustainability in higher education. With programs set up to improve our impact on the planet around every part of campus, it is no surprise that the University received a Gold Rating for sustainability from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education in 2019. Even after MSU earned that ranking, which you can read more about here, Spartans continue to innovate and create new ways to be sustainable.
But what does sustainability mean? Sustainability is the practice of adjusting how we live, learn, and work so that we limit and eventually cut out our uses of limited resources on this earth. Basically, we partake in practices that can be sustained over time, reducing our personal impact on the environment. The MSU Department of Community Sustainability helps the whole University do this.
The Department of Sustainability is a great resource for staff, faculty and students of the University because of the weekly events it puts on to encourage sustainability in daily life and the resources it provides for members of the community interested in implementing more sustainable practices into their life and work. Through weekly programs, staff certifications, support for student-run gardens, recycling programs and much more, MSU Sustainability has it all.
On Wednesdays, MSU Sustainability and MSU Health Promotion team up for Well-Being Wednesdays. This fall, staff, faculty and students are all getting together on Dem Field to reunite “in Motion” by doing activities like blender bike composting, bringing sustainability into healthy living. On Fridays, MSU Sustainability and MSU Broad Art Labs team up for Spartan Upcycle Fridays, a fun, open-house style event where you can bring your own materials or reuse theirs to create art out of anything. This is a program everyone is excited to see come back in person as it was a fan favorite before the university went all online. Register for upcoming Upcycle Fridays here.
MSU Sustainability also has a certification program just for faculty and staff coordinators. You can get certified in sustainable practices for your unit that reduce your waste impact in the workplace through the Green Office Program while working towards a greener MSU community. Not only does this certification create a better workplace at MSU, but the training can be brought into daily life, making every step you take a step towards a fully sustainable lifestyle.
One of the best ways to practice sustainability is buying local produce, and this is possible with the MSU Student Organic Farm. Sustainable agriculture is being taught at MSU, and as a consumer of the goods from the farm, you can support the mission to make growing practices better for the environment while enjoying great produce and great prices. Interested in becoming a sustainable farmer yourself? Look no further than the Organic Farmer Training Program, currently registering members of the MSU community for in person training starting in 2022.
Finally, one of the simplest but most important things you can do to decrease your carbon footprint and contribute to a more sustainable future is to recycle. At MSU, learning to correctly recycle is as easy as watching a short video or reading the recycling and reuse guidelines, both located on the MSU recycling website.
With the help of the MSU Department of Community Sustainability, it is easier than ever to change up little parts of your lifestyle and Go Green!