Go Green this Earth Day!

Earth Day is April 22, so let’s celebrate because helping the planet is not only recycling but so much more! Here are some ways you can help our Spartan community go green! Whether you are working from home, heading into the office or any combination, use these great tips and resources to make your lifestyle more sustainable.

MSU Recycling Center always leads the charge for reusable materials at MSU. The center is open seven days a week for dropping off materials. These materials can be anything and everything from books, cardboard, glass, plastics and more! Find their hours along with what and how to drop things off at the MSU Recycling Center website

If you do spend some or all of your workday away from home, consider looking into clean commuting options. You can try biking, CATA or even Spin Scooters. MSU Bikes can give 1-on-1 bike commuter assistance, helping you find the safest, lowest-stress route from your home to campus. MSU also offers secure covered bike parking and repair and air stations for your convenience. Information can be found on their website

Capital Area Transportation Authority offers multiple clean commute options with travel modes that fit your work hours and location. CATA also offers a commute cost calculator by examining how much money you spend driving and how much you can save by using the bus and other CATA services. Visit the CATA website to learn how to add CATA to your sustainable daily routine. 

Spin electric scooters are the newest addition to clean, affordable, convenient and fun ways to get around campus. These scooters are dockless, so no need to find a charger to pick them up or drop them off. They operate seven days a week during all daylight hours. To ride these electric scooters that travel up to 14 miles per hour, just download the Spin App and scan the unique QR code on the scooter you want to ride. Get ready to ride on and around campus by going to MSU’s Spin Scooter landing page

Are you looking for some new accessories to improve your work from home space? Do you need something different as you transition back to the office? The MSU Surplus Store is worth checking out! Finding items second hand is a great way to make a pledge to go green, especially when everything is at such great prices. Read MSU HR’s feature on the Surplus Store to learn more about the great services and items they offer!

This Earth Day, it has never been easier to make a pledge and go green! Reduce your carbon footprint with a clean commute, reuse and shop second hand at the MSU Surplus Store, and of course, recycle at the MSU Recycling Center. Putting in the effort this Earth Day and every day after that will make a difference for our planet!

MSU: The Gold Standard for Sustainability

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!