Since the launch of Central Sustainability in August, we have been committed to collaborating with campus partners, creating education materials and resources, pursuing policies and initiating projects.
We created the Sustainable Purchasing Policy, which has been reviewed and approved by the university's cabinet. This policy requires a commitment from the university to purchase materials that have been sustainably made and have green certifications. Now we are specifically aiming to replace plastic bags from University Stores with reusable bags instead.
Sustainability Walking Tours
We created two different walking tours designed to show the unique parts of campus that often go unnoticed. Learn the various types of sustainability with our Sustainability Walking Tour. Explore the unique art we have on campus and understand its role in relation to sustainability with our Campus Art Tour.
We are now hosting these tours every other week, so stay tuned for those updates. These tours are currently being incorporated into the Honors community and residence halls, and we're also working to incorporate them into university tours and train staff to guide them.
We recently created a survey to gauge the knowledge of sustainability in the campus community and guide future projects. As of now, the survey has only been released to students living on campus. We have received over 500 responses and are working to distribute the survey across campus.
We are working to create an ethnobotanical garden alongside members from the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe. This educational and cultural garden would feature native plants with their traditional uses, as well as some information about the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe. At the moment, we have assembled our team and are in the final stages of getting permission to use a location on campus.
We have had the amazing opportunity to connect with various organizations in Michigan. Some are mentioned on this page such as the Saginaw Chippewa Indian tribe, CMU Honors, Residence Life, campus ambassadors, the Residence Housing Association, the Mount Pleasant Citizens' Climate Lobby, the City of Mount Pleasant, the Department of Environmental Studies and more. We are working with Take Back the Tap and the CMU Sustainability Coalition to "centralize" sustainability efforts at CMU. We have also recently joined the Michigan Campus Sustainability Collective (MICSC). On Oct. 22, we moderated a panel entitled "environmental justice actions for college students" for the Michigan Campus Earth Day 50.5, hosted by the Michigan Campus Sustainability Collective and Michigan State University.
We have created a blog, which we intend to use to share what we're doing, promote sustainability and highlight members of the community. Our YouTube channel is another platform for us to do that, follow us there to keep up with our work.
Sustainable Living Guide
With our Sustainable Living Guide, we hope to educate and improve understanding of sustainability. This document will serve as a guide on how to incorporate sustainability into campus life through community-building, education, and healthy habits. The guide includes tips on how to reduce waste and an informational document for recycling in Isabella County.
At the moment, we are working with Residence Life, Resident Housing Association, CMU Sustainability Coalition and various departments to help us distribute these resources.
Sustainability Tracking Assessment Reporting System
As part of our commitment to monitoring sustainability, we have submitted the STARS report on behalf of CMU. This report outlines CMU's sustainability standing, what is being done at the university, and where CMU is lacking in relation to sustainability. This year, for the first time ever, the CMU STARS reports have been submitted for a gold ranking as of October 2020.
We submitted a grant to install three new bike repair stations across campus to support biking. We're also working on installing four electric car charging stations in one of the parking lots on campus to promote sustainable transportation and make CMU a stop for electric car drivers.
Central Michigan Climate Solutions Summit
In addition to sponsoring the Oct. 16 Central Michigan Climate Solutions Summit, we worked closely with the coordinators to promote the event, collect tabling video submissions and release a promotional video for the event.
Although we are still dedicated to our current projects, we're always looking forward with more collaboration and initiatives.
Our notable future goals include: changing the university statement to include sustainability, hosting events, promoting art on campus and more! We were not able to include all of our current, past and future projects and initiatives, but follow our blog to keep up with our work. If you have any questions or are interested in collaboration, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.