Central Sustainability Initiatives and Projects

​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 to better the CMU community.

Current Projects

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.

These tours are currently being incorporated into the Honors community and residence halls. Sustainability has been and we're also working to incorporate them into university tours and train staff to guide them. 


Partnerships

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, the Saginaw Chippewa Tribal College, CMU Honors, Residence Life, campus ambassadors, the Residence Housing Association, the Mount Pleasant Citizens' Climate Lobby, the City of Mount Pleasant, the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies and many more. We are members of 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. 

Content Creation

We have a blog, which we 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 in conjunction with CMU Facilities Management, so follow us there to keep up with our work.

Past Projects

Ethnobotanical Garden

We worked with the Saginaw Chippewa Tribal College to create an ethnobotanical garden, which can be found behind the Fabiano Botanical Gardens near St. Mary's Parish. The garden was planted in June 2021.

An ethnobotanical garden represents the traditional knowledge and customs of local culture and people. This garden features the Three Sisters, a combination of three plants that work together and support one another. Cultural sustainability is a form of sustainability that focuses on celebrating cultural beliefs and practices, respecting heritage conservation and honoring identities. This garden serves as a gesture of respect to members of the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe and honors the rich culture of the Anishinaabek peoples.


Earth Week Conference

We collaborated with a number of student groups to create a formal, CMU Earth Week Conference. We worked with the Mary Ellen Brandell Volunteer Center, the CMU Center for International Ethics, Take Back the Tap, the Student Environmental Alliance, Sierra Club and the CMU Student Government Association, among many others. For the full agenda and event recordings, visit the Earth Week at CMU page.

DEI Awareness Course

We worked with our supervisor out of the Office for Institutional Diversity, Equity and Inclusion to incorporate sustainability into the DEI Awareness Course that all incoming freshmen and transfer students are required to complete. To learn more about sustainability's role in DEI, visit our Sustainability and Equity tab.

Sustainability Survey

In October 2020, we released 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 received approximately 600 responses. If you're interested in learning more about our findings, check out our survey report. Our survey and report were presented to the Michigan Campus Sustainability Collective in January 2021. Looking forward, we hope to regularly distribute this survey across campus.

Sustainable Purchasing

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.

Sustainable Living Guide

With our Sustainable Living Guide, we hope to educate and improve understanding of sustainability. This document serves 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 and various departments to help us distribute this living guide.

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.


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.

Future Projects

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 homsi1tm@cmich.edu and urban1ed@cmich.edu.