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Sustainability

Our campus is creating a sustainable future through campus, community, and academic initiatives.

SUSTAINABILITY AT POINT

We’re meeting today’s needs without compromising future generations through sustainability. We demonstrate our commitment through recycling, composting food waste, energy reduction and continually exploring sustainability initiatives.”The sustainability practices and courses offered at UWSP have given me the confidence and in-depth knowledge I need to be a leader in creating a more equitable, environmentally sound and prosperous future.”

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RENEWABLE ELECTRICITY
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UW SCHOOL TO GET CERTIFIED AS A BEE CAMPUS USA SCHOOL
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AASHE GOLD STAR RATINGS IN 2012, 2015 AND 2018
“The sustainability practices and courses offered at UWSP have given me the confidence and in depth knowledge I need to be a leader in creating a more equitable, environmentally sound and prosperous future.”
Molly McguireNatural Resource Planning

GREEN INITIATIVES

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Our bike racks with fall trees in the background.

To reduce and offset emissions, we promote reducing student and staff commuting, decreasing single occupancy travel, reducing the miles traveled for official business by faculty and staff, reducing emissions associated with fleet operations and offset air travel for faculty, staff and international student travel.

As a campus community, we can improve our current means of transportation by using these more sustainable methods:

BIKING:

BUS SYSTEM:

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A student filling up their reusable water bootle at our water station.

The University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point is committed to the use and purchase of environmentally and socially responsible materials and products.

LOCAL SOURCING

We purchase locally, within a 400-mile radius of campus, when possible.

Tiers of local include:

  • Community – Stevens Point and Plover
  • Immediate – Within 50 miles
  • Intermediate – Within 150 miles
  • Regional – Within 400 miles

Local purchasing is available to our community through FarmshedAgoraProcess, the Stevens Point Area Coop and The Market on Strongs.

NATURAL VS. BUILT

UW-Stevens Point maintains its campus grounds with sustainability in mind. Native plants are a priority in certain areas on campus, such as the rain gardens.

Our campus includes a natural resources college, so planting consideration is given to trees that meet the needs of our outdoor classrooms and teaching.

UW-Stevens Point will occasionally use herbicides to control broadleaves, but continue to reduce use every year. We use organic fertilizer whenever feasible, a steam-activated weed eliminator, and our campus-created compost for topdressing our grass and for our perennial beds. In order to reduce the environmental impacts of snow and ice removal, UW-Stevens Point uses an environmentally friendly way to eliminate ice.

When constructing buildings on campus, the water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, adaptive use and preservation of existing buildings, indoor environmental quality, construction waste and recycling, operation and maintenance, and purchasing of furniture, fixtures and equipment are all taken into consideration. The Suites @201 are LEED-NC (New Construction) Gold Certified as of November 2012.

WATER BOTTLES ELIMINATED

UW-Stevens Point moved to discontinue the sale of bottled water during the 2009-2010 school year and have moved to aluminum bottles, the first in the UW System to make the switch!

University Dining and Summer Conferences has already seen a reduction in bottled water and soda sales as we encouraged people to use their own bottles at our water fountains equipped with filler spouts or use compostable or reusable bottles for fountain beverages. We have installed many water filling stations across campus to better accommodate those with their own bottles!

GREEN CLEANING

UW-Stevens Point upgraded to the Diversey chemical dispensing system that combines floor, glass, disinfectant and general cleaners into one system. Chemicals are concentrated to reduce packaging and solid waste disposal. All of our chemicals are green certified with the exception of our disinfectant. Other initiatives pertaining to cleaning on campus includes trash liners made from recycled plastic, reusable mop heads and reducing aerosols.

ELECTRONICS

We use the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT®), a comprehensive environmental rating that helps identify greener computers and other electronic equipment. Silver and/or gold registered products are used for standard desktop and notebook/laptop computers and monitors.

DINING

UW-Stevens Point Dining and Summer Conferences demonstrate the commitment to sustainability through local food purchasing, resource recovery (recycling), composting food wastes, energy reduction and continually exploring ideas to promote and support sustainability initiatives.

Dining and Summer Conferences removed all trays from the Upper DeBot dining, resulting in a drop of 35% in useable food waste. The remaining unused food is processed through a pulper and is composted on campus and commercially.

Highly efficient dishwashers resulted in reductions in utilities, chemical use and water consumption. Dining and Summer Conferences offers reusable hot and cold beverage bottles for sale and discounts beverages by 25 cents when a reusable container is used.

Food waste is composted and used for fertilizer in flower beds and in practice fields. Used cooking oil is collected and the College of Natural Resources uses it for biofuels research and biodiesel creation.

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Students looking at our solar panels in Schmeeckle Reserve.

UW-Stevens Point is committed to reducing energy consumption. We continually try and reduce our emissions and offset our total carbon emissions through green electricity purchases, composting and managed forests. The combination of carbon reduction and carbon offsets will eventually lead us to carbon neutrality.

ELECTRIC VEHICLES

To reduce our emissions and greenhouse gasses, electric vehicles are used by Facility Services Mail Room and Central Stores for campus deliveries.

MANAGED FORESTS

We practice sustainable forestry on properties owned by UW-Stevens Point’s College of Natural Resources throughout central and northern Wisconsin. Sustainable forestry is the use of forests and forest lands in a way and at a rate that maintains their biodiversity, productivity, regeneration capacity, vitality and potential to fulfill relevant ecological, economic and social functions at local, national and global levels, without causing damage to other ecosystems. These managed forests store atmospheric carbon, while improving soil and water quality.

SOLAR ENERGY

Most of the UW-Stevens Point residence halls are equipped with solar panels that pre-heat the domestic water.

On the south side of the Noel Fine Arts Center is a set of photovoltaic panels that capture light energy from the sun and use it to light a section of the courtyard area.

We have added solar panels in Schmeeckle Reserve and Treehaven and continue to add more to save on energy.

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A student working with composted dirt made from the waste education center.

Our recycling policy is based on sound environmental practices that meet or exceed all national, state and local laws, regulations and ordinances as they relate to resource recovery. Our goal is to conserve our natural resources by reducing consumption of materials, reusing materials whenever possible, recycling materials using current technology and practicing wise procurement policies, including the purchase of recycled materials.

Compost bins are located throughout campus academic buildings to reduce the amount of waste going into the landfill. Organic materials are collected and processed naturally to become useful soil.

Residential Living also runs a composting program where residents collect and deposit food waste material in centralized composting bins within each residence hall. It’s then delivered to our Waste Education Center, where it is then composted by staff and students. The final product is nutrient-rich soil, which is available for use by the campus.

Our recycling program is more comprehensive than most universities. We have our own Waste Education Center, which provides students with landfill, wastewater treatment, recycling, composting and hazardous waste management training. A portion of the building functions as the campus materials recycling facility and handles cans, bottles, plastic and cardboard.

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Our green roof on Albertson Hall that reduces runoff, heating and cooling expenses, and extends the life of the roof.

The stormwater collection system installed in Parking Lot R is designed so that surface runoff water will hit the Wisconsin River as infrequent as once every 25 to 50 years. A manifold system works in conjunction with bio-filtration collection islands. The rain gardens installed at the surface throughout the lot removes suspended solids prior to recharging the groundwater in the area of the parking lot.

To help with stormwater management, in 2005 UW-Stevens Point installed the first green roof in central Wisconsin on top of Albertson Hall.

WHAT DOES A GREEN ROOF DO?

  • Extends the life of the roof
  • Reduces excess runoff
  • Reduces heating and cooling expense – less energy means fewer greenhouse gas emissions
  • Provides an oasis of green in an urban environment
  • Reduces machine, traffic and airplane sound
  • Insulates and shades the building, reducing the heat-island effect. The evapotranspiration of the plants contributes to cooling the atmosphere in their vicinity

Campus rain gardens collect runoff water from the roof and filter it so cleaner water reaches the water table and less water reaches the storm system. Rain gardens can be seen throughout campus.

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Yellow tulips in our ethnobotanical garden.

The Reserve funds can be utilized by any student, organization or individual, for sustainability-related projects or campaigns such as Earth Week activities, tree plantings, and E-recycling campaigns. Some projects include the on-campus Ethnobotanical Garden and Herb Garden and more.

The Green Fund is intended to encourage and fund projects that positively affect the sustainability of the UW-Stevens Point campus community. Monies in the Green Fund come exclusively from enrolled students through segregated fees.

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Student walking through the campus garden with a basket of vegetables.

The garden is used as an outdoor classroom to teach students about local food production by offering workshops on topics from canning to composting.

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Outside of Burroughs Hall on a sunny day.

The Residence Hall Association (RHA) has a residential hall Green Advocates program that works closely with the Office of Sustainability. These positions provide peer-to-peer outreach which allows students to learn about the eco-efforts already established in their hall and how they can live an eco-friendly lifestyle.

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Two students planting in front of our mural on campus.

Many students are involved in environmental or sustainability-focused student organizations and activities. Visit our SPIN page and search sustainability to view our offerings.

ACADEMICS

Our general education degree requirements promote cultural and environmental awareness and responsibility. As a result, our courses and programs have sustainability woven throughout. We provide support to students to develop research, projects and ideas to advance sustainable technologies and practices.

Sustainability is at the heart of the academic programs, centers and field stations (Treehaven, Wisconsin Environmental Station and Schmeeckle Reserve) in the College of Natural Resources. The Waste Education Center, includes a small-scale wastewater treatment plant, compost research facilities and functional operation side for handling campus waste. The Wisconsin Institute for Sustainable Technology, within the college, provides courses in paper-making processes, sustainable energy, bio-plastics, green chemistry and life cycle assessment.

The Department of Art and Design recycles and reuses clay for student projects, uses window glass from renovated residential halls along with recycled glass from their hot furnace, and offers several courses in environmental and outdoor sculpture and design.

The Department of Theatre and Dance recycles and reuses costumes, props and sets for classes and current productions. They offer a course in how to maintain and repair instruments, and these instruments are then rented by students for the semester.

The Division of Communication offers study abroad courses that emphasize sustainable tourism and agriculture, and writing courses that address the issues of sustainability in major contemporary goods issues.

The Northern Aquaculture Demonstration Facility (NADF), an associated program of the college, promotes and advances the development of commercial aquaculture in a northern climate through demonstrating production-scale aquaculture, outreach and extension services, and developing best management practices for a sustainable and environmental industry.

From the first doctoral program in educational sustainability in the country, to the popular CPS Café where students create local farm-to-table recipes, to courses focused on sustainable interior design, our students are proactive, resourceful, connected, and caring when it comes to sustainability.

STUDENT RESOURCES

Clothes on a rack in The Closet program located in Nelson Hall

THE CLOSET

The Closet, located in Nelson Hall 234, is your resource for FREE clothes in child and adult sizes. Students can donate clothes at the drop-off outside of the room.
Pens on display as a part of The Backpack program.

THE BACKPACK

The Backpack, located in Nelson Hall 220, is your resource for school, home supplies, and hygiene products at no charge. Have extra supplies? Donate them outside of The Backpack.
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Contact Us
Nelson Hall
1209 Fremont Street
Stevens Point, WI 54481-3897
Phone: 715-346-4696
Direct comments to
 Sustainability.Office@uwsp.edu