Sustainability

UCCS is committed to eliminating its energy use and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. By being a student at UCCS, you are now part of the mission. It is all about the choices you make because they will have an effect on our campus community.

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How To Reduce Your Waste

What is Composting? 

 Getting Around Campus and the City

Get Involved

How You Can Help

 

Making The Residence Halls More Sustainable

In an effort to make the Residence Hall more sustainable, there have been retrofits done to the interior and exterior of the buildings:

• High efficency shower heads have been added to Summit Village. These shower heads put out 1.5 gallons per minute (gpm) rather than the 2.5 gpm
• Hydration stations are installed in Copper and Eldora to help eliminate plastic water bottle use on campus and from entering the landfills
• LED overhead lighting will help to conserve energy while lasting longer than traditional incandescent bulbs and are cost effective
• Outside rain garden will take advantage of rainfall and stormwater runoff to nuture plant selections
• Copper and Eldora Residence Halls are LEED Gold certified. This certificate recognizes that these design projects have met the Environmental Protection Agency's criteria for energy efficiency

 

Reducing Waste

CompostRecycle

Snack bag wrappers, condiment packages, plastic utensils, soiled foil, drinking straws, styrofoan containers and trays, and plastic wrap and bags are to be disposed of in the landfill.

Compost

Compost is food scraps and biodegradable containers that are organically decayed for fertilizing and conditioning land. Food waste and other organic materials in landfills create methane gas - a major contributor to global warming. Composting food waste yeilds significantly lower emissions compared to the food waste decomposing in landfills.  It also improves sanitation and public health, creates valuable soil amendment, and reduces the need for water, fertilizer, and pesticides. Compost bins are located by the dinning areas on campus. Find green compost bins located in Café '65, University Center, The Lodge.


What is compostable at UCCS?

Composting at UCCS

Empty pizza boxes, tissue paper, and wrapping paper are also compostable at UCCS. 

 
Bike Transportation

Riding your bike around campus can be a big time saver. Ensuring your bicycle is working properly will help you to save even more time. The UCCS Bike Shop is located in the Outdoor Center of the Campus Recreation Center. A professional mechanic is available Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday from 3:00pm to 6pm to help solve your mechanical problems for a designated fee or you can use the tools and fix it yourself for free.

There is also a bike repair station located outside of the south entrance of University Center that has a string of tools to use and a universal air valve pump.

BikeShare ProgramBike Repair Station

The Recreation Center has new specialized mountain bicycles and accessories available for free to students, staff, and faculty who belong to the recreation center. Stop by the Outdoor Center located in the Recreation Center during normal operating hours where you will be fitted for the correct size bike and given the option to rent a helment and lock (strongly recommended), in addition to a tire pump and saddle bag with tool kit. Bikes can be checked out up to three days at a time for a total of ten days per fall and spring semester. The BikeShare Program will be closing for the winter months from Thanksgiving to March 1st.

The Outdoor Center is open Monday through Friday from 2:00pm to 6:00pm and is located in the northwest corner of the Recreation Center. Call 719-255-7515 for more information or check out their website here.

U Car Share Program

UCCS partnered with the U-Haul Company to make a car available on campus for taking short-time trips. This hourly car rental allows those without a car the flexibility to run errands or to get to a doctor appointment. By implementing this U Car Share program, it has the potential of helping the campus meet its climate commitmentgoal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

 

Get Involved

Aside from yearly events, there are energy and recycling competitions amongst the Residence Halls to encourage sustainability and have fun doing it. In October, a global initiative called Project Green Challenge will be launched as a 30-day competition to engage students in the transition from conventional to conscious living. Through these daily challenges, students become familiar with pressing environmental issues and aware of similar scenarios on campus. Project Green Challenge will offer daily eco prizes to participants along with fourteen finalists picked from over the country to be flown to San Francisco for a 3-day eco summit called Green U. At Green U, one student out of all the participants nationally will be selected as the PGC 2013 Champion and win a grand prize package valued at $12,000.

Mini Mt. Trashmore

For this event, we collect all of the waste from the residence halls for a single day - every bag and box and dumpster that is slated to end up in a landfill is instead piled into one huge mountain of garbage on the turf. Once we've collected it all as a demonstration of how much waste our residence halls produce, we then sort through it all and find out what items could have or should have been recycled or composted. Inevitably, every year we also find a large number of useable, workable items - some of them still in original packaging - that someone threw away. From these efforts, we have found that on an average, UCCS should have recycled over 50% of what we throw away into a landfill on a daily basis. Mt. Trashmore happens during the Recyclemania tournament each year, usually at the end of February or early March.

 Mini Mt. TrashmoreMini Mt. Trashmore

Tie Dye for Green Out Night

In preparation of Green Out Night, residents come out to tie dye their clothes, pillow cases, shoes, and more to celebrate the beginning of men's and women's basketball season.

Tie DyeTie Dye

Bike Month

Every September at UCCS we celebrate our favorite form of alternative and sustainable transportation - the bicycle! This month long event challenges faculty, staff, and students to ride their bikes to work, to class, or even ride the bicycle at the Recreation Center. This year we will be using BikeJournal.com to track everyone's mileage. At the end of the month there will be a drawing for prizes to all of the cyclers that have participated in the Bike Month Challenge. Bike Month is kicked off every year by our massive festival of all things bicycle called Bike Jam. Bike Jam brings together artists, performers, sustainability organizations, City of Colorado Springs officials, and the campus community to revel in all things bike related with music, games, smoothies, bike trivia, prizes, and more. The 5th annual Bike Jam will begin at 8:00 AM with a bike rider's breakfast followed by prizes and food until 2:00 PM. There is also a Parade of Bikes at noon. To register for Bike Month Challenge, go to Bike Journal, join the club "UCCS 2013 Bike Month Challenge", and start logging your miles!

Bike Jam Bike Jam

 

Your Choices Matter! Now, what can you do to help?

• Take a five-minute shower. If you normally take ten-minute showers, that's conserving 50% more water instantly
• Don't let the water run while you brush your teeth
• Recycle your cardboard by flattening the box and laying it by the recycling bin
• Consider CFL and LED light bulbs for your task light
• Turn off your bedroom light and computer when leaving the room
• Use a power strip to easily turn off your appliances at once
• Use natural daylight instead of turning the lights on
• Share a small refrigerator with your roommate
• Look for the ENERGY STAR® certified sticker on any appliances you purchase
• Wear a sweater when you are cold instead of turning the heat up
• Spread the word! Knowledge is power. By letting your friends know what they can do, all of us will work together to help make UCCS more sustainable.

Want to get more involved in sustainability on campus? Visit the Office of Sustainability here or call 719.255.3089 to find out more.