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 have an effect on our campus community. To more about the UCCS Office of Sustainability, visit their website HERE.

Making Residence Halls More Sustainable

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

•High efficiency 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, Eldora, LaPlata, Cucharas, and San Juan to help eliminate plastic water bottle use on campus and plastic bottles from entering the landfills
• LED overhead lighting will help to conserve energy while lasting longer than traditional incandescent bulbs and are more cost effective
• Outside rain garden will take advantage of rainfall and stormwater runoff to nurture plant selections
• Copper and Eldora Residence Halls are LEED Gold certified, with LaPlata and Cucharas Houses are also hoping to gain that certification. This certificate recognizes that these design projects have met the Environmental Protection Agency's criteria for energy efficiency

Reducing Waste


Snack bag wrappers, condiment packages, plastic utensils, soiled foil, drinking straws, styrofoam containers and trays, and plastic wrap and bags are to be disposed of in the landfill, as they are not easily processed by our recycling program.


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 yields 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 dining areas on campus. Find green compost bins located in Café '65, University Center, The Lodge, and Roaring Fork.

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 S.O.L.E. Center of the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center. A professional mechanic is available at posted times 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 S.O.L.E. Center located in the Recreation and Wellness Center during normal operating hours where you will be fitted for the correct size bike and given the option to rent a helmet 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 S.O.L.E. 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 commitment goal 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. 

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 and Wellness Center. 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. 

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 in the cardboard recycling bin.
• Consider CFL and LED light bulbs for your task lights.
• 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.


Page Last Reviewed April 8, 2016