Two important aspects of the vision for Saint Michael's College are strength in community and the centrality of students. The main focus of the Office of Sustainability is to foster and nurture a campus culture of Sustainability. The college prides itself on its strong sense of community among staff, faculty and students. Thus, sustainability efforts focus on the community of Saint Michael's College and work to create changes in behavior. This means working closely with, interacting with and learning from everyone that is part of this great campus. Explore the projects below to see how we are integrating sustainability behaviors into the campus culture. These are just a handful of different initiatives, we’re always look to create new ways to engage and educate our campus community.
First Year Students' Go Green Welcome Kits
Since 2008, the Office of Sustainability has put together a snazzy Green Welcome package for every first year student. The package is placed in the dorm rooms by the amazing RA staff of the first year Residence Halls. This kit includes the following "tools" to help each first year student get start on the pathway to green living:
1. Stainless Steel reusable water bottle
2. Green Up reusable mug
Saint Michael's College takes The St. Francis Pledge
Did you know that Saint Michael’s was among the first handful of college’s to sign on to the St. Francis Pledge? We were! All across our country, Catholics are taking the St. Francis Pledge to care for Creation and the Poor and joining the Catholic Climate Covenant. The St. Francis Pledge is a promise and a commitment by Catholic individuals, families, parishes, organizations and institutions to live our faith by protecting God's Creation and advocating on behalf of people in poverty who face the harshest impacts of global climate change. Click to learn more about the St. Francis Pledge.
Eco-Reps are undergraduate leaders who foster environmental responsibility on campus. They educate students about sustainability issues, distribute information, and create, coordinate and host activities in the residence halls, operating on the philosophy that we can improve our relationship with the environment by making simple changes in our own lifestyle. Eco-Reps are student employees within the Office of Sustainability.
Sales of Bottled Water Banned on Campus
In the spring of 2012, bottled water was no longer sold on campus. Led by students in the Saint Michael's College Green Up club and the SMC Office of Sustainability, the college has taken steps to begin to remove bottled water from campus vending machines and retail locations on campus. Throughout the buildings on campus, you can find water bottle refill stations to fill up your reusable water bottle.
Go Green Living Guide to Sustainable Living/Sustainability Program brochure
"Go Green: Your College Guide to Sustainable Living at Saint Michael's College," was created in the Spring of 2008 by Zach Mangione, Campus Coordinator of Vermont Campus Energy Group, and Dan Sandberg ('09). From 2008 - 2010, every first year student received these guides as part of their Green Welcome Package. In an effort to save paper paper/resources, this guide is now available in e-form here: Go Green Guide. Every First Year student does receive a brochure in their orientation packets that gives an overview of the Sustainability Program and important information on recycling and composting on campus.
Reusable Mug Discount & Green Up Coffee Hour
Disposable cups are one of the biggest sources of trash on a daily basis on campus and completely unnecessary. Bring your own mug to Cafe Cheray and Einstein’s and receive a discount (as well as peace of mind for reducing waste in the local landfills and saving trees). Also, remember to bring a mug to coffee shops in the Burlington area.
During the semester, Green Up hosts a Fair Trade Coffee hour Thursday mornings in the lobby of St Ed’s. You get to enjoy delicious organic and fair trade coffee for FREE if you bring your own reusable mug.
Campus Store Tote Bags
When students purchase text books from the Campus Store, they receive a free reusable tote bag. Don’t forget to use it over and over again when you stock up on other supplies from the Campus Store!
Annual Spring Electricity Competition
Since 2011, the Office of Sustainability has been running a 3-week electricity reduction competition for students living in the apartments (all townhouses and Hodson). Students receive an excel spreadsheet with weekly updates containing their electrical consumption for the past week, savings from their baseline usage based on their behavior changes as well as an estimated cost of what their monthly electrical bill would be based on their usage. The competition has saved up to 26,000 kWh over just 3 weeks!\
Green Office Certification
The Green Office Certification program was designed to educate and encourage members of the Saint Michael’s community to adopt sustainable practices in their workplaces. Sustainability is about what you do as an individual and what we all do together as a College and society. The Green Office Certification program was created to help offices and departments identify sustainable behaviors and practices that individuals can adopt in their office setting as well as incorporate personal habits that can be shared among colleagues. To learn more, click here.