On campus

The importance of sustainability

The Office of Sustainability at Tech offers a range of year-round green activities, so you can celebrate the Earth during more than just in April. 

Delayne Miller is the Office of Sustainability’s only staff member, with the rest of the team being student workers. 

“Most of them work the campus recycling program, which we fully fund,” Miller said.

The recycling picked up around campus is taken to a county transfer station. The recycling bins on Tech’s campus are made of recycled plastic bottles that have been turned into building material. This is done by the approved funding for a circular lab, This is a collaboration between the art and design, chemistry, and the engineering departments. 

The funding comes from the Green Fee Program approved by former Tech president Robert Bell in 2005. This sets aside $10 per student for the funding distributed by the office for a range of activities. These activities are approved by the Sustainable Campus Committee who then votes on how to distribute the funds. 

“Every year we generate about $150,000,” Miller said. “The other things that are fully funded are the bike share program, and the wings upcycle thrift store,” Miller said.

The College of Education partners with the office to host a summer program called the Eleanor Ross Freedom School, a national program hosted on Tech’s campus for six weeks to help underprivileged kids in the area. “[Student workers] have some neat activities that will get the kids thinking about how to be sustainable, and these kids can take these ideas home to their families,” Miller said.

There are also new projects the Green Fee is bringing to the quad including new eco-friendly lights, at The Backdoor Playhouse. Oakley Hall will also receive a small greenhouse.

 “It’s a collaboration between the Agriculture department and Human Ecology, so we’re excited to see what that’s going to do.”

The busiest times of year for the Office of Sustainability are October and April, with October being Higher Education Sustainability Month, and April being the month the U.S. celebrates Earth Day. 

An Earth Day event will be hosted by the Office of Sustainability, featuring a multitude of groups on Centennial Plaza. Campus groups, local groups, and state entities will all show up to promote sustainable ways of living and host interactive activities for students.