Spotlight on LSU Sustainability

Although I'm a proud UL Lafayette Ragin Cajun alum and big supporter of the UL Lafayette Office of Sustainability, I'm a fan of any university that's committed to sustainability efforts.

So today, we're traveling about an hour east of Lafayette to look more at LSU's Campus Sustainability program, which is marking its tenth year this year!

Photo via LSU Sustainability

In 2008, LSU student government representatives approached then-President Jenkins about starting an office of sustainability on campus.

LSU Campus Sustainability's mission is to enable the university to become more efficient and environmentally responsible in all of its activities and operations and to educate students, faculty, staff and visitors about ways in which they can incorporate sustainable living and recycling into their daily lives and activities.

The department promotes sustainable practices both on and off campus and provides resources and support for those who wish to incorporate sustainable practices in their work and lives, and advocating for sustainable programs and initiatives.

Some of LSU Campus Sustainability's biggest projects throughout the year are Spring Greening Day, participating in the National Game Day Recycling Challenge (For the 2015 football season, they collected 86,400 pounds of recyclables and earned the top spot in the Keep America Beautiful Game Day Recycling Challenge), Bike Month, Refills Not Landfills, and electronic waste recycling events.

With a full-time staff of one person, the department's accomplishments are impressive! Students and volunteers provide a lot of help with projects and programs:
  • The creation of a Sustainability Strategic Plan for LSU via the Campus Committee on Sustainability and inclusion of the Sustainability Strategic Plan goals in the Master Plan update
  • Full implementation of a food waste diversion project in Dining Halls (with more than 25 tons of food waste diverted from the landfill already)
  • A Spring Greening Day with a record-breaking 280 volunteers planting more than 18,000 new plants in Memorial Oak Grove
  • Partnership with East Baton Rouge Parish to have Louisiana Earth Day hosted on campus in Parker Coliseum in April 2018
  • A record-breaking 100+ volunteers for the 2018 Game Day Recycling Challenge cleanup event
  • More than 20 tons of cardboard recycled during Move-In 2017 and Move-in 2018 combined
Photo via LSU Sustainability
  • A successful first-ever “LSU Bike Month” held in November 2017 to incentivize bicycling on campus
  • The continuation of the “green fee” (Student Sustainability Fund) to support sustainability projects on campus
  • Recycling of more than eight tons of electronic waste in 2017 and 2018 combined
  • Recipient of the 2017 Louisiana A&WMA Joseph Didier Martinez Environmental Achievement Award
  • Being awarded by the U.S. Department of Education in 2017 for Postsecondary Sustainabilit
  • Inclusion in Princeton Review’s “Guide to Green Colleges”
  • Expanded number of recycling locations for battery recycling, ink toner locations and new materials such as green mesh fencing used for construction projects and football games

Although I don't directly interact with LSU's sustainability efforts throughout the year, we do take advantage of the game day recycling bins when we make our way to Baton Rouge. With a stadium the size of Death Valley and the number of fans who attend every game, it makes a huge impact on waste diversion to have recycling services available.

Plus, after football games, groups of volunteers work to clean up the litter left behind in parking and tailgating areas.

In addition to recycling and tree planting, LSU Campus Sustainability has worked to make campus bicycle-friendly and provide EV charging stations and ride-sharing programs. 

With all these accomplishments over the past 10 years, I look forward to seeing how much more LSU Campus Sustainability will grow and what they'll achieve in the next 10 years!  


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