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Penn has made significant strides in campus sustainability over the years. With so much focus on implementing processes and initiatives to support this effort, what can/should the University do to establish environmentalism as a culture among the students and residents? We asked residents of the College Houses and staff what initiatives they’d like to see implemented to raise the awareness of sustainable practices.


“Ideally, sustainability should be so fundamental to the way the University does business that it is understood at all levels across the campus to be a basic value and a core driver for decision making and long term planning.  One day sustainability should be fully integrated into the way the University does business, in the same way as concepts like fiscal responsibility, employee work/life balance, or resources stewardship.

“Campus-wide events that the University sponsors like the Power Down challenge, when advertised widely, tend to get people involved in an enthusiastic way. One day, perhaps, we can make these events as significant to the University calendar as Fling. That’s how you’ll know when the culture of sustainability has fully permeated the campus.”

“What I would like to see is a collection station for broken electronic items in the buildings at all times, instead of just at Move- out. It would be great if we had a consistent contact base and ongoing partnership with an organization that will recycle broken electronics.”

“It might be interesting to take the idea of the Green office certification and replicate it for residents on a floor- by- floor basis. Imagine at the beginning of each semester, the RA or GA would remind and incentivize residents to get involved…it could be a great competitive event to foster community in the Houses, as well as the direct benefit to sustainability.”