6 Ways to Practice Sustainability at the College of Charleston

6 Ways to Practice Sustainability at the College of Charleston

At the College, we’re big on sustainability. The three R’s of environmental sustainability – reduce, reuse and recycle – are definitely in place here, but they’re just the beginning of a comprehensive approach to building a sustainable community.

Here is an overview of sustainable practices we embrace at the College, along with a few recommendations for students:

Recycling – There are many opportunities to recycle! Recycling receptacles are found all over campus, including in residence halls, classrooms and dining halls. You’ll find separate containers for paper, glass, plastic, metal and landfill. We also recycle cardboard, but it has to be separated from loose paper, pressboard and other paper products. Please do not put plastic film, plastic grocery bags, hot beverage containers or plastic drinking straws in recycling receptacles! Plastic grocery bags can be recycled at most local grocery stores.

Waste – A lot of waste accumulates when students move in and out of residence halls and apartments. To avoid this waste, our Office of Sustainability has partnered with the Office of Residence Life to orchestrate a more sustainable process. Find out here how you can help repurpose your discarded items instead of sending them to the landfill. Reduce your waste further by taking advantage of the Reusable Mug Discount, found at all PODS on campus and the Starbucks in Addlestone. Bring your own mug and you can get the beverage of your choice for just 99 cents at the Stern Center Food Court, all POD locations, Market 159, Einstein Brothers Bagels and Starbucks.

Composting – The College reduces food waste by composting in all of its dining halls including Marty’s Place, City Bistro, Liberty Fresh Food Company, and Stern Center. The pre- and post-consumer food waste that’s gathered on campus is sent to the Charleston County Landfill’s Bees Ferry Compost Facility. For every 2,000 pounds of food waste generated, the College gains 40 pounds of compost for our campus gardens.

Transportation – Did you know that you can show your College ID to ride local buses and shuttles for free? (See routes and schedules here.) The College also has a Car Share Program for those times when you absolutely need a car. And, the College has a Bike Share Program offered by the Office of Sustainability! That’s right; and it’s free! Alternatively, you can use the city’s newest bike share program, Holy Spokes, which has two depots on campus.

Energy – The College attempts to do its part in energy conservation through lighting upgrades including LED bulb installation, the use of motion-activated light fixtures and efficient insulation in our buildings. You can do your part by turning off unused lights and electronics.

Water – Green Fee-sponsored water bottle refill stations are located all over campus! The Office of Sustainability installed these to help the College cut down on the consumption of single-use plastic water bottles. You’ll also see that the College has rainwater collection systems on several of its buildings. The water collected here is used for irrigation around campus. Students can cut down on your water use by turning off the faucet when shaving, washing hands and dishes and brushing teeth.

Get Involved — If you want to make an even bigger impact, you can get involved with any of the Office of Sustainability’s campus and community engagement events throughout the year. You can join the garden apprenticeship program, hear new ideas at a Social Justice Coffee Hour and participate in clothing swaps, do-it-yourself workshops and trash audits. And each spring, be on the lookout seven days of events as part of the College’s annual Sustainability Week.

To find out more about sustainable practices at the College, contact the Office of Sustainability.