December 2022

Wishing You a Sustainability-Rich Holiday Season!

We are almost across the finish line for the end of the semester. Snow has fallen along with temperatures and it’s starting to really feel like winter just in time for the holidays.  

As we reflect on this year, highlights have included the opening of our most sustainability- minded building, the Noorda Engineering, Applied Science & Technology Building, where the mechanical systems are on display to showcase the building’s energy saving and all electric systems. The building also utilizes a ground-source system, located under the adjacent parking lot, which taps the consistent temperature underground for heating and cooling.

Another new arrival is the campus segment of the OGX UTA system, featuring all electric busses. Parking for free at Dee Events Center and riding the nice quiet shuttle have been a big hit with our campus community. All campus commuters can contribute to off-setting their own transport related emissions through the “Carbon Neutral Commuter” initiative in collaboration with Parking Services. Funds are used to collectively purchase carbon off-sets in support of theexpansion of wind-energy projects.  

We have continued to foster engagement in sustainability-supportive practices both on and off-campus, including reducing water use and the formal launch of the Green Badge Program, which “incentivizes students, faculty, and staff to make their lives more sustainable and increase their knowledge of 8 different aspects of sustainability by earning monthly badges.” Efforts are also ongoing to facilitate energy efficiency in the community, and for low-income households in particular, through the Empower Northern Utah Smart Thermostat program, which will ultimately help 240 households reduce their energy use and utility bills. 

And last, but certainly not least, the number of courses including or focusing on sustainability has increased through the calendar year bringing the total now to 76, with 55% of departments represented. We can celebrate that across campus more students are learning about sustainability concepts, challenges, and solutions!  

We wish everyone a joyful and restorative holiday season and the best for the coming year, including good health, peace, and happiness. 

- The WSU Sustainability Team 

Zero Waste Holidays

The holidays are such an exciting time of year, but the season of giving can also leave many people feeling anxious. Searching for the perfect gift, trying to stay within budget, and hoping that the gift you get your coworker doesn’t end up in the garbage… It can all be a bit overwhelming! 

That is why the Center for Biological Diversity has created a website full of ideas on how to Simplify the Holidays! This website keeps the environment in mind when proposing gift ideas, as the holidays can come with large amounts of consumption and waste. The gift guide shows you how to cultivate a sustainable present using handmade, experiential, or secondhand gifts. It also includes options on how to contribute to your community during the holidays by giving to mutual aid organizations or creating a neighborhood library!

The Center for Biological Diversity has also created a tool for you to request sustainable gifts from friends and family, meaning everyone gets peace of mind knowing that the gift under the tree is just right for you. Though the SoKind Registry could be used for things such as wedding registries or baby shower wish-lists, creating a space for your friends and family to see exactly what you’d like is sure to reduce the stress of gift shopping! Add things such as a national park pass or request a pet sitter for your next trip out of town. Get the gifts you want this season while having peace of mind about your environmental impact.

Hulet Round River Scholarship

Applications are now available for the Hulet Round River Scholarship!

Round River Conservation Studies engages students in learning from landscapes. Wildlife conservation programs are currently available in Mongolia, Belize, British Columbia, Chile, Botswana, and the Western United States.

The Hulet scholarship provides partial support for a WSU student to participate in either a summer or semester-long Round River Conservation Studies course. Participants will earn either nine academic credits for summer programs or 15 academic credits for semester-long programs. Qualified applicants who are not awarded the Hulet Scholarship may still qualify for scholarship support directly from Round River.

Applications are available from Dr. John Mull (, and are due on Friday, January 23, 2023.

Sustainability Leadership Scholarship

Thanks to a generous donor, WSU students in a sustainability-related field have the opportunity to receive an annual award towards their tuition or other educational expenses.

The Jeanne A. Evenden Sustainability Scholarship provides funding of up to $5000 for students who have demonstrated leadership in sustainability through a specific activity, project, and/or focus. This scholarship is available to both part-time or full-time students, as well as undergraduate or graduate students!

Materials to apply for this scholarship must be completed by Wednesday, February 1st, 2023.

Student Poster Contest

Are you working on a class project, or an internship that relates to sustainability? Consider entering a poster to the Intermountain Sustainability Summit’s Student Poster Contest now through Tuesday, February 23, 2023. Posters can relate to a wide variety of sustainability related topics, with the following categories being highly encouraged:

· Sustainability Research (Undergraduate & Graduate)
· Green Design (e.g., architectural, landscape, engineering/technology)
· Sustainability Education and Community Engagement
· Sustainability in Action (e.g. program, policy, advocacy successes)
· Sustainability in Creative Arts and Humanities
· Green Economy

The Intermountain Sustainability Summit is an energetic two-day event, drawing approximately 400 sustainability professionals and emerging leaders from across Utah and surrounding states to the event.  

Students whose posters are accepted for the display will receive free admission to the main Summit events hosted on Thursday, March 23, 2023, will have the opportunity to network with professionals in the field, and be entered to win prizes.

WSU Theater Faculty's Low-Waste Design Featured

Cully Long, Weber’s Assistant Professor of Theater Scenic Design, was featured at the World State Design Conference in Calgary, Canada earlier this year for a set he designed in 2019. The World State Design Conference is held every four years and is the largest performance design conference in the world! The gallery theme at the conference was ‘Ecoscenography.’ To qualify for the exhibit, designers had to design at least two aspects of the production and use sustainable production principles.

Long designed the set and costumes for the St. Lawrence University 2019 production of Darkwater, a show about animals attempting to escape the destruction caused by the Deep-Water Horizon Spill in 2010. Costume elements were either reused articles from previous performances, or made from fabric scraps which had been left over from previous productions. Any costume elements that were not available from previous productions were thrifted. The scenery included repurposed set materials that had been repainted with left over paints from previous productions. Over 400 used plastic soda bottles were repurposed into the scenery. Carbon offsets were purchased to mitigate the energy impact of lighting the show. Students raised funds for the carbon offsets by collecting and returning plastic bottles for a refund. 

Long is planning on continuing the theme of sustainability in future productions and is looking to use the same model for a WSU production in spring of 2024. This project will be in partnership with the student theater organization, Associated Artists of Theatre, to produce a fully green production.

The Sustainability Club is Recycling Waste at WSU Athletic Events

The WSU Sustainability club and volunteers are making efforts toward Weber State’s goal of going Zero Waste by 2040. Students are active at Weber State Football games collecting waste to avoid it going to landfills. Over 125 lbs. of material have been recovered and sent for recycling, an amount equal to 3,137 plastic water bottles! Volunteers from the Men of Color Club as well as students from environmental issues and communications classes were critical to the success of this initiative. Keep an eye out for future Zero Waste events, including Zero Waste Basketball Games starting in January! To become a volunteer, visit the Food Recovery Network on GivePulse.

Solar Energy + Repurposed Materials = Roasted Pumpkin Seeds!

The WSU Sustainability Club hosted a workshop in November demonstrating how to construct a solar oven. Solar ovens can be made using materials that are already stocked in many homes. Garden Club President, Celina Patiño, brought a repurposed shoebox and plastic lid to use, as well as other materials (tinfoil, black paper, and tape), for the group to construct the oven. The team put the oven together quickly, and baggies of pumpkin seeds were given to participants to roast at home in their own solar ovens. 

You can bake your own tasty treats using energy from the sun! To learn how to build a solar oven check out “DIY Solar Oven” on YouTube, and for updates on upcoming Sustainability Club meetings visit our events calendar.

Green Badge Updates

Participate in the Green Badge Program and start earning your badges today! December’s Badge is “Health & Wellness.” Learn ways to improve and maintain your wellbeing by participating in activities and services provided by Weber State such as Therapy Assistance Online (TAO) and free Group exercise classes. A dozen people earned November’s “Social Sustainability” Badge. Way to go!

Green Team Updates

Congrats to the Military Science team on their move to Gold and to Child & Family Studies, the Ogden Learning Center and Parking Services on their move to Silver!


Food and Winter Clothing Drive
Wednesday, November 21 – Friday, December 16
First Floor of Stewart Library
List of Needed Donations

Community Christmas
Saturday, December 10
7:30 am – 3:00 pm
Ben Lomond High School
Register to Volunteer

Stress Relief Star Show
Tuesday, December 13 and Wednesday, December 14
12:30 to 1:30 pm
Ott Planetarium, Lind Lecture Hall 203
More Info

Christmas Village Pliking Cleanup
Saturday, December 17
9:00 am – 11:00 am
Intersection of Washington and 25th Street
Register to Volunteer

Winter Break!
Saturday, December 17 – Sunday, January 9

Hulet Round River Scholarship Deadline
Friday, January 13
Wednesday, January 25 – Thursday, January 26
Obtain applications from Dr. John Mull (
Learn More

Annual Free Swap
Wednesday, January 25 – Thursday, January 26
8:30 am – 4:30 pm
SU Ballroom A
Register to Volunteer

Future of Great Salt Lake Survey
Open through Tuesday, January 31
Take the Survey

Sustainability Leadership Scholarship Deadline
Wednesday, February 1
Learn More

Student Poster Contest Deadline
Tuesday, February 23
Learn More

In the News

New study finds nature affects our lives in more ways than you think                                            (in support of this month's Green Badge focus on wellness)

Utah colleges work to conserve water on campuses

The Colorado River Compact Turns 100 Years Old. Is It Still Working?

How we can keep global warming below the 1.5 degrees Celsius goal

A sense of optimism for those working to restore Florida's coral

Climate solutions that can make a difference