Missouri State University has made a lot of progress towards becoming more sustainable during the 2022-23 academic school year. These accomplishments were made possible through hard work and cooperation between students, faculty and staff. A brief summary of the year can be found below.
Student Government Association (SGA) teamed up with Students for a Sustainable Future (SSF) to host several Earth Week events including a street-wide cleanup, a plastic bag drive, an earth-themed trivia night, a multi-organization sustainability festival, and an art show.
SSF also coordinated a thrift sale inside Plaster Student Union (PSU) that raised nearly $400 in sales. Proceeds were donated to the Rockspan Farm to help fund conservation management and environmental restoration projects.
Three projects were funded through the Student Sustainability Fund
- The Menstrual Equity proposal will supply students with free, biodegradable menstrual products within all public lavatories in the PSU
- Funds were provided to the Bear Pantry, a campus food bank for those facing food insecurity
- The Student Sustainability Education, Engagement, and Awareness proposal will provide funding for sustainability activities such as campus conferences
The campus garden, located south of lot 18, on the south side of Grand Street and run by students, aims to provide fresh produce to the campus community. All product grown here is delivered directly to the Bear Pantry. Unused produce is composted on site, to help new plants develop. The Campus Garden is a zero-waste program.
A solar-powered shed was constructed on site. Funding came from the Student Sustainability Fund.
Over the past few months, the garden has expanded in size and has organized several events, providing opportunities for the community to volunteer or learn more about sustainable gardening. Events included a seed-starting workshop and multiple yoga sessions.
Besides receiving funds for operations and produce from the garden, the Bear Pantry had several plastic bag swaps during the 2022-23 semesters. Students brought in plastic bags, which are used to distribute food to the campus community, in exchange for reusable utensil sets, stickers, or an SGA tote bag.
MSU has officially joined the Bee Campus USA program. Bee Campus USA provides a framework for university and college campus communities to work together to conserve native pollinators by increasing the abundance of native plants, providing nest sites, and reducing the use of pesticides.
MSU created a sustainability map which highlights locations across campus. The map attempts to showcase locations that are tied into the United Nation’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals have been met. Items are color coded to make it easier to see what we’re doing where on campus.
Students and faculty created a website to promote sustainable tourism within the Bluefields Bay Jamaican community. Students will have the chance to study abroad in Jamaica.
The Recycling 101 online program was developed to teach the MSU community why it’s important to recycle and how to recycle while on campus. There are two versions of the course
The mini version that covers what can and cannot be recycled on campus and how to get those items recycled.
The advanced version includes all of the information in the mini version as well as a history of recycling and the environmental, economical, and social benefits of recycling.
Students now have the opportunity to earn a degree in the Geography and Sustainability major. Previously, MSU only offered a minor. We’re excited to expand our sustainability options!
PSU Recycling Bins
New recycling stations have been purchased for the Student Union. These containers have better signage and is divided into color-coded areas for different recycling streams.
The PSU joins the residence hall dining facilities in providing compost collection bins. Compostable items are now collected in the kitchen and food prep areas as well as out in the dining areas. This includes Starbucks, where coffee grounds are now collected and composted along with leftover food and paper napkins.
Pollution Prevention Program
The Sustainability Fellows Program works to teach students, faculty, and staff about the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the four cornerstones of sustainability which are: economy, ecology, society, and culture. By integrating these teachings across campus, we hope to build connections and improve university sustainability community involvement, comprehension, and practices.