News Items from UNC Greensboro

A UNCG student uses the OZZI to-go dispenser in Moran Commons.

Sustainability at UNCG is as crucial as ever, even as the University continues to adjust to hybrid forms of learning and working during the pandemic.

Following are some key programs and features in which all Spartan faculty, staff, and students can support, get involved, and be informed with sustainability efforts across campus.

UNCG Mobile app adds new Sustainability tile
Your one-stop shop for all things sustainable at UNCG! The new Sustainability tile on the UNCG Mobile app gives quick access to recycling guidelines, environmentally friendly student groups, the Green Room and Green Office certification programs, a map of sustainability points of interest on campus, and a sign-up for the Office of Sustainability Newsletter to keep you up-to-date on great events happening in our community.

Green Room and Green Office Certification
The Green Room and Green Office certification programs are a means for student residents, faculty, and staff to help further the culture of sustainability at UNCG. The Office of Sustainability has created a checklist of eco-friendly actions to keep you informed of best practices (personal and business) that will help you conserve resources and reduce the University’s carbon footprint. The surveys are mobile friendly and only take 10 minutes to complete. For more information and the links to get started download the UNCG Mobile App or visit: https://sustainability.uncg.edu/go-green/.

  • Green Office Certification
    Recruit your entire department to participate or get individually certified. All those who participate will be presented with a certificate of recognition to display in your lobby or office. This is your chance to do your share and show you care.
  • Green Room Certification
    Students who participate in the Green Room program will receive their choice of a doorknob hanger or certificate of recognition and be entered into a raffle at the end of each semester for a chance to win a gift bag of eco-friendly goodies to help you keep living a sustainable lifestyle. Winners will be contacted via email. At this time, the Green Room program is only open to student residents.

Commuter Survey
Did you know that commuters to campus account for 20% of UNCG’s annual carbon footprint? That’s over 14,000 tons of CO2 a year entering the atmosphere and contributing to climate change. Your participation in the UNCG Commuter Survey will help the Office of Sustainability continue to measure and track transportation trends that impact our carbon footprint. Additionally, the survey provides opportunities for community feedback to help UNCG develop better transportation policies and infrastructure. The Commuter Survey is embedded in both the Green Room and Green Office programs, but can be taken separately as well, particularly by student commuters. Your participation is greatly appreciated and your data is confidential.

UNCG has a goal of becoming a zero-waste campus by 2050. By participating in the OZZI (pronounced “O-Z”) to-go program, Spartans will help us achieve that goal. While UNCG has an annual waste diversion rate of 40%, our campus community still sends an average of 1,300 tons of waste to the landfill every year.

Just one person using one reusable to-go container for one meal a day for five days a week can save 80 single-use containers from going to the landfill during a single semester. Less material going to the landfill means fewer CO2 emissions. 1000 people participating in this program would mean UNCG could potentially avoid sending 80,000 single-use to-go containers to the landfill in just one semester. That’s proof that our individual choices matter. Together we can make a difference!

An OZZI deposit token.

OZZI reusable to-go containers require a one-time refundable deposit of $7 payable by Flex Dollars or credit card at the Outta Here to-go location or Spartan Market on the first floor of Moran Commons. The next time you come to eat, bring back your to-go container and deposit it in the OZZI vending machine in the lobby, and you’ll receive a token to take to the Outta Here counter for a new to-go container. Repeat.

Health Department guidance currently limits the extent to which the containers can be used. For the time being, OZZI to-go containers can be used any day at the Outta Here to-go location and on Friday nights and the weekend in the specified area at Fountain View Dining.

Learn more about UNCG Dining Services’ sustainability initiatives.

Spartans have come together more than ever through the challenges of this year, and working together toward a more sustainable campus and future will only make us stronger and healthier as a university and community.

Story by Sean MacInnes, UNCG Sustainability
Photography by Jiyoung Park, UNCG Communications

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