Green Terp News

 

Going green to do good: UMD pilots a sustainability-focused program with residents

By: Rose Brusaferro, Green Housing Coordinator

I’ve been in Maryland since second grade. When it came time to go to college, everyone in my rural high school had the University of Maryland College Park somewhere on their wish list. Our institution has a nationwide reputation for excellence, and it doesn’t fall short of living up to that.

Before landing the position of Green Housing Coordinator in the Office of Sustainability last August, I worked on sustainable initiatives at Towson University while earning a Masters in Environmental Science. That’s where I learned about the environmental impact of campuses, and that’s where I started paying attention to the habits of residential students.

My position is funded through a grant from the Sustainability Fund received by the Department of Resident Life and the Department of Fraternity and Sorority Life. This grant marked the first time that the Sustainability Fund student-majority subcommittee approved a grant that covered salary – a point that illustrates the importance of this program to UMD students. One of our campus goals is to become carbon neutral by 2050 and resident behavior plays a big role in the energy efficiency of buildings.

So my message to you is: this is an opportunity for you to do your part as a Terp to help your school reach its goal. The Green Terp pilot program has launched in two residence halls: Oakland and Ellicott, as well as in a number of Greek chapter houses. We want to reward you for adopting sustainable habits and certify you as a Green Terp. We want to make sustainability part of campus culture and we need you to lead the way. Easy things like turning off the faucet, walking to class, or composting your food waste may not feel like actions that make a difference, but if everyone takes small steps, we can have a big impact. After all, Terps leave small footprints.

Be part of something special, get involved on campus, assert your values, and be the first to blaze the trail for other Terps. Show the world you care. Do good. Become a Green Terp!