Green Terp News

Summary of Green Terp Pilot Program - Spring 2017

The Green Terp program, a partnership between the Department of Resident Life and the Office of Sustainability, engaged residential students in a dynamic program that promotes personal sustainability action. The program supported and rewarded students that took steps to reduce their environmental footprint.  Green Terp provided an action checklist, guidelines, support and rewards for participation. The program was designed for individual students primarily in their freshmen and sophomore years.

Students completed five simple steps to become a certified Green Terp:

  1. Green Terp registration took place within each residence hall twice per month during the Spring semester.
  2. Students signed the Green Terp Pledge that was personalized for each hall and was displayed prominently at the Front Desk during the pilot.
  3. Participants received a magnetic Green Terp Checklist that they could display in their room as a reminder of their actions.
  4. Students were informed and participated in Green Terp through residence hall engagement activities, an ELMS page, a Green Terp website and newsletter, and a monthly social media contest.
  5. Participants who completed ten actions on the checklist became Green Terp Certified. They received certification awards and were recognized in the newsletter.

During the pilot phase (Spring 2017), the program operated in two residence halls: Oakland Hall and Ellicott Hall, totaling approximately 1,300 students.  The goal of the pilot program was to reach 20% of students within the pilot residence halls or approximately 260 students.  This goal was achieved and Green Terp registered a total of 295 students! In addition, 83 students became Green Terp certified, which is 28% of participating students.

121 Green Terp participants also completed the post-pilot survey. Some key survey results are:

Agree/Strongly Agree:

  • 92% said signing up was easy.
  • 69% said magnetic checklist was awesome.
  • 70% said the Green Terp activities were a fun and important part of the program.


  • 38% were neutral about Green Terp ELMS page.
  • 42% were neutral about the Green Terp newsletter.


  • 74% of respondents were certified Green Terps.
  • 67% of respondents who DIDN’T certify said that it was because they were too busy to participate.

As a way to evaluate the program’s effectiveness at changing behavior, students were asked to place themselves on a sustainability behavior continuum when they registered and then again when they became certified. Statistics show that Green Terp moved students along the continuum from least sustainable to most sustainable.


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!