News Archive

Record Breaking Move-In

by Smith Getterman


Baylor's Sustainability efforts got off to a record breaking start with a very successful recycling effort during Move-In 2009. Thanks to the help of over thirty student volunteers from the Entrepreneurship ELG program and partners from departments all across Baylor's campus, 10.6 tons of recycling were collected in the two days of move-in.

Compared to efforts of last year, Baylor Sustainability was able to capture 3,000 extra pounds of recycling waste. That's 3,000 extra pounds that has been prevented from entering local landfills!

This record breaking move-in has helped Baylor have its most successful summer of recycling, ever. Even with the great success of 2009, improvements are already being looked at for Move-In 2010. Thanks to everyone that participated in Move-In 2009 for helping us make it as green as it can be!

What Is Baylor Sustainability?

by Christina Jeffrey

This maintenance includes finding new ways to use less energy, minimize waste, promote zero emission transportation, and utilize opportunities to recycle. Sound a little audacious? Don�t worry, the Baylor Sustainability Department facilitates all of these efforts by bringing them to the most important person: You.

To make recycling easy, Baylor has over 700 green recycling containers scattered across campus that accept paper, aluminum cans, and plastic bottles. These recycling bins helped Baylor collect over 140,982 tons of recycling in the spring of 2009 alone. Baylor is also one of the few universities that recycle before, during, and after athletic events. This distribution of Baylor Bear pride both on and off the field has led to the collection of over 16,700 lbs of biodegradable products during sporting events, including over 267,200 individual plastic bottles. Baylor also participates in an annual, nation-wide recycling competition against other colleges and universities called Recyclemania. In spring 2009, Baylor University gathered over 86 tons of recyclable goods, surpassing the largest universities in Texas and placing third out of the Big XII.

When it comes to energy conservation, Baylor Sustainability hopes to promote eco-friendly ways of life through such concepts as �Last out, Lights out,� turning off computer monitors when they�re not in use, and choosing energy-efficient appliances in dorm life. Sustainability is always looking for new ways to save energy that is inexpensive and effortless, for both the individual and the institution. Be sure to turn off the light when you leave the room, unplug any unused appliances, and be more aware of your energy consumption. Every little bit helps!

Going green is a campus wide, collaborative effort so all suggestions and comments are welcome! If you�d like to share your ideas for ways Baylor can �go green� please feel free to send an email to Smith Getterman, Sustainability Coordinator.

Baylor Greek Organization Goes Green

by Smith Getterman

The Chi Omega sorority and Baylor Sustainability worked together to make their recent social event, Chi Omega Crush, the first ever green Greek event held by a Baylor organization. Click here to read more!

Baylor Earns Higher Grade on Green Report Card

Baylor University garnered its highest-ever grade in the new College Sustainability Report Card 2011, released Oct. 27 at Click here to learn more.

Sing! Goes Green

All-University Sing, one of Baylor's most exciting and competitive traditions, has made its way back to Waco Hall, a theatre that seats around 2200 people. In the 57 years since Sing began, the competition has undergone many changes, from the addition of Pigskin to the incorporation of dance and backdrops into the acts.

For the 2010 festivities, Sing is going a step further. Sing has partnered with the Baylor Sustainability Department in an effort to try and be greener. Click here to read more!

Truett Seminary Earns International Environmental Certification

Baylor University has become the first university in Texas to earn a coveted environmental rating by meeting stringent standards set out by an international building council.


Baylor�s George W. Truett Theological Seminary has been certified by the U.S. Green Building Council in its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program in the category for existing buildings.

The 66,000-square-foot structure also was only two points away from snaring a �silver� rating, a notch above certification, said Don Bagby, Baylor�s director of facilities management. Buildings may earn additional points to achieve silver, gold or platinum status, he said.

�This is great,� Bagby said. �To be so close to silver at our first shot was exciting, and also to be the first university to get the certification in the existing building category.�

Truett is the fifth Texas building to get the LEED certification for existing buildings. Internationally, 235 buildings have earned the rating, said Ashley Katz, communications manager for the Washington-based council, a nonprofit organization.

In a separate category for new construction, 1,749 buildings internationally have earned certification, she said.

A LEED certification is more difficult for an existing building to earn than for a new structure, since many buildings now are built to be environmentally friendly and energy efficient, said Steve Guenther, associate vice president for operational excellence with ARAMARK Higher Education. ARAMARK, a Fortune 500 company, addresses issues of environmental stewardship and employee advocacy.

�The great thing about this was validating that good practices are already at Baylor,� Guenther said.

Sustainability Featured in Perspectives

Baylor University's newsletter for parents, features an article about Baylor's ever-improving recycling efforts. Click here to read it.

Interim President Garland Approves University Wide Sustainability Policy

Baylor adopted its first sustainability policy, which highlights the university's purposes and goals regarding environmental activism.

The purpose of the university-wide sustainability policy "is to acknowledge commitment to fostering a community that focuses on preserving natural resources, safeguarding quality of life, advancing economic vitality and preparing students for the social, environmental and economic challenges of the future."

Click here for more on the new Sustainability Policy.

If you'd like to read the policy, please click here.

Green Baylor Athletics in New York Times

The great energy saving efforts being made by our Athletics Department are mentioned in the following New York Times article. The rest of the article details some of the measures the University of Texas is taking in their athletics program, which should serve as inspiration for us as we continue to improve the efficiency and impact of our programs.

Click here for the story.

Community Garden Comes to Campus

Multiple campus and civic partners have worked together to make the university's first community garden a reality. Baylor has recently broken ground on a campus wide initiative to improve nutrition for children, enhance the classroom experience of Baylor students, serve as a demonstration and teaching site for schools and urban gardeners, encourage healthy lifestyles and strengthen bridges to the community in a fresh, healthy and useful environment.

Baylor University Receives Keep Texas Beautiful Award


Keep Texas Beautiful honored Baylor University as the first place winner of the organization's 2010 Civic Organization Award, which recognizes Baylor's efforts to enhance its community and protect the Texas environment. Click here to read more about our award!

Uproar Records Hosts Green Fashion Event


Uproar Records celebrated the release of its third annual compilation CD with a twist.

Project Greenway is the name of the green fashion show held during the Uproar Records concert. All the modeled outfits were constructed using recyclable materials, including old copies of the Lariat. Click here to read more about this student run event!

Baylor and the State of Texas Reduce E-Waste

The State of Texas has doubled its amount of electronic waste recycling since 2009 by recycling more than 24 million pounds of e-waste in 2010, according to Texas Campaign for the Environment�s 2010 e-waste Recycling reports. Baylor does its part recycling e-waste through the Information Technology Services department.

The university strives to support sustainable efforts by conserving energy, recycling responsibly and reducing paper consumption.Click here to for more information about our efforts.

Baylor moving executive MBA program to Austin's first LEED Certified Gold Building

A program that helps students strategically position themselves for advancement is making some strategic moves of its own.

For more on the new location please click here.

Baylor Wins National Wildlife Federation Award

Baylor University has been honored as a winner of the National Wildlife Federation's annual competition Chill Out: Climate Action on Campus. This award program recognizes U.S. schools that are designing and implementing creative approaches to advance sustainability on campuses. Click here to read more.

Organizations Encouraged To Use Less Waste Through Meeting Certification

Waste generated by on-campus organization meetings might be reduced thanks to the Green Meeting Certification program launched by the department of sustainability.

The program, which seeks to make on-campus meetings more environmentally friendly, is open to groups that hold regularly scheduled and one-time meetings, sustainability coordinator Smith Getterman said. Organizations can apply for certification by going to the Department of Sustainability website and filling out the online form.

Click here to learn more.

Students Compete to Save Energy in Residence Halls


The competition consists of a running energy usage count as well as an educational game component. The games are organized in a tournament-like fashion to decide who competes against who the following week, and focuses on teaching students about energy conservation.

Click here to read more about the energy competition. Be sure to check out the Baylor Energy Madness Facebook page.

Baylor Fraternity Goes Styrofoam Free for Annual Island Party

Baylor hosted the first on-campus plastic foam-free event at on Friday September 30th at the Brothers Under Christ Island Party. The idea to make the event green was an effort to make this year�s Island Party stand out from past productions.Click here to learn more.

Volunteers win Baylor record in sustainability efforts

Baylor has set a university-wide recycling record for the second year in a row. In 2012, the university recycled 440.71 tons, breaking its previous record of 414.34 in 2011 by more than 25 tons. All of the university�s recycling is weighed by SunBright Disposal Services, which reports the weight of the recycling to the university. �The Office of Sustainability is making incredible progress,� said Smith Getterman, sustainability coordinator.

For more please click here.

City of Waco Designates May 22, 2012, as Baylor Sustainability Day

After celebrating several milestone achievements in Baylor University's sustainability efforts, Waco Mayor Jim Bush declared May 22, 2012, as Baylor Sustainability Day during the final spring meeting of the University Sustainability Committee.

Smith Getterman, sustainability coordinator at Baylor, accepted the Mayor's proclamation.

Click here to read more.

New Baylor Minor Explores Poverty

Baylor students from all academic disciplines can now minor in poverty studies and social justice, a program housed in the School of Social Work. The minor is part of the academic foundation and focus of the Baylor Interdisciplinary Poverty Initiative, an organization designed to �create a catalyst for social change around issues of poverty, social justice and human capability,� according to its website.

Click here to learn more.

10 Ways Faculty and Staff Can Go Green On Campus

Ten Ways Faculty Can Go Green at Baylor

Baylor Study Shows Climate Change Makes Some Chemicals More Toxic to Aquatic Life

Study shows drought conditions adversely affect water quality and make some chemicals, like some pesticides, more toxic and more likely to accumulate in fish.

Some areas of the southern United States are suffering from the longest dry spell since 1887 and a new Baylor University study shows that could prove problematic for aquatic organisms.

For more on this study please click here.