UT Dallas Sustainability 101

August 14, 2020

Yen Pham, Eco Rep

Caitlin Griffith, Sustainability Coordinator

Welcome back, Comets! Due to COVID-19, all fall 2020 Office of Sustainability events will be held virtually. But don’t fret! You will still have access to all your favorite Office of Sustainability programs.

Sustainability Service Honors

A student shakes hands with the Associate Director of Energy Conservation & Sustainability in front of the University’s reflacting pools while receiving the Sustainability Service Honor.

A student receives the Sustainability Service Honor. (Photo taken prior to COVID-19.)

If you have been providing service, virtual or in-person, you have likely been working to advance any of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals are eligible to be recognized with Sustainability Service Honors! Students who document the 250 required hours (non-transfer students) or 125 required hours (transfer students) by the time of their graduation receive a certificate announcing their achievement and a UN Sustainable Development Goal pin. To sign up for the program and document your hours, visit our website.

Become a Certified Green Office

Sustainability in the workplace is easy! It can be found in simple methods like shutting down computers after work, having automatic light sensors, and utilizing reusable silverware for get-togethers and office events. The Green Office Certification Program allows UT Dallas offices and departments to rank platinum, gold, silver, or bronze based on the sustainable practices they have implemented. Certified offices receive celebratory mugs, a certificate to display in recognition of their sustainability efforts, and recognition on the Office of Sustainability website. To become a Certified Green Office, schedule a consultation with the Office of Sustainability by contacting, coordinate with your colleagues to fill out an Excel worksheet that is linked on our website, and submit the completed worksheet to for review.

Comet Composting

Comet Composting services for University Village residents will be resuming early this semester, as will trainings. An announcement will be made when services resume. Composting on campus is a great way to reduce food and organic waste beyond what you could do with recycling alone. UT Dallas Student Government makes the process easy by providing composting caddies and virtual training! Trainings will take about 15 minutes and occur over Microsoft Teams. Trainings are set to begin in September. Keep an eye on our social media (@utd_ecoreps & @utd_sustainability) for updates!

A pair of students, one holding a pair of trash-picking tongs, and another holding a trash bag and a recycling bag.

Two students participate in Campus Cleanup. (Photo taken prior to COVID-19.)

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Watershed Warriors

Watershed Warriors is a social-distancing version of the Campus Cleanup program! This is one of the easiest ways to have an immediate impact through service. Students practicing social distancing participate in litter pickup at any time they choose. The result of this effort is a campus where biodiversity is protected by a cleaner watershed. Hours may be submitted toward the Sustainability Service Honors. Comets are welcome to pick up supplies at our no-contact pick up site or utilize their own! Get involved by filling out a registration form.

Community Garden

The UTD Community Garden has had a fruitful summer, donating over 60lbs of produce to the Comet Cupboard! Garden plot holders are gearing up for a productive fall. Plot holders should notify the Office of Student Volunteerism via email if they are unable to continue tending their plot. Keeping in mind the health and safety of all participants, we are still exploring what fall garden workdays will look like. Updates to come!

The garden is still accepting new members! This can be a great way to get out your apartment or dorm while staying outside and safe. Find out how to get involved on the Office of Student Volunteerism website.

AASHE [Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education] Campus Sustainability Month

October is AASHE [Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education] Campus Sustainability Month! All month long, the Office of Sustainability will be running informative, engaging events, including a virtual bioblitz, a speaker series event exploring bipartisan environmental policy, bee balcony workshops, and more. Keep an eye on our social media (@utd_ecoreps & @utd_sustainability) and pay extra attention to ways you can make your life a little more sustainable!

Five students standing in front of a pile of filled trashbags, as tall and as wide as all of them put together.

ECO [Environmental Conservation Organization] is an organization for sustainability-minded students! (Photo taken prior to COVID-19.)

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Get Involved with ECO

ECO [Environmental Conservation Organization] is the Environmental Conservation Organization at UT Dallas. The club is dedicated to promoting sustainable initiatives on campus and in the community with activities like service events, general meetings, and promoting the single use plastics ban petition. They can be found on Instagram at @ecoutd and on Facebook at

Attend Sustainability Committee Meetings

The Sustainability Committee is a standing committee of students, staff and faculty at UT Dallas who are interested in environmental responsibility and participation among the campus community. Anyone can attend the Sustainability Committee meetings held monthly. To attend future meetings, you can contact to be put on the invite list and visit the Sustainability Committee page for past meeting minutes and other information.


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