At Wooster, we understand the challenges that face our planet in the coming years. Our students, faculty, and staff are dedicated to improving the sustainability of campus and educating a generation to prepare for the impacts of climate change. In every area, from our research and our student organizations to our campus facilities and services, learn how Wooster is becoming greener than ever.
Academics at Wooster offer many courses related to sustainability, in a variety of disciplines.
Our Committee for a Sustainable Campus brings together students, faculty, and staff to support sustainability on campus, and several student organizations provide lots of opportunities for going green!
Wooster is dedicated to providing opportunities related to sustainability in the classroom. Our Environmental Studies department provides students with the opportunity to choose one of our four Environmental Studies major tracks, or a minor that explores sustainability through an interdisciplinary lens and requires classes in many departments. Each year, three I.S. students receive the Melissa Schultz I.S. Research Prize in Sustainability and the Environment for exceptional research in those areas.
Search the I.S. Database
Additionally, many students across the disciplines choose to focus their Independent Study on issues related to the environment and Sustainability. Explore the I.S. Database with keywords like “environment” and “sustainable” to see more of what Wooster students have accomplished in their own research.
You can search the I.S. Database by any of the following criteria: student last name, year of completion, I.S. title, major, advisor last name. Results are sorted by student last name.
In the Community
Tartan Traders provides Wooster students and members of the community with a Wooster-specific buy/sell/trade site.
If you prefer some time outside of downtown and in the great outdoors, check out one of the great parks in Wooster, or in Wayne County. The Wayne County Rails to Trails organization also develops trails on unused railroads in the county!
Check out the Wayne County Sustainable Energy Network and learn how the organization is working towards making the county a more sustainable area.
We want students to not only learn about sustainability in their academic studies, but see it in action every day. Take a look at how our dining services, campus grounds, and facilities are all becoming more green!
Campus Dining and Conference Services has implemented the following to become more fiscally and socially responsible and operate in a more environmentally sustainable manner. We are reducing the use of disposable items and their environmental impact:
- Even though safety measures during the global pandemic call for an increase in the amount of take-out meals on campus, our new mineral-filled polypropylene take out containers use 50% less plastic, but provide a rigid, leak-proof and microwaveable carry-out solution.
- Compostable containers, drink cups, and cutlery are made from sustainable resources and are also used for some carry-out meals.
Paper napkins and towels are comprised of unbleached, recycled fibers including post consumer waste.
- Our reusable drink container and green to-go container programs have been temporarily suspended due to the global pandemic.
- Dining hall salad dressings and most condiments were converted from individual portion control packets to bulk containers with pumps.
- We have reduced the dining locations which sell any form of bottled water, and instead offer iced citrus water. Bulk water bottle filling stations are located in most campus buildings.
We are increasing our use of local foods:
- Dining halls, cafes and MacLeod’s Convenience Store offer products from local farms and businesses, including Moreland Farms in Wooster, hydroponically grown greens from Green City Growers in Cleveland, Vigeo Gardens in Akron and Great Lakes Growers in Burton.
- Dining hall menus feature fresh locally grown produce such as tomatoes, peaches, pears, grapes, strawberries, corn, beans, apples, squashes, and potatoes supplied by local farmers when in season.
- Dining hall menus feature locally produced cheese, chicken, meats, and dairy. Fresh chicken is Halal, all-natural, growth hormone and steroid free. Liquid milk is rBST-Free.
- Dining Halls offer coffee roasted by a family owned company in Ohio, exclusively serving fair trade, certified organic Wooster Blend.
We attempt to minimize our energy use and minimize our landfill impact:
- The main dining hall conveyor was converted to allow for trayless dining, eliminating the use of cafeteria trays – saving energy, water, chemical use, and staff handling time.
- Waste vegetable oil from kitchen deep fryers is collected and recycled by a professional service.
- Campus deliveries are made using electric cart whenever possible.
- Kitchens recycle all metal, plastic, and cardboard from food packaging.
- Dishwashing machine with eco-rinse feature reduces water consumption nearly 50%.
- Pulper in the main dining hall dishroom saves water and reduces volume of food waste by 90% before taken to the compost facility.
- CFL dining room lighting replaced incandescent bulbs for 700,000 watt per day savings.
The Campus Grounds crew has implemented a number of environmentally sound practices in their efforts to keep the College of Wooster campus in beautiful condition, including:
- Recycling all campus yard waste into mulch for use on campus
- Using turfgrass that has lower water requirements
- Soil testing for proper fertilization rates
- Using fertilizers that are slow release
- Using native plants in the landscape
- Using perennials within the landscape
- Recycling of construction debris
- Using natural stones/rocks in the landscape
- Parking blocks used on campus are made from recycled materials
- Using new and improved 2 cycle engines
- Parts washer solvents are recycled
- Used oils and fluids are used for heating source for local businesses
- All scrap metal is recycled
- All trash that is pick-up off of the grounds is placed in recycling dumpsters
- All trash waste produced in all Grounds Dept. work spaces is recycled
- Irrigation plans are designed by an EPA Water Sense certified consultant
- Treating the campus as an “Urban Forest”: 128 trees were planted in 2007, only 48 trees were removed
- Ice Melt used is naturally safe on vegetation
- Materials used in seeding practices are made from recycled materials
94% of the vendors used by the Campus Grounds Dept. are Ohio based
- One golf course mower has been converted to run on recycled vegetable oil from Campus Dining Services
- Currently testing the use of biodiesel in a tractor used on the golf course
- We also salute the Campus Grounds crew on their receipt of the 2007 Green Star Grand Award from the Professional Grounds Management Society for their landscaping work around the Kauke Hall renovation!
To highlight the importance of environmental sustainability on campus, Beau Mastrine of the campus grounds crew evaluated and described the importance of trees on The College of Wooster campus.
Our Facilities team works hard to improve the energy efficiency of our campus, decrease our carbon footprint, and lower our energy costs as well!
Scot Center Rooftop
Scot Center, our LEED Gold certified athletic center, is home to a 20,0000 square foot rooftop solar array that provides energy daily to the college. Check out the energy production here, in real time! All new constructions are always designed with LEED tandards in mind.
The College of Wooster also uses energy produced from a steam turbine on campus, and has shifted from the use of coal to natural gas. A STARS report was conducted in 2013, granting the college Silver status.