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Sustainability_TreePlantingEarth Week may be in the rear-view mirror, but the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh’s daily commitments to “green” education, projects and initiatives continues.

And, once again, the annual recognition and accolades are stacking up.

The University community’s sustainability efforts and environmental consciousness are always top of mind, said Brian Kermath, sustainability director at UW Oshkosh.

“Sustainability at UW Oshkosh is serious business,” Kermath said. “It has become a part of the institution’s DNA–it’s who we are, it’s what we do.”

UW Oshkosh’s latest list of sustainability-focused accolades and recognition tell the story:

  • UW Oshkosh named Tree Campus USA

The Arbor Day Foundation again named UW Oshkosh a Tree Campus USA in honor of its commitment to effective community forestry management. The 2014 designation marks the fourth consecutive year that UW Oshkosh has received the recognition.

UW Oshkosh, comprising more than 173 acres, achieved the title by meeting Tree Campus USA’s five standards, which include maintaining a tree advisory committee, a campus tree-care plan, dedicated annual expenditures toward trees, an Arbor Day observance and student service-learning projects.

Tree Campus USA, a national program launched in 2008 by the Arbor Day Foundation and Toyota, honors colleges and universities and their leaders for promoting healthy trees and engaging students and staff in the spirit of conservation.

The Arbor Day Foundation is a nonprofit conservation and education organization of one million members, with the mission to inspire people to plant, nurture and celebrate trees. More information on the Foundation and its programs can be found at arborday.org.

  • UW Oshkosh makes Princeton Review’s Guide to Green Colleges

UW Oshkosh was also among the seven Wisconsin colleges and universities to be listed in the 2014 Editions of The Princeton Review’s Guide to 332 Green Colleges.

The list is published in partnership with the U.S. Green Building Council’s Center for Green Schools. It is the only free, comprehensive resource for college applicants that focuses solely on saluting colleges that have demonstrated a strong commitment to the environment and to sustainability.

The Princeton Review chose the schools in the guide based on a survey conducted in 2013. The survey asked administrators at hundreds of colleges across the U.S. and Canada about their institution’s sustainability-related policies, practices and programs.

Check out the guide.

  • UW Oshkosh ranks among top in the state in annual RecycleMania competition

When it comes to reducing waste, UW Oshkosh is on top of it.

UW Oshkosh finished first in Wisconsin in the organic division in the recent Recyclemania competition. Overall, the University earned the third spot in the state and ranked 39th out of 256 colleges and universities in the country.

Annually, the 8-week waste reduction challenge pits campuses big and small against one another in a test of their campus recycling and waste-reduction efforts. The international Recyclemania competition pushes campus communities to limit waste and simultaneously strengthen awareness of waste management programs.

Recyclemania’s rules require each institution competing in the Grand Champion category to combine trash and core recyclable materials to determine its “recycling rate” as a percentage of its overall waste generation. Total weight of recyclables collected were divided by the total weight of trash and recyclables combined to determine the key result.

  • Upcoming Spring Move Out Days Drive to collect items for Goodwill

Beginning May 9,  UW Oshkosh’s Move Out Days Drive will begin.

The Move Out Days Drive is aimed at encouraging students who are moving out of the residence halls to donate unwanted gently used furniture and clothing and unused food items to Goodwill instead of throwing the items away.

The small items and food will be collected inside every residence hall from May 9 through May 16. Donation locations vary by site; look for the “Goodwill not landfill” banners near the collection locations.

Five U-boxes will also be on campus to collect larger items; the U-Boxes are located outside Evans, Donner, Taylor, North Scott and South Scott halls.  The U-boxes will be open from 12 until 4 p.m. May 9, from 9 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. May 10 through May 15 and from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. May 16.

Last year’s Spring Move Out Day Drive diverted more than one ton worth of items to Goodwill. This year, the goal is to double the amount collected.

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