RHS Sustainability

The sustainability efforts of the Division of Residential and Hospitality Services (RHS) encompass the divisional value of caring today about the things that will define the future. The Division of RHS supports the sustainability mission of Michigan State University (MSU) and is focused on increasing awareness and driving behavior change with the ultimate goals of reducing greenhouse emissions, reducing energy consumption and conserving water through innovative and balanced strategies that support stewardship, fiscal responsibility and partnership.

    MISSION

    Dedication to promoting and advancing environmental stewardship throughout RHS and MSU by providing a high level of leadership to meet the environmental stewardship goals of MSU and RHS. 

    RHS INITIATIVES

    Pack Up. Pitch In.
    The Pack Up. Pitch In. program is an important part of moving out of the residence halls. This program was created 23 years ago to divert students’ unwanted items from landfills and instead provide a way for residents to properly recycle materials and repurpose those items before they depart from campus. Residents are encouraged to donate non-perishable food and personal care items to local food banks and organizations.

    Clean Plates at State: A Food Waste Audit
    Clean Plates at State (CPAS) helps put environmental sustainability into perspective for campus diners, encouraging them to take simple steps to avoid wasting food. The main goal is to determine the amount of post-consumer food waste at MSU dining halls and analyze its implications for Culinary Services. Through our partnerships with academics, this program enhances the student experience by expanding students’ opportunities to learn and increase their enrichment of community, economic and sustainable living.

    Learn more about MSU Culinary Services Sustainability Initiatives.

    Sparty’s Plastic Bag Ban
    Retail locations around campus do not offer plastic bags to cut down on plastic use and encourage guests to choose a reusable bag. Additionally, straw-less lids are utilized in retail areas like MSU Concessions to cut down on straw use. The State Room Restaurant uses paper straws and sustainable wooden stir sticks as well.

    Recycling
    One of the first topics to come to mind when someone says “sustainability” is recycling. Luckily, MSU has a slew of recycle stations, allowing Spartans to cut down on their landfill output. Color-coded signs indicate which bin is for which material: white and mixed paper, newspaper, cardboard and boxboard, magazines, books, catalogs, directories, plastics #1-7, household metal, and glass. These can be found in every building on campus, not just in our residence halls. It’s an MSU initiative that starts with students moving on campus.

    ECO REP PROGRAM

    Connect with your Eco Rep
    Eco Reps are students who care about sustainability and the betterment of their campus. Eco Reps help coordinate and facilitate sustainability events, educate others, and implement sustainable practices in their building. Connect with your Eco Rep for tips on going green or ideas to make your building more sustainable. 

    Meet the Eco Reps
    These students are engaged, innovative, outgoing and self-motivated people who care about sustainability and the betterment of their campus! 

    Become an Eco Rep
    Share your passion for sustainability with the Spartan community and become an Eco Rep for your residence hall. In order to be considered, Spartans must be a current undergraduate student, live on campus, have a passion for the environment, and be an engaged, innovative, outgoing and self-motivated person. Eco Reps receive a stipend for their work in making MSU more sustainable. Interested Spartans should email sustainability@rhs.msu.edu.

    OUR IMPACT

    In RHS, we strive to ensure MSU's long-term sustainability through innovative and balanced strategies that support stewardship, fiscal responsibility and partnership. For more information about our impact, visit the MSU Surplus Store and Recycling Center's website

    RHS contributes to MSU’s overall sustainability progress. The university’s effort to continuously improve in sustainability was recognized by achieving a Gold STARS rating from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). MSU is now one of three Gold-rated institutions in Michigan and was recognized in the top 20 Green Schools by the Princeton Review in 2019. RHS efforts play a pivotal role in the university’s progress, particularly in the areas of student engagement, food and dining operations, and sustainable procurement.

    Other MSU sustainable strategies supported by the division:

    CONTACT

    Need more information regarding our sustainable practices in the residence halls, dining halls and retail?
    Contact RHS Sustainability Officer Carla Iansiti at sustainability@rhs.msu.edu.