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Testudo in snow

Celebrating Stories

The collection of stories below is organized into two curated sets. 

The first set -- delineated in black -- is written by the Office of Sustainability in partnership with the SustainableUMD network. Each story includes interactive elements for you to explore. Feature stories highlight multi-year collaborative projects and aim to visually explore the resulting improvements and opportunities for a more resilient and sustainable campus. Other stories highlight specific departments and people who lead, collaborate and complete the necessary, ongoing work that drives UMD’s progress in sustainability.

The second set -- delineated in white -- compiles sustainability-related articles from the Office of Strategic Communications news source Maryland Today.

Students in UMD's South Campus dining hall (2019)

10-Years of Sustainable Food

UMD’s award-winning Dining Services program has served as a leader for sustainability initiatives on campus for over a decade. From reducing food waste to creating healthy and low-carbon menu options, Green Dining programs aim to educate the campus community while making strides toward the university's goal of carbon neutrality.

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UMD WyeREC Campus in 2011

Measuring Campus Forest Carbon

Forests and other green spaces provide important benefits to mental and physical health, education, and campus operations. Students and researchers at UMD partner with campus operations, the Maryland State government, and other international researchers to better understand forest carbon sequestration and flux.

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Dr. Pines and Testudo

A Year in Review: 2020-2021

The University continues to strive for excellence in climate action, aiming to achieve the visions embodied in campus, community, and global sustainability goals. The 2020 calendar year highlights the University’s unwavering commitment to sustainability and climate action even as financial and social challenges mounted with the impacts of the global pandemic.

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Mural along Baltimore Avenue with Biker

Building a Sustainable Future

Since sustainability is⁠—in essence⁠—about the future, thoughtful planning is an essential piece of creating a story that achieves the kind of visions embodied in campus, community, and global sustainability goals. At the local scale, UMD and partners in government and business are guiding that planning with a deep commitment to “smart growth.”

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Student photo booth at EarthFest (Photo Credit: Emily Hightower)

Getting Greener: Sustainability Fund Updates in Fall 2022

In 2021-2022, seven projects were awarded $200K to address sustainable food, student outreach, forest carbon, and more. New developments to the Sustainability Fund will increase grant opportunities.

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Terp to Terp Campus ReStore

Terp to Terp Campus ReUse Store

 Terp to Terp encourages social responsibility by offering opportunities to reallocate useful items to individuals in need, preventing landfill waste and saving the University and students money.

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UMD Graduate Student and Office of Sustainability Outreach Associate poses at Cool Food Pledge Outreach event

Sustainability in the Food System

In support of campus sustainability goals, Dining Services developed and adopted the Sustainable Food Action Plan in October 2012, committing to continuously provide more nutritious and environmentally, socially, and economically sustainable food to campus diners.

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Student with Compost Collection Bin in Dining Hall

UMD's Journey to Curbing Waste

Despite the obstacles, UMD's departments have achieved major improvements in reducing waste and improving recycling, composting, and reuse systems. While tackling waste sources and systems is an ongoing process, each of us can contribute to progress towards much needed change.

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Past students at a faculty workshop on Sustainability

Advice from Young Alumni Leaders

UMD encourages students to think about and participate in sustainable living through courses and programs that integrate sustainability broadly across the curriculum and throughout student life. We asked young alums who lead SGA's Sustainability Committee and represented their peers on the University Sustainability Council to share their advice for current students.

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Current Stories from SustainableUMD


Current Sustainability Stories from Maryland Today

overhead view of students working on design project

To Design for the Future, Class Looks to the Past

Architecture Students Boost Site Sustainability Through Indigenous Ecological Practices
View Article To Design for the Future, Class Looks to the Past
beehive closeup

Today’s Honey Bees Live Only Half as Long as ’70s Bees

Shorter Lifespans for Lab-kept Honey Bees Could Help Explain Increased Colony Losses, Lower Honey Production
View Article Today’s Honey Bees Live Only Half as Long as ’70s Bees
windmills

UMD-led Climate Report Details Steps to Halving U.S. Emissions by 2030

Analysis Unveiled at COP27 Calls for More Zero-emissions Vehicles, Closing Coal Power Plants, Mandating Clean Energy Use
View Article UMD-led Climate Report Details Steps to Halving U.S. Emissions by 2030
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