Resources for Students

There are many ways for students to get involved with sustainability at OSU. As the University's largest constituent group, student participation in campus development, research, events and policy enriches the student experience and helps OSU achieve excellence in best practices and academics.

Academic Programs

Sustainability Course Lists
OSU offers over 350 different courses that emphasize sustainability at OSU's main campus in Corvallis, online, and at the Cascades and Hatfield campuses. These courses attempt to link the environmental, economic, and social dimensions of sustainability.

Sustainable Natural Resources Graduate Certificate
This 18-credit online certificate is designed for all students, especially company, industry, or agency employees who desire more training in assessing and solving complex sustainability problems. Students will receive graduate-level university credits and a graduate certificate upon successful completion of the program. With approval, credits may be transferred to other graduate degree programs at OSU, and may be applied to the Professional Science Master's (PSM) in Environmental Sciences.

Sustainable Business Initiative
The College of Business provides a distinctive educational and research program focused on sustainability so that students entering the business world understand that a sustainable business meets economic, social and environmental needs.


Sustainable Energy Initiative
The OSU Sustainable Energy Initiative is a student-led group which seeks to promote sustainable energy awareness on campus and in the community. Group activities include guest speakers from industry and research, trips to renewable energy facilities, and community outreach.

Organic Growers Club
The Organic Growers Club provides students with an opportunity to gain practical experience growing and marketing plants and produce.

Solar Vehicle Team
The OSUSVT is currently designing a solar powered vehicle to compete in the 2007 American Solar Challenge and the 2007 World Solar Challenge in Australia. The group is comprised of students from many disciplines, including engineering and science as well as business and liberal studies.


Campus Recycling
Recycling offers student employment and internship opportunities in both recycling and other sustainability related areas.

View the EcoEmploy website or subscribe to get email updates.

US EPA's Student Career Experience Program
SCEP provides students with paid part-time, semester-length, seasonal, or summer trainee employment with full employee benefits in a position complimenting their academic studies and career goals. Upon successful completion of at least 640 hours of work and receipt of their degree, participants receive non-competitive eligibility for appointment to the Federal service for which they have trained.

OSU students can use Career Services.

Student Life

ASOSU Environmental Affairs Task Force
As part of the Associated Students of OSU, the Environmental Affairs Task Force works with a hired student director on a self-selected set of projects and initiatives.

Student Leadership and Involvement
SLI encourages and supports the development of all students through participation in clubs and organizations.

Student Sustainability Initiative
SSI's mission is to reduce the ecological footprint of OSU and advance sustainability awareness. It is run and funded by students.

University Housing & Dining Services
Housing and Dining's Resource Conservation Management Program promotes energy conservation and responsible resource management within OSU's residence halls. Students are encouraged to use electricity sparingly, conserve water as well as recycle and reduce trash. Residents can even have their rooms green certified
Dining Services works with the Food Alliance to purchase local organic food when it's available. Dining halls also donate excess food and compost food waste.

Off-Campus Resources

For Students | For Faculty & Staff | Community Resources | Government Resources | Tips l Transportation

Community Resources

Corvallis, Oregon

Benton Soil & Water Conservation District
Provides Benton County residents education and technical assistance for conservation and responsible use of soil, water and related resources.

Corvallis Energy Challenge
This year-long event, which began in March 2008, is a result of a partnership between the Energy Trust of Oregon and the Corvallis Sustainability Coalition. The goal is to encourage energy efficiency, control energy costs and help Corvallis residents and business utilize renewable energies.

Corvallis Environmental Center
The mission of the CEC is to provide learning opportunities and technical outreach to Corvallis area residents and businesses, giving them tools to pursue ecologically, socially, and economically sustainable practices.

Corvallis Sustainability Coalition
The Coalition is a a network of organizations and citizens in Corvallis working together to accelerate the creation of a sustainable community. Many organizations listed on this page are Coalition partners.

Earth Charter
The Earth Charter is a declaration of fundamental principles for building a just, sustainable, and peaceful global society in the 21st century. The Corvallis Earth Charter Campaign is a volunteer group of Corvallis citizens organized to educate the community about the Earth Charter, and to encourage individuals and organizations to endorse it.

Grease Works!
An independent biodiesel cooperative has roots in home-brewed biodiesel and is dedicated to providing renewable fuel to the Corvallis area.

Inspired by the late Jack Dymond's drive to bring renewable energy to Corvallis, Solar CREEK is helping get photovoltaic arrays on local schools and businesses.

Your Green Home
Provides healthy and environmentally sound building materials to meet the needs of the construction trade, homeowners, and builders.


Oregon and Northwest

Oregon Biofuels Network
The Oregon Biofuels Network coordinates advocacy efforts in support of biofuels (biodiesel and ethanol) in Oregon. The network serves as a clearinghouse of information on biofuels-related topics as they pertain to the state.

Bonneville Environmental Foundation
BEF, a non-profit organization, supports watershed restoration programs and develops new sources of renewable energy, in part by marketing green power products to public utilities, businesses, government agencies and individuals. OSU purchases green power from BEF.

Cascadia Region Green Building Council
A chapter of the US Green Building Council, Cascadia promotes the design, construction and operation of buildings that are environmentally responsible, profitable and healthy places to live and work in Oregon, Washington and British Columbia. Check the job board for employment opportunities in this bioregion.

Consumers Power
Serving more than 16,000 customers in six Oregon counties, Consumers Power is a rural electric cooperative responsible for providing electricity to citizens not reached by our other electrical utility, Pacific Power. Consumers Power offers numerous tips and incentives to help you make your home more energy efficient or use renewable energy.

Earth Day Every Day Oregon
A cooperative effort of state utilities, non-profit organizations, agencies and corporate sponsors.

Ecotrust is dedicated to ensuring there is a place where economic, ecological, and social conditions are improving, and where a "conservation economy" is emerging.

Environmental Building Supplies
Located in Portland and Bend, EBS promotes use of environmentally friendly building products by providing a place where people can see, feel and smell these materials.

Natural Choice Directory
Also known as the Healthy Green Pages, this resource provides extensive locally available choices in businesses, products, services and information.

Northwest Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides
Based in Eugene, Oregon, the NCAP works to protect people and the environment by advancing healthy solutions to pest problems.

Northwest Earth Institute
NWEI is a national leader in developing innovative programs that inspire individuals and organizations to protect the earth. The first programs outside Portland were offered in 1994 in Corvallis, which became NWEI's first chapter in 1999. Since then, Corvallis NWEI, with a growing membership of over 80 members and 20 volunteers, reaches out to people in workplaces, homes, faith centers, neighborhoods, and communities.

Oregon Toxics Alliance
OTA is a statewide grassroots organization working to eliminate contamination and unnecessary toxics use and the harm they cause to human health and the environment.

Oregon Legal Graywater Association
This Corvallis-based group is working collaboratively to change Oregon regulations so individuals can use non-toilet household waste water (graywater) for irrigation. Currently, the use of graywater is prohibited by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, while its use is legal in Arizona and New Mexico.

Oregon Natural Step Network
The Network was formed to support Oregon business, governmental, and educational organizations interested in using The Natural Step (TNS) framework for sustainability. The Network is a membership organization open to interested organizations and individuals. OSU is a member, supporting the Corvallis Chapter of ORTNS. Additional TNS resources include a sustainable building "white paper" written by the Portland Construction Peer Learning Group (pdf).

Sustainable Northwest
An Oregon based non-profit dedicated to building partnerships that promote environmentally sound economic development in communities of the Pacific Northwest.

World Steward
Aims to permanently protect important landscapes around the world, with the goal of empowering local communities with the resources to study and practice the art and science of sustainable resource stewardship...and a sustaining culture.

Zero Waste Alliance
The Zero Waste Alliance is a non-profit partnership of universities, government, business and other organizations working to develop, promote and apply Zero Waste strategies. OSU's College of Engineering provides sustainable engineering research and assistance to ZWA.



Aldo Leopold Leadership Program
Launched at OSU in 1998, and now located in Boston, the Program trains environmental scientists to communicate their work effectively to a variety of lay audiences.

Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education
AASHE's mission is to promote sustainability in all sectors of higher education - from governance and operations to curriculum and outreach - through education, communication, research and professional development.

The Campus Consortium for Environmental Excellence
C2E2 addresses environmental performance in higher education through networking, information exchange, professional resources and tools, and the advancement of innovative regulatory models. Their website contains many useful resources, such as the Environmental Virtual Campus.

Green Student University
Green Student U is a blog site that introduces today's students to a wide variety of global environmental issues by recognizing on-campus green initiatives and personal success stories, as well as how the world is being shaped by political environmental reform.

Sustainability Institute
A think-do tank dedicated to sustainable: resource use; economics; community.

Sustainability in Higher Education
Arnold Creek Productions provides this snapshot of sustainability programs and activities at a range of public and private institutions across the U.S.

William McDonough + Partners
Architect Bill McDonough holds an honorary degree from OSU.

World Wildlife Fund's Living Planet Report
WWF's periodic update on the state of the world's ecosystems as measured by two main indicators: the Living Planet Index and the Ecological Footprint.


Save Energy and Money

There are numerous ways to improve the efficiency of your building or home. While many of these improvements carry some costs, there are a number of incentives and tax credits to help in improvements.

Energy Trust of Oregon (ETO)
Funded by a public purpose charge of 3% added to consumers' utility bills, the ETO is tasked with encouraging energy conservation, renewable power and the transformation of the energy market in Oregon. Numerous incentives are available to homeowners and business owners who wish to make their spaces more energy efficient.

Federal Tax Credits
Resulting from the Energy Policy Act of 2005, the federal government offers tax credits for energy efficiency. These apply to residential homeowners, manufacturers, commercial buildings and more.

State Efficiency Programs
The State of Oregon is offers numerous programs and incentives to increase energy efficiency. Of special interest are the Business Energy Tax Credit (BETC) and the Residential Energy Tax Credit (RETC).


Government Initiatives & Resources

"A healthy environment is essential to a livable Oregon and a strong economy. In our state, it is no longer a zero-sum game between the environment and jobs. That is a false choice. In Oregon, we know better. There is a complementary relationship between a clean environment and a robust economy - they exist upon and support each other."

-Governor Kulongoski, March 24, 2003



Governor's Office

Oregon's two most recent governors have both issued executive orders calling for action to make Oregon more sustainable. In May, 2000, Governor John Kitzhaber issued Executive Order 00-07: Promoting Sustainability in Internal State Government Operations.

More recently, Governor Ted Kulongoski has taken several more actions to support the environment:

Governor Creates Alternative Fuel Vehicle Infrastructure Work Group
Kulongoski Directs Oregon Toward Water Reuse Policy (pdf)
Kulongoski Proclaims June, 2005 Water Conservation Month
Kulongoski Outlines Environmental Priorities (pdf)
Kulongoski Calls for Emission-free Truck Stops

Gov. Kulongoski's 2003 Executive Order 03-03 continues Oregon's commitment to sustainability and directs select state agencies, including the Department of Higher Education, to develop agency sustainability plans. A subsequent guidance document, developed by the Oregon Sustainability Board, further identifies targets supporting the 2003 EO and specifies how agency plans should be developed.

In response to Kulongoski's executive order, the Oregon University System has created a sustainability plan for higher education in Oregon.

State Agencies

Department of Administrative Services
In November 2004, DAS issued updated Sustainable Facilities Standards and Guidelines (pdf). These guidelines require all new construction and renovation of state buildings to meet US Green Building Council's LEED Silver equivalents.

Oregon Department of Energy
ODOE aims to ensure Oregon has an adequate supply of reliable and affordable energy and is safe from nuclear contamination, by helping Oregonians save energy, develop clean energy resources, promote renewable energy and clean up nuclear waste.

Oregon Department of Environmental Quality
DEQ is a regulatory agency whose job is to protect the quality of Oregon's Environment. DEQ is responsible for protecting and enhancing Oregon's water and air quality, for cleaning up spills and releases of hazardous materials, and for managing the proper disposal of hazardous and solid wastes.

Oregon Housing and Community Services
The Green Building Source Guide, offered by OHCS, is designed to improve access to the wealth of existing material about sustainable building. The guide offers links to green building information for the varied interests involved in housing and development.

Sustainable Oregon
The State of Oregon's sustainability website communicates developments in Oregon state government and connects with local agencies, organizations and businesses taking leadership roles in sustainable development.


For Everyone | For Students | For Faculty & Staff

Tips for Everyone

Top 10 Ways to Save Energy on Campus

1. Set your computer to enter standby after 30 minutes and to turn off the monitor after 15 minutes. Use standby or turn off computers at night.

2. Request a building sustainability audit from the Sustainability Office

3. Turn off printers and other electrical equipment at night.  To further conserve electricity, unplug, or use power strips, to disconnect equipment and eliminate phantom loads.

4. In winter, layer clothing and avoid using inefficient space heaters. Keep thermostats at or below 68 degrees. In summer, use fans and wear light, breathable clothing. If you have AC, set it at 78 degrees or higher. Make sure windows are closed if you’re using either heat or AC.

5. Turn off lights in unoccupied areas. Contact the Sustainability Office if you are interested in using occupancy sensors or other lighting controls.

6. Use natural light and task lighting to focus energy where needed, and use compact fluorescent lamps instead of incandescents.

7. In the lab, turn off equipment when not in use (or use timers to do it for you); keep fume hood sashes at the indicated height when in use and closed when not in use.

8. Purchase ENERGY STAR® or EPEAT™-certified electronics and appliances.

9. Consider installing window films if you experience high temperatures from direct sunlight.  Blinds and shades help too.

10. Report areas of energy waste to the Sustainability Office.  Report to Facilities Services excessively hot (winter) or cold (summer) areas, broken thermostats and radiator valves, and areas where lights are too bright or too many.

Water-Saving Tips

Join your fellow Beavers in saving water with these easy tips!

1. Report leaking faucets, toilets and showers to Facilities Services.

2. Contact the Sustainability Office to request a sink aerator that limits the flow of handwashing sinks to 1 gallon per minute (gpm).

3. Shut off the water when lathering hands, brushing your teeth, shaving or scouring dishes.

4. Designate a cup or water bottle for drinking water. This cuts down on the number of glasses to wash.

5. Look at this list which has over 100 ways to conserve water.


For Everyone | For Students | For Faculty & Staff

Tips for Students


1. Turn off lights in unoccupied areas.

2. Install compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs instead of incandescents; CFLs use 75% less energy.

3. Set your computer to enter standby after 30 minutes and to turn off the monitor after 10 minutes. Use standby or turn off computers at night.

4. Unplug or use a power strip to shut off TVs, stereos, DVD players and other devices that typically draw a phatom load.

5. Set the the thermostat to heat 68° in winter and to cool at 78° in the summer. Keep the windows closed when heating or cooling. Dress appropriately for the weather.

6. Share equipment like minifridges and microwaves with your roomate, or better yet, save money and space by using shared, full-size refrigerators and appliances.

7. Take shorter showers and turn off the water when shampooing your hair. Heating water requires lots of energy.

8. Only do full loads of laundry, which saves water as well. Wash clothes in cold water.

9. Use a microwave or toaster oven when cooking or reheating small amounts of food.

10. Hang dry your clothes on a drying rack or clothesline instead of using the dryer.

11. Use alternative transportation. Bike, walk, carpool, skate or ride the bus.



1. Check faucets, toilets and showerheads for leaks. Report leaks to your RA or landlord.

2. Take shorter showers and turn off the water when shampooing your hair.

3. Turn off the water when washing hands, brushing teeth, shaving or scrubbing dishes.

4. Reduce flushing in any way that is still sanitary. Toilets are the biggest residential water consumer and old toilets can use more than 5 gallons a flush.

5. Only run full loads in the washing machine and dishwasher.

Tips! For Facutly and Staff

For Everyone | For Students | For Faculty & Staff

Tips for Faculty and Staff

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