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  • Living Green at MSUM
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  • Living Green at MSUM

    Office of Campus Sustainability promotes green initiatives

    This year MSUM opened the Office of Campus Sustainability to facilitate a green movement at the university. Through the leadership of sustainability coordinator, Joe Herbst, and the Green Dragons, a student organization made up of green-minded students, the campus is doing just that.

    The Office of Campus Sustainability and the Green Dragons educate the campus and community on environmental issues through events, open forums and classroom visits. This fall they’ve held various activities in Woodlawn Park and on campus to promote going green.

    The Office of Campus Sustainability hosts internships in the office, and has also coordinated internships with the Athletics Department and the City of Moorhead.  

    To start the academic year the Green Dragons promoted recycling at orientation.

    “Recycling is something people relate to being green so that seemed like the natural place to start,” Herbst said. “We want sustainability to be something students are learning about both academically and culturally as soon as they get here.”

    One of the goals of the Office of Campus Sustainability is to define sustainability and show ways to be more sustainable that aren’t as obvious as recycling.

    “Sustainability isn’t something that happens off to the side, it’s in everything that we do,” Herbst said. “There’s been great support across campus. Everyone is on board and that’s really important if you want to be successful.”

    The Office of Campus Sustainability suggests a few ways to go green, such as driving less or using alternative forms of transportation such as bicycling, carpooling or taking the bus; printing less; turning off lights and using reusable bottles.

    MSUM also offers a cross-disciplinary degree in sustainability

    “Sustainability requires an understanding of different disciplines, such as economics, politics, biology, and ecology. It’s very interconnected and our program reaches across the realm,” Herbst said.

    The sustainability major offers areas of emphasis in business, construction management, energy sustainability, environmental policy, environmental science, and operations management.

    The program offers students real-world opportunities through collaboration with the Office of Campus Sustainability. One student conducted a recycling audit, and came up with innovative ways to improve MSUM’s recycling program.

    “I think in five years MSUM will be known as a leader in sustainability in Fargo-Moorhead and in the upper Midwest. We really have an opportunity to make MSUM one of the best public schools for sustainability,” Herbst said.  

    The Office of Campus Sustainability encourages the campus community to contact them with questions. They can be reached at 218.477.2280. Their newly renovated office is located in Hagen Hall 111.

    5 ways to go green this summer

    1. Carpool! Going to a music festival, concert, or camping trip? Riding with your friends saves money and lowers your carbon footprint.
    2. Quick trip? Make a habit of walking, biking, or skating instead of driving. Start small and try to make a couple short trips a week without your car.
    3. Leave your campsite cleaner than you found it. Trash and litter at a campsite or on a hiking trail can spoil the beauty for others. Pack it in, pack it out. 
    4. Set up recycling in your summer housing. Brown paper bags from the grocery store make a great recycle bin, and the bags can be recycled in any cardboard dumpster.
    5. Take a hike! Shut off the TV, turn down the AC and get outside. If you’re going green, get outside and enjoy the natural beauty you’re working to preserve.