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Annual Events

We plan campus-wide events and activities to encourage enthusiasm for environmental issues and grow our sustainable campus community.

Wildcat Welcome

earth day signEach Fall, the sustainNU crew helps incoming students move in and properly recycle cardboard boxes. We also organize a Wildcat Welcome breakout session with members of undergraduate environmental student groups to inform new students about the environmental opportunities on campus.

Graduate students can catch us at the New Graduate Student Resource Fair.

EPA Game Day Challenge

Although we love cheering on the Wildcats at home football games, we also know it produces a lot of waste. Since 2010, we’ve competed in the EPA Game Day Challenge – a national competition among colleges and universities to promote waste reduction at football games.

Green Cup

Green Cup is a month-long competition from October 21 - November 17, 2013, which challenges NU students living in campus residence halls/colleges and Greek housing to reduce energy and water use. Green Cup is a student driven initiative with SEED (Students for Ecological & Environmental Development) leading the effort. The first Green Cup was held in 2006 when students approached Facilities Management with the idea.

The goal of Green Cup is to encourage behavior change and show that small, everyday choices – like turning off lights when you leave a room – can have on big impact on waste reduction. Scoring is based on a per person percent reduction in usage as compared to an established baseline usage for the individual residence. There are various prizes this year! Check out the Green Cup page to learn more.

Earth Hour

Earth Hour is an annual global initiative to raise awareness about climate change and to demonstrate that in working together, we can make a difference. For one Saturday in March (usually over spring break), individuals, businesses, landmarks, and organizations are asked to voluntarily turn off their lights and other unneeded electronic items to reduce energy consumption. NU asks staff and faculty members to be extra diligent before leaving work for that weekend and shut down lights, computers, printers, copiers, and unplug unneeded electrical items (chargers, lamps, coffee machines, microwaves, power strips, etc.).

Earth Day: Mount Trashmore

Mount Trashmore, an Earth Day tradition, represents how much waste the university generates. We collect the trash to raise awareness about campus waste. We aim for a smaller pile each year. Check out the Earth Week recap.

Bike to Work Week

NU takes part in Bike Commuter Challenge every June, where the NU community competes against other local institutions to log the most biking trips for a week.

Move Out

The annual “Take it or Leave it” Program, offered during move-out each year, is an on-campus opportunity to donate unwanted items to charity. During move-out a lot of additional trash is generated, in fact every year, "Take it or Leave it" donates 10,000 lbs of reusables. NU Recycling conducts the annual clothing and food drive in all residence halls with an additional collection location at SPAC.

Boxes for "Take it or Leave it" will be placed in the lobby/entry of each location - one for clothing/linens/small household items and one for nonperishable food. Boxes will be emptied throughout the program and items will be donated to local charities.

Off-campus students can bring their donations to the Take it or Leave it locations or work with Move in Move out (MIMO), a Kellogg student initiative, which will coordinate pick up unwanted, usable items and resell them back to NU students in the fall. This is a new project that is working to end the cycle of students buying new household items every year.

Please donate the items you don’t want, reuse whenever possible and recycle all you can!

For information contact NU Recycling, 847-467-1374 or nurecycle@northwestern.edu.