Category Archives: Sustainability Friends and Partners

Sustainability and Campus Dining

Welcome Back!  By now Bearcat Commons has been up and running for several days, so I’d like to explain some of the measures the University has taken to make that operation more sustainable.  You may have noticed the incredible renovations that have taken place not only in the Union, but the Station and Library as well.  Facility’s Hardscape team really has their work cut out for them, adapting the compost program and continuing to strive for Zero Waste.

“Man those plates are small.”  Is a quote I heard Thursday as I took measurements for the new compost signage in the Commons.  All the better to go trayless… meaning that while it is a little less convenient, that set up has an important effect.  No more trash; in fact, everything that comes from the Commons can now be composted. (Empty your cups, scrape your plates into the designated food scrap hole, and drop your silverware in its hole.)  Will the overall operation require the use of more water?  Yes; however, Aramark Higher Education reported as much as a 25-30% reduction in food waste per person on campuses where dining trays were removed.

Welcome Starbuck’s to Owens Library.  That’s right, the international coffee powerhouse is the center of our library’s brand new “Novel Grounds”.  They are working tirelessly to reduce the environmental impact of their operations worldwide, so we look forward to helping them meet their goals right here at Northwest Missouri State University.  We will be doing our best to capture all the waste produced at what is probably the coolest venue on campus… Sorry Papa John’s.  Which by the way is now located in the Station.

OK, there is way more to sustainability than waste management, but its important for you, students and stake holders, to know that we are working to hold up our end, before we ask you to participate.  Please recycle, and take the time to make environmental stewardship part of your daily routine.

Good Luck with Classes, It’s great to have you back!!

Working for Recycling in Missouri

There are too many people out there to thank individually, but that shouldn’t stop us from trying.  Thanks to the State House in Jefferson City for maintaining support for recycling across Missouri; creating an industry that brings jobs and revenue to its citizens, protects our children’s environmental future, and makes its citizens a growing part of the burgeoning “Green Economy”.

A thanks to the entire public sector of our state, including DNR, MODOT, MORCOG, the State Recycling Program, and many others, as well as the myriad organizations that actively support and utilize their services.

To cities like Maryville who support recycling and many other sustainability efforts.  Despite tough economic times and increasingly limited budgets, they continue to bring “Green” to many smaller communities.  I will stop with the thanking at the Solid Waste Management Districts who manage state grants for recycling… NO…

Finally, I would like to thank the Northwest Family for tirelessly contributing to our Environmental Endeavors, and the larger Northwest Missouri region.  Thanks to the Staff and Faculty, and especially the students of Northwest Missouri State University.  We are all in this together

Regardless of political persuasion, for millennia every human being that has successfully turned soil to produce food knows (or eventually came to understand):


Sustainability is really nothing new.  Sensible decisions that match today’s needs with tomorrow’s.


A Sustainable Summer

Welcome to the second edition of Mainstream Green.  This has been a busy summer, and we’re keeping an eye on Waste Management and Energy Conservation as we complete a number of service improvement projects across campus.  Hardscape has been able to capture even more recyclables, extending the value and immediate return on work already under way.

The hundreds of old inefficient light ballasts and wiring being replaced all across campus are not only being kept out of the landfill, they are being recycled and generating a limited financial return.  Thank You to Dan Boyt, Energy Manager, and his crew for there hard work on the campus lighting project.

We would also like to thank the entire Landscape and Sustainability Staff for contributing to all of the projects on campus.  Their demolition work has helped us to capture even more recyclable materials previously lost to the landfill.

Look for our updated recycling totes to hit offices over the next couple of weeks, and look for the premiere of our event recycling bins as we kick off the new year.  Thank You Northwest Regional Solid Waste Management District and The Missouri Department of Natural Resources for providing the matching grants that are so important expanding our recycling efforts.

Want to “Reduce your Paw Print” at home?  Check out these fun composting facts from Keen for Green.

Mainstream Green… 1st Edition

Yes, Hello World:

This first edition of “Mainstream Green” is dedicated to a member of the Bearcat family that really knows what “Green” is all about. Nancy Baxter is retiring after 29 years of service; contributing not only to the administration of Northwest, but providing dedicated support for its now long-standing tradition of environmental stewardship. Northwest Missouri State University’s Sustainability Program is the result of years of outreach and the determined efforts of dedicated students, staff, faculty, and administrators. Nancy has been there every step of the way, and for that (as well as many other things around here) she will be missed.

Congratulations Nancy, and Thank You!


The purpose of “Mainstream Green” is to weekly:

  •  Share Northwest Missouri State University’s efforts to promote Sustainability.
  • Lead by example, sharing operational improvements that make sense.
  • Provide readers with information about what is working for us.
  • RECOGNIZE the Students, Staff, and Faculty committed to making the difference.
  • Acknowledge the many partnerships that are so important to this program.

Thanks for Reading!

Thank you Crystal for setting us up.