Webinars, Documentaries, & Professional Development Opportunities Expanded

To support faculty, staff, and students during this time, we have updated our online resources. 


We now feature online events and webinars, instead of in-person events.  If you know of any upcoming sustainability-related webinars you think others would be interested in, please email them to sustain@auburn.edu


Schools Participating in the National Power DialogPlease join us for the Solve Climate by 2030: National Power Dialog, in support of the Solve Climate by 2030 project. In an effort to inject optimism and spur action in conversations about solving the climate change challenge, on April 7th, 2020 all 50 states will participate in this nationally-coordinated event. This event will consist of a nationwide webinar followed by a state-based webinar focusing on specific solutions for Alabama. There will be an opportunity to submit comments and questions. Please join us:

Tuesday, April 7th

6:00 – 7:30 PM

Please register.

We are co-sponsoring this event with the Caroline Marshall Draughon Center for the Arts & Humanities. The webinar will be recorded and shared on our website, but please register to participate and to receive the recording directly.


Visit our Working @ AU page and find:

  • Professional development courses,
  • Educational resources,
  • Documentaries to incorporate into your courses,
  • TED and other short talks
  • Dr. Katharine Hayhoe’s presentation at Auburn, “Faith, Climate Change, and Our Culture in the US,” complete with transcription and sign interpretation.

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Meetings Happen: Make A Difference in Yours

Recently our office received an anonymous request to crack down on the overprinting of materials for meetings on campus. Apparently, this person’s office prints the agenda and all the PowerPoint slides for taking notes with a cover sheet to divide each presenters’ notes. In the end, the packets end up being 10 – 20 pages of single-sided paper, often printed in color. Because they print a packet for every potential person who could attend, some of these packets don’t even get used and go straight into the recycling bin.

I admire this employee reaching out to try and make a difference here on campus, but, our office does not enforce more sustainable behaviors by cracking down on others. We do, however, share resources and ideas that you can take back to your office to try to incorporate into practice, such as these key principles of green events, which can be applied to meetings as well.

1. Promote responsible stewardship around the Sustainability Compass.
2. Recruit & include diverse audiences.
3. Reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
4. Aim for a zero-landfill event.
5. Share successes to educate others.

Meetings on campus can positively change through planning considerations in location, communications, materials, and waste generated.

Photo of War Eagle Bike Share Hub
War Eagle Bike Share Hub

Location, Location, Location

  • Meet somewhere close to the majority of attendees to save travel time.
  • Choose a space with a projector for the agenda and presentations to avoid printing.
  • Save time and money by holding conference calls or video chats.
  • Walk or take the War Eagle Bike Share to on-campus meetings.
  • Only use a golf cart if you need to haul a heavy load.

Communications: Be Green, Keep it on the Screen
Avoid printing:

  • Email the agenda ahead of time, so those who prefer a hardcopy can print and bring their own.
  • Have people take notes digitally or on materials they brought.
  • Project the agenda digitally or write it on a dry-erase board.

Use paper purposefully:

  • Make an accurate headcount to avoid any unused copies, should you need to print.
  • Print double-sided.
  • Reduce your margins and font sizes.
  • Use recycled-content paper.

Make the Most of Every Cup
While coffee may create alert attendees and comfort on a cold day, it can also have negative impacts. Think before you drink by purchasing in a way that avoids food waste, eliminates waste to the landfill, and supports sustainability.

  • Purchase certified coffee (Rainforest Alliance, organic, Fair Trade).
  • Let people know where to refill their water bottle and do not provide bottled water.
  • Get an accurate headcount so you don’t serve more than you need.
  • Use reusable coffee mugs, not single-use paper or Styrofoam cups.
  • Use a spoon you can wash and use again instead of coffee stirrers.
  • Make coffee in a coffee pot or reusable pod to avoid single-use K-cups.

Sort It Out
Contact the Waste Reduction and Recycling Department if you need a:

  • Recycling bin for plastic and aluminum
  • Paper recycling bin
  • Trash can for non-recyclables
Auburn Green Event Guide Cover
Green Event Guide Cover

Green Event Guide

Our Green Event Guide shares ways to minimize the negative and maximize the positive impacts of events on campus, with special considerations for holding meetings, hosting conferences, and even tailgating. It’s chocked full of tips and resources to plan, communicate, and pull off your meeting. In it you’ll find:

  • Descriptions and examples of products covered by various purchasing certifications
  • Campus resources to guide your decisions on accessibility, transportation, and waste disposal
  • Purchasing tips to minimize waste for a variety of common event items

Further Involvement
If you are an employee who would like to learn more about sustainability at work or support a change effort in your unit:

If you want to save money and resources when hosting meetings and events, please share these resources and ideas with others in your office. Thank you for working to make a difference here on campus!

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Zap Your Energy Use… The Benefits are Profuse!

When we arrive at work each morning, we enter a building appropriately conditioned to be warm or cool, switch on our lights and computer, and settle into our daily routine; usually without much thought about the energy that we use.

It may not be well known, but Auburn University has a Climate Action Plan with specific goals, numerous projects, and a team of individuals that put an Energy Reduction Plan into action. This team, the Energy Management Unit, works at a large scale, looking system-wide at all the buildings throughout campus. Your everyday actions, while they may seem small, can help Auburn reach one of its strategic goals.

Working together to reduce energy use adds up to substantial savings. Residence halls on Auburn’s campus demonstrated this during past energy reduction competitions. Over the years of competition, an average of 75% of residence halls reduced their energy use by 10% with winning halls consistently reducing around 32%! Imagine how much we could save, given that Auburn spends $13,555,422 for electricity, and $4,841,184 for natural gas, each year!

Try the simple things below at your desk, in common areas, and through your purchasing actions. Start today and get your coworkers to join you!

At Your Desk

  • Skip using a screen saver.
  • Set your computer(s) to automatically sleep after no more than 10 minutes of inactivity.
  • Turn off all computers and electronics at night, during weekends, and on vacations. Better still, you can unplug them to eliminate phantom loads.
  • Easier still, you can install a smart power strip that will do the job for you.
  • If you have a desk lamp, use a compact florescent or LED bulb.
  • Bring a sweater rather than using a space heater.

In Common Spaces

  • Work together to determine the need for electronics and appliances (e.g.– printers, microwaves, coffee makers) and consolidate where feasible.
  • Establish a program to help ensure shared appliances get unplugged at night, on weekends, and during breaks, or use a programmable timer.
  • Try to utilize daylight only, when possible. If lights are needed, be sure they are turned off when leaving a room and at the end of the day.
  • Be sure the thermostat is set to an appropriate temperature (68-71 degrees in winter; 75-78 degrees in summer).
  • Close blinds in the evening to help maintain building temperature.
  • Display reminders for the last one out of a room to turn off the lights.
  • Prior to university breaks, send an office-wide reminder for coworkers to shut down computers and unplug electronics/small appliances.

When Purchasing

  • Avoid purchasing electric office equipment when manual options are feasible (e.g. – stapler, hole punch).
  • When you must purchase electronic equipment/appliances, look for the Energy Star

Learn about other things you can do at work to save money, reduce water use, minimize waste, build community and increase your personal wellbeing by visiting our Working @AU page.

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Auburn University Recognized as Bicycle Friendly University

Photo of Auburn's Bike Friendly University sign!
Auburn’s Bike Friendly University sign!

In case you didn’t hear, Auburn University received a Silver Bicycle Friendly University Award from the League of American Bicyclists. Our official sign just arrived in the mail!

Auburn is the first university in Alabama to be named a Bicycle Friendly University, and joins more than 100 colleges and universities across the United States who are working to transform their campuses. The designation gives Auburn access to a variety of free tools and technical assistance from the League of American Bicyclists to become even more bicycle-friendly.

To learn more about cycling amenities on campus, the benefits of biking, and some of the resources Auburn University will receive from the League of American Bicyclists, please read the press release.

With the beautiful weather this time of year, now is the time to give bike commuting a try! Don’t forget your helmet and bike lights for a safe ride!

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Green Game Highlights Sustainability Efforts in Athletics

Photo of Volunteers in athletics filling backpacks for the End Child Hunger in Alabama campaign.
Volunteers in athletics filling backpacks for the End Child Hunger in Alabama campaign.

The AU Green Game vs. San Jose State on October 3rd celebrated the initiatives of Athletics in sustainability and invited fans to do their part to conserve resources, promote wellbeing, and protect the loveliest village on the plains.

Photo of Office of Sustainability interns and staff handing out recycling bags and Green Game buttons to tailgaters. From left to right: Rebecca Oliver, Amy Strickland, Taylor Craft, Jennifer Morse, and Kyle Kimel.
Office of Sustainability interns and staff handing out recycling bags and Green Game buttons to tailgaters.

Before the game, volunteers handed out recycling bags and Green Game buttons to tailgaters. They also shared how fans can save money and reduce waste by using the water refill stations available in the stadium.

Just before kickoff, on-field ceremonies recognized the recipients of the Spirit of Sustainability Awards. This awards program honors individuals and groups making significant contributions toward sustainability on campus or in a community at any point along the Sustainability Compass: Nature, Economy, Society, Wellbeing.

Photo of Spirit of Sustainability Award Recipients receiving on-field recognition. From left to right: Carlie Bullock-Jones, Eve Brantley, Dennis DeVries, Glen Loughridge, Campus Kitchen’s president Daniel Cason, David Hinson, Jaimen Perez, and Mike Kensler.
Spirit of Sustainability Award Recipients receiving on-field recognition. From left to right: Carlie Bullock-Jones, Eve Brantley, Dennis DeVries, Glen Loughridge, Campus Kitchen’s president Daniel Cason, David Hinson, Jaimen Perez, and Mike Kensler.

Auburn Athletics also encouraged fans to join in Auburn’s efforts via a new sustainability video on the big screen, and program notes by Athletic Director Jay Jacobs and Sustainability Director Mike Kensler.

We would like to thank the fans, athletes, and collaborators that made the Green Game a big success this year.  The Auburn Green Game is sponsored by the Athletics Department, the Waste Reduction and Recycling Department, the Office of Communication and Marketing, and the Office of Sustainability.  This year’s collaborators included: Office of Alumni Affairs, Event Operations Group, Intelligent Parking, Sodexho, Sustainability Coalition, Tailgate Guys, Tailgate Times, Tiger Dining, Tiger Transit.  Until next year’s big Green Game, remember to do your part to help #sustainthegame!

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Button, Button, Who’s Got the Green Game Button?

Lots of folks have the AU Goes Green Game button! This Saturday’s Green Game highlights sustainability initiatives in Athletics and gives fans a chance to help support Auburn as it aims to be the #1 Gameday recycler in the SEC.

To show support of this year’s Green Game, collaborators from across campus will be wearing the buttons, including employees in the Tiger Dining food venues, the parking attendants with Intelligent Parking, and the Tiger Transit drivers.  In the stadium you will find the Sodexho food service employees and the Event Operations Group hosts also sporting the button.

Do you tailgate with the Auburn Alumni Association or Tailgate Guys?  Lucky you, as buttons will be available at both tailgate locations.Photo of Green Game Info

You might be thinking, how could I get this awesome button and support the Green Game? Look for volunteers on Friday and Saturday handing out recycling bags and buttons.  Volunteers with the Waste Reduction and Recycling Department, the Green Apple Day of Service, and the Office of Sustainability will be roaming through tailgating areas. If you have any questions about what can and cannot be recycled, or where to put your recycling, please approach one of the volunteers.

Thank you to all the Green Game collaborators and Auburn fans who are working together to #SustainTheGame.

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