Mod7 station with night lights

Our Goals – Utilities & Operations

Reduce Penn’s building-related carbon emissions by 40% by 2020 (2009=baseline year)

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penn garden rows of veg

Past Projects

Student Eco-Rep Past Projects

Student Eco-Reps work in small groups throughout the year to conduct research on past sustainability initiatives as well as develop and implement programs to promote waste reduction, education and awareness, and energy conservation. 

TYPES OF PROJECTS

Recycling & Waste Reduction

Education & Awareness

Energy Reduction

Ecological Landscape

recycling & Waste reduction

 

Group of students gathered for Penn Relays

Penn Relays: Waste Initiatives (2019)

Eco-Rep Coordinators Brigitte Baella (SAS '19) and Hannah Sanders (SAS '19) built upon last year's work at the Penn Relays to continue diverting food and organic waste, reduce use of bottled water, and improve overall sustainability of the event. While the project team is still waiting for finalized waste data, read the 2019 Penn Relays draft report here.

Track race outdoors

Penn Relays: Waste Initiatives (2018)

Eco-Reps Artemis Tiburcio (W '18), Hannah Sanders (SAS '19), and Richard Ling (SAS & SEAS '20) worked with stakeholders in Penn Athletics to engage attendees and officials at the Penn Relays in a waste reduction effort.  They separated and diverted organic waste as well as implemented a highly efficient water-filling station to reduce disposable bottle use. Learn more about the Penn Relays initatives here.

Students helping to educate others on how to properly dispose of wastes

Nursing: Fagin Hall Goes Green (2018)

David Gutierrez (SAS '19) and Isabella Viney (SAS '19) worked with Penn Nursing to revamp recycling practices in Fagin Hall.  They ran a campaign to educate building visitors on how to properly discard and disassemble disposable coffee cups. Learn more about the Fagin Hall project here.

Students standing up for Waste Awareness

SP2 Waste Awareness (2018)

Samantha Friskey (SAS '20) and Hope Lu (SAS '20, W '20) worked with the School of Social Policy Practice (SP2) to understand and remedy their waste generation.  They ultimately established a mug sharing campaign to reduce disposable coffee cup use in the offices! Learn more about the SP2 project here.

A debate on whether or not to use 2 or single ply toilet paper

2-Ply or Not 2-Ply (2018)

Orly Arbit (SAS '18) and Nicole Posadas (SAS '20) conducted a controlled experiment to evaluate the environmental sustainability of 1-ply versus 2-ply toilet paper in campus bathrooms. They worked with Penn Housekeeping to develop a tracking system and analyze paper usage in Huntsman Hall and Kings Court English College House. Learn more about this Housekeeping project here.

Residential Composting

Residential Composting (2017-2018)

Throughout the 2016-2017 academic year, Sophia Leporte (SAS ’19) and Tiffany Yung (WH ’18) conducted research on and developed proposals for a residential composting pilot program to test strategies for removing food waste from Penn’s landfill stream. In Spring 2018, they partnered with Bennett Composting to start Penn's new Compost Pilot Program for students living on or off campus.  Read the final residential composting report here.

Replacing plastic bags

Replacing Recycling Bags (2017)

Michael Shu (SAS ’17) worked on assessing the potential for replacing recycling bags provided to students living on campus with recycling bins. Overall, survey results point to students favoring the use of recycling bins over the bags. Learn more about the recycling assessment here

Outdoor recycling

Outdoor Recycling (2017)

Karen Chi (SAS & WH ’19) and Helen Dai (SAS ’19) evaluated strategies to improve signage and the physical appearance of outdoor recycling bins near College Hall and the High-Rises to increase recycling rates and decrease contamination rates. Learn more about the outdoor recycling project here.

EDUCATION & AWARENESS

Wellness and Sustainabliity

Wellness & Sustainability (2019)

Students David Gutierrez (SAS '19) and Pearl Liu (SAS '21) worked with Penn Nursing to create web content and programming connecting wellness and sustainability. Learn more about the Nursing wellness and sustainability project here.

The Year of Stuff

Year of Stuff (2019)

Sophie Leporte (SAS '19) and Sophie Thorel (WH '21) assisted the Wolf Humanities Center in integrating sustainability messaging and waste reduction efforts into the center's programs and events for the 2018-19 Year of Stuff. Learn more about the Year of Stuff project here.

Housekeeping Sustainability Training

Housekeeping Sustainability Training (2019)

Students Hiyori Yoshida (SEAS & WH '21) and Chris Fox (SEAS '21) collaborated with Penn's housekeeping team to create a training tool to educate housekeepers on the importance of sustainability, green cleaning products, indoor air quality, and resource use in housekeeping applications. Learn more about the housekeeping sustainability trainings here.

Students working to help grow the Green Living Certification

Green Living Certification (2019)

Hope Lu (SAS '20, WH '20) and Catherine Chen (SAS '20, WH '20) worked to help grow and coordinate the Green Living Certification on Penn's campus, a point-based educational tool recognizing students for their sustainability choices and helping spread awareness of environmentally-friendly lifestyle choice. Read more about the Green Living Certification project here.

Sustainable solutions

Sustainable Solutions (2019)

Sustainable Solutions was a Spring 2019 competition where participants identified and made plans to implement project-based, local solutions to the UN Sustainable Development Goals in Philadelphia. The project was developed by Richard Ling (SEAS & SAS '20) with mentorship from Eugenie Birch, Ph.D. in the Stuart Weitzman School of Design.

Baseline Awareness

University of Pennsylvania Health Systems (UPHS) : Baseline Sustainability Assessment (2018)

Brigitte Baella (SAS '19), Andrej Patoski (SAS '20), Melinda Hu (WH '20), and Alejandro Romero (SAS and WH '20) worked with stakeholders in three UPHS hospitals to assess their current sustainable practices.  They looked at waste as well as energy reduction steps taken, and made recommendations for future progress. Read more about the UPHS project here.

Climate Change and Nursing

Climate Change and Nursing: Curriculum Development (2018)

Jessica Li (SAS '20), Karen Chi (SAS '19), and Noya Hanoch (SAS '20) developed an educational module for the School of Nursing to teach incoming students about the connection between climate change and nursing.  They hope that this will increase environmental sustainability practices across disciplines. Learn more about this Nursing curriculum project here.

Sustainability Workshops

Sustainability Workshops (2017)

Soomin Shin (SAS & WH ’19) and Maddie Tilyou (SAS ’19) worked on researching sustainability and green event guides at other universities. They also designed and presented sustainability workshops to various student groups on campus. Learn more about these sustainability workshops here.

Campus Ecology Tours

Campus Ecology Tours (2017)

Carol Chen (WH ’19), April Huang (WH ’19), Emma Shenton (SAS ’19), and Danielle Swanson (SEAS ’19) conducted research on the environmental features of Penn’s landscape and architecture and designed a tour and guide to raise awareness. Learn more about the campus ecology tours project here, and check out the tour packet here.

Penn Community Garden

Penn Community Garden (2017)

Brigitte Baella (SAS ’19) and Artemis Tiburcio (WH ’18) worked on promoting the garden to the Penn community, encouraged participation in cleaning it up, and picked up basic gardening skills to help maintain it. Learn more about the Penn Community Garden project here.

ENERGY REDUCTION

Drying Racks

Drying Racks (2017)

Michael Shu (SAS ’17) also introduced drying racks to every laundry room in Harnwell College House and worked on developing a private rental rack system in Rodin. After collecting data, he estimated savings of $62.72 and 520Wh per month. Learn more about the drying racks project here.

ecological landscape

Penn Park Medows

Penn Park Meadows (2019)

Andrew Nyholm (SEAS & SAS '20), Anna Hardie (SAS '21), and Johanna Inamagua (SAS '21) studied the biodiversity in specific meadows located at Penn Park, which are grown as an alternative to mono-species lawns. In addition to creating biodiversity, these spaces have various benefits such as reduced irrigation, reduced mowing requirements, improved stormwater absorption, and improved ecosystem benefits. Learn more about the meadows project here.

Stormwater Collection in Street Trees

Stormwater Collection in Street Trees (2019)

Students Izzy Viney (SAS '19) and Missy Frankil (SAS '20) conducted a study of the stormwater potential of various street trees throughout Penn's campus to determine their impact on reducing watershed pollution as a result of combined sewer overflows in Philadelphia. Learn more about the street trees project here.

Shifting Sands

Shifting Sands: Soil-less Soils (2019)

Karen Chi (SAS & WH '19), Sam Friskey (SAS '20), and Richard Ling (SEAS & SAS '20) studied the potential to develop and test a low-carbon, rapidly-renewable manufactured soil mix using waste glass products in green infrastructure and urban planting applications. Read more about the soil-less soils project here.