Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 50.27
Liaison Sarah Mittlefehldt
Submission Date Feb. 18, 2020

STARS v2.2

Northern Michigan University
EN-5: Outreach Campaign

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Sarah Mittlefehldt
Co-Chair, Sustainability Advisory Council
Earth, Environmental & Geographical Sciences
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Has the institution held a sustainability-related outreach campaign during the previous three years that was directed at students and yielded measurable, positive results in advancing sustainability?:
Yes

Has the institution held a sustainability-related outreach campaign during the previous three years that was directed at employees and yielded measurable, positive results in advancing sustainability?:
Yes

Name of the campaign:
Zero Waste Challenge

A brief description of the campaign:

NMU hosts the Zero Waste Challenge in collaboration with the Marquette County Landfill during a basketball or hockey game every January. The purpose of this event is to encourage the NMU campus and local community to create less waste and a positive impact for the future, and to bring attention to the Sustainability Advisory Council's goal of creating a lasting impact on the university where sustainability becomes a part of our campus culture and identity.

All game attendees were directed to the zero waste stations to sort their trash items into trash, compost or recycling. Student, faculty, and staff volunteers located throughout the venue assisted in directing attendees to sorting stations and engaged student, faculty, staff, and community attendees alike in proper recycling. In partnership with Marquette County Solid Waste Management Authority, everything collected that is possible was composted and/or recycled, therefore diverting as many materials as possible from the landfill. Articles were posted in student and local newspapers to bring attention to the event. Additionally, an interview was arranged between the head of the Sustainability Advisory Council and a local news to inform the local community about the council, sustainability, and the event during the evening news.

In Nov 2019 NMU hosted Unplug Week to challenge students and staff to use less electricity. NMU hosts three annual events every year: Bike Week, Sustainability Week, Unplug Week. In addition, regular campaigns including the Zero Waste sporting events and a campus-wide Turn Down the Lights campaign.


A brief description of the measured positive impact(s) of the campaign:

The Zero Waste Challenge is an initiative held at a sporting event where students, staff, and community members help to divert waste from the landfill. Volunteers discuss how/what to recycle and compost with participants. In 2018, 90% of waste materials were diverted from the landfill.


Name of the campaign (2nd campaign):
UnPlug Week (November 2019)

A brief description of the campaign (2nd campaign):

Unplug Week was a residence hall campaign to reduce energy consumption. The campaign was launched in Fall 2019. Residents competed to see which hall could use less energy. The residence hall with the largest decrease in energy use was Cedar Hall. Residents of Cedar Hall used 2% less power during Unplug Week. Overall, residents used 1.6% less energy during the competition week. And electrical consumption has continued to stay lower than the average use since the semseter began in late August 2019.


A brief description of the measured positive impact(s) of the campaign (2nd campaign):

Unplug Week yielded a 1.6% decrease in energy consumption, and because of outreach efforts, students are continuing to use less than the average for their residence halls.


A brief description of other sustainability-related outreach campaigns:

NMU EcoReps hosted a Turn Down the Lights campaign for staff and faculty. It included information on energy conservation within administrative and academic offices. https://events.nmu.edu/event/turn_down_the_lights_effort_saves_energy. The energy consumption was tracked by our facilities and recorded. This campaign took place in 2018 and 2019. For example, the week before the campaign, one academic building used 6,006 kWh. During the campaign, the building decreased to 5,750 kWh. https://events.nmu.edu/event/turn_down_the_lights_effort_saves_energy


Additional documentation to support the submission:

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