Sustainability at Commencement Ceremonies

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9 replies [Last post]
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Joined: Oct 10 2012

Hello, I am researching ways to make the commence ceremony more sustainable at my institution. Would anyone be able to share resources about initiatives schools have taken in this vein? All information is welcome!

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Joined: Feb 13 2012

Hi Anya, although I don't know of any information specific to commencement ceremonies, I put together a guide for sustainable events on campus for Concordia University in Montreal. I think many of the suggestions will apply to commencement ceremonies. http://seg.concordia.ca
Let me know if this is helpful, or suggestions of things that are missing!
Good luck.

simmonscsg@appstate.edu's picture
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AASHE Member
Joined: Jun 8 2009

Anya - Understanding how commencement can be more sustainable is a great exercise. It can vary greatly depending on people power, financial resources and other parameters dependent on your institution. I went through an exercise with our commencement committee a few years back. It resulted in a document I am happy to send you. I am unable to attach a file to this post. Please send me your email addy if you are interested.

Cheers,

Crystal Simmons
Appalachian State University
Office of Sustainability
simmonscsg@appstate.edu
sustain.appstate.edu

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Joined: Mar 12 2010

Students at the University of Michigan put something together... http://sustainability.umich.edu/news/green-commencement-practices-top-pr...

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Joined: Sep 1 2012

Hello all, I am a student at Colgate University and am working with a group of students to determine ways that our commencement can become zero-waste. We are interested in determining what changes were successes in other universities and colleges. Does anyone have information on steps taken towards zero-waste commencements? It would also be great if someone could inform us about the reaction of parents, students and faculty members to sustainable changes. Thank you for the information already posted!

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Joined: Oct 10 2012

Hi Crystal,

Sorry for the slow response. I would greatly appreciate it if you could send me the document. My email address is saretzky@sas.upenn.edu.

Thank you!

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Joined: Oct 10 2012

Corey, thank you for the link. However, it seems to have expired. Could you send it to me in a different form? Thank you!

jkleindi's picture
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Joined: Dec 23 2008

I'm looking for similar ideas, especially in regards to bottled water. We attempted to eliminate bottled water from commencement last year, but had only partial success. The main challenge is to convince planning staff that we don't need to provide water to everyone during the ceremony (currently, all students, faculty, and those sitting in the accessibility section receive a bottle under their chairs). Any ideas?

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Joined: Dec 16 2012

The following link is to the paper that Harvard put together for Zero Waste events. Extremely innovative:

http://www.greencampus.harvard.edu/sites/default/files/attachments/oe/ze...

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AASHE Member
Joined: Sep 13 2011

Last year we introduced reusable bottles into our commencement ceremonies, and over the past few years we have also improved in a number of other areas on sustainability. Anyone interested can read more about it here:

http://yfile.news.yorku.ca/2012/06/13/the-greening-of-york-universitys-c...