Green is Who We Are

University Housing proudly participates in a wide spectrum of sustainability efforts—from recycling competitions and energy controls to product purchases and general business practices.

We strive to make the residence halls environmentally responsible.

University Housing Average Waste Diversion Stats


glass, metal, plastic recycled
paper and cardboard recycled
compost and compostables
total waste diverted

Student Programs and Education

  • Recycle bins are located in each resident’s room, near each residence hall, and throughout the dining and mail areas.
  • Students can donate unwanted clothing and household items at the end of the year to community organizations in a program called Give Before You Go. They can also donate at Family Housing yard sales. Donated items are made available in thrift stores in the Eugene-Springfield area.
  • Several Academic Residential Communities provide opportunities for students to make a difference on campus and in the community.
  • The Campus Race to Zero Waste program is a popular annual competitions with other institutions.
  • Students can recycle their laundry cards to be used the next year.


Dining Service Operations

  • Our dining venues and University Catering focus on in-season goods and local products. They are currently using products from more than 25 local farms.
  • Recycled items such as non-bleached paper napkins are used instead of harmful bleached products whenever available.
  • Water refill stations are available in all dining venues to refill reusable bottles. We encourage students to carry their own water bottles.
  • Our spent fryer oils are collected and converted to biodiesel fuels.
  • We offer menu options that are vegan, vegetarian, or otherwise have a low carbon footprint.
  • We prepare and serve more than 30,000 pounds of tofu annually.
  • Our milk is rBGH-free and comes from Oregon farms.

Facility Operations and Green Cleaning

  • We’re in the process of replacing gas-fired water heaters with double-wall, semi-instantaneous steam heaters for more efficient energy use and quicker response time.
  • We continue to replace heating condensate vacuum systems to ensure maximum return and better heat transfer.
  • We use microfiber cloths that remove bacteria without using chemical disinfectants.
  • All major new construction projects meet the goals of the Oregon Model for Sustainable Development, including achieving LEED gold or better certification. They also meet the university’s Advanced Energy Threshold, which has a target of 25 percent higher energy efficiency than is mandated by the current Oregon Energy Code.

General Business Practices

  • Consolidate orders when possible to reduce delivery trips to save on packing, fuel, and paperwork.
  • Process orders online and with e-invoices.
  • Purchase recycled goods or goods with recycled content to the greatest extent possible.
  • Purchase computers appliances, and equipment qualified as Energy Star Efficient.
  • Sell or donate surplus or obsolete equipment so it can be reused.
  • Use campus office supply surplus warehouse.
  • Provide networked copiers for document sharing via scan and send technology.
  • Purchase locally when reasonable.
  • Include language on contracts requesting that vendors use recycled materials or sustainable practices to the greatest extent possible.
  • Include rigorous sustainability criteria in soft furnishings request for proposals (RFPs).