University 101 Programs




Sustainable Living on Campus

Presentation Abstract
This presentation will introduce students to the concept of sustainability, why it is important to their lives here at USC and beyond, and how they can get involved with sustainability projects. We will highlight current, important environmental issues and connect these issues to USC's sustainability goals and how they are currently being implemented on campus. We will also inform students about the Sustainable Carolina Leadership Program that provides an opportunity for students work on sustainability on campus and how they can make changes in their own lives to live in a more environmentally friendly way.

University 101 Learning Outcomes

II a) Identify and use appropriate campus resources and engage in opportunities that contribute to their learning within and beyond the classroom.

The presentation will highlight many ways to get involved with sustainability or environmental issues on campus. Students will leave the presentation understanding how they can get sustainability-related work experience through internships or the Sustainable Carolina Leadership program or join student organizations, like the EcoReps, to make real change on campus. They will also learn how these experiences feed into graduation with leadership distinction.

III b) Explore the tenets of the Carolinian Creed.

This presentation will highlight how adopting sustainable behaviors is a way of showing respect for your community and the people who live in it. All of the actions that we take (driving when we could walk, throwing trash on the ground, etc...) have a real impact on people's health and our campus community. Students will leave this presentation with a better understanding of how their actions impact others and how they can change those behaviors in a positive way. A discussion of how sustainability connects directly to the Carolina Creed will be held during the presentation.


Presentation Learning Outcomes
As a result of this presentation, students will be able to:
-Describe the term sustainability.
-Explain how sustainability connects to USC and the Carolinian Creed.
-Understand the opportunities available through the Sustainable Carolina Leadership Program.
-Examine their own lifestyle for ways to become more environmentally friendly.

Presentation Outline
Part 1: What is Sustainability?
Definition of Sustainability and its three pillars: environment, economic and social. Brief discussion of climate change and its impacts on the environment. Discussion of local and regional environmental issues and how they connect to the Carolinian Creed.
ACTIVITY: Carbon Footprint Quiz – the instructor will lead the class through an online carbon footprint quiz, using average class responses to plug into the quiz. The quiz result is a number of planet Earth’s that we would need if everyone on Earth lived like the class. Discuss what surprised them, what they could change to improve their footprint. Brief list of habits that they can adopt to lower their footprint.

Part 2: Campus Wide Sustainability Initiatives Where We Are – overview of current metrics for the University like water use, energy use and recycling rate. Where We Want to Go – show list of important campus sustainability goals. Define carbon neutrality and zero waste. Discuss whether students think these goals are achievable. Explain green buildings. Explain recycling on campus. ACTIVITY: Tricky recycling dilemmas – pictures of common items will be shown and students will need to correctly identify what is recyclable in the picture.

Part 3: Getting Involved in Sustainability Overview of ways students can get involved in sustainability on campus including: the Sustainable Carolina Leadership Program, internships, EcoReps, Real Food Challenge. ACTIVITY: USC Green Trivia Students will be split into teams of 4 or 5 and given a white board, marker and eraser. The presenter will ask questions about USC's sustainability initiatives (ex: where do we have solar panels on campus?). The teams will write and display their answers on the white board and will collect points for correct answers. The members of the team with the highest score will receive a small sustainable prize.

Presentation Length
50 minutes;

Presenter Training
University Housing's Coordinator for Environmental Sustainability, currently Margaret Bounds, is the primary presenter for this presentation. She studied environmental science in her undergraduate and graduate work and has over five years of experience focusing on sustainability at USC. She has also presented on sustainability programs at several national conferences. The graduate student presenters for this presentation are pulled from Sustainable Carolina staff and have a demonstrated interest and knowledge of sustainable issues. They go through a two-day long orientation to Sustainable Carolina and University sustainability programs.