Sustainability and the Environment | Trinity University
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Sustainability and the Environment

Trinity University is dedicated to a sustainable future. Our curriculum explores environmental issues; student groups and activities integrate these changes into the life of our campus community and beyond; and our Sustainability Committee works to reduce Trinity’s global footprint.

Sustainable Curriculum

Interdisciplinary at its core, the environmental studies program at Trinity University includes courses from the sciences, social sciences, arts, and humanities. Exciting internships are available with the San Antonio Water System (SAWS), San Antonio Parks & Recreation, and the San Antonio Zoo, among many others. Departments partner with local organizations such as Goodwill Industries and the San Antonio River Authority to address sustainability and environmental issues in our community and beyond.

Through academic research, students are reaching out directly to address local issues. Senior environmental studies students use their capstone course to research a local or environmental sustainability issue. Students have researched issues and solutions at Brackenridge Park, VIA Metropolitan Transit, SAWS, the San Antonio Zoo, and local community gardens. Many students reach out directly to community representatives, forming supportive relationships with city and community leaders.

Trinity also offers summer undergraduate research opportunities with faculty, supported by dedicated funds for environmental studies. Every summer, a group of students and faculty from biology, chemistry, art, English, sociology, anthropology, history, and economics travel to High Lonesome Ranch on the Western Slope of the Colorado Rockies. A unique course experience, students and faculty have a hands-on opportunity to study conservation and environmental impact in a spectacular outdoor laboratory.

Co-Curricular and Community Initiatives

At Trinity, all members of our community are encouraged to participate in sustainability initiatives. From the Eco Allies student group to the Trinity Beekeeping Alliance, a range of opportunities are available for students, faculty, staff, and alumni to be involved in environmental efforts. Trinity’s Community Garden, student-managed and run, offers interested members of the Trinity community a plot to sow. In addition, students of Alpha Phi Omega run a Terracycle program for hard-to-recycle items.

Trinity participates annually in Earth Week, coordinating educational outreach events and highlighting student coursework and research. As part of education on larger waste minimization strategies “Trash talkers” have educated the campus about what we throw away daily. An office supply exchange, a zero-waste sporting event, and encouraging reusable food service ware, also emphasized waste minimization strategies. Other past events include an Earth Week lecture, an Eco-Fiesta with live music and games, a composting demonstration, yoga in the community garden, film screenings, and art exhibits.

Read more about our co-curricular and community initiatives at →

Sustainability on Campus

Trinity’s Sustainability Committee includes faculty, students, administrators, representation from food-service provider Aramark, and campus planning officers. The sustainability committee looks at ways Trinity can support campus-wide efforts for conservation and efficiency.

On-going campus-wise energy efficiency improvements and water conservation initiatives have enabled Trinity to participate in the Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) green building certification program. Projects include three LEED Gold buildings, Miller and Calvert residence halls and Phase 2 of the Center for the Sciences & Innovation. Two bulidings, the Witt-Winn residence hall and Phase 3 of the CSI, are LEED registered projects awaiting certification.

Educational initiatives to minimize waste and increase recycling and resource recovery include a campus-wide source-sorted recycling program, with special recycling opportunities available for batteries, print cartridges, film, and electronics, among many others. Trinity participates in national competitions such as RecycleMania to promote recycling, and partners with Keep America Beautiful, Goodwill Industries, and the San Antonio Food Bank to offer students the opportunity to donate unwanted items and non-perishable food items.

Trinity is a member of or participant in the following sustainability-related organizations:

  • AASHE ‐ Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education
  • TRACS ‐ Texas Regional Alliance for Campus Sustainability
  • USGBC ‐ U.S. Green Building Council
  • CURC ‐ College and University Recycling Coalition
  • STAR ‐ State of Texas Alliance for Recycling

Read more about sustainability on campus at →