On campus

The Green Room and Green Office certification programs are tools for our student residents, faculty, and staff to help further the culture of sustainability at UNC Greensboro. By completing a checklist to confirm your practice of various eco-conscientious and mindful actions, you can measure and share your commitment to a sustainable lifestyle. All individuals or departments who complete the program receive a certificate of participation highlighting your accomplishment and dedication.

Students who participate in the Green Room program will be entered into a raffle for a chance to win a gift bag of sustainable goodies that will help you live a more sustainable lifestyle. The raffle will take place near the end of each semester, dates TBA. Winners will be contacted via email. At this time, the Green Room program is only open to student residents.

The Green Office program is best utilized at the department level, but is also open to individual employees. Departments that wish to participate should designate an individual to oversee the application process. An administrator who is familiar with and runs day-to-day operations (i.e., handles facility needs, makes supply purchases and catering orders, etc.) for the department will mostly likely need to be involved.

All participants must complete their submissions via the online surveys. However, the Office of Sustainability has created PDF versions of the surveys for your review and to help you prepare your submission. Participating departments must complete the departmental survey and distribute the Green Office Employee Checklist to all employees who wish to participate in the program with their department.

Any individual employee whose department does not wish to participate in the program may complete the Green Office Employee Checklist, which solely focuses on individual behaviors and not day-to-day operations.

For questions and support with either the Green Room or Green Office programs, please email or call the UNCG Office of Sustainability: uncgsus@uncg.edu / (336) 334-3664.

Myriad products are consumed by the UNCG campus community on a daily basis. The purchase, use, and disposal of these materials has financial, social, and environmental costs. Greenhouse gases, other pollutants, and waste are generated during every phase of an object’s lifespan, from the energy expended to extract resources, to their manufacture and transport, and eventually to their disposal. The Office of Sustainability and Procurement Services have partnered to provide resources to help you make more conscientious choices for your office operations.

At Home

Duke Energy’s Demand Response Program
Help reduce the risk of blackouts during extreme weather events that put stress on the utility grid, otherwise known as peak demand periods. Enroll your smart thermostat and Duke will manage your heat or A/C to help keep everyone’s heat and lights on. Participants receive a gift card and recurring annual discounts on their utility bills. You’ll always get a notification when they are going to take over and you never actually lose control – if you get too hot or too cold, you can always adjust it. You can also leave the program anytime if you don’t like it. There is a catch – you must have all electric heat and air conditioning.

Duke Energy’s Free Home Energy Audit
The free in-home energy assessment, valued at $180, is designed to help you learn how your home uses energy and how you can save on your monthly bills. Our energy specialist will check your home for air leaks, examine your insulation levels, check your appliances and more. Plus, you’ll get a free Energy Efficiency Starter Kit to help you start saving right away.

Duke Energy Retail Discounts
The Retail Instant Savings program offers Duke Energy residential customers instant discounts on energy-saving products at retailers – both in-store and online.

Low Income Weatherization Assistance Program
The Weatherization Assistance Program helps low-income North Carolinians save energy, reduce their utility bills, and stay safe in their homes. Its mission is to keep North Carolina citizens warm in the winter, cool in the summer, and safe all year long while educating the public about energy efficiency and household safety.

ENERGY STAR® is the government-backed symbol for energy efficiency, providing simple, credible, and unbiased information that consumers and businesses rely on to make well-informed decisions. The label makes it easy for you to identify and purchase energy-efficient products, which helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants caused by inefficient use of energy.

Monterey Bay Seafood Watch
Not all fishing is sustainable, but the Seafood Watch app makes decision making easy when you are shopping for dinner. Seafood Watch rates seafood choices on a best choice, certified, good alternative and avoids scale.

Utensils & Cleaning Products
Swedish dish towels (ditch those paper towels); Beeswax food wrappers (ditch the plastic wrap); Silicone baking liners (ditch aluminum foil and parchment paper); Mason jars (ditch the tupperware); look for cleaning products that are free of parabens and sulfates; purchase concentrates to reduce packaging waste.

Landscaping for Wildlife & Native Plants
Traditional lawn turfs are considered a monoculture and require high inputs. In other words, they are an ecological desert and can use water, pesticides, and fertilizers at a high rate. Native plants on the other hand, create dense ecological benefits and thrive in the local soil and water conditions. Create a low maintenance garden that will attract pollinators to your property by following this guide to choose the right native trees, shrubs, vines, ferns, herbs, wildflowers, and grasses for your soil and light conditions.

Recommended Native Plants
The North Carolina Wildlife Federation’s list of recommended plants native to the Atlantic southeast. The website includes additional educational resources for native plants in North Carolina.

Native Plant Nurseries
The NC Native Plant Society maintains a list of nurseries that make finding native plants easy. They have a Triad Chapter if you are interested in learning from like-minded individuals about the radical good of gardening.

Backyard Composting
25% of household waste is compostable. Composting is a fantastic way to significantly reduce the amount of waste you send to the landfill, which is key because when organic matter decomposes in an anaerobic environment (a landfill), it produces methane, a potent greenhouse gas. Furthermore, composting creates a closed circle loop for your garden – the nutrients from your compost go back into your garden, which can eliminate the need for fertilizer. If you want to compost but haven’t had success in the past, or simply don’t have the time, space or energy, consider dropping your compost off locally at Sun and Soil Farms at the Corner Farmers Market or subscribe to Gallins Family Farm’s residential compost service.

Waste Wizard
Download the City of Greensboro’s GSO Collects app. Within it is the City’s Waste Wizard where you can type in exactly what you need to dispose of, and it will tell you the proper waste stream to put it in.

GSO Recycling Standards
Linked is the current recycling standard outlined by the City of Greensboro. Use this handy guide for general rules or use the Waste Wizard for specific items. Remember, recycling does not get bagged!

Glass Collection Spots
Greensboro does not collect glass in your brown curbside bins, but there are collection spots around the city where you can drop off your glass.

Styrofoam Collection Spots
The City of Greensboro has partnered with the Triad Foam Recycling Coalition to offer a recycling option for foam (Plastic #6). Drop off locations and more information are linked.

Plastic Resin Numbers
When recycling, the “plastic resin number” is often cited as what is accepted and what isn’t. This number is within the little recycle triangle on virtually all plastic products. See the linked guide to help understand those numbers. In general, 1’s, 2’s, and 5’s are a safe bet for being recyclable in Greensboro.

Plastic Bag / Plastic Film Recycling
You can recycle your plastic bags at Harris Teeters and Targets around the city. Use this recycling guide from Trex, which turns our plastic film waste into a durable composite decking material.

The Office of Sustainability is now collaborating with EnergySage to help UNCG employees, alumni, and community members compare offers for rooftop solar installations for their homes and businesses. EnergySage is a free, 100% online comparison-shopping marketplace that connects you with vetted local installers. Through the Solar Energy Technologies Office’s Incubator program, the U.S. Department of Energy awarded EnergySage $500,000 in 2012 to help make the process of solar adoption more consumer centric and create a Consumer Reports-like buying guide.

EnergySage provides resources for speaking with vendors and understanding contracts and financing options, including state and federal tax incentives. Their team of unbiased expert Solar Advisors can help you review your proposals and answer any questions you have along the way. North Carolina is consistently in the top 10 states in the nation for total Megawatts of solar capacity, number of solar industry jobs, and the number of homes with solar.

Sign-up through UNCG’s landing page and EnergySage will share 20% of the revenue with the Office of Sustainability if you follow through with an installation. The proceeds will support the Office in its mission to implement sustainable practices in administrative units of the university and to create a meaningful link between academics and operations that supports use of the campus as a teaching laboratory. The funds will pay dividends many times over at UNCG through energy efficiency savings, resource conservation, and increased awareness and knowledge of environmental issues.

Can’t install rooftop solar on your home? Community solar allows you to subscribe to a share of a local solar farm. As the solar farm generates clean electricity for the grid, you buy energy from your share at a discount. The credits you receive for this energy help lower your monthly utility bill, allowing you to save 5-10% on your annual electricity costs. If you live in one of the following states you can subscribe to a community solar project: CO, DC, DE, IL, MA, MD, ME, MN, NJ, NY, and RI.

NC Green Businesses
Find green parks, attractions, restaurants, and more around that state that have robust sustainable practices incorporated into their operations.

Google Flights
To help you make more sustainable travel choices, you can find carbon emission estimates on your flight search results and booking pages.

EPA WaterSense
Take steps each day to save water and protect the environment by choosing Watersense labeled products in your home, yard, and business. Install water-saving showerheads and faucets, dual-flush toilets, and rain collection barrels.

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