Towson Goes Green

Your source for sustainability news, events, and opportunities at Towson University

A Message from TU’s Departing Sustainability Manager

2384297Towson no longer has a Sustainability Manager. This is the second time that a staff person has left this position since it was created in 2010 in Facilities Management. In the year that I have been at Towson, sustainability has made great strides at the institution due to the collaboration of many dedicated individuals. We finished the Climate Action Plan and set goals for TU to become carbon neutral by 2050. We completed the greenhouse gas inventory for 2010 and 2011 and started the inventory for 2012 and 2013. I completed a Waste Reduction Plan with recommendations to improve recycling and waste reduction at Towson and began implementing many of the recommendations. We held the Recyclemania contest, and organized TU’s first Trash-2-Treasure Sale. We completed the STARS (Sustainability Tracking and Assessment Reporting System) that  established a comprehensive baseline on sustainability performance at Towson. We relaunched the Sustainability Website and started this blog and a mailing list which now has over 400 subscribers. With support from Housing and Residence Life, we implemented the residential recycling initiative and the eco-reps program. We organized the Environmental Conference and events like Electronics Recycling Drop Off Day and Campus Sustainability Day. I established the Sustainability Film Series and a Sustainability Fund for donors to give to sustainability at TU. I have also been able to engage eight students as sustainability interns to contribute to the effort.

On October 14, 2013 I was hastily dismissed from my job because, according to my supervisors, I was not fulfilling my duties as a facilities management employee due to a focus on student outreach. Even if this were true, I am very disappointed that Towson has taken such a narrow view of sustainability. It was simply not possible for me to continue the work I was doing without support from my supervisor and the Administration. However, I am encouraged by the great work that the staff, faculty, and students are doing in sustainability and have confidence that you all will continue the important work of caring for the planet and future generations.

Clara Fang

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Campus Events

light-bulbDo It in the Dark
October 8-November 5, 2013

Electricity use and heating creates more greenhouse gases than any other source on campus. During the month of October, sign the Energy Savers Pledge and start saving energy at TU! The residence hall that reduces its energy use the most wins a cash prize! For more information visit

Film Series: “Gasland”
October 22, 2013; 7pm
CLA 4110

In May 2008 Josh Fox received a letter from a natural gas company offering to lease his family’s land in Milanville, Pennsylvania for $100,000 to drill for gas. Fox set out to see how natural gas drilling is affecting communities in the west. He reaches out to scientists and policy experts and ultimately finds himself in the halls of Congress.

Office of Sustainablity_StemCampus Sustainability Day
October 23, 2013
University Union

Celebrate campus sustainability at TU! From 11-3, enjoy bike powered smoothies at the UU Susquehanna Patio. Go inside to check out the Sustainability Fair from 12-2 in the 2nd floor lobby of the Union. Hear about campus sustainability efforts at the Campus Sustainability Forum from 12-1 in UU 314. Join Greek Life in the Recycling Rush from 12-2 in Freedom Square, and the Adapt to Survive Costume Party from 5-7, and more! Download the Campus Sustainability Day poster for more details!

Film Series: “Food Inc.”
November 11, 2013; 7pm
CLA 4110

Filmmaker Robert Kenner lifts the veil on our nation’s food industry, exposing the highly mechanized underbelly that has been hidden from the American consumer with the consent of our government’s regulatory agencies, the USDA and FDA. Food In. reveals surprising–and often shocking truths–about what we eat and how it’s produced.

Film Series: “No Impact Man”
December 4, 2013; 7pm
CLA 4110

Environmental activist Colin Beavan confronts the problem of consumption head on by getting his family to live for one year with no net environmental impact. They experiment with living without toilet paper, washer and dryer, refrigerator, elevators, cars, and other modern conveniences. Along the way he finds that the low consumption lifestyle may be a more joyful one as well.

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Off-Campus Events

The 2013 Net Impact Conference
October 24-26, 2013
Silicon Valley, CA

Join nearly 3,000 like-minded impact-makers and discover a culture of experimentation, breaking the boundaries of what’s possible, and going all-in on new ideas that might – and often do – change the world at the 2013 Net Impact Conference.

Behavior, Energy & Climate Change Conference
November 18 – 20, 2013
Sacramento, CA

The Behavior, Energy and Climate Change Conference 2013 is the premier event focused on understanding behavior and decision-making with respect to energy usage, greenhouse gas emissions, climate change, and sustainability. Annually, 700 participants come together to share new research, discuss innovative policy and program strategies, build networks, and find potential partners for collaboration.

Greenbuild Nation 2013
November 20-21, 2013
Philadelphia, PA

In 2013, Greenbuild will showcase the latest in innovative products and services. Join us in Philadelphia to learn, network, do business and participate in one of the greenest and most sustainable conferences in the world.

2014 Climate Leadership Conference
February 24-26, 2014
San Diego, California

The Climate Leadership Conference is dedicated to professionals addressing global climate change through policy, innovation and business solutions. Providing a powerful platform for collaboration, the event gathers forward-thinking leaders from business, government, academia and the non-profit community to foster and exchange best practices, share challenges and opportunities, and support peers addressing climate change impacts upon their organizations’ operation.

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