Sustainability seeks to provide the best outcomes for individuals and the natural environment both now and into the future. University Housing has incorporated the principles of sustainability into the department's daily operations. In addition, University Housing strives to increase environmental awareness among students and staff as well as promote a sustainable community by example and through the education of residents.

There are four primary ways by which University Housing demonstrates its commitment towards sustainability efforts—educational programs and campaigns, water and energy conservation efforts, recycling and other conservation efforts and maintaining a healthy living environment.
View a comprehensive list of department sustainability initiatives.

Educational Programs and Campaigns

University Housing strives to inform students on the importance of sustainability concepts and provide them with tools and opportunities to be active participants in their environment. Examples of past programs include a sustainability film series, the Green Cup competition in the Hill Community, a composting pilot program, academic research on natural resources conservation, promotion of ENERGY STAR products and the distribution of Living Green, a semesterly newsletter sent via email to housing residents.

Water and Energy Conservation

University Housing is actively upgrading systems and facilities to conserve natural resources. Examples of initiatives include converting to more energy efficient products (e.g. lighting, windows and insulation), installing water conserving devices and incorporating LEED (Leadership for Energy and Environmental Design) and other principles into day-to-day maintenance, facility retrofits and future construction.

Recycling and Other Conservation Efforts

University Housing, in collaboration with the UGA Facilities Management Division, has developed a comprehensive recycling program to divert as much waste material as possible away from the municipal landfill. Additional waste diversion initiatives occur throughout the year and include programs like Hunker Down with Housing recycling, Dawgs Ditch the Dumpster and Donate and America Recycles Day celebrations.

Maintaining a Healthy Living Environment

University Housing recognizes sustainability initiatives can also lead to a healthier living and working environment. Examples of such initiatives include designating the residence halls as smoke free environments, incorporating sustainable design features into Building 1516, fully incorporating green cleaning practices, providing bicycle racks to promote alternative transportation, providing a gardening option for residents at Family and Graduate Housing and purchasing healthy, eco-friendly materials that improve indoor air quality.


Residents across campus have the opportunity to recycle inside and outside of their residence halls. Residents can recycle many items in our single-stream system including, but not limited to, paper products, aluminum and tin cans, glass containers and bottles, plastic containers (excluding #6 and Styrofoam), aerosol cans and cardboard in designated areas. Residents and staff in Unviersity Housing can look forward to improved recycling infrastructure as we transition from our current system to the campus standard. Additionally, University Housing is looking into the possibility of composting as a future waste management option for our residence halls. 

For a comprehensive list of items residents can recycling, visit the Athens-Clarke County Recyclable Items page. 

Sustainability Film Series

Wednesday, January 21, 7 p.m. Rooker Fireside Lounge
Growing Cities
In their search for answers, filmmakers Dan Susman and Andrew Monbouquette take a road trip and meet the men and women who are challenging the way this country grows and distributes its food, one vacant city lot, rooftop garden and backyard chicken coop at a time. Join them as they discover that good food isn't the only crop these urban visionaries are harvesting. They're producing stronger and more vibrant communities, too. WATCH the trailer.

Wednesday, February 25, 7 p.m. Rooker Fireside Lounge
A Fierce Green Fire: The Battle For a Living Planet
Is the first big-picture exploration of the environmental movement—grassroots and global activism spanning fifty years from conservation to climate change. From halting dams in the Grand Canyon to battling 20,000 tons of toxic waste at Love Canal; from GreenPeace saving the whales to Chico Mendes and the rubbertappers saving the Amazon; from climate change to the promise of transforming our civilization... the film tells vivid stories about people fighting—and succeeding—against enormous odds. WATCH the trailer.

Wednesday, March 25, 7 p.m. Rooker Fireside Lounge
Shored Up
Shored Up is the story of our coasts, where life on the edge of a rising sea has placed our towns and cities on the front lines of climate change. Following frustrated scientists, confused politicians and level-headed surfers, Shored Up follows the conflicts that are erupting from New Jersey to North Carolina as the ocean rises and we challenge nature to an unwinnable duel. WATCH the trailer.

Wednesday, April 22, 7 p.m. Rooker Fireside Lounge
The film brings together diverse stories from around the globe about our relationship with water: how we are drawn to it, what we learn from it, how we use it and the consequences of that use. Shot in stunning 5K ultra high-definition video and full of soaring aerial perspectives, this film shows water as a terraforming element, as well as the magnitude of our need and use. In Watermark, the viewer is immersed in a magnificent force of nature that we all too often take for granted—until it’s gone. WATCH the trailer.


University Housing EcoReps serve on the hall councils for each community. EcoReps are responsible for serving as environmental stewards by encouraging hall councils to make environmentally responsible choices during meetings, programming, and everyday residence hall life. EcoReps each facilitate one environmentally-friendly program per semester, post an educational bulletin board about an environmental topic and help the hall councils fill out a pledge to commit to environmental sustainability in various ways. To contact your building's EcoRep or sit in on an EcoRep meeting, contact Jane B. Diener at


Request a speaker for your environmental sustainability program by contacting Jane B. Diener, the doctoral intern for sustainability, at Programs can be scheduled for Wednesday or Thursday between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m., with some flexibilty for special circumstances. Please contact Jane two weeks prior to the date of your program with your name and contact information, your building, the date and time and general information about the program. 

Examples of previous programs include:

  • Documentary viewing and discussion (Green on the Screen)
  • Everyday Sustainability: Small ways to protect the environment
  • Pals and Palettes: Upcycled crafts 
  • Water We Drinking?: A conversation about water conservation and water quality
  • Let's Talk About Food, Baby: Considering the environment in our food choices

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