The S.E.E.D. Initiative

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AASHE MemberIn fall 2012, UT joined nearly 900 other universities and businesses throughout the country in establishing a membership with the Association for the Advancement in Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). AASHE’s goal is to advance sustainable initiatives in higher education settings. Brooke Mason, UT’s Interim Sustainability Specialist, said, “The association is a network of schools and companies that focuses on higher education sustainability. Anything that has to do with sustainability and higher education is listed there, whether it is education, dining, energy, waste, water and transportation. It works like an idea-sharing network. The site has resources for almost any sustainability initiative you can dream up.”

As long as UT renews their membership every year, AASHE resources are free for students, faculty and staff. Students, faculty and staff can sign up for biweekly email updates without an account.

There are several ways that students can get involved with AASHE:
1) Create an AASHE account.
2) If your institution is not an AASHE member, help convince them to join the cause.
3) Help your institution conduct a sustainability assessment with AASHE’s Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS). Learn more about STARS here.
4) Volunteer! Visit the website for opportunities.

As a student, you can also publicize your efforts through a student diary, applying for an award, submitting research papers, participating in discussion forums, and spotlighting your institution’s initiatives.

There are also resources for faculty and staff. Faculty and staff can access lists, databases, and publications to develop a sustainability education curriculum. There are also sustainability workshops for those whose institutions are members. For Sustainability Officers, there are specific resources available to assist in sustainability endeavors. These include case studies databases, bulletin databases, a business directory, steps to create an Environmental Coordinator position and much more. Click here for more faculty and student resources, and here for professional resources.

If you’re interested in what AASHE has to offer, click here to make an account! Join AASHE today!

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is Brooke Mason, Sustainability Specialist for The University of Toledo, manages the Rocket Recycling program for over 100 buildings on three campuses with a staff of one non-student and six student employees. She is also responsible for the greenhouse gas inventory and the Climate Action Plan, which guide the University toward climate neutrality. Brooke is highly involved in sustainability education and outreach towards students including advising the Environmental Sustainability Living Learning Community, Society for Environmental Education, and UT’s Student Green Fund. She runs other student sustainability programs including Rockets Recycle: Green Tailgating, Friday Night Lights, RecycleMania, Campus Conservation Nationals, BlackoUT, and the Give & Go: Move Out program. Brooke has earned her bachelor’s degree in Environmental Policy & Sustainability Management from Bowling Green State University and is currently working on her Masters in Engineering at UT. She also sits on the Stewardship Committee for the Black Swamp Conservancy.
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About SEED

The University of Toledo’s SEED Initiative, housed within but not limited to Facilities & Construction, focuses on Sustainability, Energy Efficiency, and Design to ensure the University is operating in a manner that betters our neighbors, economy, and planet. Through environmental sustainability projects, energy conservation measures, innovative building renovation and design, and a comprehensive educational campaign, SEED commits itself to leaving behind a better planet than when we started.

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