Green Teams are the rock of the sustainability culture at Penn State. They help inspire the community to change behaviors and preserve our Earth. 
 
The EcoChallenge is an opportunity for Green Team members to showcase their leadership as well as a fun and easy way to make a meaningful impact on the environment.  The EcoChallenge involves changing one or more habits that benefit our Earth from Oct. 11-25 and thereafter.

All staff, students, and faculty will participate as one Penn State team during the challenge. Last year, the largest team participating had 580 participants. Let's see if we can break that record! 
Use these resources (email templates, flyers, etc)  to share this event with others. 

One of the Sustainable Development Goals' target is to encourage companies, especially large and transnational companies, to adopt sustainable practices. Amazon, the world's largest internet company by revenue, worth more than $430 billion, is becoming a leader in sustainable packaging. As e-commerce is growing at  a fast rate (25% compared to retail at 6%), Amazon is pursuing waste reduction initiatives. These include preparation-free packaging, ships in own container, and frustration-free packaging. These efforts eliminate hard plastic "clam shell" cases and twist ties commonly used in toy packaging, all while using 100% recyclable materials. In 2016, these initiatives have grown to include more than 1.3 million products over time and have eliminated nearly 55,000 tons of excess packaging.

Watch Kara Hurst, Amazon's head of worldwide sustainability and social responsibility, talk about these initiatives. 
 
"At Ikea, we are...seeking new ways to meet people's needs and aspirations whilst staying within the limits of the planet," says Jonas Engberg, sustainability manager for Ikea. This company, along with Nike, Timberland, Method and others are experimenting with new circular business models that meet consumer needs and provide shareholder value in a way that preserves natural resources.  The traditional business model where economic growth depends on raw material excavation, manufacturing, ownership, and disposal is unsustainable in a world of finite resources and a burgeoning middle class. 

Sustainable Development Goal 12  focuses on this issue of living within the planet's resources and lifting people out of poverty. To achieve this goal, more companies will need to genuinely address the  elephant in the boardroom,   t he fact that business growth based on more people buying more goods is unsustainable. Fortunately, some companies are boldly taking the lead.

 
 
The average American home contains 300,000 items. With messy rooms, full closets, two-car garages only able to fit one vehicle, one in ten Americans routinely rent off-site storage to hold their possessions.
 
Much of what we own holds sentimental value, which is often why it can be difficult for us to part with items even if we no longer use them. In a study conducted by researchers from Penn State, Ohio State, and the University of Texas, participants were encouraged to take pictures of their sentimental goods before donating. This group donated up to 35% more than those who did not receive a prompt to take a picture. The study found that people are more willing to give up their items if they have a way to keep the memory and the identity associated with that memory.
 
We challenge you to reduce your household clutter by taking pictures of your items and then donating them to non-profit organizations such as Goodwill Industries, American Red Cross, and Dress for Success. 
 
 
How many times have you thrown away plastic after using it one time? We know for many the answer is often: Too many to count.
The Pacific Ocean Garbage Patch is now twice the size of Texas, weighs seven million tons, and is up to nine feet deep. As Green Teams, we must acknowledge that plastic is a growing challenge, and in an article featured in Penn State's Valley Magazine, we are taught how to live without four common plastic items: straws, drink stirrers, utensils, and cups.
Upcoming Events
AUG
17
1-2 p.m.
AUG
23
Third Floor Cafe Commons in the Millennium Science Complex 
10-11 a.m.
AUG
31
The Nittany Lion Inn
4:30-6:30 p.m.
SEP
1
Third floor Huck Life Sciences Bridge
12-1:30 p.m.
SEP
8
Check out our calendar for more sustainability-related events.
            
CONNECT
Lydia Vandenbergh
 (814) 863-4893
lydia
@psu.edu