UMB Sustainability
Nurturing our elm for years to come

This Month's Highlights

  • Climate Change, Health, and Society Elective
  • Sustainable Gift-Giving
  • Foundations of Sustainability Microcourse
  • Community Compost Pilot Update
  • Electric Vehicles on Patrol
  • New Creative Opportunity
  • Baltimore City Rec and Parks Public Meeting

News and Upcoming Events

Coming Spring 2024: ‘Climate Change, Health, and Society: An Interprofessional Elective’

This course will examine causes and impacts of climate change, with an emphasis on human health, society, and health equity, particularly in Baltimore and across Maryland. Solution-driven analyses will focus on state and national environmental laws and government policies.

Students will work within interprofessional teams to explore innovative ideas to address these challenges. This course is available to students in the Graduate, Law, Medicine, Nursing, and Social Work schools.

Learn more by watching this short video.

Register as of Nov. 1: Look for CRN 29371 in Banner/SURFS. Course number is CIPP650.

Sustainable Gift-Giving

The holiday season is an exciting time of year that unfortunately produces a lot of waste. A Finder report from 2022, estimates that $8.3 billion is spent on unwanted gifts each year. 4% of those gifts will end up in the trash. That's energy, resources and money that can't be replaced. This year, rethink your gifting strategy. We’ve provided some alternative gift suggestions that encourage you to slow down and be thoughtful about your holiday spending. Quality time, handmade gifts, local purchases, experience gifts, and donations to cherished causes are wonderful unexpected ways to show you care.

If you end up with unwanted gifts, consider repurposing, donating, or joining the UMBuy Nothing group to find those items a new home! For additional sustainable gift ideas, visit Simplify The Holidays.

Reminder: Foundations of Sustainability Micro-Course

Is Live

The Office of Sustainability is launching a series of online, asynchronous micro-courses about sustainability leadership through The Learning Institute. The first of three courses - Foundations of Sustainability - is now live and accessible to all UMB students, staff, and faculty.

You can register to take the first course here.

NexTrex Update

From July 1, 2023 – January 1, 2024, the Office of Sustainability will provide specialty recycling collection bins for plastic film and bags at UMB. UMB aims to collect 500 lbs of soft plastics from across campus for the Trex® Challenge. Upon achieving this goal, UMB will receive a donated composite bench from Trex®.

465.49 pounds have been collected so far!

Check out the NexTrex Challenge current projects page for collection updates throughout the challenge!

Community Compost Pilot Update

Through a USDA grant with Baltimore City's Department of Public Works, UMB is starting a community composting dropoff pilot in September 2023.

Dropoff times in December will stay the same, with the exception of closures on Wednesday, December 27th, and Thursday, December 28th.

Be on the look out for changes in 2024 for more accessible drop offs! Stay in the know by checking the Community Composting Dropoff page for the latest updates.

Electric Vehicles on Patrol

UMB Police and Public Safety receives two GEM electric vehicles, supporting UMB's core value of Well-Being and Sustainability. These low-speed GEM electric vehicles seat up to four people comfortably, are compact for city riding, can reach 35 miles per hour, and help reduce the University's greenhouse gas emissions.

Read the Elm story here.

Did you know? These aren't the only new EVs on campus. Environmental Services recently received a Westward electric vehicle primarily for its Pest Control team, which practices Integrated Pest Management (IPM), a sustainable approach that focuses on using chemical solutions as a last resort and minimizes impacts to human health and the environment. Thank you, UMB Police and Public Safety and Environmental Services for being shining examples of embracing sustainability on campus!

New Creative Opportunity!

The Sustainability Newsletter is now accepting responses to creative writing prompts that are centered around sustainability. This could take the form of art, poems, writing, story-telling, and more. Written responses should be 400-1000 words, while visual responses should be a maximum of 11x17" in size.

The submission deadline for the January 2024 Newsletter is December 20th, 2023.

Email your submissions to [email protected] with subject line, "Creative Writing Prompt".

Monthly Green Tip

Our December Green Tip is about how to make your November and December holidays more sustainable.

Download the Green Tip graphic by visiting our website.

Get Involved in Baltimore

Baltimore City Recreation and Parks Public Meeting on a 10-Year Action

Monday, December 11 at 6:00 pm

Join Baltimore City Recreation and Parks at a Public Meeting and Work Session on the BCRP Playbook - A 10-Year Action Plan for equitable investments in public parks, recreation facilities, and programs. The meeting will be held at the Middle Branch Fitness and Wellness Center (201 Reedbird Avenue, Baltimore, MD, 21225) with a call-in option. Register here.


Sustainability Term of the Month

Climate Resilience: the capacity of a community, business, or natural environment to prevent, withstand, respond to, and recover from a disruption, specifically related to the climate, like extreme weather.

If you are interested in learning more about Climate Resilience and potential climate hazards, the U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit, has numerous resources and tools to determine your climate risk, and measures you can take to build your resilience: U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit | U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit

Join a Sustainability Working Group

Looking for a way to get more involved with sustainability at UMB? Join one of our four sustainability working groups! Working groups are open to students, staff, and faculty. Working group meetings are held once every two months for a total of six meetings each year. Meetings last one hour, and some work outside of bimonthly meetings will be required.

If you are interested in joining any of the four working groups (Reduction, Resiliency, Engagement & Education, and Green Labs), please fill out this form. For a brief summary of each working group, visit this page.

December Environmental Dates

Find a cause in December to support!




Wildlife Conservation Day

World Soil Day

International Mountain Day

Additional Resources

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Contact Us

Office of Sustainability

620 West Lexington Street

Baltimore, Maryland 21201

[email protected]

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