UMB Sustainability
Nurturing our elm for years to come

News and Upcoming Events

Maryland Green Registry Award

UMB is among the 2023 recipients of the Maryland Green Registry Sustainability Leadership Awards, which are given to member organizations that show a strong commitment to sustainable practices, measurable results, and continual improvement. Elizabeth Main and Angela Ober accepted the award on UMB’s behalf at the One Montgomery Green Gala at Brookside Gardens in Wheaton, Md., on June 22. Read more about the award in The Elm.

July Specialty Recycling Collections at SOM

Recycle books, alkaline batteries, ink/toner cartridges, electronics, and plastic bags & film in designated bins in the lobby of Health Science Facility 1 (HSF1) located at 685 W. Baltimore St.

The collection runs from July 1 - 31.

Plastic Free July

Plastic Free July is a month-long challenge that helps millions of people across the globe become changemakers in reducing plastic consumption and pollution. The theme for Plastic Free July 2023 is: Small steps, big difference. The collective power of individuals ditching single- use plastics is an effective step toward systemic changes that will benefit our environment. Follow us on social media during July 2023 for various tips on how to break free from plastic!

NexTrex Challenge

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®.

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

Hive Mind: UMB Installing Honeybees on Green Roof of HSF3

What is all the buzz about on the 7th floor green roof at HSF3? In mid-June, UMB installed bee hives to make our campus more hospitable to these important pollinators. Learn more about the hives and the benefits they bring by reading this article in CATALYST. The next time you're in the area, stop by the 7th floor of HSF3 (right outside the main elevators) to catch a glimpse of the hives and check out our new educational signage.

Sustainability Pitch Wins Pharmapreneurship Competition

A student-led concept that aims to increase sustainability in research laboratories won the School of Pharmacy’s inaugural Pharmapreneur’s Market competition, an honor that includes a $100,000 investment from the school to turn the idea into a reality. In the coming months, Meya Ngundam, PharmD ’23, will launch her idea to help laboratory researchers dispose of or move unneeded laboratory equipment. Ngundam’s company will find sustainable ways of handling electronic waste that could include resale, donation, or recycling.

Read more in UMB News.

Responsibly Disposing of Sensitive Documents at UMB

As a reminder, Environmental Services (EVS) at UMB no longer provides shredding services to the campus. There are two options for responsibly disposing of sensitive materials. The first option is to utilize UMB’s contract with The Shredding Company. The second is to use a personal shredding device, use liners to collect shredded paper, and place full bags to the side of paper/cardboard bins for collection by EVS custodial technicians.

Learn more in The Elm.

Monthly Green Tip

Our July Green Tip is to follow along during the month for several tips and ideas for participating in Plastic-Free July!

Download the Green Tip graphic by visiting our website.

Get Involved in Baltimore and Beyond

DPW Accepting Comments on Proposed Plan to Reduce Non-Tidal Harbor Watershed Pollution

The Baltimore City Department of Public Works (DPW) released a draft implementation plan for public comment, outlining the City's proposed efforts to reduce sediment entering into the non-tidal portion of the Baltimore Harbor watershed.

The draft implementation plan is posted on DPW's website's “Regulatory Mandates, Plans, and Reports” page. The deadline for comments is Sunday, July 16. Comments and questions can be sent to [email protected] or 410-396-0732.

Baltimore City Office of Sustainability 2023 Disaster Preparedness Plan Public Survey

The Baltimore City Office of Sustainability is leading the planning process for the 2023 update of the City's Disaster Preparedness and Planning Project (DP3). The DP3 is Baltimore’s Hazard Mitigation Plan, which identifies natural and other hazards that impact the city’s infrastructure and residents and highlights key strategies to work toward a more resilient and prepared city.

Head to the Public and Stakeholder Participation section of their DP3 page to find the link to the survey and other ways to participate.

EPA Seeks Feedback on Draft National Strategy to Prevent Plastic Pollution

The “Draft National Strategy to Prevent Plastic Pollution,” builds upon EPA’s National Recycling Strategy and focuses on actions to reduce, reuse, collect, and capture plastic waste The EPA has identified three key objectives for the strategy:

Objective A: Reduce pollution during plastic production.

Objective B: Improve post-use materials management.

Objective C: Prevent trash and micro/nanoplastics from entering waterways and remove escaped trash from the environment.

The EPA is seeking public feedback on the draft strategy until July 31, 2023. Learn more about the draft and how to submit feedback by visiting the EPA's website.


Sustainability Term of the Month

Drawdown: the point at which atmospheric greenhouse gas levels stop climbing and start declining.

While the term drawdown is often used in economics to describe investments, in recent years it has also been used in the environmental movement to describe the point when we begin the process of stopping further climate change and averting potentially catastrophic warming.

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.

July Environmental Dates

Find a cause in July to support!




International Plastic Bag Free Day

World Population Day

World Nature Conservation Day

Additional Resources

Received this newsletter from a friend? Get the latest information on events and volunteer opportunities directly.
Join Our Newsletter Email List
Have an upcoming event or opportunity related to sustainability, the environment, or social equity and justice? Tell us about it!
Submit a Newsletter Item
Contact Us

Office of Sustainability

620 West Lexington Street

Baltimore, Maryland 21201

[email protected]

Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for more event information and resources.
Facebook  Instagram  Twitter  
Office of Sustainability, University of Maryland, Baltimore