Winthrop University: Office of Sustainability - Students
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Office of Sustainability
349 Columbia Avenue
Rock Hill, SC 29733
803/323-4295 (Fax)

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Office of Sustainability


Move In

Move in can be an exciting time for freshman beginning his or her academic career at Winthrop and for upperclassman reconnecting with friends.  In the rush of getting settled, moving in can also be a time when a tremendous amount of waste is generated.  Below are some tips about how you can make move in a little less unsustainable. 

  • Pack things in reusable containers. These will be able to be used repeatedly during future moves. Reusable containers can also be useful for storing items under your bed.
  • Reuse items from home rather than buying new products. While the cost of your new item may seem affordable, that price does not include item's environmental and social costs. To learn more about these costs, consider taking Introduction to Sustainability course SUST102.
  • Bring reusable items to reduce waste. Water bottles, storage totes, and utensils are just a few examples.
  • Even if you may not be paying an electric bill, saving energy should always be a priority. 
  • Adjust your computer and laptop to use power saving settings. Do not use screensaver because they do not allow your computer to go into the energy saving  sleep mode.
  • Bring a power strip. This will make it easy to turn everything off at once and conserve power when you leave your room and reduces energy vampires.
  • Consider buying a clothes drying rack to save energy and the cost of the dryer. 
  • Utilize the waste and recycling bins provided in your rooms. Separate your trash from recyclables and dispose of them properly.  Ask RA where recycling rooms are located and where to take trash to be sent to a landfill.
  • Purchase creditable sustainable cleaning supplies; toxic cleaners and air fresheners contaminate the indoor air and your neighbors or sweet mates may be  allergic to these chemicals.  
  • Use reusable shopping bags when shopping for your food.
  • Purchase or rent used textbooks or go digital; these options will not only save you money but also reduces the consumption of natural resources.   
  • When you finish moving all of your belongings into your room, evaluate the space you have available to see if you need to reconsider what you actually need. If you find that you have packed too much, send excess items or clothes home.
  • If you have to make purchases, look for recycled content and consider if the item and packaging can be easily recycled.  
  • Identify the location of the nearest recycling room to your room.   


In 2013, Winthrop began a partnership with Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont to collect items for donation as students move out of their residence halls. The image below is of items discarded by Winthrop students during move out at the end of the 2011/12 academic year. Much of this 'trash' could have been recycled or donated. What else do you notice about the 'trash' that was discarded?

Students - Winthrop Moveout

When moving out, residents should consider what they do with his or her unwanted items:

  • Donate any unopened, non-perishable food items, toilet paper, paper towels, clothes, laundry detergent, etc. to a local charity
  • Donate furniture, rugs, and other home accessories to Goodwill or to another local thrift store.
  • Recycle all trash that can be recycled.
  • Wrap breakables, including dishes, glasses, and electronics in clothing or bedding to cut down on the use of bubble wrap or other packing material that is not recyclable. 
  • Ask RA how to properly dispose electronics that are no longer functioning - do not place electronics in dumpsters.

Contact us with questions about what to do with unwanted items when moving out of Winthrop's residence halls.

Residence Life Sustainable Initiatives

  • Each room has two recycling bins to collect recyclables. When bins are full they can be taken to the designated recycling rooms in each building. Never place trash or non-recyclables in recycling bins. Contact the Resident Assistant if you need help finding the recycling room or to request a recycling bin for your room.
  • On-line procedures have been developed to eliminate paper departmental forms
  • Furniture in lobbies of residence halls are sustainable, i.e., the fabric is very easily replaced and individual modules of each piece can be repaired without replacing the entire unit
  • Laundry appliances are Energy Star rated
  • Replacement micro fridges are Energy Star rated
  • Resident Assistants develop programming to educate residents about sustainable practices
  • Winthrop participates in RecycleMania Tournament -a national recycling competition

Council of Student Leaders

The Council of Student Leaders (CSL), as the voice of the student body, are committed to Winthrop University and our extended community through appreciating diversity and encouraging unity. In 2011, the CSL amended the dedication for excellence to include environmental responsibility, "I will recognize the importance of environmental stewardship and will acknowledge the ecological and aesthetic consequences of my actions for future generations."

For any student who wants to become a leader that promotes sustainability, there are several opportunities to do so:

  • Attend an event that focuses on a topic that is related to advance economic vitality, ecological integrity, and social welfare.
  • Encourage any student belonging to an organization or Greek organization to sponsor one or two events each semester that focuses on one or several aspects of sustainability. If they do not know where to begin, they should contact the Center for Career Development and Internships or the Sustainability Office and we will help to provide some direction. Residence life and other student groups have, in the past, conducted trash audits and hosted cultural events that discussed a variety of topics related to sustainability; below are just a few examples.
  • Enroll in the Introduction to Sustainability course (SUST102) that is currently offered during the spring semester. This course examines sustainability and carefully analyzes how social, economic, and environmental issues are interconnected and is required for the Minor of Sustainability.
  • Join a student group such as Student Environmental Action Coalition (SEAC) or Environmentally Conscious Organization (ECO) that focuses on educating the community about unsustainable practices and grassroots efforts to move us to a more sustainable future.
  • Visit this Web site on a regular basis to receive an update about what is happening and find a variety of resources that will help individuals develop a better understanding of sustainability.

Student Organizations

During the 2012 Winthrop Wellness Fair, Academic Success Communities Resident Assistants hosted a water taste test of tap water, bottled water, and filtered tap water.  The goal was to see if able to taste a difference between bottled, filtered, and tap water.  Would you have been able to taste the difference?   Participants were then asked to pledge their commitment to take active steps to be more sustainable, to join fellow Eagles by being a selfless steward considering the long-term consequences of their actions, and how these actions will impact the environment in the future. Are you willing to take the pledge?

Students - ASCEI Wellness

Student organizations can offer many opportunities for students to advance economic vitality, ecological integrity, and social welfare. Student organizations can be innovative in their approach to proposing and/or promoting sustainable initiatives on Winthrop's campus.In addition, the Center for Career Development and Internships can offer students and student organizations assistance by locating service learning and volunteer opportunities with the surrounding community or other regions of the United States that are in need.

Students - SEAC - Waste Audit

Supplemental Sustainable Experience Opportunities

SustainUS has launch the Lead Now Fellowship, a new program focused on supporting young leaders who are developing projects that will catalyze change toward a thriving planet!

Last Updated: 8/20/20