Winthrop University: Office of Sustainability - Students


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.
  • 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. We encourage any student organization to sponsor one or two events each semester that focuses on one or more aspects of sustainability. Do not know where to begin? Contact us and we will help to provide some direction.
  • Enroll in the Introduction to Sustainability course (SUST102), 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 Sustainability Minor.
  • 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.
  • To keep up with us and read about a variety of sustainability topics, follow the Office of Sustainability on social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.

Move In and Move Out

With each new academic year, students moving in can be an exciting time for students, faculty, and staff alike. In the rush of getting settled, moving in can also be a time when a tremendous amount of waste is generated. Below are some suggestions about how to reduce the waste generated during move in.

  • Before arriving:
    • Do not just toss stuff into a bin or box. Bring the essentials to use the first couple weeks of school and make a list of items to bring later.
    • Pack in luggage or reusable containers that can be used for storage under bed and during future moves. Use clothing or other soft textiles instead of bubble wrap or packing peanuts.
    • Coordinate with roommates about what items can be shared and consider using items from home rather than buying new products. While cost of new items may seem affordable, that price may not include the externalized costs. (To learn more about these costs, consider taking Introduction to Sustainability course SUST102.)
    • Buy school supplies with recycled content and items that are recyclable. Consider renting or purchase used or digital books. Skip single-use; use reusable water bottles, straws, plates, utensils, shopping bags, etc. Avoid buying bottled water! While, Rock Hill is know for its quality water, a water filtration pitcher is a viable option to reduce single use bottles.
  • Arriving and living on campus:
    • Do not idle the car or truck while unloading. Consider not keeping a vehicle on campus. Winthrop is a very walkable campus; bicycles or scooters are a convenient options to move around campus. Consider using Rock Hill's MyRide Bus for off-campus transportation.
    • When finished moving all belongings into room, evaluate available space to reconsider what is actually need. If too much was packed, send excess items or clothes home.
    • 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 screen savers; they are not needed and voids energy saving sleep mode.
      • Bring and use a power strip for small appliances; this conserves power and reduces energy vampires.
      • Turn off lights when leaving room if no one is in the room.
      • Consider buying a clothes drying rack to save energy and the cost of the dryer.
    • Recycle!
      • Flatten cardboard and place it in recycling dumpster.
      • Each residence room has two recycling bins. Contact Residence Assistant to request a recycling bin if none are provided.
      • When bins are full, take them to the designated recycling rooms in each building. Contact the Resident Assistant if you need help finding the recycling room.
      • Separate your trash from recyclables and dispose of them properly; never place trash or non-recyclables into recycling bins.
      • Encourage Residence Assistant to host sustainability programs and participate in Campus Race to Zero Waste, a national recycling competition.
    • Purchase and use creditable sustainable cleaning supplies; roommates and people living nearby may be allergic to some cleaners or air fresheners which contaminate the indoor air.

At the end of the spring semester, with the push to finish finals, students are eager to move out to begin their summer. However, with this push, students generate tons of landfill waste. Because much of this waste can still be used, Winthrop began a partnership with Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont to collect items for donation as students move out of their residence halls. Below are some suggestions about how to reduce the waste generated during move out.

  • During the school year:
    • Do not collect stuff that is not useful long-term. It is okay to say no to "free" stuff.
    • Consider your consumption: how many free t-shirts do you need?
    • Create a share table, share with friends, or donate unwanted items and food.
  • Packing and moving out:
    • Do not just toss stuff into a bin or box. Question if items is really needed.
      • Donate any unopened, non-perishable food items, toilet paper, paper towels, clothes, laundry detergent, etc. to a local charity.
      • Donate clean and gently used furniture, rugs, and other home accessories to Goodwill or to another local thrift store.
    • 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.
    • Recycle:
      • Ask RA how to properly dispose electronics that are no longer functioning - do not place electronics in dumpsters.
      • Recycle all trash that can be recycled.
      • Empty recycling bins in room into bins located in recycling rooms.
    • Do not idle car when loading vehicle(s)
    • Leave room free of trash and belongings
    • Turn off lights when leaving the room.
  • Contact the Office of Sustainability with questions about what to do with unwanted items when moving out of Winthrop's residence halls.

Last Updated: 4/10/23