What You Can Do

Here are some exciting ways that you can participate in sustainability projects on campus and incorporate sustainability into your daily life.

Share Your Ideas

  • Sustainability Small Project Fund
    Do you have an idea that would promote sustainability through creative and innovative action, help advance Macalester’s Sustainability Plan, and uphold the core values of Macalester? Then we want to hear from you. Projects up to $1,000 can qualify for the Sustainability Small Project Fund.
  • Are you looking for a topic for a paper, group project, or honor’s thesis?
    Check out our list of Potential Student Projects.

Take Everyday Steps

  • Check out this Sustainability Office movie about Macalester's sustainability goals.
  • Explore Sustainable Tranportation
  • Green Residence Hall Room
    Learn how to revamp your daily life to be more eco-conscious and save money!  This is also a useful resource for those who don't live in a residence hall, so check it out. Tips range from cooking and cleaning methods, to product recommendations for school supplies and bedding.
  • Dining on Campus
    Bring your own mug.  Pay $1.50 and get free coffee refills for the rest of the day.
    Refill mugs are sold for $5 with your first day of refills free after purchase.
    Sign up at the Grille for a reusable take out container.  These are absolutely free.
    Ask for dishes if you are eating in at the Grille instead of using disposable products.
  • Local Sustainable Restaurants
    Family Fest prepared this list of local restaurants, tagged with a sustainability rating.
  • Energy Awareness and Conservation
  • Recycling and Zero Waste

Join the Book Club

The Sustainability Book Club began in 2009 as a joint project between the Library and the Sustainability Office. The Sustainability Book Club is an open group of Macalester College community members who read and discuss one sustainability-related book per semester. Please contact the Sustainability Office for more information. Copies of the chosen book are made available in the Library, Highlander, and in the Bookstore. Past books have included:

  • Spring 2013: Turn Here Sweet Corn by Atina Diffley
  • Spring 2012: Raising Elijah by Sandra Steingraber
  • Spring 2011: Bottlemania by Elizabeth Royte
  • Fall 2011: The Nature of College by James Farrell
  • Summer 2010: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver
  • Spring 2010: Cradle to Cradle by William McDonough and Michael Braungart
  • Fall 2009: Hot, Flat, and Crowded by Thomas L. Friedman
  • Spring 2009: Depletion and Abundance by Sharon Astyk

Contact the Sustainability Office (), Jacki Betworth () or Dave Collins () to suggest a book or for more information.

Student Organizations

Macalester Conservation and Renewable Energy Society (MacCARES) is an organization dedicated to bringing the advances in conservation practices and renewable energy to Macalester.  Members of MacCARES focus on student projects and work with a variety of staff, faculty, and community members to implement their projects. view website

Minnesota Public Interest Research Group (MPIRG) is a grassroots, student directed, non-partisan organization that empowers students and engages the community to take collective action in the public interest statewide.  The Macalester chapter of MPIRG focuses on the environment, homelessness and housing, fair trade, and democratic political participation. view website

Mac Bike focuses on teaching riders how to repair their bikes, planning rides through the greater Twin Cities, and working to increase bike advocacy.  This organization maintains the bike workshop located next to the Mac Weekly office.  Mac Bike promotes bike riding as a way to limit pollution while having fun and getting where you need to go. View Website

Macalester Urban Land and Community Health (MULCH) is the student organization that believes that getting dirty is healthy for the soil, healthy for people, and healthy for the campus community.  They tend the garden near the language houses, sell produce to Bon Appetit, and raise awareness of sustainable agriculture. view website

Outing Club offers adventure in the great outdoors through inexpensive trips, reasonable gear rental and expedition planning assistance.  It promotes contact with the environment and the appreciation of the earth.  Contact: 

Community Resources

Local Sustainable Restaurants
Family Fest prepared this list of local restaurants, tagged with a sustainability rating.

Restaurant and Store Questionnaires
A group of students and staff at Macalester College interviewed some local restaurants and food stores to gather information about their sustainable practices. We have compiled a list of these restaurants’ and stores’ answers to these questions so that you can learn more about the kinds of steps that our community is taking to be more environmentally friendly. If you would like to be added to the list, please fill out this form.

Orientation Material

Resources

Fair Trade Products

Green Student U

  • Green Student U offers valuable green information, and stay up-to-date with the latest green topics to teach college students about sustainable living practices and worldwide green events.

Local Farmers’ Markets

  • St. Paul Farmers' Market - This site lists the addresses and hours of many farmers’ markets located near Macalester College

Free Swap Options

Minnesota Environmental Organizations

  • Congregations Caring for Creation - A Minnesota-based, interfaith organization supporting congregations who want to include environmental stewardship at the congregational level.
  • Environmental Justice Advocates of Minnesota - A coalition of groups that work in collaboration with communities to create equitable, healthful and sustainable futures for all generations.
  • Experimental College of the Twin Cities (EXCO) - EXCOtc is a collective of Experimental Colleges in the Twin Cities that shares visions of a better world, offers free and open classes and is building a community around education for social change.  EXCO classes that address climate change, sustainability issues, and community development are offered almost every semester and summer.
  • Forum of Women in the Environmental Field - A professional networking group in the Twin Cities that hosts breakfast speakers and other events every other month.  It is a good resource for graduating students.
  • HIRE Minnesota (Healthcare, Infrastructure, and Renewable Energy) - A coalition of community organizations that are seeking public investments that jump-start our economy, provide access for all people to jobs, training and living wages, start to ease the climate crisis and promote healthy communities.
  • Minnesota Environmental Partnership - A a coalition of 90 Minnesota environmental and conservation organizations working together to protect and preserve Minnesota's precious natural environment.  The website includes links to all of the member organizations, policy priorities, and job listings. All of the mainline environmental organizations are part of this coalition.
  • Sierra Student Coalition - A sister organization of the Sierra Club.  The Student Coalition is a broad network of high school and college-aged youth from across the country working to protect the environment and to train, empower, and organize youth to run effective campaigns that result in tangible environmental victories and that develop leaders for the environmental movement.
  • Women’s Environmental Institute - A non-profit organization, is an environmental research, renewal and retreat center designed to create and share knowledge about environmental issues and policies relevant to women, children and identified communities especially affected by environmental injustices; to promote agricultural justice, organic and sustainable agriculture and ecological awareness; and to support activism that influences public policy and promotes social change.

Minnesota Sustainability Information

National Organizations for Campus Sustainability

  • AASHE - A detailed website that includes a tremendous amount of useful information for students, staff or faculty interested in campus sustainability. Macalester College is a member; students, staff and faculty can register for free access to their materials.
  • National Wildlife Federation's Campus Ecology Program - This site includes a vast amount of information on campus greening projects.  Students may also apply for a campus ecology fellowship that provides small amount of funding to begin projects.
  • University Leaders for a Sustainable Future - This site assists colleges and universities in making sustainability an integral part of curriculum research operations and outreach.  ULSF is also the secretariat for signatories of the Talloires Declaration 1990 which has been signed by more than 300 universities.  The site also includes curriculum resources, including sustainability syllabi.
  • US Partnership for the Decade of Education for Sustainable Development - This sote consists of individuals, organizations and institutions in the United States dedicated to education for sustainable development. It acts as a convener, catalyst, and communicator working across all sectors of American society to fully integrate sustainable development into education in the United States.
  • Global Higher Education for Sustainability Partnership - A collaboration dedicated to mobilizing universities and higher education institutions to support sustainable development in response to Chapter 36 of Agenda 21.

Sustainability Resources - Other

  • Bon Appétit Management Company - meet the students and staff growing food across the country who are working together to provide food service for a sustainable future.
  • Case Place - The Aspen Institute Business and Society Program CasePlace offers a wide range of business education materials in social impact management, sustainability and business ethics.  The site contains cases and teaching notes, teaching modules, journal articles, course syllabi, books, and conference announcements.
  • The Foundation for Sustainable Development is a 11 year-old 501(c)(3) non-profit that works closely with many universities, across academic disciplines, to facilitate undergrad and graduate students' project work and research in Latin America, East Africa, and India with locally-based NGOs.   These students support community initiatives while also implementing projects of their own design in collaboration with their organization and our field staff.
  • United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development - In 2002 the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2005-2014) was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly and UNESCO was designated as lead agency for the promotion of the Decade.
  • Climate Counts Scorecard - Check out how different companies stack up against their competitors as far as sustainability.