Pillars of Sustainability
The three pillars of sustainability are the universal foundation to building a more sustainable community. At Homecoming we are using them as the guidelines to produce our sustainability initiatives.
Education is the base for making a sustainable future. Our goal is to educate all committees and organizations within the organization on the importance of sustainable practices. We improve awareness through seminars, field trips, and setting individual goals amongst each specific committee.
To celebrate sustainability efforts, we will be planting a tree to kick off our new 5-Year Sustainability Plan. We are also continuing with our recycling effort, HOPE. To inspire the past, present, and future of Homecoming, these two initiates reach all of Penn State’s community. We help the community finds their roots in tradition while branching out for a more sustainable tomorrow by bringing to light our sustainability efforts.
Homecoming is dedicated to preserving our community, which we do throughout the year. At each event, we will be tracking everything from waste to water, and strive to have at least 95%
of that waste diverted. All of our supplies used at events are reviewed and analyzed based on if they can be sustainably disposed. Right now, most of our supplies purchased are either compostable or recyclable.
HOPE stands for Homecoming OPPerations Protecting the Environment. HOPE is our recycling effort that allows your organization or committee to earn points throughout the year by collecting cans (preferably uncrushed) for Homecoming to recycle! HOPE bags can be found in the Homecoming Office (located in HUB 227B) for all organizations, which you will fill up with aluminum cans. When you have a full bag, you will be able to drop them off at a weekly drop-off location. HOPE is one of Homecoming’s efforts in creating more sustainable habits in our environment and organization.
What else are we doing?
To consider us zero waste, Homecoming has created a goal that 95% of waste produced by Homecoming will be diverted from landfills at Homecoming events. This is achieved by limiting the use of excess and non-sustainable resources. Throughout the next five years, we are dedicated to tracking diversion rates and producing new plans and initiatives to help us achieve this goal.
To celebrate our sustainability efforts and show our dedication to a more sustainable university, Homecoming will be planting a tree to kick off the new 5-Year Sustainability Plan. We hope to inspire everyone by making a more sustainable tomorrow and bringing to light our sustainability efforts.
Recycle Your Float is an initiative with the goal of diverting all waste produced by the parade floats away from landfills. The event is held the day after the parade, where all competing organization’s floats are returned to the parade grounds to be stripped of materials. The wood and metal used on the floats are recycled to be used by local businesses and, starting this year, the chicken wire will be repurposed at local farms.
As an organization, homecoming has reviewed all supplies used at its events and analyzed each based-on disposability. As of now, most waste produced is either recyclable or compostable and all remaining supplies will be replaced with sustainable alternatives by Homecoming 2028.
The goal of the Homecoming Sustainability Education Program is to educate all committees and organizations participating in Homecoming on the importance of sustainable practices and how they can be more sustainable in their everyday lives. Through a partnership with the Penn State Sustainability Institute, Homecoming committees and organizations are taught about how they can stay involved in a more sustainable university as well as in their home communities.