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.
The Environmental pillar is related to the physical waste and impact on the environment. Through diverting waste from landfills, using recyclable products, and instilling a sustainable mindset to our participants and volunteers, Penn State homecomings goal is to leave as minimal a print on the environment as possible.
Sustainable for the wallet and the environment. The secondary goal of all sustainable products and events is to make them of equal cost or cheaper than their disposable counterparts.
An environmentally conscious mindset is not created alone. To become sustainable requires entire communities to come together to pool resources for the cause. Homecoming is committed to seeking help within our community to produce a more sustainable experience together.
Penn State Homecoming is committed to introducing sustainable habits to our community through education and implementing alternatives to wasteful and destructive habits. Within the next five years, all Penn State Homecoming events will have at least 80% waste diversion rate, be active in contributing to sustainability efforts within the Penn State Community and order all products with a sustainable mindset to reduce material, packaging, and shipping impact.
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 being educated on how they can stay involved in a more sustainable university as well as in their home communities.
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 remaining supplies will be replaced with sustainable alternatives by Homecoming 2023.
Helping to Guide State Forward through more socially responsible vendors! You may notice a few changes happening during Homecoming 2018, one being our new wholesaler for our T-shirts: Hanes! Penn State Homecoming is moving towards becoming both a more eco-friendly and socially responsible organization by partnering with Hanes. Our new T-shirts are produced from 5% recycled water bottles and manufactured in safe and ethical working conditions. Check out Hanes' Stance to learn more!
Recycle Your Float is an initiative with the goal of diverting all waste produced by floats away from landfills. The event held the day after the parade in which all competing organization’s floats are returned to the parade grounds to be stripped of materials. The wood and metal used are used by local businesses and starting this year the chicken wire will be repurposed at local farms.
To show our dedication to a more sustainable university, Homecoming will be planting a tree each Homecoming season. We hope to inspire all past, present and future Penn Staters to find their roots in tradition while branching out for a more sustainable tomorrow by bringing to light our sustainability efforts.
To consider ourselves zero waste Homecoming has produced a goal that 80% of waste produced by Homecoming will be diverted from landfills at Homecoming events. Throughout the next five years we are dedicated to tracking diversion and producing new plans and initiatives to help us achieve this goal. Initiatives already in place are our Sustainable Education and Sustainable Sourcing efforts.
HOPE is our recycling effort in which the competing orgs can bring in aluminum cans for points throughout the year. Through HOPE we look to provide alternative waste disposal for all competing organizations and help to create sustainable habits in our organizations. HOPE bags can be found in the Homecoming office for all participating orgs.
This year we will be pairing with the Penn State Eco-reps to host a recycling challenge between the residence halls on campus throughout Homecoming Week. Waste will be measured throughout the week from each of the halls to see which complex will be able to divert the highest percentage from landfills. The goal is to encourage Penn State’s sustainable values upon all students entering the university.