Sustainability

Katies Go Green, followed by various icons symbolizing ways to go green: a wind turbine, a bicycle, a light bub, water drop icons, etc.
Committed to Sustainability

St. Catherine University is committed to the ongoing conservation of our environment and capital resources. As a community, we have achieved a number of our sustainability objectives and will continue our work together toward an environmentally responsible campus.

It pays to go green.

Not only do eco-friendly efforts help the environment, they often help the University’s bottom line, too. Here are a few examples of recent changes on campus

  • Building automation controls have been updated. With occupancy sensors and other technology, St. Kate’s has found savings equal to 540,619 kWh, which will equate to a cost savings of nearly $58,000 yearly.
  • All outdoor lights on campus have been converted to LED. New bulbs consume 75% less energy and save $16,000 per year in electrical usage.
  • St. Kate’s is using new paper towel products that meet Green Seal™ standards, meaning they aren’t processed with chlorine, they’re made using energy and water-efficient processes, and they’re made from 100% recovered material. New paper towel dispensers were installed at no cost to the University, and have much longer battery life. Cost savings: nearly $12,500 yearly.
  • Facilities staff are using new cleaning supplies, reducing the inventory of products from 36 to 13. The new products are less expensive and have lower pH levels, which means they’re safer for custodial employees and the environment. Cost savings: over $5,000 yearly.
  • Utility carts moved from gas-powered to electric-powered. This will reduce our greenhouse gasses by 32,142 pounds and save about $4,500 yearly.

It takes a village.

Achieving a sustainable campus takes effort from the whole community. Faculty, staff and students across campus are currently engaged in sustainability efforts. Share how you’re making a difference by emailing news@stkate.edu. Here are just a few examples.

  • The Student Senate has an environmental committee. Each semester, they sponsor a Katies Go Green Challenge.
  • Biology students, along with The Beez Kneez, maintain a bee colony on the roof of Fontbonne.
  • Apparel design students learn to make clothing from recycled materials, and create upcycled clothing from non-recyclable materials like tenting and packaging materials.
  • The BioClub and Food Justice Coalition cultivates a community garden on campus, which provides food for the St. Kate’s Food Shelf.

How You Can Help

There are many easy ways to make a difference. Consider these options to help make our campus more sustainable.

  • Recycle. Recycling bins are located throughout campus. If you purchase products for use on campus, don’t forget to buy products made from recycled materials to close the loop.
  • Compost. Place food waste, Earth Choice products, and to-go containers on the dish return carousel in the dining hall in Coeur de Catherine. Students can provide composting options at club meetings and events by contacting sustainability@stkate.edu. Students can make a big difference by aiming to make their events zero-waste!
  • Minimize waste. Do you really need to buy it? Can it be reused?
  • Flip the switch. Turn off lights when natural light is available.
  • Go to sleep. Enable sleep settings on monitors and computers, and turn off copiers and printers when not in use.
  • Drive less. Consider carpooling, public transportation, walking or biking to campus to reduce carbon emissions.

St. Kate’s Waste Sorting Guide

Compostable items can be disposed of in the green compost bins around campus or placed on the silver dish return rack in the dining room.

  • All FOOD scraps
  • Non-recyclable PAPER products
    • Napkins, paper towels, tissues
    • Uncoated paper plates, cups, food containers
  • Compostable products must be certified by BPI or Cedar Grove. Look for the
    logo or visit the following links to check if a product is certified:
  • Coffee grounds and filters
  • Tea bags
  • Plants and flowers
  • Chopsticks, popsicle sticks, toothpicks

The following items can be disposed of in the recycling bins around campus. Please remember to rinse food from containers and break down large items.

  • Plastic bottles, containers, tubs, and lids (#1, #2, #5)
  • Aluminum, steel, tin cans
  • Glass bottles and jars
  • Food jars
  • Pie tins
  • Brown paper grocery bags
  • Cardboard, flattened
  • Cereal, cracker, pasta boxes
  • Dairy and juice cartons
  • Electronics boxes
  • Foil containers
  • Mail, office & school paper
  • Magazines, catalogs
  • Newspapers and inserts
  • Phone books
  • Pop boxes
  • Shoe boxes, gift boxes

If an item cannot be disposed of as compost or recycling, it most likely belongs in the trash. Here are some common examples of items that should always be disposed of in the trash.

  • Plastic bags
  • Styrofoam
  • Chip bags
  • Plastic forks, spoons, and knives
  • Ketchup and mustard packets
  • Soy sauce packets

Questions? Please contact St. Kate’s Sustainability Coordinators at sustainability@stkate.edu.


Did you know?

St. Kate’s has two sustainability coordinators, positions currently held by Yuan Casas '22  and Rachel Schauer '21. Yuan is majoring in environmental studies with a minor in communication studies. Rachel is majoring in environmental studies with minors in history and geographic information systems.