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.
  • Fashion 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 scraps and compostable items in the green compost bins located throughout campus or 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!
  • Donate your meal points. Anyone in the St. Kate’s community can donate by asking the cashiers at the Dining Room check-out registers. Learn more about Katies End Hunger.
  • 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 a sustainability coordinator, positions currently held by Cielo Gonzalez '22, who is majoring in ASL Interpreting, and Durate Worika '25, who is majoring in sonography.

Previous Sustainability Coordinators:
Rachel Schauer '21
             Major: Environmental Studies
             Minors: History and Geographic Information Systems
Yuan Casas '22
            Major: Women and International Development


Sustainability Studies Minor and Courses

Sustainability Studies Minor

The sustainability studies minor is an interdisciplinary program that teaches students creative methods that can be used to interrogate, understand, and solve real-life business, social, and environmental problems.

View the coursework for the sustainability studies minor

Biology

BIOL 1100 The Mississippi River

BIOL 1110 Environmental Biology with Lab

BIOL 1140 Race, Class, Gender and the Environment with Lab

BIOL 2710 Foundations of Biology III with Lab

BIOL 3100 Plant Biology with Lab

BIOL 3502 Contemporary Biology: Algal Blooms and Biological Indicators

BIOL 3502 Contemporary Biology: Invasive Species

BIOL 3504 Contemporary Biology with Lab: Fungal Ecology

BIOL 3504 Contemporary Biology with Lab: Freshwater Algal Ecology

BIOL 3504 Conservation Biology

Core

CORE 3990W Global Search for Justice: Environmental Justice

Economics and Political Science

ECON 3300 Environmental Economics and Policy

ECON 1120 Economics of Social Issues

English

ENGL 3490 Topics in Language Studies: Ecolinguistics

ENGL 2280W Literary Themes: Literature and the Environment

Fashion Design and Merchandising

Fashion Design and Merchandising programs have sustainability incorporated into all classes.

MRCH 4400 Sustainable Product Development

MRCH 4684 Directed Study

History

HIST 3994 Panda Diplomacy: International Relations and Conservation History in China

Interdisciplinary Studies

INDI 2992 Topics: Building a Sustainable World

Philosophy

PHIL 3100 Environmental Ethics

Public Health

HLTH 3350 Environmental Health


Student Groups

Biology Club

Open to all students, the Biology Club is a group of students interested in biology and activities related to biology. Email bioclub@stkate.edu for more information.

Chemistry Club

The Chemistry Club stimulates interest in chemistry as a profession for St. Kate students, provides opportunities to speak with professionals in science and offers community outreach to public schools. Email chemclub@stkate.edu chemclub@stkate.edu for more information.

Outdoor Active Katies for Sustainability (OAKS)

The purpose of the OAKS Club is to increase sustainability literacy and action on campus through an appreciation for the natural world and engagement in outdoor activities. Email oaks@stkate.edu for more information.

Student Senate Environmental Affairs Committee

The Student Senate serves to advocate for students, while the Environmental Affairs Committee specifically works to promote sustainability through campus. Students are always welcome to attend meetings, and directly speak to their representatives to get their voices heard. Email senate@stkate.edu for more information.

Sustainability News
Sustainability Events