UH Earth Week 2023 Recap

Earth Week

The University of Houston celebrated Earth Month with UH Earth Week from April 17-21, with the Office of Sustainability leading the charge. 

The Office of Sustainability, a unit within Facilities/Construction Management, and partners in UH Dining Services, Student Centers, Cougar Cupboard, Coastal Center, Metropolitan Volunteer Program, Cougar Closet, and Environmental Cougar Organization, held sustainability events throughout the week. 

Some featured events included an e-waste drive, a food waste audit, tree planting, a sustainability-themed farmer’s market, a clothing repair workshop and presentations about conservation efforts. 

“I’m very proud. I’m ecstatic with the attendance. I think students are really excited about seeing sustainability brought to the forefront,” said Liz Clark, Sustainability Coordinator for the Office of Sustainability. 

The 2023 Earth Week celebration was the first for UH since 2017.  

“The whole reason that we are doing it like this, with events throughout the week only put on by organizations on campus, is to highlight what’s going on here,” said Clark. “We want to make students aware that we are making an effort to move towards sustainable operations and performance on campus.” 

Clark highlighted the Food Waste Audit event as an activity that students seemed to gravitate to more than others. 

The event featured food waste packs, games, and factoids about how much resources it takes to produce food, how much food is wasted, and what happens to the food that is accumulated in the dining halls. 

With Earth Week 2023 in the books, the strategic planning for Earth Week 2024 will soon get underway. 

“I really think this could be an annual event again,” said Clark. 

UH Earth Week 2023 By the Numbers 

E-Waste Drive 

  • Four pallets of e-waste, totaling 2,192 lbs. 

Food Waste Audit 

  • 169 lbs. of food waste collected in Cougar Woods over 3 hours. Zero Waste Houston, UH Dining Services’ compost provider, will turn the waste into compost. 
  • 16.5 lbs. (10%) were “perfect foods” that were untouched (whole chicken strips, whole fruit, etc.) 

Tree Planting 

  • The Office of Sustainability planted seven 30-gallon native trees at the General Services Building lawn