Office of Sustainability Leads the Charge on Earth Week


Earth Day has been celebrated in April since its inception in 1970, and for the University of Houston, the celebration encompassed an entire week from April 22-26 with the Office of Sustainability and UH Dining Services taking the lead.

The Office of Sustainability, a unit within Facilities/Construction Management, partnered with UH Dining Services, the UH Horticulture Society, the Student Center for Empowerment, the SC Sustainability Committee, and the Cougar Sustainability Team.

Featured events included an e-waste drive, a food waste audit, a sustainability-themed farmer’s market, a greenhouse tour, a campus cleanup, and a plant-forward menu at Moody Towers Dining Commons.

Beatrix Madersbacher, Sustainability Coordinator for the Office of Sustainability, said Earth Week has been exciting, especially seeing how engaged the students have been.

“They really care about sustainability,” said Madersbacher.


She noted that many students signed up for the campus cleanup and were present at the sustainability-themed farmer’s market that included a scavenger hunt.

Genesis Stiggers was one of the students that signed up for the campus cleanup. The senior signed up along with her fellow members from the Cougar Sustainability Team. The group was launched this semester to help the campus become more sustainable.

"I feel like there’s so many beautiful spots on campus that have either a lot of trash, or neglect because students are not throwing away their trash,” said Stiggers on why she signed up for the cleanup.

While Stiggers believes the university can still make better strides in terms of sustainability, she praises UH for its Zero Waste initiative that’s been implemented in the dining halls.

“It’s really awesome to learn that where the biggest waste is, which is food waste on campus, is also where they’re putting the most energy into making the campus sustainable,” said the psychology major.


With another Earth Week in the books, Madersbacher is eager to expand on this year’s version.

“I think it’s important for me to get that out there and to partner with as many organizations as we can to see how sustainability truly plays a part in every single different part of campus,” said Madersbacher.