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College of Humanities & Social Sciences Sustainability

The College of Humanities and Social Sciences of the University of Houston-Downtown focuses its mission on education as a way to foster creativity and social responsibility. One of those primary responsibilities is the care of our planet. As such, CHSS is putting forth an initiative to support sustainability through education, student engagement, and activism.

CHSS Sustainability Calendar of Events


UHD Recycle

Around campus, there are blue bins for recycling. Please only place recyclable materials in these containers. If there is trash in them, they cannot be recycled. Watch for a university-wide campaign for recycling soon!

Reduce Your Use/Use Reusable Materials

  • Bring your own water bottle and refill it at one of the many water bottle filling locations on campus.
  • Bring your own reusable utensils for lunch
  • Print on both sides of paper
  • Take the steps instead of the elevator
  • Go paperless where possible (purchase e-books, take notes electronically, keep digital copies of syllabi, etc).

Other Ideas

  • Carpool or use other green commuting options to travel to UHD such as BCycle

At Home

  • Unplug electronics when not in use or plug them into a surge protector/power strip and turn off the entire strip when you leave a room
  • Carefully maintain your car, air conditioner, and furnace
  • Get rid of incandescent bulbs by switching to CFLs (compact fluorescent light bulbs) or LED lights
  • Wrap your water heater in a heat blanket to save cash and reduce carbon emissions
  • Buy efficient appliances
  • Seal drafts in your house by caulking windows and getting a door sweep
  • Open curtains and blinds and leave lights off on sunny days
  • Turn off lights when you leave a room
  • Grow your own herbs, fruits, and vegetables
  • Get a water-saving showerhead
  • Purchase recycled paper goods such as toilet paper
  • Borrow books from the library instead of purchasing
  • Go paperless where possible (bills, invitations, electronic note-taking)
  • Wash dishes in an energy-efficient and full dishwasher instead of handwashing
  • Stop unsolicited mail.  See how to do this at the Federal Trade Commission

At the Store

  • Buy items with less packaging
  • Buy local foods as they use less fuel to get to you
  • Don’t buy bottled water
  • Buy second-hand clothes

While Traveling

  • Stop idling, if parked or stuck in gridlock traffic, turn off your car
  • Accelerate gently and reduce your speed to save gas
  • Consider taking a train or bus which use less fuel than flying, particularly for shorter trips
  • Bring your own reusable shopping bags

Sustainability Challenges to Consider
Project 333: Fashion Challenge that invites you to dress with 33 items of less for 3 months.

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Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things by William McDonough and Michael Braungart

The Human Age: The World Shaped By Us By Diane Ackerman

Plastic Purge: How to Use Less Plastic, Eat Better, Keep Toxins Out of Your Body, and Help Save the Sea Turtles by Michael SanClements

The Story of Stuff by Annie Leonard

The Upcycle: Beyond Sustainability – Designing for Abundance by William McDonough and Michael Braungart

This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate by Naomi Klein

Wear No Evil: How to Change the World with Your Wardrobe by Greta Eagan


"Mossville: When Great Trees Fall' exposes environmental racism that doomed historic Louisiana town

Black Lives Matter protests spotlight environmental racism

Environmental Justice Timeline: This resource, produced by the Environmental Protection Agency includes a wealth of information on social justice initiatives focused on the environment

Residents Say High Cancer Rate Caused by Nearby Rail Yard

How a Houston Neighborhood is Taking Action After Decades of Environment Injustice

Social Justice and Sustainability - Do Europeans Get Big Medical Bills

Last updated 10/11/2021 5:06 AM