CSU Sustainability Fund

Sponsored by:

President’s Sustainability Commission

What’s your sustainability idea? Apply for funding here!

The CSU Sustainability Fund, sponsored by the President’s Sustainability Commission, was created to support sustainability efforts across Colorado State University. For FY22, the CSU Sustainability Fund has $25,000 to allocate for sustainability projects. Creativity is encouraged, but some suggestions include energy, water and other resource conservation efforts, academic initiatives, research projects and equipment/processes, education and outreach efforts, environmental justice projects, or other pilot and new grassroots sustainability initiatives.

  • Funding can be requested at any level up to $10,000 on single project proposals. The selection committee aims to fund as many projects as possible with budgeted funding.
  • Proposed project outcomes can be more impactful when matching funds are identified
  • Funding can be used for creative ways to enhance, support, or promote sustainability on campus
  • Projects must be related to sustainability efforts within CSU, but can be a collaboration with entities outside the University; however, the project must benefit the University
  • Funding is one-time (no ongoing and/or annual expenses)
  • Proposals may be submitted by CSU students or employees; students are required to have a CSU employee advisor/sponsor
  • Priority will be given to pilots/new initiatives and initiatives that are innovative and could lead to broader sustainability projects and impacts (scalability)
  • Priority will also be given to proposals that integrate social, economic, and environmental aspects of sustainability
  • All selected and funded projects will be expected to present to the President’s Sustainability Commission in the Spring on the project’s process. 
  • Funding must be spent by the end of the 2022 fiscal year.

The CSU Sustainability Fund is NOT intended to fund the following project types:

  • Electric Vehicles
  • Water Bottle Filling Stations
  • Building Energy Efficiency Projects – apply for funding from The Energy Reserve Fund (ERF) through CSU Facilities. Contact: Stacey Baumgarn and Carol Dollard.

If you have any questions about the CSU Sustainability Fund, contact Anthony Appleton.

We are no longer accepting applications for 2021-2022 projects. 

Eliminating Forever Chemicals from CSU Dining Hall Food Packaging

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a class of chemicals found in many food packaging due to their stain and water-resistant properties. Adrienne Smiley, a doctoral Chemistry student, will collaborate with CSU’s Residential Dining Services to test food packaging materials widely used in the dining centers around campus to help eliminate PFAS-containing materials and identify safe and sustainable replacement products.

University Apartments Sustainable Living Challenge

Coming off a successful, but largely virtual, pilot program completed in the 2020-2021 academic year, the University apartments will receive funding to further engage and provide in-person opportunities for residents to learn about living sustainability in on-campus University apartments.

Zero Waste Recycle Initiative

The Zero Waste Team aims to continue their Post Landfill Action Network (PLAN) membership, a national organization that helps to support zero waste on college campuses. Sam Cummings, President of the student-organized Zero Waste Team, will also collaborate with CSU Central Receiving to broaden the scope of electronic waste recycling during Earth Month 2022.

The Patchwork Initiative

Addressing clothing waste and fast fashion, the Student Sustainability Club (SSC) aims to donate, repurpose, and recycle textiles and clothing, while providing educational opportunities for clothing repair.  The SSC hopes to have physical locations and pop-ups to bring continued awareness to the importance of textile sustainability.

Sustainable Tiny House

Given the success of CSU’s first tiny house, Maria Delgado from Nancy Richardson Design Center aims to build a second tiny house with her IDEA 450 Design Thinking Collaborative capstone course. The class aims to integrate solar panels, in addition to using all sustainable and materials and products throughout the tiny house build.

Development of CSU Green Labs Peer-to-Peer Outreach Team

The CSU Green Labs program has developed a body of outreach materials and collected a wide array of resources to help labs at CSU implement best practices for sustainability. This project aims to hire a Peer-to-Peer Outreach Team, who can deliver sustainability solutions to CSU Labs through an intentional, targeted outreach program. This program will build the foundation of the program and create a database of contacts and participants for future and continued outreach and engagement through CSU Green Lab Ambassadors.

Environmental Justice Toolkit for University Students

In response to student and employee requests for a more coordinated University curriculum and engagement tool for environmental justice, Mindy Hill, from the Center for Environmental Justice, aims to develop of an environmental justice toolkit for students as a one-stop shop to understand how environmental justice connects to each field of study at CSU. The living, digital toolkit will also provide pathways to connect to, and coordinate with, the many resources and programs on campus.

Forest Regeneration Experiment in the Wake of the Cameron Peak Fire

The Cameron Peak Wildfire devastated Colorado and the CSU Mountain Campus, opening an area of opportunity to begin critical research on burned areas of the forest at CSU. Travis Croft and Seth Webb aimed to better understand forest restoration practices following wildfires. During spring and summer 2021, Travis and the Colorado Forest Restoration Institute field crew established 96 plots of land – six plots of in each of four specified burn classification that compared different treatments of forest regeneration.  The project embraced environmental stewardship, and annual monitoring and data collection will contribute to future conservation efforts of forests and natural areas.

Development of Green Labs Training Modules

In response to student and faculty need for pathways to improve sustainability practices in the lab, CSU Green Labs hired three graduate students and developed a set of training materials to highlight sustainability best-practices in laboratories covering energy, water, waste, purchasing, and behavior. The idea was proposed by the CSU Green Labs team of Stacey Baumgarn, Kimberly-Cox-York, Colleen Duncan, and Tracy Webb (Facilities Management, RICRO, and CVMBS respectively). The team’s project embedded these materials into existing training, curriculum, and support for the growing group of CSU Green Lab Ambassadors.

Interpretive Signage for Notable Trees on the Tree Walk

CSU is a designated Campus Arboretum to formally recognize the existing benefits of trees and to foster a legacy of urban forest preservation for future generations. To continue the commitment to education, Fred Haberecht and CSU Facilities developed a self-guided tree walk with interpretive signs of 15 notable trees. A virtual tour can also be seen on CSU’s interactive tour map.  The project targeted sustainability in providing formal infrastructure and helps educate the CSU community about the CSU Campus Arboretum.

Ram Food Recovery

The Ram Food Recovery program was first launched in Spring 2019 to address food insecurity in the CSU community by making excess food from catered events available to those in the campus community experiencing food insecurity. However, the COVID-19 pandemic provided a unique challenge to assisting students, faculty, and staff because there were no catered events since March 2020. Mary Liang, the author of the project, relaunched the Ram Food Recovery program and targeted social sustainability by producing, packaging and distributing 1,200 extra meals during the Spring 2021 academic semester. Marginalized populations are most often impacted by food insecurity, and the pandemic heightened these inequalities. This project was a collaboration between Housing & Dining Services and Rams Against Hunger.