Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: How CCS is Committing Itself to a More Sustainable Future

April 19, 2022
crushed plastic water bottles shaped in a recycling symbol with a light blue background

To celebrate Earth Day, here’s a round-up of the continuous efforts that the College for Creative Studies (CCS) has taken to lessen the College’s carbon footprint.

According to Statista, every year humans contribute millions of pounds of waste, but only 20 percent of it gets recycled.

To contribute to that 20 percent, CCS has re-established the Sustainability Committee on campus—which took a pause due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Thanks to the Committee, the College has recycled 148,380 pounds or 74.19 tons, which equates to saving 3,749 gallons of oil, 144 trees, 19.998 pounds of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) and 20,791 gallons of water. 

The Committee has initiated an array of actions across campus to stay green. To name a few: the installation of hand dryers and water fill stations, the use of green cleaning products, a paperless work order system, a building management system, and identifiable recycling bins around campus, where clean plastics, paper, and cardboard can be recycled. After an evaluation of the efforts placed on both campuses, CCS received a certificate of achievement by Green Living Science with the Michigan Recycling Coalition in Nov. 2021.

In addition to this, Many CCS academic programs advancing action on climate change. This includes the d.Tree Studio in partnership with The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, and numerous projects exploring closed-loop manufacturing, climate justice and global warming, among other things.

In Fall 2023, CCS will be launching a new interdisciplinary MA/MFA in Design for Climate Action in order to prepare both designers and non-designers as hands-on thought leaders across areas including zero-waste systems, circular economies, civic infrastructure and policy, and environmental stewardship. 

Alongside these green initiatives, CCS has joined the call for national mobilization on climate action and clean recovery by signing the America is All In Climate Pledge. This will help keep us on track and align our climate strategy with that of hundreds of other organizations across the US.

CCS will also have the honor of hosting the upcoming Cumulus Conference on the theme of Design for Adaption in Nov. 2022. The Conference will explore what role designers play in fostering adaptation to the urgent impacts of climate change across three tracks: Climate Citizens, Climate Eco-systems, and Climate Apartheid. The conference will showcase a wide range of approaches, methods, visions, and experiments that draw on adaptation to reduce vulnerabilities and foster resilience for any community, big or small.

To view a list of CCS’s ongoing efforts, please check out our Sustainability page.

We recognize that there is still much to be done in reducing our carbon footprint and increasing our impact on mitigating climate change. Because this is a team effort, here are a few tips for the campus community to help the recycling program succeed as a starting point:

  • Make sure all items are clean and free of food and contaminants. 
  • Only plastics, paper, cardboard and tin will be collected. NO GLASS.
  • Speak Up! If you see an area that needs a larger container, please let Facilities or Student Affairs know.
  • Share any ideas for new initiatives or actions with the Sustainability Committee
A certificate of achievement for the college for creative studies sustainability efforts from the michigan recycling coalition and Living Green science organizations