Because green is complementary to red

This website is dedicated to sustainability at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Here you will find resources and articles about innovative research conducted by UNL students and faculty to help the environment, campus activities relating to the environment, resources to help you be more green on campus and at home, and many other useful resources.


Graduates wear 'green' gowns to UNL commencement exercises

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln's summer graduates went "green" at commencement exercises Aug. 12 and 13 at the Bob Devaney Sports Center. Not the color green -- the environmental green. Sustainable academic regalia was used for the first time while the color of the gowns was still the traditional academic black.

The new Jostens Elements Collection fabric for the traditional commencement gown was developed using 100 percent acetate material, proven to decompose in soil in one year. The gowns are made from sustainably harvested wood pulp, and zippers are made from 100 percent recycled PET. Earth-friendly packaging contains a biofilm material that facilitates the decomposition process of the cap and gown bag. Read more about the green gowns.

Read more about sustainability in Academics and Research at UNL.



Athletics have increased recycling containers at all events. Football alone recycled almost 17,000 pounds, the equivalent of approximately 170,000 plastic bottles

Other measures include:

  • Transitioning to all “green” cleaning products in sports centers
  • Using motion sensors on bathroom lights and toilet fixtures
  • Installing longer lasting more efficient light bulbs
  • Re-purposing close to $500,000 in furniture
  • New furniture purchased contributes to LEED


Thermal Storage UnitThermal Storage Unit chills costs for East Campus

East Campus is supplied with chilled water by three chillers located in the East Campus Utility Plant. An increase in chilled water demand has led the university to install a Thermal Energy Storage system. The TES improves the use of existing chillers by storing energy in the form of chilled water for use during peak demand times, when the cost of energy is much higher.

The installation of the TES began in March 2011; it is located north of the East Campus Loop and west of 38th Street. The project is expected to be complete in May of 2012 and operating by June. Read more about East Campus Thermal Energy.

Read more about facilities at UNL.



In 2010 UNL recycled 42.0% of its waste.

The national average of waste that campuses and universities recycle per year is 26%; let's continue to strive to increase our percentage at UNL.

As a result of your recycling efforts we have saved:

  • 5,389+... Cubic yards of Landfill Space
  • 27,763+... Trees
  • 97,988+... Eliminated pounds of Air Pollution
  • 6,695,817+... KW Hours of Electricity
  • 11,431,882+... Gallons of Water

More info about UNL's recycling success.



Good. Fresh. Local. offers value, education

Good Fresh Local

The Good. Fresh. Local. (GFL) University of Nebraska-Lincoln Sustainable Food Project began in University Dining Service/University Housing in 2005. This 'local' project identifies 'local food' as coming from Nebraska farmers, producers, and manufacturers. Students and the UNL community are strong supporters of GFL where GFL menu items are served primarily at Cather/Pound/Neihardt Dining Service, The Nebraska East Union Cafe, and University Dining Catering Service.

The GFL Project is built on a foundation that:

  • Serves traditional menu items that promote the value of local food.
  • Educates students about sustainable agriculture and the positive impact it has on the environment, local economies and communities.
  • Provides a new distribution opportunity for local farmers and producers in the world of university dining service.