Sustainability @DeSales

sus·tain·abil·i·ty, noun
the ability to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

Sustainable living is deeply rooted in Catholic social teaching and the mission of DeSales University. Prudence, poverty, and the Common Good guide our environmental stewardship efforts within the DeSales community.

Sustainability at DeSales

  • Campus Environment Committee

  • Campus Initiatives

  • Living More Sustainably

Green Initiatives

DeSales has put in place a number of green initiatives to educate the campus community, conserve energy and natural resources, and to consider our environmental impact in the master planning process. 

Single-Stream Recycling

Single Stream Recycling

During the fall of 2010, DeSales University implemented a campus-wide, single-stream recycling program through a partnership with Waste Management. Single-stream recycling allows newspaper, paper, magazines, cardboard, and other recyclable products to be placed in containers directly with traditional co-mingled recyclables (glass, plastic, aluminum). Single-stream recyclables are then transported to a recycling plant where they are sorted on site. The implementation of single-stream at DeSales has already resulted in significant overall reductions in waste produced and cost for waste removal.

Not sure what to put in the recycling bins in your residence hall, classroom, or office area? Find out more about what items can be recycled using single-stream recycling. Please remember not to place food waste (or items with significant food residue) into recycling at risk of contaminating other recyclables. Bottles should be emptied of liquids before placing them in recycling containers.

Living More Sustainably

Every day, whether at home or on campus, there are many things you can do to reduce your carbon footprint. Living more sustainably begins with your own mindset and awareness of your daily living habits. A commitment to change small behaviors is the next step. Once you start making these simple actions part of your daily routine, you will find that they become natural for you. You may even find a calling to take an active role in larger campus green efforts.

Here are some suggestions for easy ways to do your part:

Energy Conservation

  • Turn off the lights when you leave your room
  • Turn off lights in your lounge/trash room/laundry room when unoccupied
  • Turn off common area TVs if they are not being used
  • Use energy efficient fluorescent light bulbs
  • Keep your refrigerator full
  • Unplug all appliances and electronics when not in use
  • Use rechargeable batteries for all battery-powered items
  • Keep your room a few degrees cooler in winter or warmer in summer
  • Use surge protection strips on all appliances
  • Shut down your computer when not in use, or at least hibernate
  • Clean out your dryer's lint trap with each use

Water Conservation

  • Don't let the shower run longer than needed to become warm
  • Reduce your time in the shower by a few minutes
  • Limit the water flow/shower pressure if possible
  • Don't let the water run when brushing your teeth
  • Intentionally limit your use of bottled water
  • Get a water filter/Brita pitcher and reusable cups for your room
  • Fill up your reusable water bottle at our filtered water coolers/fountains

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

  • Actively sort your recyclables into single-stream recycling bins
  • Buy only green or recycled products
  • Reuse items for new purposes
  • Consider trading or donating items you no longer need
  • Think before you print – if you already have an electronic copy, don't print another
  • Set your printer to double-sided printing
  • Don't drive on campus, to class, or the DUC
  • Share a ride if you are going off-campus
  • Use a bike to get around campus quickly and easily
  • Use re-usable grocery bags for shopping and other purposes
  • Use your flex for a reusable to-go container at the DUC
  • Get a set of reusable plates, cups, and utensils for your room
  • Buy only used textbooks and sell them back to the Campus Store
  • Get room decorations and furniture at the thrift store or from a friend who is graduating

We can all do our part to reduce our carbon footprint and reduce DeSales' overall campus impact on the environment.

Getting More Involved

Want to share an idea? Start a club? Develop a new program? Let us know at

Awards & Recognition

Delaware Valley Green Building Council (DVGBC)

DeSales was reognized by the Delaware Valley Green Building Council (DVGRBC) as the 2011 Lehigh Valley Green Campus Sustainability Award Winner during a special ceremony in November 2011. Special thanks to DeSales Facilities Services and the Campus Environment Committee for making this award possible.

DeSales Univeristy is a member of the PPL Honor RollDeSales University is a member of the PPL Energy-Smart Business Honor Roll, which recognizes the businesses and institutions that have participated in E-power programs.