Institute for Sustainable Development
Earth Week 2014

Earth Week 2014 students biked together and headed to the Organic Vegetable Project at the University Farm. Great day for a ride!


Our Sustainable Future - CSU, Chico

Student Activities

Without the enthusiasm, dedication, and imagination of our students California State University, Chico would not be the institution is it today. Student efforts lead the campus on the road towards sustainable development and will continue to be the fuel in the engine that is the University.  

See a list of student internships available for Fall 2011 at

Check us out on YouTube:
Sustainability at Chico State
Chico on $10 a Day

New Wildcat Recreation Center

Alternative Transportation Group (ATG)

In May 2011, The Institute for Sustainable Development (ISD) adopted its Climate Action Plan (CAP) to achieve climate neutrality by the year 2030. The Alternative Transportation Group (ATG) was established that fall as a collaborative effort between the ISD, AS Sustainability, and the University Police Department’s Transportation and Parking Services to ultimately support the CAP by supporting Campus Transportation Advisory Committee and ISD initiatives related to transportation.

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AS Recycling

The AS Recycling Program (ASRP) was founded by students in May 1996. Today the program provides comprehensive recycling services for a wide variety of materials.  With over 1,400 recycling receptacles, nearly 400,000 pounds of paper, beverage containers, food waste, and other recyclable materials are collected annually.  In addition, the ASRP provides student internships focused on educational outreach on issues of recycling and waste reduction.

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AS Sustainability Program

The AS Sustainability Program was created in 2006, when students voted to fund the program through an increase in the existing student union fee ($5 per student per semester).  The money supports one full-time coordinator, two student staff positions, and provides approximately $80,000 annually for a “sustainability fund” to support student-initiated projects.  

The program seeks to promote sustainable practices within all areas of the Associated Students including the Bookstore, Dining Services, Conference Services, Maintenance & Operations, Information Technology, and all AS programs such as the Children's Center, CAVE, Adventure Outings, AS Presents, the Women's Center, KCSC, CLIC, EARC, and of course, Recycling.  

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Adventure Outings

Adventure Outings (AO) is funded by the Associated Students to provide student-led adventures in the wilds of Northern California and beyond. AO offers students trip leadership, information, educational experiences, and roughly 40 adventures each semester.

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Butte Creek Ecological Preserve

The Butte Creek Ecological Preserve and Outdoor Classroom is an educational program held at the Butte Creek Ecological Preserve. This classroom is run by Chico State students who focus on bringing Chico's elementary school students out to the preserve to teach them appreciation for nature and the environment through hands-on activities.

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Big Chico Creek Ecological Reserve

The Big Chico Creek Ecological Reserve contains 3,950 acres of diverse canyon and ridge habitats, including 4.5 miles of Big Chico Creek, and is home to many species of plants and animals. BCCER was created with the purchase of the Simmons Ranch in 1999 and the Henning Ranch in 2001. It is owned and managed by the California State University, Chico, Research Foundation.

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Community Action Volunteers in Education (CAVE) places approximately 1,600 student volunteers in settings where they provide needed volunteer time, learn about the Chico community, help address pressing social and environmental needs, and develop skills to be effective citizens for years to come.

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The Community Legal Information Center (CLIC) is a collection of projects which serve the community by providing free legal information and referrals, presenting seminars, workshops, and informational media to the population of Butte County. Environmental Advocates is the CLIC program which focuses on concern for environmental quality and a willingness to work toward safeguarding the environment. Their primary goal is to enhance environmental practices in Chico and surrounding areas in order to increase the quality of life for everyone within our community.

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Diversion Excursion

Diversion Excursion is a program on campus whose goal is to divert waste from the landfill that is generated during the residence hall move-out at the end of the spring semester. Volunteers set up tables outside of each residence hall and have special bins for different materials such as clothing, paper, non-perishable food, and electronic equipment.  

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The Environmental Affairs Council (EAC) is a student group focused on making environmental change on campus through policy. EAC works to improve environmental quality of the campus and the community by increasing the university and community commitment to the environment, by influencing campus policies and administration, and by working to educate students about environmental issues.  

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Eco Reps

Chico State Eco Reps are peer educators within the Residence Communities that model environmentally responsible behaviors and promote sustainability through education and outreach to fellow residents. Eco Reps’ responsibility is centralized in the residential areas of campus supporting sustainability focused programs, activities and events for their communities. The program is run out of the campus’ Institute for Sustainable Development and managed by the Campus Sustainability Coordinator and two student Eco Rep Coordinators, and works closely with resident hall professional staff, RHA and the Community Councils.

Environmental Advocates

Environmental Advocates is a community service organization comprised of interns who share a concern for environmental quality and a willingness to work toward safeguarding the environment. Our primary goal is to enhance environmental practices in Chico and surrounding areas in order to increase the quality of life for everyone within our community.

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Environmental Affairs Council

The Associated Students Environmental Affairs Council consists of students, staff and community members who all work to increase the university and community commitment to the environment, through influencing campus policies and administration as well as working to educate students about environmental issues. Overall, they aim to improve ecological quality of the campus and the community.

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Net Impact

Net Impact consists of undergrad, graduate, and professional chapters across the globe, dedicated to creating a better and more sustainable world through business. We promote environmentally and socially conscious business operations and corporate responsibility. We are a business club but open to all majors.

PowerSave Green Campus Program

The Alliance to Save Energy’s PowerSave Green Campus Program is leading the way towards campus sustainability by bridging the divide between students and institutional energy costs. Through Green Campus, students are working to save energy on campuses by building general campus awareness, incorporating energy conservation and efficiency into course curricula, and implementing projects targeting energy use, student purchasing decisions, and operational changes.

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Recyling and Rubbish Exhibit

The Recycling And Rubbish Exhibit (R.A.R.E.) is a two part program that offers Butte County residents of all ages a chance to learn about the dynamics of trash, recycling, composting, and American society’s attitude toward waste habits.

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Sustainable Consultations of Office Practices

SCOOP is a student group working with offices on campus to assess current office practices and make recommendations for improvements. This student project began in 2007 with students performing office energy audits and comprehensive sustainability consultations. By 2008 this has rapidly progressed into a campus supported program.

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Seniors in Mechanical Engineering

Seniors in Mechanical Engineering and technical staff have constructed a portable photovoltaic (PV) laboratory as part of a course in Energy Systems (MECH 432). Students learn about the function of the PV components and are able to measure the effects of solar irradiation, tracking, temperature, and loads on the system performance by utilizing the "mini-lab." (see story)

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This Way to Sustainability Conference

"This Way to Sustainability V "is scheduled for November 5-8. 2009. This annual conference is focused on various sustainability topics. The goal of the conference is to help educate our students, staff and faculty, and collaborate with surrounding communities to provide attendees with an opportunity to network, discuss, and become more aware of pertinent environmental and social issues.Visit our conference web page for more details and don't miss out this year!.
Click here to view our conference archives.

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Miscellaneous Student Projects Related to Sustainability

To have your student project featured on our website please contact Teri Randolph at

Earth - A website created for a final project by three students in Arts 495/595 at Califonia State University Chico. Arts 495/595 is a Current Topics Studio Seminar class required to be taken by all Art Majors. Visit their website at

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