New Sustainability Efforts

February 8, 2012

New sustainability efforts are underway on-campus, driven by student feedback and consultations with Associated Students, Inc. (ASI) and Sonoma State Enterprises (SSE).

This month, ASI and SSE are introducing a paper bag campaign and a composting intiative, as well as continuing their partnership with Santa Rosa Junior College's Shone Farms.

The Bookstore and all campus dining venues will begin exclusively carrying paper bags that are 100% biodegradable and recyclable. These sturdy, quality bags are stamped with a leaf design made out of open books.

"The Bookstore is excited to join the vision and voice of the University in their sustainability efforts," says Steve Higginbotham, manager of the campus bookstore.

A new composting initiative is debuting in Zinfandel Dining Hall as part of the campus' commitment to adopting sustainable practices. All pre- and post-consumer compostable items will be sorted at the Dining Hall, then transported by North Bay Recycling to the Carneros Ranch in Petaluma.

In turn, an estimated 40 tons of material is expected to be salvaged each semester. The program utilizes nature's process of recycling organic materials - including paper, egg shells and yard trimmings - into a rich soil known as compost.

Composting services are expected to expand to all campus dining venues, following a review of the initial campaign. A similar pilot program is being developed in the Residential Community to allow students living on-campus to participate in this sustainability effort.

Dining Services is also continuing its partnership with Santa Rosa Junior College's Shone Farms, a 365-acre outdoor educational laboratory that offers students the opportunity to learn about all aspects of small-scale commercial farming.

Shone Farms provides the SSU campus with locally grown produce, wine, and grass-fed beef.

For more information about SSE's continued sustainability efforts, visit