Sustainable Centre: Student Activities

Centre students are committed to sustainability on campus and in their personal lives. This was made clear in 2007 when in a student-initiated ballot, 82% of the student population voted for the adoption of a Green Fund, which requires each student to pay a $20 surcharge on tuition that goes toward purchasing renewable energy credits from the local Mother Ann Lee Hydroelectric Plant. This endeavor was unanimously approved by the Board of Trustees in fall 2008 and implemented beginning in fall 2009.

Click here to learn more about continued student involvement with the Green Fund and The Mother Ann Lee Hydroelectric Plant.

Student organizations: ECCO and CORS

ECCO, which stands for Environmentally Conscious Centre Organization, began as a small partnership among a few students and supportive faculty members several years ago and is now influencing College policy in a tangible way. ECCO members were very much involved in the establishment of the Green Fund. Members of ECCO, along with CORS members and other students, often go on trips to, among other places, the Mother Ann Lee Hydroelectric Plant.

ECCO students also plan events such as a March 2010 “Dumpster Dive,” in which students dug through trash in front of the Campus Center to educate about recyclable materials. Click here for a photo essay.

Members of the student-led group Centre Outdoor Recreation and Service, better known as CORS, inspire Centre community members to care for the natural earth. The group is involved in a lot of conservation work across Central Kentucky, including invasive species removal (specifically bush honeysuckle) and walking/hiking trail maintenance. The group also plans recreational trips focused on enjoyment and preserving the environment that are open to all students. Trips may include camping, caving, rock climbing, and outdoor service opportunities. They also maintain outdoor equipment for anyone’s use.


Centre students recycle. Since 2003, the College has had a full-time Recycling Coordinator who organizes campus recycling pick up and promotional activities. And it's a good thing: during the 10-week RecycleMania challenge in 2010 students recycled more 10 tons of materials. That's 13.75 pounds per person. Increased recycling and participation in RecycleMania on campus helps fulfill a goal of the ACUPCC.

2011 RecycleMania gets underway on campus.

There are containers for community members to recycle aluminum, cardboard, paper, and steel cans on campus. We recycle glass in the LEED buildings and 1 and 2 bottleneck plastic.

GROWS: Campus organic garden

What began as a discussion among students in the 2010 CentreTerm “Campus Food and Sustainability” course is now a small garden located on campus. Affectionately called the Garden Research through Organic Ways of Sustainability (GROWS) project, the garden was planted in April 2010. The garden is located behind the Cheek Emeritus House on campus. A rotation schedule is in place for student, faculty and staff volunteers to maintain the garden. The first harvest of greens from the garden was ready to eat in late May 2010. Some of the products will be used in Sodexho (the College’s food service provider) recipes.

Friendly competition

In the past, ECCO students have organized a two-week residence hall energy competition. Students work with Centre's Office of Student Life to promote the event. A dark-dodgeball tournament kicks off competition, with the north-side campus residence halls pitted against the Old Quad residence halls. The competition generates considerable attention and enthusiasm from participating students.

Centre installs environmentally friendly water-bottle filling stations

Centre College continues its efforts to encourage the campus community to conserve—two water-bottle filling stations have been installed in Olin Hall (an academic building dedicated to the sciences). This will encourage the use of reusable water containers and a reduction in the use of plastic water bottles. Click here for full story.


Cheryl Coulter Cheryl Coulter, Centre’s recycling coordinator, organizes the College’s RecycleMania efforts each year.

Centre garden “Planning the garden has been a great experience,” Catherine Mannon ’13 says. “It’s rewarding to watch as a plot of land evolves from grass to a lush garden.”

water bottle filling station Two new water-bottle filling stations have been installed in Olin Hall to encourage the campus community to save water, energy, and money. In addtion, SGA sponsored a new water bottle filling station on the first floor of Sutcliffe Hall.