Earth Day Celebration Upcoming

USF celebrates green living and sustainability with Earth Day and

new rankings in Princeton Review, RecycleMania.




USF News


TAMPA, Fla. (April 21, 2011) – USF will mark Earth Day 2011 with the distinction of  being named one of the nation’s most environmentally responsible universities in the prestigious Princeton Review and Saturday’s Earth Day Tampa Bay celebration at the USF Botanical Gardens.


On Wednesday, the prominent education services company Princeton Review and the Green Building Council announced USF’s selection for inclusion in the second annual edition of “The Princeton Review’s Guide to 311 Green Colleges: 2011 Edition."


"The Princeton Review's Guide to 311 Green Colleges” is the only free, comprehensive guidebook profiling institutions of higher education that demonstrate a notable commitment to sustainability in their academic offerings, campus infrastructure, activities and career preparation.


The Princeton Review chose the 311 schools based on a survey it conducted in 2010 of hundreds of colleges across the U.S. and in Canada to tally its annual "Green Rating" scores (scaled from 60 to 99) of colleges for its school profiles in its college guidebooks and website. The survey asks administrators more than 50 questions about their institution's sustainability-related policies, practices and programs.  The Company tallied Green Ratings for 703 institutions in summer 2010.  The 311 schools in this guide received scores of 80 or above in that assessment.


The free guide can be downloaded at and


And in one more measure of USF’s increasing accomplishments on sustainability, USF students’ efforts in the nationwide RecycleMania competition has been lauded in new rankings. USF’s Student Environmental Association has led the university’s participation in RecycleMania, which wrapped up its 11th annual recycling competition involving 630 institutions nationwide in early April.


Competing in the waste minimization category – which measures which institutions can produce the least amount of municipal solid waste per person - USF ranked second in the Big East. Among Florida colleges and universities, USF ranked fourth and nationally ranked 37th. The complete rankings can be found at


On Saturday, April 23, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., USF’s Office of Sustainability and The Tampa Bay Sierra Club will co-host the Earth Day Tampa Bay 2011 celebration at the USF Botanical Gardens.


Now in its 41st year, the event will feature approximately 70 exhibitors, including local businesses with home and garden products, green building and renewable energy demonstrations, hybrid and alternative fuel vehicle displays. Also featured will be eco-friendly arts and crafts, live music, organic foods, and children's activities – all aimed at helping Tampa Bay's residents create a healthy and sustainable lifestyle.


The theme this year, "pride of place," is intended to promote community pride in the local environment. Organizers expected 3,000 to 4,000 participants to attend.


"Going green and sustainability are on everyone's minds right now," said Christian Wells, director of the Office of Sustainability at USF. "As part of USF's commitment to helping Tampa's communities to become more sustainable and resilient, we are pleased to partner with the Sierra Club of Tampa Bay for this event.


“We have everything from city and county governments, to large and small businesses, to not-for-profit agencies and more."

Marcia Biggs, Sierra Club member and co-organizer of the event, is happy to be partnering with USF for this event.

"Working with USF has given this event greater visibility and a lot more room to grow than in previous years,” Biggs said. “The event this year will be one of the biggest ever. Businesses will demonstrate innovative, new products that focus on ways to go green, and nonprofit organizations will be on site to provide helpful information."


For Earth Day Tampa Bay 2011, admission and parking are free but the organizers also encourage the use of alternative transportation.


"Although light rail can't bring you to the fair, you can walk, bike, carpool, or take the bus," said Wells.


Daylina Miller can be reached at 813-500-8754.