Local MSU Extension office works toward Spartan Green Certification

The Grand Traverse office has learned that daily action can make a big impact.

Michigan State University Spartans “bleed green.” Spartans are not only filled with school pride but passion for making our community and our surroundings more environmentally sustainable.

“Be Spartan Green” is a university-wide sustainability engagement campaign that encourages awareness and personal action around environmental conservation, renewable energy sources, waste reduction and recycling, climate change, food and water security, land use and development, education, health and social responsibility.

In the local Grand Traverse County Michigan State University Extension office, staff members have been inspired by the campaign mission and are working to complete the “Be Spartan Green” certification process. The process includes an online self-assessment program that serves to educate, assist and recognize MSU buildings or offices taking steps to support environmental stewardship. If certified, MSU Extension Grand Traverse County would be only one of handful of Extension offices to complete the process.


Staff from the MSU Extension Grand Traverse County office recently acquired a bike to be used by staff for work travel. A workspace bicycle is one of the criteria within the Bronze levels of “Be Spartan Green” campaign. | Photo by Sarah Eichberger

The statements below represent a few of the criteria within the certification process to support bronze, silver or gold certification. Statements are organized into areas in which sustainable practices could be considered, such as: communication and education, energy efficiency, recycling and waste reduction, water conservation, purchasing, transportation, health and wellness.

  • Our office area uses Green Seal Certified, or biodegradable and nontoxic, cleaning products.
  • Whenever possible, we replace business travel with video, web, or teleconferencing.
  • We use filtered tap water or water cooler for drinking instead of individual bottled water.

In addition to the cost savings and enhanced environmental efficiencies, the certification process provides a reminder that everyday choices can help protect our environment. Michigan State University Extension encourages all offices to pursue “Be Spartan Green” certification.

Interested in additional resources for supporting a green worksite or event? Consider the Taste the Local Difference Certified Local Food Events and Environmental Protection Agency’s Green Living.

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