Sustainable Practices

Solar Options for EMU Community Members

SolarEdge Solar home

Powering our homes with solar panels is one actionable step you can take to live more sustainably while at the same time saving money on your electric bill. Unfortunately, many people don't know how to get started. In order to assist the EMU community - faculty, employees, and alumni alike - we’ve partnered with EnergySage to help you navigate the sometimes overwhelming and intimidating solar process. 

EnergySage is a free service that makes it easy for you to transform your home to clean energy. Almost 1 million people have tried EnergySage, and there are 3 things that they enjoy:

Saving money: pay 20-30% less on comparable solar panel systems when installers compete for your project on EnergySage.
No sales calls: unlike the constant emails and calls from most home services sites, EnergySage won’t share your information with installers unless you ask them to, or until you select an installer.
Trust and transparency: all of their installers are pre-vetted for quality and track record. Your personalized quotes are easy to compare, and EnergySage’s unbiased Energy Advisors are available to help you every step of the way. Their abundant clean energy library of tips and resources to live more sustainably help you become more educated about all things clean energy.

In just a few minutes, you can request personalized quotes from pre-vetted solar installers and see what going solar will look like on your home. Learn more about installing solar here.

If you rent your home or can’t install solar panels, EnergySage also lets you search for nearby community solar farms accepting new subscribers. This currently excludes Michigan residents so this would be ideal for former employees and alumni living elsewhere in the U.S. Find local community solar farms here.

This collaboration benefits you and the EMU community as we strive to improve upon our bronze rating under the AASHE STARS report ranking

Click here to get started today


Swoops Pantry

Swoops Food Pantry
One out of 10 college students face hunger.
Swoops Food Pantry

One out of 10 college students face hunger.

Swoop's Student Food Pantry is a campus-based organization that is run by a leadership board consisting of EMU faculty, staff, students and alumni volunteers. Haley Moraniec, a social work alum, recognized the need on campus and took the initiative to research both the issues and what other universities had accomplished. She then wrote a proposal and developed the food pantry. Its mission is to provide EMU students in need with food assistance and additional resources to positively affect well-being and college success. Its goals are to:

  • Create a sustainable resource for students to temporarily help meet food needs of students on campus.
  • To meet emergency, non-food needs of students.
  • Distribute food discreetly in easily accessible and safe environments on-campus.
  • To provide students with resources to assist them in accessing services in the area.
  • To involve community partners to assure the sustainability of the pantry.

Swoops Food Pantry is located in 104 Pierce Hall and is open Fall 2021, Monday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., Tuesday - Closed, Wednesday 12 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. , Thursday–Friday, noon–5 p.m.

EMU Career Closet

EMU Career Closet


EMU opened a career closet, which satisfies two important sustainability initiative. It provides business clothing, free of charge, to students that would not normally be able to afford clothing so that they may go on interviews and other career activities. It also reuses clothing. Not all clothing at the EMU career closet is previously used, but much of the clothing is donated and/or overstock that could be saved from the landfill. 

The EMU Career Closet is located in 215 McKenny Hall and is open to walk-ins Monday - Friday 10:00-4:30pm.

EMU Dining

EMU Dining
64 gallon My Green Michigan compost bins found in many dining eateries.
EMU Dining

64 gallon My Green Michigan compost bins found in many dining eateries.

EMU Dining Services is managed by the Compass Group food service management sector Chartwells Higher Education. Chartwells holds a corporate social responsibility to increase sustainable food practices by supporting the community, environment, and student nutrition and wellness.

A large portion of this takes place through Chartwell’s purchasing initiatives which focus on procuring cage-free shell eggs, milk and yogurt free of artificial growth hormones, turkey and chicken produced without the routine use of antibiotics, and seafood that aligns with the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch’s recommendations. Chartwells also routinely incorporates local foods and the Culinary Institute of America’s Menus of Change principles to promote healthy, sustainable, and delicious food choices.

On campus, Chartwells dietitian and sustainability intern promote sustainable practices by working with local organizations to decrease food waste and increase the availability of local food. This is done through Chartwells food waste management program, Waste Not; and food donations to Food Gatherers, EMU’s Swoop’s Pantry, and through the Food Recovery Network which supports the Ypsilanti Parkridge Community Center. EMU Dining Services also supports the local economy by bringing local food trucks and Growing Hope’s mobile farm stand on campus in the spring and fall.

In the 2022-2023 academic year, dining services began partnering with My Green Michigan (a Wixom composting facility) to compost pre- and post- consumer food scraps at Eastern eateries and expanding to dining commons and the 5 eateries in the student center in March 2023. Of the total food waste that year (16.1 tons), approximately 40% (6.3 tons) was composted, and an additional 15% (2.2 tons) was donated. Less than half went to the landfill.


Sustainable Office Supplies 

Office Max Delivery
Office Max Delivery


Starting January 2019, EMU and Office Depot fully rolled out a program called Partnering for Sustainability. The program does three things:

  • Replaces delivery boxes with 40% post-consumer recycled plastic bags, which comes in 60% post-consumer reusable plastic totes reducing wood fiber, net energy, greenhouse gases, wastewater and solid waste.
  • Allows staff to choose to shop for "Greener Office Products".
  • Provides a "Go Greener" option to receive an alternate choice when a greener product is available.

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