Digital Brochure

Take a Big Step to Leave a Smaller Footprint

To make a big change you have to make smaller changes. We must make small, eco-friendly changes to make our Earth a better place to live. Campus Ecology let’s you do just that. Since 1989, Campus Ecology has helped colleges and universities to take the big step to begin the process of leaving a smaller impact on our Earth.


In early 1989, the National Wildlife Federation challenged colleges to support Earth Day 1990 by starting environmental programs on campus and in the community. By summer, the Campus Ecology program had been established to work with college leaders and develop resources to help meet the challenge. More than twenty years later Campus Ecology continues to grow and support colleges and universities in their climate action and sustainability efforts.

What the program does

National Wildlife Federation has a more than 20-year history of working with colleges and universities through its Campus Ecology program to improve their overall green educational programming and onsite sustainability. Founded in 1989, its student outreach programs, campus consulting, climate action competition, and educational events and resources reach about 1,000 campuses each year. To find out more about what the program has done, check out this Three-Year Progress report.

Example of Success 

Many colleges and universities do case studies that help improve the environmental friendliness of the academic institution as well as its sustainability. For example, in 2011, DePauw University did a case study in which they worked with their food distributer to pass a contract that requires 20% of the food to come from local sources, and a majority of the plastic ware and Styrofoam into compostable potato-ware materials. Loyola University Chicago also did a case study about bottled water and even voted to end the sale of bottled water on campus. Check out more about their study here.

Loyola now has refillable water stations to discourage the use of bottled water.

The following two videos show how college campuses across the country are greening up! 

Membership Type

Membership is free for students, faculty, staff, administrators and other conservation and sustainability professionals who are interested in supporting sustainability initiatives on campus to confront global warming and protect wildlife and habitat. Sign up today!

Benefits of Membership:

  • Receive email blasts announcing opportunities such as new resources and upcoming webinars.
  • Participate in our Greener Campus webinars and network with practitioners in the field.
  • Opportunity to participate in National Wildlife Federation’s advocacy efforts including online engagement, lobby days, rallies and more.
  • Opportunity to submit a case study on your campus efforts to National Wildlife Federation’s campus sustainability case study database.
  • Support from Campus Ecology staff to advance your campus sustainability efforts.

    Students from Santa Clara University promoting Campus Ecology’s RecycleMania competition.

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