Sustainability

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The GVSU Surplus Store resells University items to the general public online and in-store at affordable prices. the GVSU Surplus Store was created to reduce the University's environmental impact by engaging in sustainable practices and providing items that have reached the end of their shelf life for sale to the general public as well as providing an avenue for educating students in the fields of business, sustainability and environmental studies.

The GVSU Surplus Store is modernizing the way the GVSU community disposes of its unused or obsolete materials.

Our goal is to reduce the amount of University materials that go into a landfill. When we find items that cannot be reused or sold, we look to recycle them. Some items such as electronics or hazardous materials require specialized handling. We continually work with our vendors and sustainability partners to ensure all byproducts of recycling are disposed of in an environmentally friendly way.

When items at the University have reached the end of their life or are no longer needed, the GVSU Surplus Store collects the items and sells them at our retail store in Standale and online. Items are cleaned and tested prior to sale.

Sustainable Efforts

  • Products avoid ending up in a landfill
  • Products that are inadequate for sale are broken down and recycled in a responsible and sustainable manner
  • When special situations arise, products are donated to other nonprofit organizations

For more information about our sustainable efforts and programs, please refer to the monthly updates below. These updates are communicated in our monthly newsletter - click the SUBSCRIBE NOW! button at the bottom of your screen to receive our newsletter in your email inbox on a monthly basis.

2021: January | February

2020: January | February | August | September | October | November | December 

2019: February | March | April  | May | June | July | August | September | October | November | December

2018: September | October | November | December 

 

2021

February

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10 Ways to Lead a Sustainable Lifestyle on Campus and in the Community

GVSU's Office of Sustainability Practices is a leading resource in the Laker community for all things eco-friendly! Their website is full of helpful resources on waste sorting, sustainable agriculture and alternative transportation (among many other topics). Check out their page on how to lead a sustainable lifestyle on campus and in the community!

Visit Website

January

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Ink Cartridge Recycling

Did you know that printer ink cartridges don't break down in landfills? This means every ink cartridge that has been produced since 1969 (when the first inkjet printer was introduced) still exists, unless it has been recycled.

GVSU has partnered with HP to recycle all ink cartridges used at the University. HP utilizes a closed loop recycling process, where all recycled ink cartridges are used to create new ones.

Instead of throwing out your used ink cartridges, try one of the following ideas:

  • Find an ink refill location instead of purchasing a new ink cartridge
  • Return the empty cartridge to Office Depot to earn rewards and money off future purchases
  • Return the used cartridge to the manufacturer by mail

2020

December

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Sustainable Gifts to Give This Holiday Season

Good Housekeeping has rounded up the best sustainable gifts to give this holiday season for everyone on your list!

Don't forget the eco-friendly wrapping paper or newspaper!

View the List

November

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Stay green on Thanksgiving and Black Friday!

This holiday season, don't forget about our planet! Many holiday events and traditions can wreak havoc on the environment, but with a few tweaks, we can be thankful for a healthy planet for many years to come.

The Earth Institute at Columbia University put together a list of 16 ideas for a more sustainable Thanksgiving and Black Friday. 

Read the Article

October

Recycling Efforts

Since July 1, 2020 the GVSU Surplus Store has recycled 6,020 pounds of materials that would have otherwise ended up in the landfill.

Some materials, such as eWaste, require special handling and deconstruction before they can be recycled. We work with our local recycling partners to ensure all materials are recycled in a sustainable, ethical manner.

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September

GVSU Sustains Blog

Check out this new blog from GVSU's Office of Sustainability Practices! From topics on "Sustainability in Healthcare" to "At Home Aquaponics" this blog has it all.

GVSU Sustains serves as a platform for students, faculty, and staff to stay connected from different parts of the university by sharing photos, stories, videos and more!

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August

Recycling and Sustainable Management of Food During the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Public Health Emergency

This website from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is a great guide to maintaining and increasing recycling efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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February

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According to CNN, approximately 144 million cards are exchanged on Valentine's Day! This can create a lot of waste - especially if the cards contain foils, music players, metal charms or plastic add-ons and therefore cannot be recycled. 

Consider giving sustainable gifts instead:

  • Homemade paper-based cards
  • Potted plants or herbs
  • Baked goods and treats
  • Up-cycled gift boxes or bags
  • Biodegradable decorations

January

Did you know that over 500,000,000 plastic straws are used each day in the United States? Those straws end up in landfills and oceans across the globe and wreak havoc on the environment and our marine life.

Instead of using plastic straws, consider purchasing a GVSU Reusable Straw today! These straws are made from food-grade silicone and come with a carrying case and cleaning wand.

2019

December

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November

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October

Sustainability Week Is Here!

The GVSU Surplus Store is proud partner of the Office of Sustainability in advancing green initiatives across campus!

Celebrate Sustainability Week 2019!

Beginning Monday, September 30 and ending Saturday, October 5.

LEARN MORE

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September

Grand Valley receives gold status from national sustainability group! 

The GVSU Surplus Store is proud partner of the Office of Sustainability in advancing green initiatives across campus!

Grand Valley State University has again received gold status after completing a sustainability assessment developed by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education.

Grand Valley submits a sustainability report every other year for review, and has maintained its gold status consistently since 2013.

LEARN MORE

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August

Make an Impact by Recycling!

The GVSU Surplus Store is committed to keeping items out of our landfills by Reducing, Reusing and Recycling as much as possible. Since 2013, we have recycled over 210,000 pounds of eWaste, metal and plastic!

You can do your part too! Recycling just one aluminum can will save enough energy to power a TV for up to three hours!

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July

Re-Purpose!

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An old chair can easily be re-upholstered with fabric and a staple gun. It's fun and great for the environment!

If you love to DIY using items found at the Surplus Store (like this chair), make sure to post a picture on your social media and tag us! We love seeing your creativity!

June

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Don't miss another great year of the GVSU Farmer's Market! Support local farmers and businesses while shopping for your favorite produce, baked goods and artisan items!

Special Events this year include:

Summer Grill Challenge | 2 Mile Fun Run with GVPD | Bike Tune Ups | Cooking Demos/Recipes

View a list of Farmers Market Vendors

 

May

The GVSU Surplus Store is committed to recycling and maintaining sustainable processes that benefit the University and our community.

So far, in 2019, we have recycled 5,994 lbs of e-waste and 2,139 lbs of metal that would have otherwise ended up in the landfill.

If you're interested in learning more about our recycling efforts and programs, please contact us  today.

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April 

GVSU Sustainability Awards and Recognitions

The GVSU Surplus Store is a proud partner of the Office of Sustainability Practices. Together with a number of other departments on campus, GVSU has received many awards in recognition of our sustainability efforts.

For the ninth year in a row, Grand Valley was again named a green college by the Princeton Review for 2018.

GVSU was the highest ranked 'Cool School' in Michigan by the Sierra Club in 2018.

The Association of the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) 2018 Sustainable Campus Index ranked GVSU as a top performer ranking 4th for waste minimization and 10th for wellness.

VIEW MORE SUSTAINABILITY AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS

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March 

Metal Recycling

The GVSU Surplus Store is committed to maintaining sustainable practices in everything we do. That includes recycling any materials that are no longer needed by the University.

There are significant environmental benefits to recycling metals including reducing greenhouse gas emissions, conserving fixed ore reserves and reducing the amount of waste generated from mining ore.

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Since our inception in 2013, the GVSU Surplus Store has recycled 176,119 pounds of metal.

For more information, please visit the following website: https://www.thoughtco.com/the-benefits-of-metal-recycling-1204149 

 

February 

Laptop Recycling

We make every effort to be environmentally conscious in our operations. When a laptop is not functioning or suitable for public sale, our staff breaks down the laptop into recyclable components which are sent to our local recycling partner.

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From 2013 - 2017, the GVSU Surplus Store recycled over 24,000 pounds of e-waste. That is an estimated 4,800 laptops kept out of the landfill!

 

2018

December 

Re-use, Re-purpose!

Our low prices make DIY easy! Check out these projects that were made using items from the Surplus Store. We are firm believers in re-using and re-purposing as much as possible to keep items out of the landfill.

Do you love to DIY? Show us your work! Post pictures of your projects on social media and don't forget to tag us!

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

 

Holiday Display Shelf

Perfect for displaying your holiday pastries or other small items!

Supplies:

  • Wine glass
  • 2 plates
  • Spray paint (green and red)
  • e9000 (or similar) adhesive

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Snowman Decorative Wine Glass

Great addition to your holiday decor! 

Supplies:

  • Wine glass
  • Acrylic Enamel Paints: white, black, red, orange
  • Elmers (or similar) glue
  • White glitter
  • Paint brushes

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November 

What is e-waste?

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Electronic waste (or e-waste) refers to the disposal of broken or obsolete electronic components and materials.

The GVSU Surplus Store breaks down electronic equipment when it is not suitable for sale to the general public. We refer to the parts as e-waste and are committed to recycling as much of it as possible. this process requires special handling and safety measures that our employees are required to follow.

Since 2013, the Surplus Store has recycled more than 30,000 pounds of e-waste. Since 2016, we have recycled 7,273 pounds.

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 E-waste can be detrimental to the environment if disposed of in a landfill. Toxic chemicals can be released into the air and/or ground water when not recycled properly. We are committed to keeping as much e-waste out of the landfill as possible to help keep our environment clean and free of pollution.

 

October 

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The goal of the store is to reduce the amount of university materials that goes into a landfill. When items cannot be reused, they are recycled. Some items, such as electronics or hazardous materials, require specialized handling.

If you're interested in learning more about GVSU's sustainability initiatives, check out the Sustainability Guide provided by the Office of Sustainability Practices.

 READ MORE

We are committed to providing GVSU with a sustainable method of disposing of obsolete supplies and equipment and keeping as much of it out of the landfill as we can.

If you have any questions, please contact us!

 

September 

Landfill Diversion 2013 - 2018 (YTD)

Since the GVSU Surplus Store first opened in 2013, we have been able to keep 510,385 lbs of obsolete GVSU property out of the landfill.

Recycled: 207,092 lbs

Sold: 311,293 lbs

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Recycled Materials

Metal: 175,431 lbs

E-Waste: 30,177 lbs

Plastic: 1,445 lbs

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We are committed to providing GVSU with a sustainable method of disposing of obsolete supplies and equipment and keeping as much of it out of the landfill as we can.

If you have any questions, please contact us!