Posted January 19, 2023

5 sustainable things on campus you might not know about

Discover the ways in which Temple is striving for sustainability. Some of them are hiding in plain sight. 

Did you know that Temple is committed to reaching carbon neutrality by 2050? Being located in an urban environment makes sustainability efforts by the university not only necessary but crucial. 

Sustainability resources and initiatives are being implemented throughout campus, many of which remain hidden to the untrained eye. Here, we highlight some facilities you encounter everyday, but may not recognize as part of the university’s efforts towards sustainability.

Check out this map of sustainable features on campus for more.

1. Gardening for the greater good

The Temple Community Garden (TCG) is a hidden gem located near Diamond and Carlisle streets. TCG strives to grow and supply fresh vegetables to the local community as well as beautify the surrounding area. Every Friday, TCG hosts open garden hours from 3–5 p.m. Students can aid the organization in tending to the garden and enjoy the delicious produce that they grow! Through TCG, fresh produce is made available to both students and members of the community.

2. Reduce, reuse, recycle 

Looking to offload any unused or dated electronics? Check out the Computer Recycling Center (CRC). CRC actively collects excess computer and electronic equipment from the university. From there, they refurbish the equipment, reuse materials if able, donate unwanted items and dispose of any surplus equipment in a sustainable manner. 

The CRC also manages a project called Temple Office Supply Swap. This project collects donated or unwanted office materials, which are then made available to Temple University administrators, faculty, staff and students. 

3. Green roofs stand tall

Green roofs stand tall, quite literally, so they are not commonly seen by those experiencing campus on the ground level. The green roofs on Temple’s campus provide stormwater relief and alleviation of the urban heat island effect. A few of the buildings on campus with notable green roofs include the Architecture Building, which accommodates a green roof that is more than 9,000 square feet, and Charles Library, whose green roof  has successive blooms, allowing for active pollination from spring to fall. 1810 Liacouras Walk also has a green roof that manages more than 2,400 square feet of stormwater. And the upper terrace between Mazur Hall and Gladfelter Hall has been transformed into a relaxing oasis with outdoor seating and grass quad landscaping beds that provide not only an aesthetic appeal but also a sustainable one. 

4. Supplying solar

While enjoying a Richie’s iced coffee in the morning, you can relax under a solar charging table without realizing it. The umbrellas of these tables are lined with solar panels, each of which powers the outlets and USB ports on the table’s structure. LED lights also line the umbrella, providing a renewable energy light source. 

Solar panel infrastructure has also been constructed on rooftops; more specifically, the Edberg-Olson Football Complex had a 63 kW solar array installed on its roof. This project supplies solar energy throughout the Temple community, reducing harmful emissions and promoting renewable energy. 

5. Stop waste, start sharing

Walking around campus, you may have noticed several small wooden structures. If you take a closer look, these hutches are actually free libraries. Supported by the nonprofit Little Free Library, Temple has placed several on campus. If you love to read, stop by one on your way to class! These libraries promote sharing, community and, most importantly, sustainability. 

An on-campus organization reducing waste is the Cherry Pantry, which assists food-insecure Temple students. Students in need can be supplied with food and personal hygiene products, free of charge. The Cherry Pantry, located in the Howard Gittis Student Center, invites volunteers as well as donations. If you ever have extra food to spare or unused products, consider donating to support a fellow Owl.



— Avery Bumsted, Class of 2025