What is a Green Team?
Green Teams are groups of faculty, staff, and students volunteering to take specific actions to help their organization (college, department, building, etc.) operate in a more efficient, innovative, and healthy way. Typically, Green Teams focus on making their operations more sustainable through the easy to follow Green Paws Program and other initiatives unique to their departments. Currently, the University has 116 Green Teams, with 33 of them at the Commonwealth Campuses, operating in various departments.
The Sustainability Institute sponsors the Green Team program and supports it with information, resources, and training. What initiatives are these teams working on? Check out the success pages.
See the tabs above for more on forming your own Green Team, signing up for an orientation session, learning resources, and locating a team in your unit. For more information contact Lydia Vandenbergh at (814) 863-4893.
The ability to work with co-workers to make positive change:
- It's more effective (and more fun!) to work with others
- Connection to over 50 Green Teams
- Bring recognition to your unit for having a Green Team
- Invitation to annual Green Team lunches and special training sessions
- Access to the best and latest information, resources, events and news available from the Sustainability Institute that can help you and your Green Team succeed. Everyone on our list gets regular updates and announcements from our office via our AIR Newsletter for Green Teams specifically.
How to Form a Green Team
- Identify co-workers who would be interested in working on greening your area.
- Contact Lydia Vandenbergh to set up an orientation meeting or sign up for any of the monthly sessions available through Adobe Connect or in person.
- Obtain a Letter of Support from the Leadership in your office
- Getting support from those in leadership roles can boost morale and promote the credibility of your team. Ask your Office Head/Program Director to write a letter in support of the formation of your Green Team. Be sure to share the letter with your fellow Green Team members and mail or email a copy to Lydia Vandenbergh, 108 Land and Water Research Building.
- You can use this draft letter as a tool to create your own personalized request for leadership support.
- Check out this example letter written by Penn State Dubois' Chancellor supporting her Green Team's efforts.
- Expand your team!
- Invite more co-workers to join your team using this sample invitation.
- Include a copy of the letter of support from your supervisor along with the invitations to join the team.
- You can also post this flyer somewhere in your office to market your team.
- Complete the Green Team Registration Form. Officially registering can help us to help you!
- Contact Lydia Vandenbergh to collaborate on organizing your first meeting.
To ensure that we provide your Green Team with the most accurate and up-to-date information, we ask that you let us know if there are any changes to your existing team. Please use this form to update the following:
- Green Team Name
- Green Team Leader Information
- Green Team Member Information
- Green Team Contact Information
Green Team Resources
Green Teams are on the front lines of learning about sustainability, engaging others in that pursuit, and celebrating success. The Sustainability Institute has compiled a variety of tools to help teams build awareness about sustainability issues, inspire others to take an interest and change behaviors and how to communicate these ideas with others. Several of the ideas were created by teams and we will continue adding new resources as they are developed.
Orientations and General Resources
Events & Orientation
Integrating Sustainability into your Goals and Competencies for PSU Performance Management (SUS-008)
Take this one-hour workshop to learn how to incorporate sustainability-related goals into your YOU@PSU professional development planning. Participants will be guided through the goal development process, aligning personal goals with those of their unit’s and the University’s Strategic Plan priorities. With the upcoming Performance Management goal setting scheduled for June 1st to August 31st, this workshop will make the process easy.
Dates: May 29, June 14, and July 11th
Green Bag Lunch Presentation Series
While this series of Green Bag Lunches was held in 2014, Green Teams can still use the presentations to connect with their Penn State community. All three presentation packets include a planning guide, customizable flyers and emails to advertise the event, and discussion guidelines. All the teams have to do is reserve a room with AV capability, recruit participants, show the presentation and guide the discussion afterward.
Each presentation runs 25 to 30 minutes, allowing 10-15 minutes for Green Teams to facilitate discussions within their groups. Get your planning started with this guide.
1) “Sustainability Lives Here.”
- Flyer template
- Email template
- Sign-in sheet
- Discussion guide
- Download the powerpoint presentation
- View the presentation recording
2) How Diversity Matters: The Connection between Sustainability and Diversity
What is the connection between sustainability and diversity and how does it apply to work life at Penn State? The Educational Equity Green Team investigates these concepts during this presentation and explores how to tie the mission of diversity into your unit's strategic plan and your personal YOU@PSU.EDU goals. Examples of activities, workshops, discussion questions and videos will be shared.
- Flyer template
- Email template
- Sign-in sheet
- Discussion guide
- Download the powerpoint presentation
- View the Presentation recording
During this one-hour orientation, you will learn about the Green Teams program, its benefits and how to start one in your unit and share ideas with others. There is no cost for this training. We do ask that you register, whether or not you will attend in person, so that we can know how many people to expect. Sessions are offered almost every month via Adobe Connect, and some of them are also available in person. The full roster of dates and times and registration is available online.
The above programs are presented by Lydia Vandenbergh of the Sustainability Institute. Customized orientations for groups of ten or more can be scheduled by contacting Lydia.
- Green Team Wordmarks
- Green Teams Communications Guide
Air Newsletter Archive
Resources by Category
Changing behaviors is the key step to prompting cultural transformation and you will find resources to learn about social marketing and how to use it to promote behavior change in this section. Tips and examples are included.
How can you communicate in a way that is effective? Check out the resources and tips in this section, including videos showing how to share messages in fun and dynamic ways.
Energy is a main focus in conservation, particularly in our ability to reduce our usage. Learn how to organize energy reduction campaigns, gauge energy use, and prepare your office for holiday breaks.
Reduce, Reuse, RECYCLE. In order to stop as much waste as possible from entering the landfill, we must understand how to recycle it. Learn about what services are available at Penn State and how to get others involved.
Green Teams at Commonwealth Campuses
|Abington Green Team||Shelly Boyd Grinar|
|Altoona DUS Advising Green||Sue Dodson|
|Altoona Sustainability Council||Lisa Emili|
|Behrend Sustainability Committee||Sherri Mason|
|DEVinitely Green Hershey||Samantha Moore|
|Fayette Chancellor's Office||Billie Jo Yuhaniak|
|Fayette Engineering Building||David Meredith|
|Great Valley||Suzanne Cruit | Eric Stern|
|Greener Allegheny||Eric Lipsky|
|Lehigh Valley||Denise Ogden|
|Mont Alto Sustainability Committee||Staci Grimes|
|New Kensington||Ruth Herstek|
|ShenanGO GREEN||Tony Paglia | Tammy D'Artenay|
Green Teams at University Park
|BURSAR: Better Understanding Recycling, Sustainability, and Resources||Dennis Peterman | Kelley McCord|
|Educational Equity||Rebecca Westhoff|
|Values in Action (VIA) Team||JIm Taylor|
|Green Innovations - Investment Office||Karen Hulett | Pam Nisewonger|
|Green Planners||Ginny Hosterman | Ellen George|
|Green Riders||Ginny Hosterman|
|Office of Student Aid||Lisa Homan|
|Office of the President Green Team||Justin Lugin | Marissa Shamrock | Tara Cassick|
|Office of the University Registrar||Julie Conner|
|Research Accounting||Cissy Reese|
|University Libraries||Harlan Ritchey|
|CAPS Mini Green Team||Susanna Hummer|
|Center for Spiritual and Ethical Development||Wolfgang Bruckner|
|HUB Green Team||Dylan Abrams| Mary Edgington|
|Student Affairs Sustainability||Mary Edgington|
|University Health Services||Michel e Brown|
Finance and Business:
|Housing||Dave Manos | John Duncan|
|Office of Physical Plant||Jason Smith | Derek Leonard|
|Parking Office/ Tranportation||Cecily Zhu|
|Residential Dining||Jim Meinecke|
|Outreach Building Green Team||Michele Chernega | Yana Irwin|
|Shaver's Creek Environmental Center|
Academic Colleges & Institutes:
|Ag Admin Green Team||Corinna Fisher|
|Zero In (Ag Engineering)||Tom Richard|
|Arts and Architecture|
|School of Architecture & Landscape Architecture|
|COMMunity Green Team||Brenda Johnson|
|Division of Undergraduate Studies|
|DUS Green Team|
|Earth & Mineral Sciences|
|Dutton e-Education Institute Green Team||Brandi Robinson | Sing Wong|
|MatSE Green Team||Laura Tetrault | Eric Sagmuller|
|Simply EESI Green||Jennifer Williams|
|College of Education||Bonnie Richardson|
|Civil & Environmental Engineering||David Jones|
|Health and Human Development|
|Hort Woods||Jennifer Hooven|
|Recreation, Park and Tourism Management||Gennifer Deibler|
|Information Sciences and Technology|
|IST Building Green Team||Lisa Crownover|
|Burrowes - Old Botany Green Team||Nicole Force|
|Economics Green Team||Georgine Mihalenko|
|Green Weavers (Weaver Building)||Bryan McDonald|
|Labor and Employment Relations Green Team||Lisa Pierson|
|Oswald Green Team||Kim Smith|
|Psychology Department Green Team||Nick Pearson|
|Pond Lab Green Team|
|Sparks Green Team||Ryan Fisher|
|Willard Green Team||Kathy Rumbaugh | Tracey Jackson|
|Nursing Simulation Lab||Darlene Clark | Kristal Hockenberry | Janet Knott|
|Biochemistry and Molecular Biology||Joyce Greslick|
|Chemistry Department||Russel Saieva|
|Land and Water Green Team|
|The Huck Green Team||Jean Pierce|
|University Park Green Teams||83|
|Commonwealth Campuses Green Teams||33|
|Total Penn State Green Teams||116|