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How Green is SMCM?

Encouraging Behavioral Changes

The Sustainability Council works closely with student groups including the Student Environmental Action Coalition (SEAC), the Campus Farm, and the Student Government Association to promote behavioral changes. Examples of students promoting behavioral change include high participation in the annual Free Markets, the end-of-year donation drive, posting informative signage about water and energy conservation, and improving recycling and composting signage around campus.

Sustainability Policies

  • Anti-Idling Policy – At St. Mary’s, we strongly encourage students to not leave their cars idling while moving, waiting, or chatting with others.  Not only is it costly for the drivers, but it’s not good for our planet, either.
  • Green Cleaning Supplies – Housekeeping purchases green cleaning supplies for the campus, and we also encourage our students in townhouses to clean with environmentally-friendly materials.

Green Buildings

Green buildings are designed and built to conserve energy and water, reduce waste sent to landfills, reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions, utilize recycled and/or renewable building materials, and be healthier and safer for their occupants. The College’s last three building projects, Goodpaster Hall, the Muldoon River Center, and Glendening Hall are all LEED Silver certified or equivalent. The upcoming replacement of Anne Arundel Hall, scheduled for completion in 2016, is expected to be a LEED Gold certified project.

Goodpaster Hall, a LEED Silver building

  • Saves 300,000 gallons of water annually – a 30% reduction in water use and sewage output accomplished through use of waterless urinals, dual-flush toilets, rain-water and gray-water systems which recycle water from sinks for flushing
  • Uses 30-40% less energy than a conventional building due to smart design and use of highly efficient equipment

Muldoon River Center, a LEED Silver Building

  • Geothermal heat pump that reduces 40% of the power it takes to heat and cool the building.
  • Gray water system, waterless urinals, dual flush toilets
  • Highly efficient

The New Anne Arundel Hall, a LEED Gold Building

  • 19Kw photovoltaic array (solar power)
  • Constructed from efficient and sustainable materials
  • Gray water system, waterless urinals, dual flush toilets

Sustainability Council

The Sustainability Council is an open group of students, faculty, and staff. The council works to enhance communication between campus departments and environmental groups, while also responsibly engaging with the college community.

Applications to hold a position on the council are accepted every spring for the following academic school year. If you are interested or have any questions, please feel free to contact the Sustainability fellow at

Meeting Dates

Reminder emails will be sent out one week prior to each meeting and shall include a list of agenda items and location details.

Annual Sustainability Reports
Every year the Sustainability Council publishes a report outlining the various accomplishments made in sustainability initiatives that year, as well as stating on-going projects. Click on the links below to review past reports:

The Green St. Mary’s Revolving Fund (GSMRF)

What is GSMRF?
The Green St. Mary’s Revolving Fund  (GSMRF) is a revolving loan fund that supplies money for green projects for St. Mary’s College of Maryland.

How does it work?
When GSMRF funds a sustainable project, money from the revolving loan fund pays for part or all of that project.  Green projects are designed to save the College funds and energy, so the funds that are saved by the green project go back into the GSMRF even after the project has been paid for.  In this way, the GSMRF gets larger and larger and can fund more sustainable projects as time goes on.

Students pay fees of $35/year to buy into the GSMRF.  A portion of those fees ($25/student/year) goes to purchasing REC’s, which help to reduce our carbon footprint.  The other portion of those fees ($10/student/year) goes directly into the GSMRF fund.  These fees were voted in by the students of SMCM in 2007.  The SGA also gives money to the GSMRF each year as a percentage of the subtotal of their budget (2.5%).

Why do we have a GSMRF?
The students of SMCM are dedicated to the environment and determined to make this campus and the world a better place than when they started.  Reducing our carbon footprint has always been a priority in the daily lives of both students and staff.  In accordance with our Carbon Neutrality plan, we need to continue to work towards a 100% carbon-neutral goal by 2020, and this is impossible without adequate funding.  The GSMRF plays a vital role in not only funding student-designed green projects, but also ensuring that those projects are going to be sustainabile and worthwhile to the college for many years to come.  In addition, the SGA regularly funds green initiatives, but it never reaps the benefits of the savings from those projects.  When projects are funded by the GSMRF, more of the SGA’s funds can be diverted to other activities.

Past Projects:

  • Reusable Oyster Shells
  • Geothermal Unit in River Center (50%)
  • Geothermal Unit in Admissions (100%)
  • LED campus conversion

How to get involved:

  • Come up with a green idea that could benefit the school
  • Speak to a staff or faculty member who would be willing to be your Adviser (Sustainability Fellow counts!)
  • Fill out our updated GSMRF Proposal.
  • If the Sustainability Fellow approves the proposal, then the project can progress!

More Information on Sustainability