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Environmental Stewardship


Have an item you don’t want? Freecycle it!

Freecycle@Work is a free application run by Intuit QuickBase that allows organizations to exchange items internally. It is a great way for departments and the College to save money on items that might be sitting in storage, or for individuals to find a home for unwanted items no longer wanted or needed.

Adjusting Heating and Cooling in Dorm Rooms

Heating is enabled in the residence halls after October 15th and the outdoor temperature is below 58 degrees. There are currently 5 different methods for adjusting heating and/or cooling in Grinnell's residence halls. In order to conserve energy it is always best to try to adjust the temperature before opening a window. Follow the links below to learn which one is appropriate for your room.

North Campus:

What Can You Do to Save Energy and Natural Resources on Campus?


  • Always turn off your lights whenever you leave your room.
  • Utilize natural light whenever possible. Open your blinds.
  • Use only Compact Fluorescent Light (CFL) bulbs in all your lights. They use 75% less energy than incandescent (normal bulbs) and last 10 times longer.
  • Turn off lights in bathrooms, lounges, and other common areas. Tell others to do the same.


  • Turn your computer off when you aren't using it.

Energy and Emissions

Energy Consumption on Campus

Most campus buildings are served by central heating and cooling plants. The boiler plant generates steam from the combustion of natural gas and delivers it throughout campus for heating, domestic hot water, and dehumidification purposes. The chiller plant delivers chilled water throughout campus for air conditioning purposes. In FY2011, the campus consumed 1.6 million therms of natural gas and 22.5 million kilowatt hours of electricity. 


Single Stream Recycling

Through the City of Grinnell, the college can now collect most standard recyclables as a single stream. The following can now be disposed of collectively in the same recycling bin.

  • Hard Plastic Containers labeled #1 through #7
  • Aluminum and tin cans
  • Glass bottles and containers
  • Newspapers
  • Magazines
  • Cardboard
  • Mixed Paper

The following should not be included and if deposited in the bin will cause the entire bin to be treated as trash:

Policies and Principles

Grinnell College Statement on Environmental Responsibility

Grinnell College believes that as a liberal arts institution with a strong social commitment, we have a duty to the environment, society, and future generations to be leaders in environmental stewardship, education, and policy. Grinnell College is therefore committed to incorporating environmental responsibility into policies, decisions, and daily life on campus.

Environmentalism at Grinnell

There are a number of campus environmental organizations, each with a slightly different approach in how they go about addressing issues of environmental responsibility. In addition, numerous campus departments focus on issues of environmental stewardship and serve to provide further opportunities to understand and appreciate our natural world.

Campus Environmental Organizations

SGA Student Environmental Committee
Free the Planet (FTP)

Green Building at Grinnell

Grinnell College recognizes the importance of constructing and renovating buildings in a manner that is environmentally responsible. Specifically, the college has adopted a green building policy that affirms: "Grinnell College recognizes that environmentally responsible design should minimize the environmental impact and lifetime operational costs of college owned buildings.