Meredith College students, faculty, and staff are committed to a balance between environmental conservation, social justice, and economic consideration. We are working as a united community to deepen our education and spread awareness of environmental sustainability. We are creating enduring solutions on our campus that are holistic, collaborative, and proactive. We are engaged in crafting a healthy, safe, and comfortable future for the globe.
Students who are passionate about the environment may choose to major or minor in Environmental Sustainability.
See below to read more about our sustainability efforts across campus.
Living and Learning Labs
Located on the top level of the Science and Mathematics Building, the observation deck is available for night sky viewing. The deck houses a weather station and telescope mounts.
Our Dining Services team emphasizes sustainability through efforts such as composting, buying locally sourced produce, growing organic spices, minimizing food waste, and operating efficiently. Learn more.
In 2018, new HVAC systems were installed in the Carlyle Campbell Library, Jones Auditorium, and residence halls to allow remote control of temperatures to be adjusted for energy savings when students are not present.
The park, located a short walk from the Meredith campus, encompasses 164 acres of fields, woodlands, and creeks, providing a unique setting to explore the intersection of art and nature. Discover the cloud chamber, works of art, and wooded trails. Trailside signs offer information on art, plants, animals, and ecology.
The College’s featured study abroad program located in the heart of the Tuscan province offers firsthand experience in a culture that lives with a smaller footprint. The city’s and country’s walkability, creative reuse of historic buildings, local food, and multiple public transportation options are among the sustainable aspects of life in Italy that students encounter.
Daisy Trade is an on-campus food pantry housing non-perishable food items and personal hygiene items. Located in the Jones Chapel, it is adjacent to the Common Room and is open to the Meredith Community. It is accessible any time the Jones Chapel is open. No check-in or sign-up is required. Learn more.
The Dress Closet, located in Heilman Residence Hall, is coordinated by the Office of Student Leadership and Service. The Dress Closet is a resource set up to assist students who need dresses for the many events and traditions at Meredith College. There is no cost to the student. Students can make appointments to try on dresses to be worn at various events like Class Day, Ring Dinner, and Charming Evening. Learn more.
Meredith’s student apartments hold LEED Silver certification. Highlights of the building include dual flush toilets, “dark sky” exterior light fixtures, rainwater harvesting, and low-emitting paints and carpets. Additionally, 89% of construction waste was diverted.
The College’s community garden, located behind the Weatherspoon Building, is open to all members of the Meredith community. Led by Associate Professor of Food and Nutrition Jennifer McMillen, the garden serves as a campus resource for education, research, service, and training in sustainability, ecology, food security, and environmentally sound food production. The garden grows organic vegetables, herbs, and flowers throughout the year with spring, summer, and fall harvests.
There are various ways for the Meredith community to get involved in the garden, including preparing garden beds, planting, harvesting, watering, and planning for future projects. The garden leadership team seeks students, faculty, and staff with interest and enthusiasm who can bring new ideas to keep the garden evolving and dynamic! The on-site composting operation always welcomes individual compost donations of meat-free and dairy-free food scraps.
Contact Jennifer McMillen for volunteer and service opportunities.
The majority of campus planting is drought-resistant (also known as xeriscaping). We choose native plants when feasible and decrease the need for irrigation by using planting techniques such as mulching. Meredith partners with local tree trimming companies to collect trimming “chips,” which we use as mulch. We use composted materials such as wood chips and leaves to increase soil fertility.
We operate an integrated pest management program to minimize pesticide use. We spot-treat as necessary to reduce pesticide exposure and use.
To reduce energy consumption, LED lighting has been installed in several buildings, including the Carlyle Campbell Library, Harris Hall, Weatherspoon Gym, and residence halls. Outdoor lighting across campus has also been replaced with LED bulbs.
Much of Meredith’s beautiful grounds are irrigated by rainwater collected on campus. Both the Meredith Lake at the McIver Amphitheater and the pond located behind The Oaks collect rainwater and stormwater runoff, which is then used to irrigate lawns and plantings across campus. All planted beds that are irrigated use high-efficiency drip irrigation with minimal evaporation.
Planted by student volunteers in 2009, the Edible Landscape is designed to offer a living demonstration of where and how things grow. Located across from Ledford Hall, the landscape features plants including persimmons, figs, pomegranates, and plums.
This campus laboratory houses a diverse group of plants used for educational purposes while providing space and equipment for student research projects and supporting the adjacent Three Sisters Garden. The greenhouse is surrounded by the Biological Diversity Garden. Student volunteers are often needed to support the greenhouse.
The greenway that follows Meredith’s southern and western borders is part of Raleigh’s network of recreational trails that offers walking, jogging, biking, bird watching, and nature study. The section on campus connects via footbridge to the Museum Park of the North Carolina Museum of Art.
In honor of Nobel Peace Prize Winner Wangari Maathai’s visit to campus in 2009, students planted more than 400 trees to form the Meredith College Green Belt. The Green Belt Movement, founded by Maathai, works with women around the world to teach the importance of biodiversity and environmental conservation. The trees are arranged in arboretum-style botanically interesting groupings. Take a self-guided tour of the Green Belt by beginning at the southeast corner of campus near the intersection of Hillsborough and Faircloth streets, and following the greenway to the northwest corner of campus near the NC Museum of Art Park.
This on-campus Forest is more than 50 acres of protected habitat for local wildlife. Home to tributary creek of the Crabtree Creek watershed, a permanent one-hectare research plot, and more than 20 species of trees, the Forest offers a unique learning space and refuge inside Raleigh’s beltline. Meredith College is a founding institution of the Ecological Research as Education Network – through this partnership, our faculty and students are conducting research in the Forest.