Otter Student Union

Sustainability in the OSU

Welcome to the sustainability efforts of the Otter Student Union!
At the Otter Student Union, we are committed to promoting sustainability and reducing our environmental impact. We take pride in being a LEED certified building and earning credits in various categories including alternative transportation and water efficiency.

LEED Certification - LEED Silver
The foundation of the CSU rests on the social, economic, and environmental pillars that represent the broader scope of sustainability. The Otter Student Union project supported this goal with contributions in water use reduction, community connectivity, on-site renewable energy, construction waste management, increased ventilation and maximized open space. This project exemplifies the CSU mission to provide a high-quality and affordable education and be responsible stewards of natural resources by promoting the environmental sustainability of our built environment.

Alternative Transportation
Our building is conveniently located near an MST stop, making it easy for commuters to use public transportation. In addition, we have installed bike racks to encourage cycling as a mode of transportation on campus.

Efficient Landscaping
Our landscaping system is designed to be water efficient and sustainable. We have carefully selected plants that are native to California and are drought resistant, which reduces the need for frequent watering. Our calsense irrigation system monitors the weather, manages water flow, detects breaks in the line, and collects data to produce custom water-saving reports.

Water Conservation & Water Bottle Refill Stations
We take water conservation seriously at the Otter Student Union. Low-flow toilets are installed in every restroom to reduce water consumption, and refillable water stations are available throughout the facility to minimize the use of plastic bottles.

Waste Management
The OSU has integrated a 3-bin waste stream system to capture landfill, recycling, and compostable materials. 

E-Waste and Battery Recycling
We provide convenient e-waste and battery recycling services to promote responsible disposal.

Sustainability in Dining
Our dining facilities prioritize sustainable practices, including locally sourced ingredients and eco-friendly packaging. Consider purchasing a reusable green box at any campus dining location. 

Clean Energy
We are proud to utilize clean energy for our building's electricity needs. The CSUMB solar array provides power to the building, which is standard practice at CSUMB.

Environmental Justice
The Otter Cross Cultural Center, located within the Otter Student Union, is a hub for environmental justice. We work to promote sustainability and educate the community on environmental issues.

Regional Materials
We believe in using locally sourced materials to reduce our carbon footprint. Our drywall features gypsum mined in Plaster City, California.

Communications and Marketing
Rather than bulletin boards, the Otter Student Union features numerous digital displays throughout the three floors to help create a sustainable form of advertising that hundreds of people visiting on a daily basis can easily see. This is the perfect sustainable opportunity to promote upcoming events, programs, or notices to those coming into our spaces without the waste of printed materials.

Diversity and Inclusion
At the Otter Student Union, we are committed to promoting diversity and inclusion in all of our events and initiatives. We strive to create a welcoming and inclusive environment for all members of our community. As part of this commitment, we make the CSUMB Land Acknowledgement at the beginning of our events to acknowledge the indigenous peoples who have stewarded this land for generations. We also ensure event accessibility is offered to events being held in the Otter Student Union, including accommodations for deaf, hard of hearing, and other participants with impairments and physical accessibility, such as wheelchair access.

At the Otter Student Union, we strive to promote sustainability and reduce our environmental impact. Join us in our efforts to create a more sustainable future for our campus and community.

Plan a Zero Waste event in the Otter Student Union

There are many ways to incorporate sustainable practices when planning an event. A zero waste event is an event with a set goal to minimize the total amount of waste sent to the landfill. Event organizers can achieve zero waste at their events by reducing, reusing, and recycling where possible. The Sustainable Events Blueprint can help event organizers integrate sustainability, find our more information at Sustainable Events at CSUMB