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Campus Sustainability

Bike Cave

The cave offers assistance with bicycle repairs, free access to tools and low cost basic tune-ups. Quality used bikes are also available at low cost. A guiding principle of the organization is to encourage students, faculty, staff and visitors of Texas State to use alternative transportation modes.

Bobcat Blend

Bobcat Blend is a faculty managed, student-run and grant-supported research and teaching-oriented waste management campus composting program at Texas State University. The goals of the organization are to teach students, faculty and staff through daily operations and development of habits the environmental, economic, and intrinsic values of composting, in the cafeterias and in the classrooms, labs and landscapes on campus. We are currently accepting volunteers to be a part of our award-winning team. 

Bobcat Build

Bobcat Build was started 15 years ago as a way to say “Thank You” to the San Marcos community.  It has now turned into a Texas State University tradition and serves as the largest service project on campus.  It is also the second largest, one-day community service project in the state of Texas. The name itself symbolizes our goal of strengthening the bond between Texas State University and the community of San Marcos. Every spring semester, students volunteer their time to complete various service projects throughout the community such as landscaping, painting, or clean-ups at residents’ homes, local schools, parks, churches, and neighborhoods. Over the past 10 years, the event has grown in participation from approximately 700 volunteers at 50 jobsites to nearly 4,500 volunteers at over 300 jobsites within the San Marcos community!

Campus Dining

With education as the primary focus of our business activity, Texas State Dining by Chartwells is committed to fostering and promoting sustainable business principles to our clients and customers.  Our associates will lead by example through activities that minimize our impact on the environment by practicing the 3Rs, with a primary focus on reduction.  Our programs will include the necessary information to encourage informed choices on both the food we conserve, and the ways we interact with the natural environment.  Charitable donations, funding scholarship and bursaries, and active volunteerism by our associate are just some of the ways that Chartwells re-invests in our communities.

Environmental Service Committee

Nurtured by diversity, fortified by collaboration, and fostered by tradition, the Environmental Service Committee (ESC) at Texas State University empowers people to achieve their vision of a sustainable campus community by providing a platform through which environmentally centered projects can be funded. The ESC distributes funds collected from the Environmental Service Fee for improvements at the University and within greater San Marcos.

Food for Thought Garden

A front view of the food for thought garden

Food for Thought is an entrepreneurial campus, fresh fruit and vegetable production plan, developed by Honors students enrolled in an organic gardening class in 2009. Through the project, a garden supplying fresh fruit and vegetables will be built on Texas State Campus. The crops from the Food for Thought garden will then be available to the student body. As well as offering a fresh food source to the students and community, the Food For Thought garden provides a great opportunity for community service work.

Living Library

Through efforts of Horticulture students backed by funds from the Environmental Services Committee (ESC) and private donations, a terraced garden has been built around the Agriculture building on Texas State Campus. The garden is home to plants which cannot be found on any other part of campus. Since the Living Library’s initial construction began in 2001, the garden has been known to attract faculty, staff and students who are looking for a place to relax and study, or enjoy the beauty of the plants, insects and birds in the garden. Students in horticulture classes can maintain personal plots throughout the semester.

The stairs near the living libary

The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment

One of the greatest privileges of the Meadows Center is the stewardship and management of Spring Lake and its habitat, endangered species, and cultural resources. The Meadows Center is active in the San Marcos community and beyond and strives to strengthen those ties by connecting stewardship of water and natural resources to quality of life. The Meadows Center cultivates a stewardship ethic and practice through the community-driven management of Spring Lake as well as local watershed activities across Texas.

Rainwater Collection

To harvest rainwater and minimize the need of water that is used for irrigation around the Agriculture building gardens, a rainwater collection tank has been installed. By capturing and utilizing this naturally available resource, we can provide not only a model of efficiency to students, but we can also minimize water usage and costs at Texas State University. The catchment surface area in question is atop the Agriculture building on an approximately 36,000 square foot glass area. Runoff would be diverted around the corner to a Cistern, placed in a largely unused area near the gardens. The designers of the rainwater collection system predict the system will harvest at least 7,500 gallons of water, with only 15,000 square feet of collection space, well enough to keep the cistern full during the dry season.

A rainwater collection tank with colorful graffiti on it


The Texas State Recycling Program provides recycling services for all students, faculty, and staff of the University. Indoor and outdoor receptacles are located throughout campus, offering a convenient way for everyone to do their part in helping the environment. There is also a drop-off facility at the recycling center if you choose to bring your own recyclables. Currently, the Recycling Program is an effort to heighten on-campus recycling awareness through various campaigns and special events.

Sport Field Compost

The compost used to maintain sport fields at Texas State is made from tree trimmings, raked leaves and other vegetative material from this campus only, with no outside inputs. Grounds Operations has a policy that vegetative materials are never put in a dumpster to be transported to a landfill. The compost provides Grounds Operations a very useful product made from the materials that are picked up on campus. Several crews work on different parts of this process from chipping branches, turning/watering the compost pile and applying it to the fields.

Some of the fields where the compost is used are near the San Marcos River and composting allows the University to minimize nonpoint source pollution that might otherwise occur with traditional sports field maintenance .

A truck dispersing compost


A building that holds the compost

Vermicomposting is an initiative begun and coordinated by students and faculty of the agriculture department. The program collects the food waste from Harris Dining Hall and combines it with dirt, other waste products, and worms. Once the solution has been fully composted by the worms, the compost produced will be used to serve and expand the variety of plants within the living library.