An important part of the University of Rhode Island is to continue enhancing sustainability practices, throughout the year, as well as during Commencement Weekend. In 2018, URI was awarded with the Green Ribbon Award. The U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools Award recognizes schools, districts and institutions of higher education that:

  • Reduce environmental impact and costs
  • Improve the health and wellness of schools, students, and staff
  • Provide effective environmental and sustainability education

Here are some ways we achieve this for Commencement Weekend:

Commencement Programs:

To reduce the amount of printing and waste, an electronic program will be posted on the Commencement website to view. Upon registration, graduates can register to have up to two printed programs mailed to them after Commencement weekend.  Our Commencement programs are printed on paper containing post-consumer fiber.

Recycled Gowns:

URI works with a gown supplier that provides its graduates beautiful gowns that also make the world a better place.
RESPONSIBLE REGALIA™, part of the Jostens Evergreen Collection, includes its exclusive bio-degradable line of Elements™ graduation keepsake gowns, Evolution™ keepsake gowns made from 100% post-consumer recycled plastic and our expanded rental regalia program featuring Revive™ gowns made from recycled materials.
Packaging and shipping materials are also made from recyclable materials when available.

Graduates looking to help others celebrate their moments that matter and reduce waste, are encourage to donate their gently used gown to
Jostens “Gowns for Good”
P.O. Box 949
Laurens, SC 29360

Water Bottle Filling Stations:

There will be water bottle filling stations available to guests attending Commencement ceremonies on Sunday. These stations, will be located around the Quad. Guests are encouraged to bring their own re-usable bottles.

Reduce, Reuse and Recycle:

The campus store no longer uses plastic bags for all merchandise purchased throughout Commencement Weekend.
Recycle bins can be found throughout numerous, convenient locations on campus. Paper, cans & bottles, metal, plastic and glass containers can be recycled at these containers.
Additionally, URI turns waste cooking oil into biodeisel through Newport Biodiesel.

Electric Vehicle Charging Stations:

The University has various electric vehicle charging stations for guests with electric cars, who will be on campus during Commencement weekend, as well as throughout the year. Between 2013 – 2017, over 1,000 gallons of gasoline were saved!

The University of Island is committed to sustainability in all of its operations. Learn more about Sustainability @ URI.