Welcome to Phoenix Sustainability Initiative

Founded in April of 2013, Phoenix Sustainability Initiative (PSI) is a Recognized Student Organization that seeks to develop and implement sustainable practices at the University and in Hyde Park. Centered upon a project group structure and partnership model, we create lasting change and impact by getting directly involved in planning, directing and executing initiatives.

Our project groups for this year:

  • Campus Composting The Campus Composting project group aims to work with University of Chicago Administration to begin the process of implementing composting as a form of waste diversion and greenhouse gas reduction on campus. We also work with student-run campus cafes to help improve their sustainability practices.
  • Professional Development The Professional Development Project group strives to connect students with green careers both in Chicago and beyond through treks. We also partner with RSOs on campus or local organizations if the opportunity presents itself for students to be exposed to different areas of green careers or sustainability as a whole.
  • Green Data Green Data’s goal is to create community science by collecting and analyzing information related to the University of Chicago and the greater Hyde Park area . Green Data focuses on researching environmental issues that intersect with public health and public policy concerns.
  • Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Reduce, Reuse, Recycle strives to promote and enact waste reduction and proper disposal across campus and in the Hyde Park community. With these goals in mind, we developed projects designed to gain greater insight into campus recycling habits, reduce student plastic use, and increase awareness of sustainability on campus for both current and incoming undergraduates. Partners throughout the year included UChicago’s Office of Sustainability, Dining Office, Housing Office, College Programming Office, Center for Leadership and Involvement, and Te’amo Boba Bar. 
  • Hyde Park Business Partners HPBP’s goal is to bring sustainability to the non-University Hyde Park community.  Our members bring thoughtful analysis and innovative solutions to our partners, targeting four main categories: water conservation, energy sourcing, food procurement, and waste management.  Some of our current partners include True North Cafe, Sanctuary Cafe, Medici Restaurant and others.
  • Public Engagement The Public Engagement Project Group has the goal to bring awareness of PSI’s activities to a larger campus audience and spread accurate and essential information about sustainability issues relevant to UChicago. We hope to bring PSI to people on campus who may otherwise not be involved with sustainability on campus.
  • Service (General Service and Environmental Education) Service Project Group’s mission is to organize trips and events to engage students in helping the environment in the local neighborhoods through the environmental education initiative, and other community service and fundraisers.
  • Campus Sustainability Partners Campus Sustainability Partners seeks to bring long-term administrative and organizational change to campus by working with RSOs, UChicago administration, Student Government, and other groups to promote sustainable practices in all aspects of UChicago life.

Environmental Education

PSI’s Service Group won $1,000 from the Bon Appétit Student Activist Grant for their Environmental Education Project.

With this grant, Service Group will expand its efforts to engage Chicago elementary students in lessons on climate change and the environment. They’re making environmental literacy accessible and fun – thank you to Bon Appétit Management Company for supporting their mission!