skip to main content
Office of Sustainability
University of Mississippi

Employee Sustainability Guide


“By fostering education that encourages responsible and equitable management of our environmental, social and economic resources, the sustainability framework challenges our university to consider the interdependent nature of our lives, the natural environment, our communities and the economy and especially the improvement of these relationships.”

-UM alumni Jillian Cowart and Kendall McDonald

Click on the topics below to learn more about the various sustainable events, programs, and resources in and around Oxford! If you have any questions or requests email us





Measuring Sustainability

The University of MS currently has a STARS rating of bronze

The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ (STARS)  is a self-reporting point system for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance progress. As a member institution of the  Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), the University of Mississippi uses this tool to understand our progress and plan our work. If you are a faculty or staff member, you play a valuable role in assisting with data collection by reporting any work by your office or department that is related to sustainability, sustainability concepts in a class that you teach, or any operations data that is relevant to our report.



Waste Reduction

Recycling Drop-Off Location in Oxford

What to Recycle and Where?

Recycling bins are found around campus and inside buildings in various sizes and forms. At the University of Mississippi, we recycle plastics #1 & #2, cardboard, mixed paper, aluminum, and e-waste, such as ink cartridges. Although you can drop these items off at locations found on campus, the city of Oxford collects additional recyclables, such as books, plastic bags, glass, batteries, and much more at different locations found around town. For a complete list of what all you can recycle in Oxford and the locations to drop off additional recyclables, please see Additional Recyclables Collected On & Off Campus. If you wish to recycle from home, you can either sign up for curbside recycling (for those who live within the city limits), or you can take your recycling to three drop-off locations. These drop-off locations are found at the following sites:

  1. Municipal Center (City Shop) on Molly Barr Road beside the police station
  2. Highway 7 South next to Oxford Fire Station #3
  3. Recycling Center at the City of Oxford Landfill on County Road 321 (Pea Ridge Road)

You can also sign-up for glass recycling pick-up from your home to be transported to the nearest glass recycling facility in Memphis, TN.

For more information on how and where to recycle in Oxford please see the UM Recycling Guide.

Recycling Signage

Recycling signage applied on and above max-R recycling receptacle

The Office of Sustainability has worked with University Marketing & Communications to develop printable and orderable recycling signage for faculty and staff of Ole Miss to apply on and above bins in their academic and residence buildings. Our educational signage gives clear and informative instructions on what to recycle and helps improve recycling rates overall. If you see a bin on campus without this signage, please see Recycling Signage to print or order the appropriate signage for the recycling bin. We thank you for your help in reducing waste and improving the UM recycling program!


Green Grove Game Day Recycling

Recycling collected during a game day

On select game days, Green Grove student volunteers help to recycle and conduct outreach to tailgaters and game-goers. A substantial amount of waste is produced on gamedays in the grove; if you are in the grove on a game day, look for the recycling receptacles placed throughout the grove and grab a recycling bag from one of fifteen green dispensers to recycle at your location. Please see How to Recycle on Gameday to learn more on how to recycle on game day and to view a map of the locations of the recycling bag dispensers and green grove tent. If you can’t find the recycling bags or need assistance, look for the green grove tent, and one of our volunteers will be happy to help. This is also a special program where we can recycle solo cups, and we participate in the Game Day Recycling Challenge, a national collegiate competition that measures the recycling efforts and diversion rates from tailgating areas and stadiums around the country.

See here for more information on the Green Grove Recycling Program and how you and students you may know can get involved.

Reusables for Campus Dining

If you plan to dine on campus, the meal plan addition, Eco Kit, includes a reusable to-go container, hot/cold tumbler with metal straw, & insulated bag. If you choose to take part in the reusable mug program to reduce waste, you will receive a discount on fountain beverages and coffee at Ole Miss Dining dining locations. If you get your meal to go from the Rebel Market, the Marketplace at the RC, or the Grill at 1810, you can use the Reusable To-Go Container with a one-time, $5 investment in a Eco Clam Shell. For more information about these reusable options please contact Campus Dining.

Hydration Stations

Supporting waste reduction on campus can be as simple as choosing to carry a water bottle with you. The Office of Sustainability partnered with RebelWell to install H20tty Toddy Hydration Stations, water-refilling stations, across campus with generous support from BlueCross BlueShield Mississippi. You can find these stations at many locations across campus; for a complete list of these locations please see the Rebel Well webpage.

UM Compost Program

Compost being covered by Green Student Interns

The Office of Sustainability composts pre-consumer food waste from seven different campus dining locations. Since its establishment in 2013, the UM Compost Program has diverted more than 100,000 lbs of food waste from the landfill. An overview of the data obtained from the compost program over the past years can be found here. Our team of Green Student Interns collect food material, including fruits, vegetables, grains, eggs, coffee grounds and more, and combines it with dry, nitrogenous materials such as wood chips and leaves. These materials decompose for the duration of the semester on a plot of land at the Maynard W. Quimby Medicinal Plant Garden on campus. The decomposed material creates a rich soil amendment, which is then used at various gardens both on and off-campus. If you are interested in using compost from the project in your garden, e-mail For more information about the program see Composting at Ole Miss.




Local Parks & Walking Trails

Oxford, MS has a variety of public parks providing access to walking & biking trails, sporting fields, public pools, playgrounds, skating, and more. For a complete list of all of the public parks in Oxford and their locations, see Parks in Oxford, MS. Below are a few highlights of some of the favorite green areas and hiking spots in Oxford.

Patricia C. Lamar Park

“‘Pat’ Lamar Park was designed as an outdoor arboretum to be enjoyed for its’ greenery, lovely walking trails, garden features, and quiet lake.  It is named in honor of Oxford’s first female mayor from 1997-2001.” It is located at the Corner of College Hill Road and Country Club Road. This vast green park features a running/walking/biking path, a small lake, art sculptures, and great bird-watching habitat during migration periods.

Bailey’s Woods Trail

Located conveniently behind Rowan Oak, the Bailey’s Wood trail is a hiking trail about a mile long that winds through the woods behind William Faulkner’s famous estate and leads out to the University of Mississippi Museum. William Faulkner himself was known to walk this trail. This is a lovely, shaded trail perfect for an afternoon stroll with special views of Mississippi’s rich nature and wildlife. It now features educational plaques along the trail, go check it out!

South Campus Rail Trail

The South Campus Rail Trail features a unique expanse of hiking and biking trails that extend from a 2.5-mile central gravel railroad bed. The rail-trail and the wooded trails that extend from it are great for hiking, biking, and running. It is also a colorful sight to see when the autumn trees are just changing in Fall. It is located just south of campus and Highway 6 and just west of Chucky Mullins Drive. For more information about the trail please see Campus Recreation: South Campus Rail Trail.


Community & Campus Gardens

The Oxford Community Garden

Located next to the City Pavillion on University Ave. at Bramlett Blvd., the Oxford Community Garden’s mission is to “enhance the well-being and beauty of the community by assisting people in growing fresh produce, providing locally-grown food to people in need, increasing social interaction in the community, and creating an educational garden in an attractive setting.” If you are interested in learning more and/or becoming a member please see the Oxford Community Garden Association. Follow the Oxford Community Garden Association on Facebook to stay updated on the events, workshops, and more about gardening in Oxford.

UM Field Station

The UM Field Station is a research and educational facility designed to serve visiting faculty and students, public and private schools, government agencies, and the broader community of the Mid-South. The Field Station is located on a 740-acre site 11 miles northeast of the UM Oxford campus off of County Road 202. The mission of the University of Mississippi Field Station is to foster ecosystem stewardship by providing a natural laboratory and infrastructure for research, education, and service, and by cultivating scientific information and understanding of upland watersheds in the lower Mississippi River Basin and similar habitats. The station lies in an uncommonly scenic three mile long V-shaped valley surrounded by wooded hills from which springs and seeps flow year-round.  The facility is unique because of an unusual combination of terrain, vegetation, water resources, and engineering.”

Strawberry Plains Audubon Center & Wall Doxey State Park

If you would like to visit more natural areas near Oxford, MS, the Strawberry Plains Audubon Center and Wall Doxey State Park are great scenic areas within 45 minutes. The Strawberry Plains Audubon Center is a beautiful nature preserve managed by the National Audubon Society; It is located in the historic wooded uplands of the Holly Springs National Forest. The rustic cabin on-site hosts educational naturalist workshops throughout the seasons that you won’t regret attending! Please see the Strawberry Plains Audubon Center site to plan your visit and see future events, like the Annual Hummingbird Festival. 

Wall Doxey State Park is a quaint campground with a spring-fed lake and surrounding walking/hiking trails. It is a great place to practice your fishing skills or go bird watching. It is located on highway MS-7 towards Holly Springs, MS. Please see Wall Doxey State Park for more information. 




Gameday Recycling & Sorting

The Green Grove Game Day Recycling Program is not limited to student volunteers; faculty and staff are encouraged to join in our game day recycling and education effort. The recycled material from the game day is sorted on the following Monday and/or Tuesday, and this is another opportunity to dive into the reality of recycling and to learn more about the recycling process in Oxford, MS. Please see Volunteer Opportunities for more information. 

Composting Sift-a-thons 

“At least once a semester, students, faculty, and staff have the ability to help the Compost Team sift finished compost. Volunteers get to experience the composting process hands-on as they work the materials in the matured compost pile through a wire screen that separates things like sticks, rocks, and unfinished compost from the final, nitrogen-enriched soil. Sifting the compost is required for the compost to be distributed and important for ensuring a quality soil product because it guarantees that large particles, like sticks and rocks, will not affect the germination and growth of plant seeds. To get your hands dirty with us, click here.

“Big Event” Volunteering 

The Ole Miss Big Event has historically been the largest community service project in the history of the University of Mississippi! These projects may include painting, yard work, washing windows, cleaning, assisting the elderly, etc. Community members looking to sign up can contact the executive committee at for registration information. For more information about the event see Ole Miss Big Event. 


Serve on a committee 

The Office of Sustainability has three cross-campus committees: the UM Energy Committee, the Active Transportation Advisory Committee, and the UM Green Fund Committee. Staff and faculty are represented on all three committees. If you are interested in serving on a committee or learning more about what these committees do, contact us at

Join a community club 

Newcomers wishing to get involved with the community of Oxford can visit Oxford Family & Community Civic Organizations to browse what is available to join at this time. 

Oxford Cycling Club 

“The Oxford Cycling Club brings together a community of mountain and road cyclists, who work together to provide opportunities for safer and more enjoyable recreational cycling in and around Oxford, Mississippi. The primary purpose of the club is to help develop a more bicycle-friendly infrastructure in Oxford. Oxford Cycling also seeks to promote the interests of recreational bicycling, bicycling as exercise, bicycle racing, bicycle safety, and camaraderie among all cyclists. Oxford Cycling provides the opportunity for its members to have a unified voice in bicycle advocacy and the opportunity to participate in cycling activities on a regular basis. By riding in groups, members enjoy bicycling in relative safety, with knowledgeable cyclists, and reap the rewards of friendship and encouragement. Oxford Cycling is open to cyclists of all ages and skill levels. ” To find group rides and connect with the Oxford Cycling group see their Facebook page.


Green Week

“Green Week is a campus-wide and community event that aims to celebrate sustainability efforts in our area, inspire students, faculty, and staff and community members to forge new commitments to a more resource-conscious lifestyle, and strengthen the presence of sustainability at the University of Mississippi and in Oxford.”  Green Week at Ole Miss is a sustainability fueled week of green events, workshops, talks, and more that takes place around Earth Day every Spring semester.  This a great week to engage with the community and the people of Oxford who care about sustainability.




UM nutrition clinic 

The UM Nutrition Clinic provides medical nutrition counseling, diet analysis, weight management classes and more! “Whatever your nutritional need, our registered dietitians will help you develop a plan for a healthy lifestyle that’s right for you.” Please see UM Nutrition Clinic for more information. 


Certified Green Restaurants on Campus 

The following dining options on campus were the first restaurants to be certified by the Green Restaurant Association. This certification is based on metrics including energy usage, sourcing, waste reduction, and composting. You can read more about green restaurants at UM here. 

Lenoir Hall dining is a unique place to eat nutritious food on campus prepared by students. Lenoir Hall maintains sustainable practices and composts unused food materials. It is open during the weekdays and offers different menus featuring healthy food options. Check out Lenoir Dining to view a menu and make reservations. 

The Rebel Market offers buffet-style dining with options ranging from southern home cooking to Japanese sushi! The Rebel Market composts food waste and provides vegan and vegetarian options. 


Ole Miss Dining  

Ole Miss Dining promotes healthy diets and works to provide nutritional options during your time at Ole Miss. If you will be eating on campus and have a meal plan, learn how to eat healthy on your plan by reading these meal plan tips. Look for these brightly colored labels at dining locations on campus to be aware of nutritional options, foods made with whole grains, vegan, vegetarian, and plant-forward foods. Check out how dining strives to be sustainable by reading what they are doing on campus through Green Thread, a sustainability platform that works to reduce environmental impact. 

Local Farmers’ Markets 

The Office of Sustainability developed the Guide to Eating Local, which includes information about local farmers’ markets, including the Oxford Community Market, Midtown Farmers’ Market, and Chicory Market, a local sustainable grocery store. 


UM Food day 

The UM Food Day is celebrated in October on campus. It includes engaging events such as a campus farmer’s market, panels on food sustainability topics, film screenings, and more. 


Vegetarian and Vegan 

The Office of Sustainability has compiled all of the vegetarian and vegan options available on campus in a detailed Vegetarian and Vegan Dining Guide. Please see Vegetarian and Vegan Dining at Ole Miss to access the guide and learn more about other restaurants in Oxford that provide these options. 




The University of Mississippi was designated a Bicycle Friendly University on the Bronze level by the League of American Cyclists in 2015. Click here to download a PDF of a Pedestrian and Biking Map of Oxford and Lafayette County developed by the LOU and Pathways Commission. Please visit Bike Ole Miss for more resources on biking at Ole Miss. 

UM faculty and staff are encouraged to bike on campus and to register it to ensure there are adequate parking and recovery in place of theft. You can register your bike online here.  Visit the Ole Miss Bike Shop to service your bike or rent a bike for a semesterly fee of $30.00 (includes helmet and lock). 

Share rides

Ole Miss Bike Sharing Program 

Ole Miss bikes can be found at different locations on campus for an easy way to get around when you need to. You can find and reserve these bikes by downloading the app, . Visit Ole Miss Gotcha Bike for more information and to sign up for a plan. 

Zimride Carpooling 

Save money and reduce carbon emissions by signing up for this carpool service. You can give others a ride or hop in with other commuters as needed. You can sign up for Zimride free at Additional information about the service can be read on our blog here

Zipcar Car Sharing

Need a car to go on a weekend trip or only for a couple of hours? You can easily rent and return a car to campus through Zipcar. See Zipcar to view pricing and book a trip. 


Skip the parking and traffic on campus by taking the bus. Oxford University Transit (O.U.T.) system can take you directly to several locations on campus and throughout the city of Oxford. It is a free service encouraged for use by UM faculty and staff. Learn more about O.U.T bus lines here. You can also download the Next Bus App to track the status of your local line. 


Online Resources

    • Green Office Guide 
    • UM Recycling Guide 
    • Guide to Eating Local 
    • Composting Guide 
    • Vegan and Vegetarian Guide 
    • Biking at Ole Miss pamphlet 


Wellness Resources

Recreation Centers 

South Campus Recreation Center 

South Campus Recreation Center (SCRC) is our newest recreation center having been completed in August of 2019. This center is equipped with large indoor and outdoor training zones, an indoor climbing wall, fitness studios, basketball and multi-activity courts, a walking/jogging track, a demonstration kitchen, and a convenience store. It is also surrounded by recreational fields and is adjacent to the South Campus Rail Trails. 

The Turner Center 

The Turner Center is our indoor fitness facility found right on campus neighboring the Pavillion. It accommodates basketball, volleyball, and badminton courts, fitness centers, a swimming pool, cycling classes, racquetball courts and more! Tennis courts for recreational use can be found behind the Turner Center. 

The Black-burn McMurray Outdoor Sportsplex 

The Black-burn McMurray Outdoor Sportsplex offers sporting fields, volleyball courts, a disc-golf course, and outdoor fitness equipment

For more information on the above recreation facilities please see Campus Recreation Facilities.

Public Recreation Centers Outside of Campus 

The Ulysses “Coach” Howell Activity Center and is located at 396 Price Street, on the corner of Molly Barr road, across from the police department and The Pantry. It features two full-size basketball courts, volleyball, and a walking track. The office can be accessed via phone at (662) 232-2379 or contact Sam Pryor, facility manager, at (662) 816-9613 or via e-mail at for more information. 

The Oxford Activity Center is located next to the above center on the corner of Price St. and Molly Barr Road. It features fitness/yoga classes, two indoor basketball courts, a gymnastics room, and several multipurpose rooms. The office can be accessed via phone at (662) 232-2379 or contact Sam Pryor, facility manager, at (662) 816-9613 or via e-mail at for more information.

The FNC Tennis Center is located at 400 Price Street, this facility houses 20 lighted hard tennis courts. Visit for league information, news and events, and to see a calendar of all scheduled events on the courts.

The Oxford City Pool is located at 200 Washington ave. It is open for recreational use and hosts fitness classes such as aerobics and swim. Please see the Oxford City Pool Facebook for more information. 


Fitness Groups/Training

Campus Recreation offers over 50 fitness classes for you to join including small group and personal training. RebelWell Group Fitness is also available for Faculty and Staff. The South Campus Recreation center will soon be offering services for wellness education, outdoor programming, and personal training.

Employee Wellness Discounts 

UM employees can take advantage of wellness discounts for use at campus recreation centers, Oxford Rebel Body Fitness, standing desks, and golfing. Please see Employee Wellness Discounts for more information.

Physical Therapy 

“Physical therapy services are available to university employees and students and may include examination, evaluation, and treatment of sports-, recreational-, overuse- and work-related injuries. The services are focused on orthopedic based injury and rehabilitation. Treatment will be determined based upon findings during the examination and evaluation process.” Please see Physical Therapy for more information and to make an appointment. 

Health Service 

UM Faculty and Staff can receive help with the following acute medical problems: 

  • DOT Physicals
  • Birth Control Implants
  • General wellness examinations
  • Laboratory testing
  • Radiology services
  • Immunizations

Please see Employee Health Services for more information.


UM Green Fund

Do you have an idea that you think can improve an aspect of sustainability on campus? You can apply for the UM Green Fund to make your great idea a reality! The Green fund is available for projects that meet a sustainability goal. Your project will be evaluated and chosen to be granted by the green fund committee. Since its establishment in 2013, the Green Fund has awarded more than $58,000 of funding to 22 projects. Past projects include the establishment of the UM Compost Program, the installation of hydration stations, and energy conservation projects in RC South and the J.D. Williams Library. All faculty, staff, and students are eligible to propose a project. To learn more about the Green Fund, see our page: UM Green Fund. 


Stay Updated

Subscribe to our newsletter, The Red, Blue, and Green Newsletter, to stay up to date on sustainable events, learn green tips, and so much more. 

Enjoy being outside in Mississippi and recreational events by checking out weekly events posted by campus recreation, like Kayak Thursdays!