Photo: Tulane Public Relations

You’ve graduated. That doesn’t mean that your relationship with your alma mater has to end.

In fact, you hold much more influence over your school now then you did when you were a student on campus.

Every college and university wants to keep alumni happy; they’re crucial to building and sustaining a school’s endowment. But even if you’ve never contributed a dime to your alma mater’s annual fund, you can still let them know your future support is dependent upon them demonstrating their commitment to the environment.

Here are five steps you can take as an alum to help your alma mater go green:

1. Request that all communications be paperless.
How many letters do you receive each year asking you for money? Let your alma mater know that you won’t even consider making a contribution if you continue to receive requests through the mail. Call your alumni relations office and request that future communications be sent via email. If you do plan to make a contribution, ask if it’s possible to do so electronically.

2. Designate your contributions for green initiatives.
Most schools permit alumni to designate how their contribution will be earmarked. If you want to send a message about your environmental values to your alma mater, let them know that your contribution should be applied toward the construction of green dorms or a scholarship for a student studying environmental science.

3. Praise positive steps.
University administrators are like anyone else: they like acknowledgment of their good work. If your alma mater, like mine, is really taking the lead on environmental stewardship, send the president a letter and let him or her know how proud you are of their leadership.

4. Offer your skills.
Alumni who want to stay involved in their alma mater often serve on alumni boards, help organize reunions, or maybe even mentor current students. But your involvement doesn’t have to be limited to these activities. If you have a unique skill set, offer it to your school. Know how to install solar panels? Plan and plant a garden? Talk with your alumni office about how you might be able to give back by sharing what you know.

5. Stay in touch.
Keep up with the environmental and sustainability projects your alma mater is implementing. Check your school’s website or alumni magazine or newspaper to learn about current and planned projects.

Community Connection:

Still a student? Check out five ways you can help your school go green here.