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Green Graduates

The Green Graduates of Virginia Tech program asks graduating students to take a personal sustainability pledge that encourages them to think about the environmental impact of their jobs, travel, and other adventures after leaving Virginia Tech. By pledging, students are committing to foster sustainable behaviors both in their own lives and in the lives of their friends, family, and coworkers.

To honor the students who take the pledge, the Office of Sustainability awards all pledge signers with a free green cord to wear at graduation.


Students who want to participate will complete a survey with a short write up of how they pledge to support a sustainable world and a photo of themselves (think Humans of New York project or your standard selfie). Pledges will be posted to the Green Graduates of Virginia Tech Facbook page. 

Students who pledged will be contacted the month before graduation with information on how and where to pick up their green cord.   (Please note: green cord distribution is subject to change due to continuing impacts of COVID-19)


All undergraduate and graduate students are eligible; however, only students who are set to graduate in the upcoming graduation ceremony will receive a cord at that time. Students who would like to be put on the list of future green graduates can submit their information at any time. The Office of Sustainability will notify them when their cord is available for pickup in the month prior to their graduation.

photo of a young college graduate against a mountain background

I pledge to live a sustainable life after college by reducing my plastic and meat consumption. Although I already try to eat a plant-based diet, I think it's also important to avoid unnecessary packaging. There are too many food products in the industry that are wrapped in plastic or non-biodegradable packaging. I pledge to reduce my consumption of these products and look for low-waste options instead.

The construction industry is lacking in the area of sustainability. I am currently doing research to improve the energy feedback technologies that can be installed within homes and commercial spaces. Once I graduate, I plan to use my graduate research and work at an engineering or consulting firm, installing and educating energy users about their feedback behaviors and what they can do to improve said behaviors.

photo of a young college graduate against a city background

photo of a young college graduate against a mountain background

After graduating, I plan to continue and improve my own sustainable practices in my personal life by producing as little waste as possible, encouraging my peers to practice sustainability, and further studying green practices. In addition, my career goals focus largely on sustainability, as I hope to research, design and build sustainable buildings and energy systems. I hope to eventually become an educator, teaching high school STEM classes and passing on this passion to future generations.

I have made an effort throughout my life to live as sustainably as possible. But with the completion of my Master’s my plan is now to transition into a new career in the sustainability field. I will continue to volunteer with environmental groups and find more opportunities to volunteer my time assisting with sustainability initiatives in my community.

photo of a young college graduate on a beach