Swellness Logo

Swellness is the intersection of Wellness and Sustainability. It shows how our personal choices to be healthy impact our environment and make our planet - locally and globally - a more sustainable place for everyone. 

Who is eligible? 

Swellness Initiatives are available to all University members.

How does it work?

Choose to engage in sustainable behaviors/activities and can earn rewards along the way! There are a few ways to get involved:

Walk the Waste Away Header

1. Walk the Waste/Waist Away: Swellness is getting your steps in and reducing waste by sorting at centralized collection sites. Participate in Walk the Waste/Waist Away which is re-introduced at the beginning of a new semester. It was last held June 5th - June 9th, 2017 and will be held again this fall- look out for it!  If you want to get your steps in for the day or take a mini break, walk the waist away is the perfect way to get moving around the office. 

1. Walk your deskside trash and recycling bin to your centralized office/floor waste collection site. 

2. Empty everything in your bins into the quad system, and leave your bins next at the collection site for UMN Waste & Recycling Program to collect. 

3. From now on, walk your waste to the collection points! 

Get Hydrated

2. Get Hydrated: The Office of Sustainability wants to reward you for drinking water everyday. The program is open to anyone hydrating at work or on campus. How it works:

1. Download the free Cupanion app.

2. Request a Swellness barcode sticker for your reusable water bottle. 

3. Refill your water bottle at hydration stations on campus. Scan your barcode, or the barcode on the hydration station, with your smartphone by using the Cupanion app.  

When you fill your reusable water bottle and scan your barcode sticker (with your smartphone), you will be rewarded 10 points a scan. At 1000 points, you will win $2 towards any dining location on campus! 


3. Be a Wellness Champion! Swellness is becoming aware of decisions and actions that have an impact on personal health and our environment. If you're an employee who is committed and interested in promoting a culture of well being, please click here to learn how you can make it happen! 

Get Active

4. Get Active! Swellness is the act of incorporating activity into your daily schedule while building a sense of community. 

1. Looking for some ways to Get Active at the University of Minnesota? Some ways to do so are...

-Harvesting at Cornercopia, the organic farm on the St. Paul campus

-Employees partner with a non-profit of their choice to create a day of service for their department or office

        - There are a lot of organizations that can always use some extra hands. Get on your feet and save some energy packing food by hand for a great cause! Check out this calendar of additional volunteer opportunities in the Twin Cities to learn more!

        - An example of this would be Enterprise Asset Management and their commitment to volunteering. For the past 2 years, they have visited organizations such as Feed My Starving Children and 2nd Harvest. It’s easy for a group or an individual to sign up!

Get Around the Swell Way

5. Get Around the Swell Way: Swellness is the act of incorporating activity in your daily schedule. 

1. You can use Parking and Transportation and other services such as:

-The Gopher Way.

-The Sustainability Walking Tour; to enjoy or use to get to your next meeting. 

-Alternative transportation to and around campus; walking, biking, taking the bus/train to work, which gets your steps in and keeps the air clean. 

-The Bike Commuter Program- if you register in the ZAP program, students will have an opportunity to win monthly raffle drawings and employees have an opportunity to gain wellness points towards a lower health insurance premium. Click here to learn more!

Green Your Clean

6. Green Your Clean: Swellness is the act of creating clean, organized, and healthy spaces while making environmentally friendly product choices 

1. Check out a few websites that promote green cleaning:

-Safe Choice - US EPA 

-8 Green Cleaning Products - Real Simple Magazine

-Best Green Cleaning Products - Good Housekeeping Magazine

Meatless Mondays

7. Meatless Mondays/Most Days: Swellness is the act of choosing healthy foods that also have a positive environmental impact. 

1. Check out recipes and cooking classes from the Healthy Food Healthy Lives Institute focused on meatless and environmentally friendly meals and foods. 


8. BYOEverything: Swellness is the act of choosing to stay hydrated, eat healthy foods, and choosing reusable cups, bags, to-go containers, and saying no to single-use condiments. 

1. Learn about reusable healthy on-the-go eating options from M Dining. 

Eat the Swell Way

9. Eat the Swell Way: Swellness is the act of choosing healthy foods that have a low impact on our environment. 

1. Buy a CSA on-campus! Commit to buying local food or finding local food in your area to buy.