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Digital Campus Resources

PLAN鈥檚 library of resources provides the educational framework necessary for students to holistically understand the Waste Crisis and implement solutions on their campuses.聽Most of our resources only available to members.聽If your school is a member campus, download the manuals from the Member Hub. If not, connect with a Campus Advisor to find out how to make your school a part of the network!

Case Study Database

No need to reinvent the wheel when it comes to zero waste programming. The Case Study Database is a directory of nearly 300 case studies of successful zero waste programs and initiatives on college campuses that PLAN staff and interns have compiled for student advising and educational purposes. Topics range from food waste reduction initiatives and reusable to-go ware programs to best practices for surplus property and free/thrift stores, and beyond, while highlighting both independent student-run projects and official institutional directives that challenge systemic waste on campuses. Case studies play a major part in our one-on-one campus advising, provide concrete examples for our Atlas reports, and contribute to the development of our other resources.

Leadership Tools Database

Explore movement-building tools for organizing on your campus. Everything you need for inspiring systemic change is here, from facilitation templates to reading group discussion content, and more. The Leadership Tools Database is a new directory of resources that provides a place to explore essential movement skills and topics. Informed by cross-movement knowledge and strategies, these tools are intended for anyone interested in learning more about how to navigate the systems we live in. You can even utilize them as you build out your own on-campus campaign or project.

PLAN Members can access the Case Study Database and Leadership Tools Database on the Member Hub. If you are not a PLAN member, you can request access using the form below.


Our manuals are best-practice guides. Each of PLAN鈥檚 13 manuals contain 20-100+ pages of deep dives into specific projects that can be replicated on your campus. They are written to accommodate the unique aspects of each campus, offering pros and cons of different decisions, general project guidance, and basic student organizing skills that are grounded in anti-oppressive practices, such as just and equitable group management and sustainable leadership development. Each manual is also accompanied by campus case studies and supplemental resources such as templates of budgets, timelines, checklists, and more.
Campus Composting Manual
Written in partnership with US Composting Council, this manual covers all the steps to creating a successful composting program on campus. We cover:

  • Mapping the campus-wide flow of compostable materials 
  • Choosing the appropriate compost infrastructure for your campus
  • Designing a system that is user-friendly 
  • Advocating for composting beyond campus
Creative Reuse on Campus
In partnership with Goodwill, PLAN has put together fun, creative reuse solutions to even further reduce waste on campus. Here, we cover:

  • Intentional procurement across campus
  • Skills-sharing and strategic exchange between departments
  • Forming and maintaining partnerships between campus and community
  • Leveraging existing initiatives for creative reuse opportunities
Expanded Recycling Manual
PLAN鈥檚 Expanded Recycling manual addresses hard-to-recycle items often found on a typical college campus, what to do with them, and why it鈥檚 important to discard them responsibly. This manual covers:

  • Expanded recycler facility types and certifications
  • Material classifications, collection and disposal methods for e-waste, carpets, cosmetics and more
  • Institutionalizing expanded recycling operations through company and other partnership opportunities
  • Education and outreach for campus involvement in collection drives and responsible disposal
        Flow Don鈥檛 Throw
        This is a how-to guide for making reusable alternatives to disposable tampons and pads available and accessible on your campus. This manual covers:

        • Understanding the context of the menstrual equity movement
        • Building a team to manage your project
        • Securing support and finding funding on campus
        • Distribution models for equitable access to reusable menstrual products
            Food Recovery Manual
            With supplementary resources from Food Recovery Network, PLAN has compiled over 60 pages of best-practices guidance for reducing food waste on your campus. We move down the food waste hierarchy to tackle food waste from every angle, including:

            • Simple changes for source reduction of food waste
            • Organized efforts for salvaging pre- and post-consumer food scraps for redistribution
            • Secondary uses for salvaged food, including animal feed and industrial uses
            • Guidance for navigating a compost system that best suits your campus community
            Free and Thrift Store Manual
            To foster the power of reuse and the sharing economy, PLAN guides you step-by-step through setting up a student-run reuse store on your campus. Whether it is a space to swap old stationary, or accumulate a profit for a self-sustaining program, we cover all of the essentials, including:

            • Finding and securing a space for your store
            • Managing donations, storage, and customer service
            • Organizing and prepping donations for store-front setup 
            • Bookkeeping and record tracking of profits, inventory, and diversion rates
                    Manual Para Un Campus Sin Pl谩stico
                    En asociaci贸n con Plastic Pollution Coalition, desarrollamos este manual para cubrir c贸mo sacar los pl谩sticos de un solo uso de su campus. Ahora, traducido en espa帽ol! Nosotros cubrimos:

                      • Consejos para la rotaci贸n de liderazgo, como trabajar con la administraci贸n y como facilitar la colaboraci贸n en todo el campus.
                      • Consejos para comprender el uso de pl谩sticos desechables de un solo uso: d贸nde encontrarlo, por qu茅 es importante y con qui茅n hablar para hacer un cambio.
                      • Alternativas a los pl谩sticos desechables de un solo uso, desde el concepto de reutilizaci贸n hasta productos compostables.
                      • Creando un movimiento que se mantendr谩 despu茅s de graduarse 
                    Move-Out Manual
                    Learn how to start a Move out program on your campus where you collect dorm furniture from students moving out and resell it to incoming students in the fall. This manual dives into:

                    • Building a team to lead your Move out program
                    • Various types of collection systems for donations
                    • Community partnerships for donations
                    • Prepping for and executing a Sale
                          Plastic Free Campus Manual
                          In partnership with the Plastic Pollution Coalition, We developed this manual to cover how to kick single use plastics off of your campus. We cover:

                          • Organizing advice for leadership turnover, working with administration, and facilitating collaboration across campus.
                          • Tips for understanding the use of single-use disposable plastics: where to find it, why it鈥檚 important and who to talk to about making a change.
                          • Tangible alternatives to single-use disposable plastics, from the concept of reuse to compostable products.
                          • Guidance on taking action that will be sustained long after you graduate!
                          Cover for pouring rights manual, what shows beverage containers labeled Fossil Fuels and Plastic Pollution.
                          Pouring Rights Manual
                          This manual breaks down the relationship between Big Soda and Higher Ed, including steps to reduce the single-use plastic that beverage corporations bring to campus.聽This free resource is the first of its kind to break down the legal jargon of Pouring Rights, and show how to leverage that knowledge to create change 鈥 from pushing for plastic-free packaging to campaigning to end your campus’ relationship with Big Soda.
                          Reuse for Good Manual
                          This manual guides you through the process of partnering with Goodwill for your campus move out program. In this manual, we cover:

                          • Program development, staffing, and leadership structure
                          • Building a budget and finding funding
                          • Volunteer recruitment & management
                          • Collection models and how to run them
                          • Marketing, advertising, and reporting your results
                                    To-Go Container Program Guide
                                    This guide will help you start a reusable to-go container program on your campus. Big thanks to our friends at Preserve for helping us put together this resource!

                                              Waste Audit Manual Cover, with three bins doodled in yellow, aqua, and green.
                                              Waste Audit Manual

                                              PLAN鈥檚 Waste Audit Manual covers the basics for how to identify and assess data from waste streams on your campus. We鈥檝e re-written the 2015 manual to emphasize the ways in which waste audits can influence campus infrastructure and call out plastic-producing corporations. This manual shows how you can go beyond simply sorting trash and use waste audits as a powerful tool to advocate for lasting behavior change on campus.

                                              Zero Waste Events Guide
                                              From club events to arena sports games, here we鈥檝e piled all the essentials to hosting successful zero waste events. Learn about:

                                              • Marketing for a zero waste event
                                              • 鈥淭rash Talker鈥 volunteer training
                                              • Day-of execution of a zero waste event 
                                              • Tracking data and communicating your results

                                                        Toolkits & Quick-Guides

                                                        Take our advice! Navigating campus bureaucracy can be tough. All of the systems in place on every campus can be daunting to understand and work through, but there are ways to work through the red tape! Our 2-pager toolkits and quick-guides offer advice and solutions for navigating confusing campus structures and policies. PLAN members have access to resources including How To Find Funding On Campus, Accessing Documents, PLAN Tabling Kit, and more.


                                                        Resource Access

                                                         This form is to request access to specific resources for those that do not have membership access. This includes students, professors, partners, and nonprofits.

                                                        NOTE: For campus affiliates before you fill out this form please: 1) see if you are a member, by checking the Member Page, 2) reach out to our campus network director about membership -which will grant you access to all of our resources *we never turn a campus away for lack of funding.

                                                        We will follow up with you when we receive your request about access and an optional donation. For any questions email

                                                        Resource Request Access


                                                        Additional Resources

                                                        Use this section to request access to any materials that are not manuals, or topics found in the Program Case Library
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                                                        Confidentiality and Credit Statement

                                                        All of our manuals are copyrighted and cannot be changed, edited, reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form, by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without prior written and express permission from PLAN staff. For submitting permission requests, you may email us with the following as the subject line: 鈥淎ttention: Permissions for Manual Access鈥. All inquiries must be sent to for consideration. Please email us for requests containing logo usage. When using our resources, for both internal and external use, make sure to credit us wherever applicable鈥 in your Descriptions, Notes, Slide Decks, etc.
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