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Spring Party Waste

By Sustainability Office on April 15, 2016

By Sara Reese ’16 (Environmental biology major from Richmond, VA)

SPW front lineThe annual, and much anticipated, Spring Party Weekend (SPW) is a mere week away. While the weekend is known for its live music, dancing and free food, there are a number of sustainability concerns that stem from the event-filled weekend. One of the main concerns: the great amount of waste.
The waste produced from SPW takes many forms – leftover food, plastic water bottles and beer cans. At a university with such an aggressive climate neutrality commitment, you would expect SPW to be organized to include a sustainable way to address the amount of waste produced at events. There seem to be obvious ways to address these problems with enough forethought and planning.
Leftover food from each event can be arranged to be picked up or dropped off at the Hamilton Food Cupboard. The Hamilton Food Cupboard serves upwards of 200 families in the Hamilton and Madison school districts each month, with leftover food from events playing a role in feeding so many families. Because each SPW event with food is known in advance of the weekend, as well as how much food and the anticipated number of attendees, arrangements for food pickup after each event can easily be made with the Hamilton Food Cupboard. Rather than simply throwing leftover food away and having it go to the landfill, food can be donated to give back to the larger community. The same can also apply to extra plastic water bottles.

Plastic water bottles are everywhere during SPW, including on the floors at events, on lawns and in trash cans rather than in recycling bins. Realistically, we cannot expect every student to find a recycling bin and put their empty water bottle in it, but there are a number of actions that can be taken to make recycling at SPW more prominent. First, recycling bins are often hard to come by. I can remember looking around the field house at one year’s main concert event and seeing trashcans and no recycling bins. With no recycling bins, students don’t even have the option to make sure their plastic water bottles don’t end up in the landfill. Buildings and Grounds and SPW volunteers could play a large role in the recycling of plastic water bottles at SPW events by ensuring that recycling bins are present and that plastic water bottles get picked up off of the ground and placed into recycling bins, rather than the trash can.

The topic of beer cans, and kegs as a sustainable alternative, has been a longstanding discussion at Colgate, and SPW is always a time that highlights how much beer can waste is produced. While aluminum beer cans are recyclable, getting the cans into recycling bins after large events presents a huge obstacle, just as with plastic water bottles. According to New Belgium Brewing Company’s sustainability page, kegs are reused an average of 29 times and can be completely recycled at the end of their life, as they are made of stainless steel. The life of a keg can be as long as 20 years. However, it is important to note that kegs would still require a cup to drink out of, likely Solo® cups. This means that students would still be accountable for getting recyclable solo cups into recycling bins, rather than trash cans. For me, there doesn’t seem to be a clear-cut answer as to whether beer cans or kegs would be more sustainable on a college campus. Because kegs are recyclable and the cases that beer cans come in are not, kegs may have a leg up, despite the prevalent use of Solo® cups to drink out of them.

In light of Colgate’s climate neutrality goal of 2019, SPW should be viewed as an opportunity to introduce sustainability into Colgate parties and major events. Planning in advance can help reduce the amount of food and plastic water bottle waste from SPW, and continuing the discussion of whether kegs should be banned is important to understanding how drinking and the SPW tradition at Colgate can be aligned with Colgate’s sustainability commitments.

(This article was originally published in the Maroon News)


Why your Mondays should be meatless

By Sustainability Office on March 2, 2016

By Seamus Crowley ’18 (Geology and Environmental Geography Major from Aspen, CO)

Chances are that you have probably heard the phrase “Meatless Monday” from a friend or from someone tabling in dining areas across campus. It sounds simple: don’t eat meat on Mondays. But why are you being encouraged to avoid meat one alliterative day a week? The fact is that the advocacy for going meat-free weekly has much wider implications than just your diet for that day.

Meat, as it is produced in extraordinary mass quantities today, has some pretty significant adverse effects on the environment. The business of maintaining livestock and producing meat for consumers all around the world has become an immense operation that has been continually increasing in size over time. In fact, 30% of the world’s land is devoted to supporting livestock such as cows, chickens, and pigs1. That has a tremendous negative impact on the Earth’s environment, as nearly 300 million tons of meat are produced each year globally1. On such a grand scale of production, the industry around meat creates two major impacts that directly harm our natural environment, among a slew of many others that are more localized in nature.

First, livestock in such large numbers create a significant portion of the greenhouse gases that are currently driving detrimental climate change across the globe. Livestock is currently responsible for 18% of the total emitted greenhouse gases across the planet, including 37% of the world’s Methane2. The high levels of Methane are additionally troubling due to the fact that Methane is 28-36 times more potent as a warming gas than Carbon Dioxide3. Meat production as a whole is enormously injurious to the stability of the climate.

Secondly, the production of meat uses exorbitant amounts of our planet’s available water resources. The production of any food requires a significant amount of water before it can be consumed; but meat, in all of its varieties, puts a particularly large strain on water resources. Cattle require drinking water and the feed grown for them requires irrigation water, resulting in 1,840 gallons of water being used to produce a single pound of beef for consumption4. While meats such as chicken necessitate less water than beef to create the same amount, it is still takes nearly 13 times more water than is needed to make 1 pound of vegetables5. So while water resources are already under duress across the world, meat production is further sinking the Earth’s population into a water crisis.

So next time it’s Monday and you’re wondering what to grab for lunch, consider skipping the meat for the day, or longer if you feel so inclined. By opting for the plate of veggies instead of the hamburger, you can take one small, but important step toward helping the environment, by protecting our climate and conserving water resources.

  1. http://science.time.com/2013/12/16/the-triple-whopper-environmental-impact-of-global-meat-production/
  2. https://woods.stanford.edu/environmental-venture-projects/consequences-increased-global-meat-consumption-global-environment
  3. http://www3.epa.gov/climatechange/ghgemissions/gwps.html
  4. http://www.meatlessmonday.com/about-us/why-meatless/

Supreme Court Pauses the Clean Power Plan as President Obama Increases Commitment to Clean and Sustainable Energy

By Sustainability Office on February 24, 2016

power plantsBy MaryKathryn McCann ’18 (Molecular Biology and Environmental Economics Major from Chester, NY)

As the 2016 Presidential race is heating up in the primaries, President Obama is still trying to pass legislation in support of his climate change agenda. The Clean Power Plan is at the center of this agenda and recently the Supreme Court has voted to put the plan on hold. The Clean Power Plan was announced in August 2015 and aims to decrease the carbon dioxide and pollution emitted from coal-burning power plants, the number one contributor of heat-trapping carbon gas.[1]

The plan is looking to restructure the energy program in the United States by moving states and territories to more sustainable and cleaner sources of energy. The plan sets a deadline of 2018 for each state to have an individual plan to cut emissions and 2022 as the first “real reduction.”[2] This past week, the United States Supreme Court voted 5-4 to put a stay on the plan due to many states arguing that the EPA might be overstepping their designated power. The EPA has stated they are within their legal right to uphold and carry out this legislation and that, after a closer look, the Supreme Court will uphold the plan. The Court has previously upheld the rules of the Clean Air Act, so there is precedent for the passing of this type of legislation. The case will appear in appeals court in late June.[3]

While this battle is being fought in the courts, there is also a battle raging to become the next president. With the election in just a few short months, it is critical to investigate what each candidate is saying about environmental issues. As a new President comes into power, one hopes that President Obama’s successor places environmental issues and sustainable practices on the national agenda. However, it seems some of the candidates will not be as willing to make the environment a priority. I urge anyone who is eligible to vote in this upcoming election to become educated on the stances candidates take towards the environment. The next President has at least four years in the Oval Office, so making the most informed choice on whom to vote for is of the utmost importance.

On April 5, students in Environmental Studies (ENST 390) taught by Professor Kraly are traveling to Albany to speak to New York State regulators about how they are pursuing low-carbon and sustainability goals associated with COP 21 and the Clean Power Plan.  In addition, the Office of Sustainability will be hosting the Green Summit on April 12 in Golden Auditorium starting at 4:30 p.m. to discuss climate change issues broadly and in our local community.  You will not want to miss this panel discussion moderated by Interim Provost and Dean of the Faculty, Constance Harsh.

[1] http://www.npr.org/2016/02/10/466250564/high-court-temporarily-blocks-enforcement-of-carbon-emissions-rules

[2] http://www.epa.gov/cleanpowerplan/fact-sheet-overview-clean-power-plan

[3] http://www.wsj.com/articles/supreme-court-puts-epa-carbon-rule-on-hold-during-litigation-1455061135


The Onondaga Nation: Embodiment of the intersection between social and environmental issues

By Sustainability Office on February 22, 2016

By Sale Rhodes ’16 (Environmental Studies and Biology Major from Seattle, WA)

onondaga nation mapThe Onondaga Nation has inhabited and presided over Central New York for hundreds of years. Located just southwest of Syracuse, the Nation is located nearby to Colgate and is renowned for their non-stop fight for not only their own land rights, but also for the natural environment. Through remediation and preservation efforts, this community has set precedence for simultaneously standing up to social adversity while promoting conservation and stewardship over the environment.

Subject to unfair and unlawful action over the past 500 years, the Onondaga Nation has experienced turbulent relations with European and American governments; exemplified by land exchange, taxation, and frequent arson events. Land rights lawsuits, immigration and travel documentation disputes, and human rights violations occur regularly while the Nation’s remarkable prioritization of the environment endures, “It is the duty of the Nation’s leaders to work for a healing of this land, to protect it, and to pass it on to future generations.”

Onondaga Lake, just east of Syracuse, was the original source of life for the people of the Onondaga Nation, supplying water and nutrition while embodying spiritual significance to the community. As a result of development, the Lake has undergone excessive pollution from local industry and the municipality. Fresh water brine harvesting in both the Onondaga Lake and Creek has caused mud slides and contamination. The Nation holds the lake dearly and has worked tirelessly on the restoration and preservation of it, especially as companies responsible for the pollution have failed to address and correct the source of the problems. Placing the icing on the cake of Onondaga Lake’s detrimental pollution is the sewage treatment plant of Onondaga County that flows right into the lake. The toxins, mercury, and algal blooms within the lake make it dangerous for not only humans, but local biodiversity, particularly marine species, as well. Revered primate biologist Jane Goodall offered recognition and solidarity to the Onondaga Nation’s efforts to recondition the lake in 2006.

Meanwhile, pieces of the Nation’s land have been taken from them as recently as 2014, thrusting the Onondaga people into lawsuits and protests over possession of their own land. The Onondaga Nation has occupied the Central New York area southwest of Syracuse since the twelfth century, if not earlier, and represents admirable dedication to the environment and social justice, making the interconnectedness of these causes clear. Collective voices and efforts are difficult to ignore and form a passionate force able to not only identify these connections, but also to use the dualism of collaboration between social and environmental issues to bolster both causes.


What is it about Flint that has us so concerned?

By Sustainability Office on February 8, 2016

By Missy Velez ’16 (Environmental Studies major from Baltimore, MD)

Type the word “Flint” into any news website, from CNN to NPR, and a slew of videos, articles, podcasts, and news clips will immediately populate. Some stories go as far back as October 2015[1], and the most recent have just been posted hours ago[2].

The unfolding story of lead poisoning in Flint, Michigan has been one of the most continuously covered news stories in the past months. In order to save money, Flint stopped drawing water from Detroit’s urban system and instead turned to the Flint River. This water, however, was more corrosive than Detroit’s water due to chemical treatments used to kill E.boli bacteria. This corrosive water deteriorated Flint’s aging pipes, leaching lead into citizen’s tap water.[3]

When viewed from the perspective of the 24-hour news cycle, what is it about this story that has kept the nation’s attention for close to four months? It could be the fact that children’s lives are being threatened by lead poisoning (Fig. 1), or that Flint’s population has higher percentage of Black or African-American citizens (Fig. 2), or that the crisis reveals the unstable infrastructure supporting America’s aging cities.

 

Figure 1 Flint

Fig. 1

Figure 2 Flint

Fig. 2

Children are more affected by lead levels because the effects of lead are most apparent in developing bodies and are irreversible. Once the harm is done, it will continue to affect them for the rest of their lives.

Furthermore, Flint’s population has higher percentages of black or African-American citizens than surrounding census tracts in Genesee County. This has raised concerns over environmental justice issues: did historical and contemporary Black and African-American disenfranchisement influence this crisis?

The fact that the “American City” is threatened by aging infrastructure has also been called into play. Established in 1819, Flint rose with the automotive industry, and has been financially and demographically unstable since its demise.[4]

While these causes all come together to attract different interests, ranging from social justice to economics to urbanism, what really involves the media is the universality of the crisis in Flint. We all rely on tap water, and when that source of water is poisoned, we are all reminded of how easily it could happen to us. This then forces us to ask the question of who is responsible for solving this problem. Should Flint citizens not have to pay for their water, even if only some of them are affected? Should Flint be allowed to take water from Detroit’s system for free, because the government never updated the pipes? Who should pay for the ongoing cost of medical treatment for those affected?

Here at Colgate, we use our academic and personal experiences to engage with the ongoing dialogue centered on a range of social justice issues. We should do the same with environmental issues, which more often than not, directly engage with issues of social injustice. Flint demonstrates this relationship very clearly, and its complex nature is perhaps why it has retained ongoing media attention for so long.

[1] http://www.npr.org/2015/10/05/445975954/elevated-lead-levels-detected-in-some-michigan-childrens-blood

[2] http://michiganradio.org/post/new-tests-show-some-homes-flint-have-lead-levels-10x-federal-action-limit

[3] http://www.npr.org/2015/10/05/445975954/elevated-lead-levels-detected-in-some-michigan-childrens-blood

[4] http://www.britannica.com/place/Flint-Michigan


Announcing the 2016 Sustainability Summer Internship!

By Sustainability Office on February 2, 2016

Office of Sustainability Logo - Samantha Lee

JOB DESCRIPTION

The Sustainability Office is pleased to announce a paid position for three students who will serve as assistants to the Director of Sustainability for 10 weeks during summer 2016.  This is an exciting opportunity for Colgate students to get hands-on experience putting sustainability into action. Requires up to 40 hours per week, starting the week of May 16th and ending in early August.  Work schedules are flexible and will allow for vacation time, however a total of 10 weeks of work during the summer is required.

Each sustainability assistant will report to the Sustainability Program Assistant  and support the activities of Colgate’s Office of Sustainability.  Summer 2016 tasks may include, but are not limited to:

  • Green Raider Program.  Student interns will help refine a training and outreach program designed to promote sustainable living on Colgate’s campus.
  • Novel programming. In order to further the mission of sustainability, the summer
  • Creative Writing and Video Production. Interns will craft creative writing pieces and video blog entries for the Sustainability Office blog
  • Social media.  Interns will post comments and events to our Twitter and Facebook accounts.
  • Green Bikes.  Sustainability interns will help to manage our bike rental program.
  • Community Garden.  On occasion sustainability assistants will spend time helping in Colgate’s Community Vegetable Garden.

QUALIFICATIONS AND EXPERIENCE

The ideal Sustainability Intern:

  • has solid interpersonal skills and has the ability to work effectively and respectfully in a collaborative, culturally diverse work environment.
  • is detail-oriented and possess the ability to accomplish results in designated time frames.
  • is comfortable working in a fast-moving/changing environment and be able  to handle multiple tasks simultaneously.
  • has the ability to effectively motivate community members to action.
  • possess strong organizational skills.
  • has excellent writing skills.
  • is computer literate and is proficient in the use of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Google Drive applications.
  • has the ability to maintain a productive and healthy work/life balance.

Must be capable of working up to 40 hours per week.

The Sustainability Office is particularly interested in applicants who have demonstrated a commitment to sustainability and are interested in using their work in sustainability to support their academic and professional objectives. Most often, summer interns continue with their work during the academic year.

APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS

Interested candidates should send their resume and one-page cover letter to the Program Coordinator of Sustainability, Steve Dickinson.  The cover letter should explain why you’re interested in sustainability at Colgate and specify the candidate’s personal and/or academic qualifications. These positions will be open until filled.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Please contact Steve Dickinson, with any further questions. Steve is available by phone at 315.228.6360 or by email at sdickinson@colgate.edu.

More information about Colgate’s sustainability efforts are  found online at www.colgate.edu/green.


Announcing the 2016 Spring/Summer Garden Internship

By Sustainability Office on February 1, 2016

Department: Sustainability Office
Hours per Week: 6 hrs in spring; 40 hrs in summer

Job Description:
The Sustainability Office is offering two paid Garden Internship positions to students starting in late-April 2016 until late-August 2016. Garden interns will help manage and promote the organic community vegetable/herb garden on campus. This is a physically demanding, yet very rewarding job. Work includes long days and exposure to outdoor elements (e.g., heat, sun, rain, etc.). The student interns are expected to coordinate and organize volunteers and student work parties, as well as carry out an independent garden project from conception to completion. The Garden Interns will report directly to garden manager Beth Roy, and should expect weekly or bi-weekly progress meetings as well as an end of season performance review. Interns will work in close collaboration with other Colgate students, faculty, and staff to plan and manage the garden. The student interns will gain life-long skills and knowledge in planting and maintaining an organic garden, organizing events, and supervising volunteer workers.

Required Skills and Experience:
Key Responsibilities
● Work with garden manager Beth Roy to plan and manage the garden during the spring and summer seasons. Specific tasks include preparing soil, cultivating, planting, weeding, and harvesting.
● Organize and supervise volunteer work parties.
● Coordinate with Green Thumbs presidents to schedule a weekly time for volunteer work parties, and be at the garden during those scheduled times to supervise those work parties.
● Manage an individual garden project, from conception to completion.
● Provide continuity for work on the garden throughout the 2016 growing season.

Recommended Qualifications and Skills
● Strong work ethic and self-motivated.
● Strong interpersonal and communication skills.
● Preference will be given to those with experience and firsthand knowledge in farming and/or gardening with vegetable crops; though previous garden experience is not required.
● Experience organizing and supervising the work of others.
● Tolerance for hard work and exposure to outdoor elements.
● Excitement about promoting local farming and local food production.

Work Requirements and Benefits
Student interns will begin planning for the garden in late-March and will begin field work in late-April, working 6 hours per week. In May interns will begin to work 40 hours per week until the internship ends in August—the exact starting and ending dates will be set in consultation with Beth Roy. The two interns will also be able to take two weeks (non-overlapping) of vacation during the summer; again, this schedule will be set in consultation with Beth Roy.

To apply, send resume and one page cover letter to garden manager, Beth Roy (eroy@colgate.edu). The application deadline is March 18.

Starting Hourly Rate: spring semester – $9.30 (estimated because Financial Aid determines pay rate); summer – $10.00
Supervisor: Beth Roy, Garden Manager
Key Contacts: John Pumilio, Director of Sustainability; Christopher Henke, Associate Professor, Director of Upstate Institute and faculty advisor to the garden; Beth Roy, Colgate Community Garden Consultant


Responsible Paper Purchasing: Things to Know

By Sustainability Office on December 14, 2015

by John Pumilio, director of sustainability

When making purchasing decisions, we are often faced with many choices for the same product.  Take paper, for example.  Deciding on what paper to purchase can be overwhelming.  A simple search for 8.5×11 printer/copier paper on the W.B. Mason website, will give you dozens of choices.  In the end, each of us makes our decisions based on a number of preferences.  For example, price and quality may be priorities for some while environmental sustainability may be important to others.

For several years now, Colgate has had an institution-wide preference to purchase recycled content and/or Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified paper.

We hope this post will help you find the most environmentally responsible paper while also keeping in mind cost and quality.  But first, you may want to know that W.B. Mason labels certain products as “Green Items” on their website, when in fact they may not be sustainable products.  The “Green Item” logo W.B. Mason uses is loosely defined, has no quality control, and is not a third-party certification.

Be wary of this Green Item logo from W.B. Mason:

 

 

 

Keeping this in mind, here are a few criteria to consider when choosing paper that is best for you:

  • Post-Consumer Recycled Content Paper.  Paper that was previously a cardboard box, newspaper, magazine, printer/copier paper, notepad, or any other paper product that was used by someone else before being recycled and processed into something new for you. Paper made with post-consumer recycled content ultimately relies on fewer forests that must be cut down to feed the demand for virgin paper.  In sustainability circles, post-consumer content paper is preferred over recycled content paper.
  • Recycled Content Paper.  Paper made from recycled content (sometimes labeled as pre-consumer recycled content), is made from manufacturer waste that never actually made it to the consumer for one reason or another.  Manufacturer waste such as scraps, rejects, or trimmings that end up on the factory floor is repurposed into something new rather than trashed.  Pre-consumer recycled content paper saves precious resources but is still not as good as post-consumer recycled content paper.

    FSC-100

    Forest Stewardship Council. Look for this logo when purchasing paper at Colgate University.

  • FSC Certified Paper. The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and the Rainforest Alliance certify environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial, and economically viable management of the world’s forests.
  • SFI Certified Paper.  The Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) is another certification that helps the consumer choose paper products from well-managed forests.  In many sustainability circles, SFI is not viewed as favorably as FSC.  SFI was formed by the American Forest and Paper Association, an industry group.  Still, SFI certification is better than nothing.

    sfi-logo

    Sustainable Forestry Initiative. A good second-option if FSC certified paper is not available.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finally, here are a few choices for paper that can be ordered through W.B. Mason and are preferred by the Sustainability Office.

TOP CHOICES:

Boise® ASPEN® 100 Recycled Copy Paper, 100% Post-Consumer Content, 8-1/2″ x 11″, 500/RM
W.B. Mason Item: CAS054922
Price: $9.86 RM
Post-Consumer Recycled Content Percent = 100%
Total Recycled Content Percent = 100%
FSC Certified = Yes

Boise® ASPEN 50% Multi-Use Recycled Paper, 92 Bright, 20lb, 8 1/2 x 11, White
W.B. Mason Item: CAS055011
Price:  $36.85 CT (5,000 sheets)
Post-Consumer Recycled Content Percent = 50%
Total Recycled Content Percent = 50%
FSC Certified = Yes

 

ALTERNATIVES:

Boise® ASPEN® 30 Recycled Copy Paper, 30% Post-Consumer Content, 8-1/2″x11″, 500/RM
W.B. Mason Item: CAS054901
Price: $7.79 RM
Post-Consumer Recycled Content Percent = 30%
Total Recycled Content Percent = 30%
SFI Certified = Yes

Hammermill® Great White® Recycled Copy Paper, 30% Post-Consumer Content, 8 1/2″x11″, 500/RM
W.B. Mason Item: HAM86700
Price: $8.92 RM
Post-Consumer Recycled Content Percent = 30%
Total Recycled Content Percent = 30%
SFI Certified = Yes

Blizzard™ Blinding White Copy Paper, 8 1/2″ x 11″, 98 Bright, 500/RM
W.B. Mason Item: BLZ41200
Price: $7.51 RM
Post-Consumer Recycled Content Percent = 0%
Total Recycled Content Percent = 0%
FSC Certified = Yes

Super Star™ Heavy Copy Paper, 8 1/2″ x 11″, 24 lb., 98 Bright, 500/RM
W.B. Mason Item: STR91200
Price: $13.15 RM
Post-Consumer Recycled Content Percent = 0%
Total Recycled Content Percent = 0%
FSC Certified = Yes

mycopy™ Paper, 8 1/2″ x 11″, 20 lb., 98 Bright, 500/RM
W.B. Mason Item: MYP81200
Price: $7.51 RM
Post-Consumer Recycled Content Percent = 0%
Total Recycled Content Percent = 0%
FSC Certified = Yes

myface™ Professional-Grade Paper, 8 1/2″ x 11″, 28lb., 100 Bright, 500/RM
W.B. Mason Item: MYP88811
Price: $14.09 RM
Post-Consumer Recycled Content Percent = 0%
Total Recycled Content Percent = 0%
FSC Certified = Yes

 

IF YOU MUST:

Hammermill® Inkjet Paper, 96 Brightness, 24lb, 8 1/2 x 11, White, 500 Sheets/Ream
W.B. Mason Item: HAM105050
Price: $8.45 RM
Post-Consumer Recycled Content Percent = 10%
Total Recycled Content Percent = 10%
SFI Certified = Yes

Flagship™ Copy Paper, 8 1/2″ x 11″, 20lb., 92 Bright, 500/RM
W.B. Mason Item: WBM21200
Price: $6.57 RM
Post-Consumer Recycled Content Percent = 0%
Total Recycled Content Percent = 0%
SFI Certified = Yes

AVOID:

Blizzard™ 78™ Extra Bright & Heavy Copy Paper, 8 1/2″ x 11″, 22 lb., 98 Bright, 500/RM
W.B. Mason Item: BLZ78200
Price: $11.55 RM
Post-Consumer Recycled Content Percent = 0%
Total Recycled Content Percent = 0%
FSC Certified = No

 

Between 2012 and 2014, Colgate’s employees avoided purchasing non-recycled paper on campus.  Congratulations!  In 2015, we experienced a setback where Colgate employees reduced the purchase of recycled paper in exchange for non-recycled paper.  We can do better!

Colgate University's paper purchases, 2011 - 2015

Colgate University’s paper purchases, 2011 – 2015

We realize there are many factors to consider when choosing paper that is most appropriate for you.  We hope this post will help you find a brand of paper that is high-quality, environmentally conscious, and reasonably priced.  Thank you for supporting our planet’s forests and Colgate’s sustainability goals!


Staying sustainable during the holidays

By Sustainability Office on December 4, 2015

By MaryKathryn McCann ’18 (Molecular Biology and Environmental Economics Double Major from Chester, NJ)

The holiday season is known for quality time spent with family and friends, but the holiday season also is a time for excess. This excess applies to food, travel, as well as waste. Even someone conscious of their ecological footprint can have a difficult time sticking to sustainable practices during this time of year. To start your sustainable holiday season, here are a few tips to get started.

1. When shipping gifts to school or home remember to check the method of shipping. The most ecofriendly way to ship a package is ground shipping only. Overnight or two-day shipping normally requires an airplane, which increases the amount of greenhouse gases emitted with the plane’s high gasoline usage. So to fight the last-minute overnight air shipping, plan and order gifts ahead of time.

2. If you hang up lights during the holiday season, try to use and purchase only LED string lights. Not only do the colors and light look brighter, LED lights use 50 percent less energy and lasts 13 times longer than other string lights.

3. Many students at Colgate aren’t able to drive back home for breaks and many students will be flying home this holiday season. If flying is a must for holiday travel, find the itinerary that includes a nonstop flight or the smallest number of segments possible. The more stops in your flight plans the more gas is consumed. A plane uses most of its gasoline in the take off and landing portions of the trip than while actually in the air. So, if you cannot get a direct flight home from Syracuse, try taking a bus or carpool to New York City or Boston and catching a flight out of JFK or Logan International.

4. The holiday season is very connected with food, and a lot of it. Holiday parties and meals are full of food that won’t be finished or eaten at all. Instead of throwing out all the food, see if your local soup kitchen or food pantry will take any of the unused food. If they will not take your food, make leftovers such as soup, pot pies, or just have the meal again over the next few days.

Remember these tips while making plans and celebrating over the holidays to make it more sustainable. Even in this time of excess, we can still take steps and make preparations for a more sustainable holiday and future. For more tips, see aashe.org.


Chartwells is hiring new Sustainable Dining Manager at Colgate

By Sustainability Office on November 20, 2015

Deb Hanson, Sustainable Dining Manager for Chartwells, recently announced her decision to leave Colgate to pursue another position.  During Deb’s time at Colgate, she worked closely with dozens of students, helped to develop a food tracking and benchmarking system, and was a dedicated employee to the cause of sustainability in dining services.  Deb will be missed and we wish her all the best in her new pursuits.

We are also pleased to announce that Chartwells will be rehiring for this full-time position.  Colgate’s new Sustainable Dining Manager will work to advance local and sustainable food purchasing and overall sustainability in dining services at Colgate University.  This is an exciting opportunity to contribute to Colgate’s growing sustainability movement while helping to raise the awareness of food issues and help to establish and meet annual and long-term goals.  To learn more about the position and to apply, click here.

Please pass this along to others who may be interested.

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