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13 Accounts to Follow if You Love Sustainability

By Sustainability Office on October 19, 2016
-Grace Thomas ’17

13 Accounts to Follow if You Love Sustainability

Social media can be a pretty dismal place, especially if you are very active on Instagram and Twitter.  Sometimes it can feel like the goal of Instagram is to convince you that you don’t have as many friends as everyone else, and lately, Twitter is a cesspool of political arguments and depressing world news.  

A few weeks ago I went through my Instagram and Twitter accounts, and hoping to add some environmental sustainability content, found some great accounts.  Here are thirteen!

Twitter Accounts

1. Yale Environment 360yale-env

If you are looking for just one account to follow to keep you up to date on all current environmental and sustainability news- make it this one.  Run by the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, the account features catchy, easy to read and not-all-depressing headlines.  If you want to learn about everything from updates on the endangered species list, to new art projects around this world generating energy (seen below), click “follow.”


2. UN Environment

Keeping you up to date on global environmental news, this account has great digestible highlights from UN conferences, and easy to read statistics like this one:  

Another great benefit of this account is that they take the time to retweet world leaders in environmental sustainability, so you can keep an eye on policy and scientific discoveries and advancements from all over the world!

3. Forum for the Future

Forum for the Future is a not for profit working with business and government to solve sustainability challenges.  This account is a great source for updates about food, international policy and changing systems.

4. Climate Progressscreen-shot-2016-10-19-at-1-13-50-pm

This account is a spinoff of ThinkProgress, an awesome news platform providing analysis and research on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues.  They cover everything from the election to identity issues to, yes, the climate.  Many of their stories cover environmental justice issues, and they always have current stories about how climate change is affecting various populations.   

5. HuffPost Green

If this one feels obvious, it’s because it is. Huffington Post’s sector for energy, the environment and all things “green” is not the account that is going to spam your newsfeed a million times a day. Rather, they offer quality and interesting pieces every few days on a variety of subjects (one that caught my interest the other day was “this town will keep throwing live turkeys out of planes).  If you like the Huffington Post, or even if you don’t, try this one.  

6. Sustainable Cities

This account is a community of bloggers that focuses on green design in urban spaces, civic policy and sustainable development and planning.  The account has a great target for city residents, and emphasizes everything from urban planning standards, to policy, to rooftop design.  If you have lived in a city, plant to live in a city, or have interest in urban design and planning, this account is perfect for you.

7. Seafood Watchscreen-shot-2016-10-19-at-1-14-37-pm

Seafood Watch is a program run by the Monterey Aquarium to help individuals make responsible choices about the seafood they consume.  They place emphasis on sourcing from sustainable, ethical sources, and the account associated echoes many of these themes.  “The Lazy Person’s Guide to Sustainable Sushi” and ending fraud and illegal fishing are ideas I think all of us can get on board with.  

8. Tree Hugger

For the tech-savvy and problem-solving individual, Tree Hugger has updates on all news pertaining to technological advances to solve climate change related problems.  From solar powered water filters to self-sufficient islands for sale, this account is a must-follow for the innovator and day-dreamer.  


Instagram Accounts

9. Sustainably Chicscreen-shot-2016-10-19-at-1-51-28-pm

Let’s not lie to ourselves; at some point, all of us have gone on Instagram and followed an outdoor equipment retailer or fashion blogger that made us want to online order everything in sight.  Needing clothes, snacks, and other products is a reality of our world.  This account is a little gimmicky at times, but she offers wonderful brands and daily tips for being a mindful, ethical and environmentally friendly consumer.  

10. National Geographic

The postings can feel a little bit overwhelming sometimes, but it’s hard to argue with the most stunning, interesting and beautiful photos of the world Natgeo can offer.  This account is a great reminder of what we need to protect.  I think I watched a video of a bald eagle catching a salmon at least ten times on loop the other day.

11. Everyday Climate Changescreen-shot-2016-10-19-at-1-24-57-pm

This account is run by a number of photographers from five continents with the goal of sharing photos of the effects of climate change in real time.  Their photos show the effects of drastic and dramatic weather events, as well as everyday lives that are already being changed by an altered climate.  


12. Harvard Sustainability

Understanding how other campus’ are approaching environmental sustainability is a great step to improving sustainability here at Colgate.  Harvard has an excellent instagram account that documents a variety of projects they are working on, from biking to greening urban spaces.  


13. Colgate’s Office of Sustainability Instagram and Twitter

Because what else would be a more fitting 13th recommendation?  Your all-inclusive guide to sustainability on campus.  


Bee the Change

By Sustainability Office on October 14, 2016
-Isabel Dove ’19

In case you haven’t heard the latest buzz: bees have been added to the endangered species list.

Colgate professor, Dr. Ian Helfant's, honey bees. Professor Helfant recently harvested close to 400lbs of honey from his ten hives.

Colgate professor, Dr. Ian Helfant’s, honey bees. Professor Helfant recently harvested about 400lbs of honey from his ten hives.

Earlier this month, seven species of bees native to Hawaii were added to the endangered species list by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. As the first bees to be protected under the Endangered Species Act, they will now benefit from authorities’ newfound ability to implement recovery programs and limit harm from outside sources.

Although just recently recognized as endangered, bee populations have been suffering since 2006. The rapid loss of adult bee populations, a phenomenon broadly defined as Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), has plagued hives worldwide. CCD is likely due to changes in bees’ habitats, diseases, pesticide poisoning, and inadequate nutrition due to a lack of sufficiently diverse food sources. Between 2015-2016, approximately 40% of honeybee colonies in the United States were lost.

Why should we be worried about endangered bee populations?

Bees are pollinators, and therefore are vital elements of ecosystems. Additionally, bees are an essential feature of commercial agriculture, contributing more than $15 billion to U.S. crop production. Bees are responsible for much more than producing honey, as dozens of crops are dependent upon the pollination they provide. Some examples include apples, pears, avocados, coffee, cotton, lemons, walnuts, carrots, cocoa, tomatoes, and watermelon.

If you are understandably distraught over the prospect of losing chocolate and avocados, you may be wondering what you can do to help support bee populations. The Honeybee Conservancy recommends planting a bee-friendly garden, protecting bee habitats, sponsoring hives, and supporting local beekeepers.

Of course, you can also start your own beehive! Here at Colgate, the Sustainability Office is hoping to establish an apiary on campus by this spring. Along with producing honey, the apiary would help support local agriculture and provide research opportunities for students.

Amidst the alarming decline in honeybee populations, it is important to be aware of such a crucial environmental issue and to do our part to help solve this problem. Recognizing bees as endangered species is a significant step in the process of revitalizing bee populations. At Colgate, concerned and passionate students have the potential to take another step in the effort to save the bees with a campus apiary.

Interested in becoming involved with an apiary at Colgate or joining a beekeeping club? Contact Isabel Dove ’19 at idove@colgate.edu.

Green Raiders: Wearing a Better Story

By Sustainability Office on October 6, 2016
-Anna McHugh ’17

While tailgating for the homecoming game this weekend, you may have noticed students wearing “Green Raider” t-shirts.

Green Ambassadors encouraging recycling during the homecoming tailgates this weekend, sporting their SustainU Green Raider Shirts.

Green Ambassadors encouraging recycling during the homecoming tailgates this weekend, sporting their SustainU Green Raider Shirts.

These students were not only promoting sustainability by providing tailgaters with bags for their recycling, but they were also wearing shirts from SustainU – a clothing company that  exemplifies sustainability in their textile and manufacturing practices. This brand aims to change the way clothes are made by focusing on environmental, economic and social sustainability.

Clothing manufacturing has very significant impacts on the natural world. The production and transportation of clothing products require massive amounts of water and petroleum can result in a carbon footprint of up to 12.5 kg of carbon dioxide per kg of fabric.

SustainU uses recycled fabrics, conserving 712 gallons of water per shirt. Two pounds of recycled polyester yarn can conserve a gallon of gasoline. These practices help to reduce the company’s carbon footprint dramatically.

Many textile and clothing companies currently outsource labor which, over time, has resulted in over 1 million jobs lost in this industry. Through outsourcing, these companies pay lower wages and force workers to work longer hours with little to no breaks.

SustainU values the importance of social and economic sustainability. The company aims to reinvest in American manufacturing to promote growth in local communities while reducing transportation and other associated environmental and economic costs.

It is the small steps we take, like supporting a sustainable clothing brand or recycling at a tailgate, that will add up to make a big impact on the environment and people locally and globally.

Watch Chris Yura’s TED Talk about SustainU and it’s origin.

Food Waste: Food for Thought…

By Sustainability Office on October 4, 2016
-Miranda Gilgore ’18

Several pounds of food versus maybe a piece of lettuce or some green beans, if anything at all; it’s amazing what a difference age, awareness, and a bit of competitive motivation can make.

The ‘Ort Report’ is one of the most beloved traditions at the camp I worked at this summer.  If you’re unfamiliar with the term ‘ort,’  it is essentially the food that a person puts on their plate, but then ends up not eating.

Sign at Frank Dining Hall

Food statistics displayed at Frank Dining Hall

At camp, we hold sustainability as one of our core values and one of the ways we embody this is by having the Ort Report at the end of every meal – weighing and reporting the amount of ort with the goal of reducing it as the week progresses. As could probably be expected, our youngest campers ages 8-10, tend to have a lot of ort, several pounds among the 70 or so of them. Yet, through education (and some friendly competition) by the time these campers grow up, the now 120 high schoolers meet any ort at the end of a meal with groans of frustration.

As the signs at Frank Dining hall tell us, 40% of the food produced in the U.S. is not eaten. The USDA expands upon this statistic estimating that the United States generates approximately 133 billion pounds of food waste each year. That is equivalent to over one pound of food waste per person each day or 47 pounds of ort for one meal at camp. Of course, a portion of this food waste is beyond one’s immediate control; for example, food lost during the shipping process or food that has gone bad before a restaurant can serve it. Yet, there is a lot that we as individuals do have control over. 

Here are just a few tips to get you started:

If you’re eating on campus…

  • Take only what you know you will eat. If you don’t know if you’ll like something, try a small portion first.
  • Remember you can always go up for seconds if you’re still hungry. You don’t need to take one of everything right off the bat. Start with what you know you can finish and go back for more if you are still hungry.
  • Eat all of what you take. In a way, by putting something on your plate you are making a commitment to eat it.
  • At the Coop, take home what you don’t finish right away and eat it later in one of the reusable ‘gate-to-go containers.
  • Look for the Project Clean Plate signs at Frank Dining Hall to take a look into Frank’s “Ort Report.”

If you’re eating off campus

  • Meal plan to make sure you are not shopping for ingredients that will go unused.
  • Keep track of the food you have. If it is something perishable, be mindful of expiration dates and prioritize eating the most perishable food first.
  • Freeze what you know you won’t finish right away.
  • Use the food you have already before buying too much more – it’s amazing how resourceful you can be when you only have a few ingredients!

For everyone:

  • Remember, wasted food = wasted money. Whether that be your own, the university’s or all of the money and resources that went into bringing the food to your table. As with most environmental problems, we can’t solve the problem of food waste individually, but we can all take steps to reduce our own food waste and encourage others around us to do the same.

Paper Purchasing at Colgate: Things to Know

By Sustainability Office on October 3, 2016

by John Pumilio, Director of Sustainability

People are often faced with an overwhelming amount of choices when making a purchasing decision for any single product.

Take paper, for example – a simple search for 8.5×11 printer/copier paper on the Staples website will bring up hundreds 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, it is important to know that Staples identifies recycled content paper and various environmental certifications within the product descriptions.  Please read about the products before deciding on a brand.  Additionally, if you search for copy paper within the Staples website, you have the option to narrow your choices to environmentally responsible choices by checking the “ECO-CONSCIOUS” box.  This makes it easier for you to identify the products that have the environmental attributes you are looking for.

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 once 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 created 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.


    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.  By purchasing FSC certified paper, you are doing your part to preserve forests and the wildlife they support.  EarthChoice® and Mohawk® office paper, for example, are FSC and Rainforest Alliance certified. A full list of FSC certified paper offered through Staples can be found here.
  • 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.


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

There are also new types of high-quality paper that are made from rapidly renewable resources (e.g., sugarcane, bamboo, and other materials that are not trees) that have gained favor from sustainability advocates.  Step Forward copy paper, for example, is made from 80% wheat straw.  The paper is acid-free, elemental chlorine-free, recyclable, biodegradable, and compostable.  Step Forward paper can be ordered through Staples.

Finally, Colgate’s Office of Sustainability recommends purchasing paper that contains both post-consumer content and is FSC certified.  A few brands of paper that meet these criteria include Hammermill®, Boise® Aspen™, Staples®, Wausau®, and HP Office™ office paper.  Again, it is important to look at the produce description to identify the environmental attributes of the paper.  And, of course, the higher the recycled content (100% vs. 30%) the better the paper is for the environment.

Colgate Takes on Recycling

By Sustainability Office on September 23, 2016
-MaryKathryn McCann ’18

“Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle” – an environmentally friendly saying that nearly everyone is familiar with, yet there seems to be a lack of recycling on our campus.

Over the last few years, Colgate has seen decreasing recycling rates. In 2016, during an annual recycling event Recyclemania, Colgate campus was recycling at a rate of 14.45 percent – the lowest average rate since our inaugural year of Recyclemania in 2010.

Townhouse Shed during last years revamp.

Townhouse Shed during last years revamp.

Residents in various dorms and apartments, as well as Colgate’s staff and faculty, were seeing a lack of recycling infrastructure and lack of knowledge about recycling around our campus. 

In an effort to create a community where recycling is not an afterthought but rather an instinct, the Office of Sustainability instituted some infrastructural changes over the last year.

In the fall of 2015 and the spring of 2016, the office interns noticed that the recycling and waste sheds by the townhouses had become unorganized. They devised and implemented a plan to revamp the sheds to be specific to recycling, and clearly mark areas for paper to be separated out from bottles, glass and cans .

This weekend, the interns will use this same model to renovate the sheds located around Parker, Newell, and Birch apartments.

Over the last few weeks, new recycling bins containing a separate section for paper, metals/glass/plastic, and landfill waste, were placed in various buildings across campus to promote better recycling habits. Many of these bins are concentrated in the first-year and sophomore residence halls, and will continue to replace old bins over time.

New recycling stations located in residence halls and throughout campus.

New recycling stations located in residence halls and throughout campus.

The office also just piloted its first recycling workshop as a part of the P.E. Passport program in an effort to better inform and engage students around topics of recycling and sustainability.

In order to ensure success for all of these initiatives and increase our recycling rate, it is essential that our students, staff and faculty are knowledgeable about what can and cannot be recycled. Below are some tips to remember while recycling on campus:

  • Separate paper recycling from other recycling
  • Paper products that are put in the refrigerator, freezer, or microwave are NOT recyclable
  • Pizza boxes are recyclable but not the wax paper inside
  • No paper products, bottles or cans with liquid still inside
  • The “Bottles and Cans” bin isn’t only for bottles and cans – plastics labeled #1-7 are all recyclable as well as metal and glass
  • When in doubt throw it out
  • For more information visit our FAQ page or Madison County’s recycling web page.

If we all do our part to separate recyclables and landfill waste, Colgate will become a more sustainable and green campus. Our recycling rates tell a story, be part of the reason we increase them.

Meet the Farmers

By Sustainability Office on September 16, 2016
– Madison Smith ’19

Tuesday, I ventured to Frank Dining Hall for the Meet the Farmers event organized by Chartwells and Steven Holzbaur, sustainability manager in dining services at Colgate.  While at the event I had the chance to meet a handful of the local farmers that partner with Colgate’s Dining Services.

Meet the Farmers event outside of Frank Dinging Hall

Meet the Farmers event outside of Frank Dining Hall

I was able to chat with Common Thread CSA from Madison, Bagel Grove and Brightwaters Farms from Utica, Kriemhild Dairy from Hamilton, and our own community garden. Each of these farms have committed to sustainability for a variety of reasons that I believe are representative of the values we share at Colgate, too.

The farmer from Common Thread looked at sustainability from an educational standpoint. She said, “teaching sustainability leads to more thoughtful students.” Common Thread exemplifies this on their farm by selling local, unprocessed, and fresh produce.  Being transparent and working for food justice is a part of Common Thread’s core mission. They really think about how their food will impact their customers, making sure they are giving people the healthiest options.

The representative from Bagel Grove took a different approach by expressing how taking control of food is an obvious way to be sustainable. To her, a lot of the food that we eat now is like “poison,” so she works to create much more wholesome goods.

Kriemhild also believed that being environmentally friendly means having a responsibility towards the earth which results in a sense of empowerment.

Representatives from the Colgate Community Garden

Representatives from the Colgate Community Garden

Beyond environmental concerns, sustainability fundamentally encompasses social and economic issues.  I asked how partnering with Colgate has benefited their farms and their communities. The Colgate Community Garden appreciates the help from students and community members and feels that they give back by educating Hamilton citizens about sustainable agriculture as well as partnering with the Hamilton Food Cupboard. Bagel Grove was able to gain more business and extend their reach to a broader part of central New York through Colgate – something that can only benefit their customers as they are exposed to simpler foods.

Finally, I introduced the farmers to Colgate’s Project Clean Plate. They loved the idea considering they already do a lot to reduce their own food waste. Brightwaters Farms donates its leftover tomatoes and cucumbers to places like rescue missions and veteran food pantries while the community garden donates half of its produce to the Hamilton Food Cupboard. Bagel Grove turns all of its leftover bagels to bagel chips so that they can still be sold rather than thrown away. Additionally, all of the farms practice regular composting and reuse it in their soils.

The Colgate community shares many of the same values as these farms, such as, composting, waste reduction, and giving back to the community. If we put these values into greater practice, however, we would be a much more sustainable campus overall.

Events like this help remind us where our food comes from and why partnering with the right producers is so important!


Is unsolicited campus mail getting you down? Here’s what you can do!

By Sustainability Office on September 15, 2016

Many individuals on campus are frustrated by the amount of unsolicited mail they receive.  Not only are some of these advertisements and other announcements bothersome, but they also waste heaps of paper, ink, and toner — not to mention the time and money spent printing, delivering, and recycling these announcements.  According to The Center for a New American Dream (whose mission is to advance sustainability by shifting the way we consume), reducing unsolicited mail can have big environmental benefits.  Did you know:

Photo Credit: Wall Street Journal

Photo Credit: Wall Street Journal

  • Americans spend over 8 months of our lives opening junk mail.
  • Over 100 million trees are cut down annually to produce unsolicited mail.  That’s the equivalent of completely deforesting the Adirondacks in only 3 years.
  • 44% of unsolicited mail is never even opened.
  • Only 1 in 5 pieces of junk mail is recycled.
  • Over 5.6 million tons of paper promotions are landfilled each year.
  • Americans pay $370 million annually to dispose of unsolicited mail.

It is no wonder so many faculty, staff, and students are unnerved by the amount of unsolicited mail we receive.  But what can you do?  Below are a few tips:

1) Reduce it on campus. Did you know that Colgate has five separate mail distribution lists?

  • Distribution A goes to every employee on campus (~940 mailings)
  • Distribution B goes to every faculty member on campus (~540 mailings)
  • Distribution C goes to every faculty member and administrator (~610 mailings)
  • Distribution D goes to each department (one per department or ~115 mailings)
  • Distribution E goes to each student (~2,900 mailings)

If you are producing mail to be distributed on campus, you can easily change your campus distribution list from mailing list A to mailing list D and save over 800 pieces of mail. Alternatively, if you receive unsolicited campus mail from a campus department or program, contact them with a gentle reminder to switch their distribution list. This small change can significantly reduce the amount of paper used, the associated costs to a department and our university’s carbon footprint.

2) Make it eco-friendly. In the event that you need to produce campus mail, use FSC® Certified paper stock. This will significantly reduce the environmental (and social) impacts of producing your mail by ensuring your products come from responsibly managed forests. You can also opt to use soy-based inks. These environmentally friendly inks are renewable, biodegradable and more easily removed during the recycling process. They often produce a richer pigment quality, as well.

3) Recycle it. When you dispose of your mail, please be sure to recycle it in one of the paper recycling bins located in your building.

4) Cut down on mail from outside marketers.  If you receive campus mail from outside marketers or organizations, try this:

  • Register for the National Do Not Mail List.  This free service is quick and easy and gives you the option to continue to receive mailings of your choice.  DirectMail.com will contact you every six months via e-mail so you can review and update your preferences.  Visit DirectMail.com to register at http://www.directmail.com/mail_preference/.
  • Ask companies to stop sending you catalogs.  If you receive unwanted catalogs or other mail from specific sources, call the toll-free customer service number to request that your name be removed from their mailing list. Also, make your request via e-mail from the company’s website. Have the mailing label handy when you call, or attach a picture of it to your email.  No doubt this takes time, but think of all the time you save by not having to deal with unwanted catalogs that routinely show up on campus.  Also, Catalog Choice offers a free service that sends opt-out requests for individual companies on your behalf.
  • At home, if you receive unwanted mail from credit card companies, call 1-888-OPT OUT (or 1-888-567-8688) 24 hours a day.  One short call will remove your name and address from Equifax, TransUnion, Experian and Innovis!

Do you have other ideas on how to reduce or eliminate unsolicited mail?  Please share!

Have other questions about recycling on campus?  Visit our FAQ post!

Thanks for doing your part to save resources and reduce waste on campus and at home!

Summer & Fall Green Raider Interns – 2016

By Sustainability Office on September 7, 2016


Take a few moments to get to know our Summer and Fall 2016 Green Raider Interns. Their energy and motivation are bringing many new and exciting things to the Office of Sustainability this year.

Madison Smith


My name is Madison Smith and I am from New Boston, New Hampshire. I plan on double majoring in Environmental Studies and Economics. In my free time, I am very interested in food and cooking, outdoor activities such as hiking, fitness, and reading.


Isabel Dove

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My name is Isabel Dove and I am a sophomore from Collegeville, Pennsylvania planning to major in Geology. Along with promoting sustainable lifestyles, I enjoy playing tennis, traveling, and hiking.


Jackson Lucas


I’m Jackson Lucas, a Geology major from Lexington, Kentucky. On campus you can find me working in the Office of Admissions as a student illustrator, cruising around the Ho working in a micropaleontology lab, or climbing at the Angert Family climbing wall on the third floor of the gym! You can also always find me getting brunch or being outside and exploring new places around Madison county with friends. I’m excited to be in working in the Office of Sustainability this year to help make a lasting change within the Colgate community!


Ashlea Raemer

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My name is Ashlea Raemer and I am an Environmental Studies and Biology double major from Troy, New York. I spend all my time in Cooley, giving campus tours, watching reality television, crocheting, and showing people pictures of animals that I’ve met recently.


Miranda Gilgore

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My name is Miranda Gilgore and I am a junior double majoring in German and Environmental Geography (although that is yet undeclared). I call Scotia, NY home and when I’m not busy with school work or the clubs I am involved with on campus, I like to craft, hang out with friends, and read articles about Germany.


MaryKathryn McCann

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My name is MaryKathryn McCann and I am a current junior from Chester, New Jersey. I am majoring in biology and planning on minoring in religion. This is my second year as an intern and I am excited to continue my work with the Green Ambassador program. My interest in sustainability and the environment has stemmed from my childhood. I have worked with local watersheds in their efforts to clean up the headwaters of various rivers and educate the local community. I started this work at the age of eight and it is still one of my favorite activities to do during breaks. Through this work, I have gained an appreciation for the challenging but rewarding task of environmental issues education. At Colgate, I am excited that I get the opportunity to continue with this passion and share it with a different community.


Revee Needham

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My name is Revee Needham and I’m from Lakeville, MN. I am majoring in Environmental Studies and Geography and am abroad in Wollongong Australia this semester! On campus, I’m involved in dancing and greek life. I spend my time trying out new vegetarian recipes, drinking coffee, eating chocolate, and petting cats.


Seamus Crowley

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My name is Seamus Crowley and I am a junior majoring in Geology, and planning on majoring in Environmental Studies, as well. I was born and raised in Aspen, Colorado. Having spent my whole life surrounded by the Rocky Mountains I have acquired a deep appreciation for nature and the outdoors. Living in a location that is exceedingly susceptible to climate change I have learned the importance of living sustainably in order to preserve the natural world. This is my second year as a Green Raider Intern for the Office of Sustainability. I am particularly interested in issues revolving around climate change, recycling practices, and alternative energy sources. I am looking forward to promoting sustainable practices on campus and moving Colgate closer to the goal of carbon neutrality by 2019 throughout this year!


Grace Thomas

My name is Grace Thomas and I am from the Finger Lakes region in Canandaigua, New York. I am a double major in environmental studies and biology. On campus I am an intern for Yes Means Yes, a member of Gamma Phi Beta and have served on executive board for The Vagina Monologues an vegetarian club.

My name is Grace Thomas and I am from the Finger Lakes region in Canandaigua, New York. I am a double major in environmental studies and biology. On campus, I am an intern for Yes Means Yes, a member of Gamma Phi Beta and have served on the executive board for The Vagina Monologues and vegetarian club.


Fiona Adjei Boateng

My name is Fiona and I am from Ghana. I’m a sophomore at Colgate University and still exploring Colgate’s liberal arts options. I decided to get into Colgate’s sustainability because I believe that everybody has a role to play in preserving our environment. I love to take walks, cook and write fiction novels in my free time.

My name is Fiona and I am from Ghana. I’m a sophomore at Colgate University and still exploring Colgate’s liberal arts options. I decided to get into Colgate’s sustainability because I believe that everybody has a role to play in preserving our environment.
I love to take walks, cook and write fiction novels in my free time.


Anna McHugh

Anna McHugh is a major in environmental studies and a minor in education studies from Philadelphia, PA. She is a senior and has been involved in the sustainability office for two years. She also has been a staff member of Colgate's Outdoor Education and loves being outside. She spent the summer working for an urban farm in Philadelphia and hiking in the Adirondacks.

My name is Anna McHugh, and I am a senior from Philadelphia , PA majoring in environmental studies and minoring in education studies. I have been involved with the Sustainability Office for two years and have also been a staff member of Colgate’s Outdoor Education. I love being outside, I spent the summer working for an urban farm in Philadelphia and hiking in the Adirondacks.


Dan Pacheco

My name is Dan and I am beginning my final year at Colgate University, completing a major in philosophy. My extra-curriculars on campus (besides sustainability, of course!) include North Broad Street Tutoring (a COVE group), and Theta Chi Fraternity. I also love reading and watching sports. My favorite book is the Dharma Bums by Jack Kerouac, and my favorite sports team is the Minnesota Timberwolves.

My name is Dan and I am beginning my final year at Colgate University, completing a major in philosophy. My extracurriculars on campus (besides sustainability, of course!) include North Broad Street Tutoring (a COVE group), and Theta Chi Fraternity. I also love reading and watching sports. My favorite book is the Dharma Bums by Jack Kerouac, and my favorite sports team is the Minnesota Timberwolves.


Julia Feikens

My name is Julia Feikens and I'm from West Nyack, NY. I'm a junior majoring in Environmental Geography with an expected minor in Anthropology. On campus, I'm a member of Delta Delta Delta, the Swinging Gates, and the Colgate Sushi Society. I enjoy swimming, singing, fishing, and bring outdoors. My main passions in sustainability are food distribution and species protection.

My name is Julia Feikens and I’m from West Nyack, NY. I’m a junior majoring in Environmental Geography with an expected minor in Anthropology. On campus, I’m a member of Delta Delta Delta, the Swinging Gates, and the Colgate Sushi Society. I enjoy swimming, singing, fishing, and bring outdoors. My main passions in sustainability are food distribution and species protection.


Ben Schick

My name is Ben Schick. I am a Senior from Potomac, MD studying Economics and Environmental Studies. In my free time I enjoy playing ultimate frisbee.

My name is Ben Schick. I am a Senior from Potomac, MD studying Economics and Environmental Studies. In my free time, I enjoy playing ultimate frisbee.


Dominic Wilkins

My name is Dominic and I am a Senior studying Religion and Environmental Studies. I am a part of the Link Staff this year, and I am also on the swimming and diving team.

My name is Dominic and I am a senior studying Religion and Environmental Studies. I am a part of the Link Staff this year, and I am also on the swimming and diving team.



Case-Geyer Library’s Newest Editions

By Sustainability Office on September 1, 2016

If you’ve been to Case-Geyer this semester, you may have noticed something new – and no, we’re not talking about Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

Elkay Water Bottle Refill Station

New Elkay Water Bottle Refill Station located in Case-Geyer Library

Four state-of-the-art Elkay water refill stations have been added to the  traditional drinking  fountains on the first, third, fourth and fifth floors of Case-Geyer. These new filtered water stations have automatic sensors that make it easy for community members to quickly refill a reusable water bottle.

This project was a result of a May 2016 SGA proposal spearheaded by Roxanne Maduro ’17, Nick Mather ’16 and Ben Campbell ’16.  They specifically requested the installation of these new stations and their proposal focused on the waste reduction and environmental benefits of these devices. These stations deliver free, purified water to students while eliminating the production, delivery, and disposal of one-time-use plastic water bottles.  Stations such as these have already replaced the equivalent of over 4 billion plastic water bottles, according to the Elkay website.  

The proposal also highlighted the essential role the stations could play in encouraging sustainable behavior and showcasing sustainable living at Colgate.

The proposal was passed unanimously by the SGA on May 7th, 2016, and the implementation process began over the summer.  The project was paid for entirely by the Sustainability Fund, created by the 2008 class gift that continues to be  supported and replenished with donations. This fund has supported a number of other sustainability projects on campus such as the 8-acre willow field,the Green Bikes program, and new recycling stations throughout our buildings.

Be on the lookout for more refillable water stations at Colgate. The campus goal is to install them in all new buildings and major renovations.

Each station tracks the number of plastic bottles replaced and serves as a wonderful reminder that seemingly small, daily actions can have a profound impact on the environment.

Have you tried these stations yet?  Tell us what you think!