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Now hiring: Community garden interns for the fall semester!

By Sustainability Office on July 29, 2015

Two students working to plant the Community Garden at Colgate.

Hours per Week: 6 hrs during fall semester

Job Description:
The Sustainability Office is offering a paid Garden Internship to a qualified student starting in late-August 2015 until November 2015 (the end of the growing season). The garden intern will help manage and promote the one-half acre vegetable/herb garden and greenhouse on campus. This is a physically demanding, yet very rewarding job. Work includes exposure to outdoor elements (e.g., heat, sun, rain, etc.). The student intern is expected to coordinate and organize volunteers and student work parties. The Garden Intern will report directly to our garden manager (Beth Roy) and work in close collaboration with another garden intern and other Colgate students, faculty, and staff. The student intern will gain life-long skills and knowledge in harvesting and maintaining a 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 fall season. Specific tasks may 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 the work parties.
  • Provide continuity for work on the garden throughout the 2015 growing season.
  • Prepare for and help run a weekly Farm Stand to sell produce from the garden.

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
The garden internship position is rewarding but demanding work that involves physical exertion and exposure to the outdoor elements.

Starting Hourly Rate: Fall semester – $8.50/hour (estimated because Financial Aid determines pay rate)

Supervisor: Beth Roy, Garden Manager

Key Contacts: John Pumilio, Director of Sustainability; Christopher Henke, Associate Professor and faculty advisor to the garden; Beth Roy, Colgate Community Garden Consultant

To apply, send a resume and one page cover letter to the Garden Manager, Beth Roy (eroy@colgate.edu) and fill out an application on the Colgate Portal.

The application deadline is August 14. Employment will begin on or around August 24.


Colgate Community Garden Summer Programs

By Sustainability Office on July 27, 2015

Article by Beth Roy, manager, Colgate Community Garden

The Colgate Community Garden team has been hard at work this summer in our new location just south of the Colgate Townhouses on route 12B.  The garden is thriving, and there are several events in July and August that we would like to share with you.

OPEN HOURS
Come to the garden for a tour or to lend a helping hand! One of the members of the garden team will be there to greet you.

  • When: Mondays 5:00-7:00 p.m.; Fridays 2:00-4:00 p.m.

WEEKLY FARM STAND
Purchase fresh, organically grown produce from the Community Garden each week at the Farm Stand.

  • Where: 104 Broad Street (through August; will move to the COOP once the semester begins)
  • When: Tuesdays from 4:00-5:30 p.m.

COMMUNITY GARDEN PLOTS
Interested in gardening but don’t have a lot of space to garden where you live?  Interested in being a part of the Colgate Community Garden?  The garden has a community plot program where you can rent a space in the garden each year for a small fee.

Think it’s too late in the year to start a garden?  Think again!  We will supply you with the information you need to plant a successful fall garden.  Individual and group applicants both encouraged.  This could be a great opportunity for your campus group to come together to learn about growing your own food!

If interested, please contact garden manager Beth Roy (eroy@colgate.edu).

GARDEN UPDATES

We hope to see you soon!


Sustainably Unpacking the Pack for Colgate

By Sustainability Office on July 14, 2015

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By: Lindsey Sagasta ’16 (Tonawanda, NY)

Class of 2019: At this point in your life, you have chosen your college, been assigned a roommate, and have registered for your fall semester classes, so what’s next?

Soon, it will be August 23rd and you will be moving into your room at Colgate. Choosing what to bring with you, especially when it’s your first year, can be pretty intimidating. Back-to-school ads have been flowing through your mailboxes, and in every store there is some sort of dorm-room display to remind people of the purchases that need to be made. You might have already experienced a move-in or move-out day for a sibling or friend, and it’s highly probable that you also saw the giant mounds of trash produced by each student moving in. On move-in day, this trash largely consists of packaging that is no longer needed. On move-out day, this trash can be used notebooks, empty pizza boxes, worn out shower shoes, broken electronics, or anything else you don’t want to keep for the summer or the next few years.

Although the large amounts of trash produced during move-in and move-out day is highly upsetting to sustainability-minded students, it is actually quite minimal compared to the waste and resources used throughout the year due to inefficient and unsustainable packing. Think about all the energy used for cramming for exams, watching TV, and hanging out late at night with music. Now imagine all of the trash that’s made from snacks, drink containers, and items that you thought would be useful, but have proved otherwise. What you purchase and bring to Colgate will heavily effect your impact as a first-year student on Colgate’s carbon footprint.

So what should you bring?

All over the Internet, there are checklists that were created with first-year college students in mind. Some of these can be overwhelming, some can be a bit excessive, and others too vague. At this point, you need to think about yourself, and what you really think will be necessary at college. It might be helpful to reach out to upperclassmen that you know, or those who have made themselves available to make your transition as easy as possible. Knowing the position that you are in, I am here to help. Below is a list that has been compiled by the Office of Sustainability that advises you on what to bring, leave at home, and consider when you are shopping (it can also be found on the new students section for sustainability). Here I will unpack this information for you, and add more suggestions to avoid the eco-disaster that college dorm rooms can become.

What to bring:

  • Reusable water bottle. Avoid plastic, single-use water bottles. There are plenty of places up-the-hill and down-the-hill that you can refill a reusable bottle, and every time you do refill it, that is one less plastic bottle being made and discarded. If you do end up with a bottle, make sure you recycle it! Check out Klean Kantean, Hydro Flask, and Earth Lust products for some great options.
  • Power strips. Plug electronics into smart, energy-efficient, power strips that you can turn off when you leave the room. Using power strips allows for the avoidance of “vampire energy”, also known as “phantom load”- energy that circulates through devices that are plugged in, even though they are not in use.
  • LED light bulbs. LEDs may be a bit more expensive than tradition incandescent light bulbs, but they will not burnout while you are at Colgate (they have a much longer life!) and a much smaller energy and carbon footprint.
  • Water filter pitcher. Pitchers are another option in case a water fountain isn’t immediately available to fill up your reusable water bottle, but a sink or tap source might be. Although Colgate water doesn’t need to be filtered, if you find peace of mind by doing so, this is a much more cost-effective and sustainable option than one-time use bottled water.
  • Reusable grocery bags. Tote bags can be brought from home, or purchased once you arrive. By opting out of single-use plastic grocery bags, you are eliminating the large amount of chemicals and waste it takes to make the bags, as well as avoiding pollution that can occur by improper disposal.
  • Reusable cutlery/dishes. Reduce waste and pollution from one-time use plastic cutlery or paper plates if you choose to eat food in your room.
  • High-efficiency (HE) detergent. HE detergent results in clean clothes with less waste and pollution. All of Colgate’s washing machines are high-efficiency machines.
  • Green cleaning products. Harsh chemicals and bleaches are bad for the environment and our health. There are several green and sustainable cleaning products such as Method, Ecover, and Seventh Generation.
  • Recycled notebooks. If you have half-filled notebooks – use them again! There’s plenty of paper left to get through another course. This is also a great tip for your entire Colgate career. If you want to avoid paper completely, taking notes on a laptop or tablet is a great option, just check with your professors in each class to make sure its allowed.
  • Bicycle. Although first-years are allowed to have cars on campus, it can be a pain, trust me. Bikes are an awesome alternative. If you can’t bring a bike, you can apply to rent a Green Bike through the Office of Sustainability. The bike will get you where you need to go, and use your power, instead of adding carbon to the atmosphere.
  • Clothes drying rack. Drying racks will eliminate the need for a drying machine and the energy needed to run one. It will also greatly reduce the chance of messing up your favorite clothes!
  • Organic bedding. Organic bedding is free from toxic chemicals and healthier for the planet and you!

Leave at home

  • Printer. There are plenty of places to print for free on campus, so it is not necessary to bring a printer from home. It is also increasingly popular for professors to post all articles online and allow you to use digital versions in class instead of printouts.
  • Car. At Colgate, you will have access to several forms of free and accessible modes of transportation.
  • Bed risers. Bed risers are a waste of plastic since all Colgate beds can be raised to your liking.

When buying supplies consider…

  • Energy Star® appliances. Although appliances are not needed in first year rooms, if you happen to need one, Energy Star® rated appliances use 1/3 less energy.
  • Post-consumer recycled content notebooks. There are plenty of notebooks that have been made from recycled content, just read the labels when you go to buy a new one.
  • Renting textbooks or buying used copies. There is no reason to buy a new textbook- by doing a small amount of searching online, you can find cheap used textbooks in great condition, and you can even rent the textbooks from places such as Amazon, Chegg, and the Colgate Bookstore.
  • Coordinating with your roommates to avoid bring duplicate appliances. Always talk to your roommates before hand, this will avoid duplicate purchases and in the end will save you money.
  • Purchasing used furniture from Hamilton yard sales. Local purchases not only help the Hamilton/Colgate community, but will also reduce shipping costs or gas costs to bring it to campus.

Further, you can use an app such as GoodGuide to search, scan, and browse products that are healthy, green, and socially responsible. This app will rate products and companies for their health, environmental, and social impact.

There is also this incredible green dorm checklist– with everything you might need and companies or products listed that are some of the most sustainable options.

Colgate will soon become a user of the TradePal app, where you can look through things that are being locally sold on campus, and can work with the seller on a price!

If you have any questions, feel free to email me at lsagasta@colgate.edu. Also, if you haven’t checked out the new students sustainability page mentioned before, I highly advise that you do before August 23rd!

What you bring in your dorm room can have an impact on our carbon footprint; we hope you make the right choices to make it a positive impact. See you in August!


Gardening sustainably: potato towers

By Sustainability Office on July 13, 2015

SpudPlantsUrban gardening is a very useful practice to learn. It is a skill that can be used at nearly any home in any location, no matter the size of the yard you have to contend with. Gardening this way maximizes the efficiency at which space is used, therefore allowing very small places to contain much more than they could with normal gardening techniques.

One example of this style of gardening that we use in the Colgate Community Garden is the potato tower. To make a potato tower, you start of with 3 to 4 feet of wire fencing formed into a cylinder. Next you create a barrier of straw all around the cylinder to keep the soil from falling out of the openings. Then you place about 6-8 inches of soil in the bottom of the cylinder, atop a little “nest” of straw, and place several small seed potatoes in a circle around the inside of the fencing.  Repeat the soil and potato layers until you reach the top of your cylinder. The potatoes will begin to grow out of the sides of the potato “tower” and be ready to harvest once they have flowered and the plants begin to die back. At this point, you simply tip the tower over and let all the potatoes fall right out. You can usually expect about 10 potatoes to grow for every one you placed in the tower!

One of the primary goals of the Colgate Community Garden is to educate people about gardening practices.  Recently, members of the Colgate garden team went to Hamilton Central School to show students there how to build these towers. After a brief introduction about the garden, 15-20 students from two different classes built four towers for their own garden at the high school.


Exploring First-Year Course Options: Branching Out with Sustainability

By Sustainability Office on June 26, 2015

By Lindsey Sagasta ’16 (Buffalo, NY)

Knowing from experience, selecting first-year courses is pretty daunting. By the time you graduate Colgate, you must have completed courses in all of the areas of inquiry to satisfy the Liberal Arts Core Curriculum, but you also need to finish all classes for intended majors and minors. How are you ever going to be able to fit that all in, in just four years!? Okay, take a deep breath. It’s not as difficult as you think.  There is plenty of room for classes outside of these requirements. So when courses are sent out for you to select your preferences, don’t fret. You have plenty of time to get through your checklist, and instead of spending your first semester trying to hit every requirement, or trying to stick to a specific area of study- take the time to explore the variety of courses that Colgate has to offer.

Personally, I decided to become a Biology and Environmental Studies double major after taking a sustainability related course called “Human Impact on the Environment” (now called Earth, Society, and Sustainability- GEOG 121) during my second semester at Colgate. This was definitely not a class that I saw myself taking before coming to Colgate. Unexpectedly, that class uncovered my passion for environmental sustainability. My newly formed motivation for environmental issues led me to the Office of Sustainability internship program.  Soon after, I became one of a handful of Green Raiders, helping Colgate achieve its goal to be carbon neutral by 2019!

Sustainability related courses fit squarely within the liberal arts mission.  Courses focusing on sustainability explore the complexities among, between, and within social, ecological, and economic systems, as well as the mechanisms required to encourage the resilience and health of these systems now and into the future. Approximately 10% of Colgate classes focus on or include sustainability as a major component and 45% of our academic departments offer at least one course focusing on issues of sustainability. Most of the courses that more intensively include sustainability are housed in the major/minor programs: Environmental Geography, Environmental Biology, Environmental Geology, Environmental Economics, Environmental Studies (ENST), Geography, Geology, Biology, and Peace and Conflict Studies.

John Pumilio, Director of Sustainability, believes that every student at Colgate would benefit from taking at least one sustainability-related course in his or her time at Colgate:

Contributing to a healthy, just, and environmentally sustainable future belongs to everyone (regardless of majors and future job titles).  Taking a sustainability-related course at Colgate fosters critical thinking and problem solving while also providing students with the skills, background, and habits of mind to contribute to climate solutions and meet environmental challenges head-on. All of which are increasingly valued by future employers.”

Steve Dickinson, Program Coordinator for Environmental Studies and Sustainability, encourages first-year students to explore the Colgate Liberal Arts while they can:

“Generally, your first year is your first opportunity to explore new things that you might not have had the opportunity to learn about in high school. It’s best to explore earlier rather later when major requirements become the biggest priority. My advice is to find a course that is relevant to your personal interest, but also allows you to become more knowledgeable about environmental stewardship. With an increased knowledge in sustainability, you can become a stronger part of the Colgate community striving toward carbon neutrality in 2019.”

Frank Frey, associate professor of Biology and Environmental Studies, advocates for students to take advantage of a liberal arts university:

“To fully engage with and embrace the liberal arts experience, it is important to break out of the shell of high school experiences that have defined your academic trajectory to date.  Are perceived academic comfort zones real, or are they the byproduct of the particular educational system you came up through?  Is your true academic passion waiting to be discovered?  My most successful students have entered Colgate thinking they were going to pursue a singular path, yet were open to intellectual exploration and testing the limits of their academic chops in a diversity of disciplines during their first year.  Most of these students ended up pursuing paths very different from what they originally envisioned, and now as graduates are enjoying successful careers that they could not begin to imagine when they entered Colgate.”

Further, Professor Frey associates sustainability courses as a strong investment in your future academic growth:

“The philosophy, principles, and practice of sustainability are inextricably linked to the human condition today, and if you are a careful observer and thinker you will find an undercurrent of sustainability in every discipline and every profession.  Coming to understanding this interconnectedness, and also learning how to view the world through the rigorous lens of sustainability thought, is a transformative intellectual experience.  No matter what your interests are at the moment, introducing yourself to what sustainability really is and what it really means is a strong investment in your future academic growth.”

Here is a list of courses offered this fall semester for first-years that focus upon or relate to sustainability, as classified in the AASHE STARS report (These are the courses that can be taken right out of high school, there are plenty of other courses that can be taken once pre-requisite courses are fulfilled):

FIRST-YEAR SEMINARS

  • FSEM 120: Dangerous Environments
  • FSEM 122: Acid Rain: Environmental Problem
  • FSEM 124: Global Change and You
  • FSEM 130: Energy and Sustainability
  • FSEM 133: Foodwise
  • FSEM 180: Current Economic Issues
  • FSEM 183: Welcome to the Anthropocene
  • FSEM 186: The Geography of Happiness

BIOLOGY

  • BIOL 101: Topics in Organismal Biology
  • BIOL 181: Evolution, Ecology, and Diversity- (AP BIO coursework recommended for first semester first-years)

ENGLISH

  • ENGL 219: American Literature and the Environment

ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES

  • ENST 232: Environmental Justice

GEOGRAPHY

  • GEOG 111: Global Shift: Economy, Society, and Geography
  • GEOG 121: Earth, Society, and Sustainability
  • GEOG 131: Environmental Geography

GEOLOGY

  • GEOL 135: Oceanography

HISTORY

  • HIST 218: The African American Struggle for Freedom and Democracy
  • HIST 228: The Caribbean: Conquest, Colonization, and Self-Determination

PEACE AND CONFLICT STUDIES

  • PCON 111: Introduction to Peace and Conflict Studies
  • PCON 225: Theories of Peace and Conflict–War, State, and Society

PHILOSOPHY

  • PHIL/ENST 202: Environmental Ethics

POLITICAL SCIENCE

  • POSC 152: Global Peace and War

For a complete list of all sustainability-related courses that could be offered in the future, visit: https://stars.aashe.org/media/uploads/test_cases/2013-14AASHESTARS2.0SustainabilityCourses-FINAL.pdf

Another sustainability-related option for first-year students is the Green Ambassador program that aims to develop a culture of sustainability at Colgate through a student-to-student educational program. Enthusiastic first-year students with all backgrounds of sustainability can be directly connected with the Office of Sustainability staff to create this culture. More information will be coming later this summer, so if you are interested, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, or contact the Office of Sustainability (sustainability@colgate.edu)!

For general information about sustainability and how you can help as a new student, check out: http://www.colgate.edu/distinctly-colgate/sustainability/for-students/sustainability-for-new-students.


Recycling and Reusing at Colgate: Frequently Asked Questions

By Sustainability Office on June 23, 2015

by John Pumilio, director of sustainability

I frequently receive calls or emails from concerned individuals asking how to properly recycle or dispose of certain items that are either broken or no longer needed.  Items could be anything from office supplies, furniture, microwaves, coffee pots, computers, monitors, small electronic devices, refrigerators, and almost anything else you can think of that is not part of our normal recycling program or too big to fit in one of our trash bins.  This post will hopefully offer some guidance and give you more direction.

Let’s start with our basic campus recycling program.  Colgate has two stream recycling which means that we need to separate recyclable materials into two different bins:

  1. Paper Recycling.  One bin is for paper and all paper products.  These blue bins are usually identified by having a lid with a slit that facilitates paper recycling.  See image below (bin on left).  This bin is for print and copier paper, newspaper, notebook paper, envelopes, magazines, and catalogs. Pizza boxes, cereal boxes, corrugated cardboard, paper bags, and dry food boxes can also be recycled with paper.
  2. Bottle and Can Recycling.  The other bin is for bottles and cans that are made of plastic, glass, or metal.  These blue bins are usually identified by having a lid with two round holes that facilitates the recycling of bottles and cans.  See image below (bin on right). This bin is for all plastics #1-7, all glass bottles and metal cans, plastic milk and water jugs, yogurt containers, laundry soap and detergent bottles, plastic cups, and plastic grocery bags.

Paper and bottle/can recycling bins are located in every building on campus.  Please take a moment to find and place your recyclables in the proper bin on campus.  Check out Colgate’s Recycling Guide for more detailed information.

slim-jim-containers

Slim Jim recycling containers frequently found around campus.

Okay, that was the easy part.  The following Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) should guide you on how to properly dispose of other types of items.

Q: What do I do with large electronic devices such as Colgate-owned television sets, computers, monitors, and printers?
A: Call the ITS helpline (x7111).  They will assist you in the proper recycling of your Colgate-owned electronics.

Q: What do I do with small electronic devices such as old cell phones, batteries, compact discs, digital cameras, iPods, cables and cords, printer cartridges, calculators, and other small electronic devices?
A: Bring these items to the second floor of the Coop (in the elevator alcove) or to any one of our 16 locations around campus (download eWaste map here) where they will be recycled safely and conveniently.  Please lend a helping hand and tape both ends of all batteries before placing them in a battery recycling bin.  Members of the Sustainability Office will come around every few weeks to empty the electronic waste bins in your area.  If a bin becomes full and needs more immediate attention, please call x6360 or email us at sustainability@colgate.edu.

Q: Where does our eWaste go?
A: Large electronic devices that are still functional will be reused.  Small electronics are transported to RCR&R in Rochester, NY for proper recycling.  Click here to find out more.

Q: Where can I recycle my personally-owned eWaste?
A: As a Hamilton resident, you can take your electronic waste to the transfer station in Poolville (Cranston Road). They are open from 7:10 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and will punch your card for each item (punch cards cost $13.50 and contain 5 punches).  As a Madison County resident, you can also take your eWaste free of charge to the Madison-Cortland ARC at 327 Farrier Avenue and Gary’s Auto Parts at 651 Fitch Street, both in Oneida.

Q: What do I do with my spent printer cartridges?
A: Fortunately, W.B. Mason will conveniently collect your old printer cartridges for recycling.  Simply hand it to the W.B. Mason representative the next time they make a delivery to your office area.  A second option is to place the cartridge in one of our eWaste bins located around campus.

Q: Can old clothing or textiles be recycled
A: Yes! But first you should always consider donating old clothing to charitable organizations in our area such as Worn Again Clothing, the Rescue Mission, or the Salvation Army. If you have old clothing or textiles that are beyond reuse, then place these items in a clear plastic bag and seal it. Then, set the textile recycling bag next to or on top of your other recyclables or recycling bins. Textiles are one of the least recycled items. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that the average person throws away 70 pounds of clothing per year. Thanks for doing your part.

Q: I have an item (such as a microwave, refrigerator, lab equipment, furniture, shelving, filing cabinet, etc.) that is no longer needed or wanted.  What do I do with these items?
A: First ask yourself if the item is still useable.  If you think the item still has value and can be reused, then visit the Surplus and Salvage and call or e-mail Joanne Vanderwood (ext. 7475; jvanderwood@colgate.edu).  She will help you post your items for reuse or resale at auction.  If your item is broken or is not salvageable, then you must contact B&G to put in a work order for pickup.  B&G will collect your item(s) for proper disposal.

Q: I have extra office supplies that I no longer need or want.  What can I do with them?
A: Visit the Salvage and Surplus webpage and e-mail Joanne Vanderwood at jvanderwood@colgate.edu to have your items posted.  If you have extra paper clips, folders, lamps, and other items that you think other people at Colgate might need, post it on the site.  Likewise, if you are looking for common items, put in a request before spending money on new items.

Q: What do I do with scrap metal that is no longer needed?
A: Call B&G and put in a work order.  They will come pick it up for recycling!

Q: Do you have links to other resources that explain how to properly recycle at Colgate or at home?
A: Yes!  Check out these additional resources:

Colgate’s Recycling Guide and website
Madison County Solid Waste Department
NYS Electronic Waste Recycling
NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) – recycling and composting

Q: I still have an item or questions about recycling, what should I do?
A: Call (x6487) or email (jpumilio@colgate.edu) Colgate’s Director of Sustainability.  I will be glad to help.


Applications now open for 2015-16 Green Raider Internship Program

By Sustainability Office on June 4, 2015

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The Sustainability Office is pleased to announce four paid positions for qualified students to implement and manage Colgate’s Green Living Program. This is an exciting opportunity for Colgate students to get hands-on experience putting sustainability and green living practices into action.

Qualified interns will work up to 12 hours per week, during both fall (2015) and spring (2016) semesters. Official start date is August 23, 2014 with arrival/move-in on August 22nd. Orientation is mandatory and will begin the morning of August 24th, but interns will be required to assist with first year move-in day.  Weekly work schedule is flexible, however, we will have mandatory team meetings once every week.

INTERNSHIP OVERVIEW AND PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITIES:

The Green Raiders will model and promote environmentally responsible behavior in on-campus residence halls by inspiring and educating their peers using proven community-based social marketing skills (no prior knowledge necessary). The Sustainability Office will hire enthusiastic, self-motivated, over-achieving students who have demonstrated a commitment to environmental sustainability.  We look forward to hearing your input on event management and programming throughout the year. The mission of the Green Raider Program is to help lower Colgate’s ecological footprint, reduce energy costs, and increase student understanding of environmental issues that will have lifetime benefits. More specifically, Green Raiders will:

  • Promote green living practices in each of the six first-year residence halls (Andrews, Curtis, East, Gate House, Stillman, West), as well as on the larger campus

  • Be an accessible resource to students on campus with any questions they may have about sustainable living

  • Promote the Green Living Program through the use of blogging, social media, email, and other outlets

  • Plan and execute high-profile campus events that engage and educate students with green living practices

  • Create materials and behavior change programs that inspire and influence first-year residents to practice environmental stewardship

OTHER REQUIREMENTS:

FLEXIBILITY AND OPENNESS TO CHANGE. The Green Raider program is relatively new and we will have to adapt our strategies as the program matures. Successful Green Raiders will be individuals who think critically, are problem solvers, can adapt to change, and who can turn a challenge into an opportunity.

TEAM PLAYER. Be a team player and take advantage of peer-to-peer education, learning the best practices from other Colgate Green Raiders. Successful Green Raiders will bring their own “flair” and innovative ideas to the program, but also know how and when to conform to the better judgment of the team as a whole.

BE A MODEL FOR SUSTAINABLE BEHAVIOR. Green Raiders are expected to practice what they preach and model sustainable living by recycling, practicing energy efficiency and water conservation, using alternative transportation, and practice other sustainable living strategies.

RECOMMENDED KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS and ABILITIES

  • Solid interpersonal skills and the ability to work effectively and respectfully in a collaborative, culturally diverse work environment

  • Detail-oriented and possessing the ability to accomplish results in designated time frames

  • Being comfortable working in a fast moving/changing environment and having the ability to handle multiple tasks simultaneously

  • Having the ability to effectively motivate community members to action

  • Possessing strong organizational skills

  • Having very good written and public presentation skills

  • Being computer literate and proficient in the use of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and other office applications

  • Proficiency with Google Apps (Drive, Calendar, etc.)

  • Having the ability to maintain a productive and healthy work/life balance

  • Knowledge of design and publicity, as well as associated design programs is helpful

  • Experience using social media networks, such as Twitter and Facebook, is helpful

The Office of Sustainability 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.

APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS:

  • Updated Résumé

  • One-page cover letter explaining why you are interested in becoming a Colgate Green Raider and why you believe you will be a valuable addition to our team

  • Submit your application through the portal or via email (sdickinson@colgate.edu) by no later than 5:00pm, Friday, July 17, 2015. Successful applicants are expected to begin work on August 23, 2015. Daily work schedule is flexible and contingent on student class schedules, current projects, and scheduled meetings.

  • In order to have the most cohesive team possible, being on campus for the entirety of the academic year is preferred. However, two students will be hired for only the spring 2016 semester to compensate for current interns going abroad.

  • In order to be considered for the position, applicants must complete the Colgate Green Certification Program (link) by July 18th.

Contact Steve Dickinson (phone 315.228.6360; email sdickinson@colgate.edu) for additional information or follow-up questions.


Greenhouse Recovering Project 2015

By Sustainability Office on May 27, 2015

Student under greenhouse plastic

It was 6:00am on Monday, May 4 and the sun was just peeking above the horizon.  Most of Colgate was still sound asleep…but the garden team was busy at work with the final major project on their To Do list since the garden relocation began in 2014. The greenhouse that is a part of the Colgate Community Garden’s new location was finally get the facelift it needed.
A crew of about 15 students, faculty and staff were led by local farmers Brendan O’Connor and Colin Nevison in replacing the cover of the garden’s greenhouse.  The old cover was made of a white plastic, common in businesses such as Snyders Nursery, the previous owner of the greenhouse. But for the community garden’s operations, a clear plastic covering will be more effective. The clear plastic will allow more light to penetrate, raising temperatures within and allowing the community garden to extend their growing season both earlier in the spring and later into the fall.

The crew of volunteers and workers were able to take off the old cover and install the new one in about 5 hours.  The effects of the new cover are already evident- the temperatures inside the greenhouse are significantly higher and spring greens are growing nicely!
Thank you to all who helped with this latest garden project.  We couldn’t have done it without all of you!

Greenhouse with new covering


The hidden environmental impacts of the fashion industry

By Sustainability Office on April 28, 2015

By Grace Dennis ’15

Few shoppers consider sustainability when purchasing new clothing but surprisingly the fashion industry has a major environmental impact. From production to transport to disposal fashion is the third most polluting industry after oil and agriculture. The impact of clothing begins with the production of fabric materials. Growing natural fibers is incredibly resource-intensive, with cotton alone responsible for a quarter of the pesticides used in the United States. Textile dyeing, which is responsible for 20% of industrial water pollution, also adds to the industry’s environmental impact. Factory-made clothing is extremely inefficient with fabric usage. For each garment produced 15-20% of the fabric is thrown away as scraps. With 1 billion garments coming out of China alone each year, that’s a lot of wasted material.

With the growth of fast fashion and cheap clothing retailers like Forever 21 and H&M society has begun to see clothing as disposable. New wardrobes can be easily bought to follow changing trends and torn clothing can be discarded instead of repaired and worn again. This growing disposable mindset of fashion has lead to the major increase of perfectly good clothing in landfills. In fact, the average American throws away 68 pounds of unwanted clothing each year. Currently only 15% of discarded clothing in the United States is sold in thrift and consignment shops, like Goodwill. As clothing becomes cheaper to buy new, the perceived resale value of unwanted clothes has decreased considerably. Cheap clothing also removes the need to buy used clothing at discounted prices. Only 12-15% of Americans shop at resale shops, creating a major gap in the circle of reuse.

Many clothing companies have acknowledged the environmental impacts of the fashion industry and have begun working towards more sustainable practices. Sustainably harvested fibers, waterless dye processes, and zero-waste manufacturing are all being tested out by many clothing brands. Consumer involvement is also a vital step in decreasing the environmental impact of the fashion industry. A movement away from the disposable mindset of clothing will help address the massive amount of waste created by discarded clothing. Quality of materials and construction should be highly valued and clothing should be seen as an investment. Higher quality garments will last much longer before fading or ripping. Consumers will also be more likely to repair a piece of clothing if they see it as a quality investment.

When a piece of clothing is discarded there are two main ways to keep it out of a landfill:

  • Recycling- clothing that is too worn or stained can be taken to a textile recycling center to be remade into new fabric
  • Donation or consignment- still wearable pieces can be donated to thrift stores like Goodwill or resold at consignment shops or online retailers

In order to complete the circle of recycling more shoppers need to purchase used clothing. Used clothing stores today are much more upscale than many people imagine. Chains like Second Time Around, which has stores in 12 states, and the online retailer tradesy.com specialize in reselling brand name clothing for a fraction of the original price. These new resale stores simplify the shopping experience by eliminating the need to sift through racks and racks of clothes to find quality pieces.

While sustainability may not be a major consideration when purchasing clothing, simple measures can be taken to decrease the impact our clothing choices have on the environment. Shoppers should consider sustainable brands and used clothing stores when making purchases. Many rips can be easily repaired at home or by a tailor, greatly extending the life of a piece of clothing. Finally, unwanted clothing should always be recycled, donated, or resold to ensure it stays out of landfills.


Can drinking beer help the environment?

By Sustainability Office on April 22, 2015

By Katherine Schultz ’15

Due to kegs not being allowed at Colgate, there is a ridiculous amount of beer cans consumed on campus. It is important to understand the benefits and accessibility of recycling in Hamilton, and the positive economic, social, and environmental impacts recycling can have.

Aluminum cans have the ability to be “good for the environment” if properly recycled because they have the ability to save energy, time, money, and natural resources. Unlike plastic bags, which endanger marine life and trash the planet, aluminum cans are 100% recyclable and there is no limit to how many times they can be recycled. Over 100 billion aluminum cans are sold in the United States each year, but less than half are recycled. This means that we are wasting about 1.5 million tons of aluminum worldwide, which contributes to emissions of carbon dioxide, and sulfur and nitrogen oxide during the smelting process. Mining for aluminum can disrupt the land, affect the environment, and create health problems for those exposed to toxins.

Recycling aluminum saves about 90% of the energy needed to make the aluminum because it is more energy efficient to make products from existing aluminum to than to create the aluminum needed for new products. According to the Container Recycling Institute, creating a new can is equivalent to powering a laptop for 11 hours. Additionally, recycling one pound of aluminum (about 33 cans) can save about 7 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity. Overall, the recycling of aluminum uses less energy, less raw materials, sends fewer materials to landfills, and is cost effective.

If Colgate students want to recycle cans in Hamilton, cans can be brought to Caz Cans at 2352 State Rt. 12B, and Price Chopper. Both of these locations are accessible, but nevertheless if students are feeling lazy and do not want to drive their cans to these locations, if the cans are separated from the plastic cups used, Madison County has a recycling facility that accepts and recycles cans to benefit their center.

 

Sources:

http://environment.about.com/od/recycling/a/The-Benefits-Of-Aluminum-Recycling-Why-Recycle-Aluminum.htm

http://myzerowaste.com/articles/food/why-recycle-tins-and-cans/

http://homeguides.sfgate.com/importance-recycling-aluminum-cans-79304.html

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