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Electric cars on campus

By Sustainability Office on December 20, 2012
A silver Chevy Volt

Photo: livingstingy.blogspot.com

We would like to thank you all for participating in the Office of Sustainability’s annual transportation survey.  Once again we had a huge response rate with over 330 respondents. Congratulations to Dan Sloan, winner of 4 movie tickets, and Ainslie Ellis, winner of a $20 gift card to the Colgate Bookstore.

Faculty and staff commuter emissions make up roughly 10 percent of our campus carbon footprint.  Carpooling, walking, biking, and telecommuting are a few options that can reduce emissions while helping us achieve our goal of carbon neutrality by 2019. Read more

Library’s recycling efforts in the spotlight

By Sustainability Office on December 20, 2012

This month we would like to focus on the extra effort put in by the professional and student staff members in the library for recycling ~15,000 volumes of 499 journal and 715 rolls of micro film. Read more

OMEGA Institute – Design by Nature Conference

By Sustainability Office on December 20, 2012

In October members of the Sustainability Office along with a student attended the Design by Nature Conference. It was an inspirational weekend that gave everyone a new, more realistic fervor for the sustainability movement. The conference featured leaders in the field like Jeremy Rifken, Janine Benyes, and Van Jones. The topics included what the green movement can do for the American economy, the future of food production, and the lessons we can learn from nature. It touched on economic, social, architectural, and design solutions to many of tour country’s problems. To summarize the weekend, there is a future for green energy, running a green economy, and humans living in a healthy sustainable world. This kind of system is currently being put into action in Europe and it is working. Read more


By Sustainability Office on December 20, 2012

Recycle symbol
We should all know the three R’s of being green: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. There is a strong emphasis on how to reduce and recycle on campus by doing things like printing double sided, limiting energy use, and using the blue recycling bins around campus, but many people are unaware of the programs available to help you reuse.

The Office Swap program allows faculty and staff to connect and help turn one office’s trash into another’s treasure. It encourages people to post office supplies that they may have in surplus or are just getting rid of and also to post things that they are looking for. Goods are simply transferred to where they are needed instead of being thrown out, which saves your department time and money! All posted goods are meant to be free for other offices to claim, but salvage credit is available. The best part about the Office Swap program is that it is as easy as using a Google document! Please email the Sustainability Office at sustainability@colgate.edu if you would like more information about how to get access or use the Office Swap program.

If you are looking to buy or sell something that is not office related, there is also a program for that, the Gate Swap program. Gate Swap is a website that allows people to post anything that they wish to get rid of from textbooks to cellphones to shoes. You can also post wanted items and list an asking price for your goods. Check it out at www.gateswap.com for more information.

Nextdoor Hamilton is an Internet resource for buying, selling, giving away, and communicating with only Hamilton residents. Nextdoor Hamilton is a private social network just for Hamilton. Already, nearly 800 Hamilton households have joined. It’s free. Visit Nextdoor Hamilton, verify your address, and start connecting!

Some other places to buy and sell used goods are Craigslist if you need to access a slightly broader location, Worn Again for clothing (now located in Parry’s and open Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays 10am-4pm), and the university Salvage warehouse for furniture and electronics.

With so many options available the need to buy new is greatly reduced. By reusing previously made good it cuts back on all associated emissions of production. It takes 400 gallons of water to make one new cotton t-shirt and zero for a shirt from a thrift store. So, before you throw it out see if you can find a way to reuse or better yet resell it!

‘Tis the season for home heating!

By Sustainability Office on December 20, 2012

November in the Northeast means that the weather is beginning to get colder and more people will stay inside to keep warm, however, heating your home uses more energy and drains more energy dollars than any other system in your home. Typically, 43% of your utility bill goes for heating and cooling. What’s more, heating and cooling systems in the United States together emit 150 million tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere each year, adding to global climate change. They also generate about 12% of the nation’s sulfur dioxide and 4% of the nitrogen oxides, the chief ingredients in acid rain. Read more

Phantom energy

By Sustainability Office on December 20, 2012

Phantom Energy refers to the electric power consumed by electronic appliances while they are switched off or in a standby mode. A very common source of Phantom Energy is a power adapter which has no power-off switch. Some such devices offer remote controls and digital clock features to the user, while other devices, such as power adapters for laptop computers and other electronic devices, consume power without offering any means of shutting down. Some devices that consume Phantom Energy are: Read more

No Colgate employee left indoors

By Sustainability Office on December 20, 2012

The other day my 11-week old son was having a crying fit (not his first!). Cradled in my arms, I walked him in loops around the house to no avail. Concerned that I may begin to wear a path in the carpeting, I broke free from the loop and headed out the front door. Immediately there was silence. He not only calmed down, but his eyes perked up and he began to look around. I stepped back into the house. He cried. I returned outside. He stopped crying. I repeated this cycle one more time to be sure of the results. Confirmed. Assuming that babies live in a black and white world of good and bad (e.g. hunger is bad, milk is good, wet diapers are bad, a dry bottom is good), clearly inside is bad, outside is good. Read more

Cell phone and electronic waste recycling

By Sustainability Office on December 20, 2012

According to the EPA, Americans purchase over 100 million cell phones every year. Most are either tossed in the trash – where they eventually leach chlorinated solvents and heavy metals into soil or groundwater – or are stockpiled in drawers. The EPA estimates that only 10 percent of old cell phones are actually recycled. In fact, if you are like most Americans, you probably have a cell phone (or two) collecting dust in a drawer someplace. Not sure what to do with that old cell phone? Bring it to the Coop and place it in our new electronic waste recycling station adjacent to the C-Store. Read more

CNY Bounty delivers to Colgate

By Sustainability Office on December 20, 2012

Dozens of Colgate employees and students have recently experienced a new and exciting way to grocery shop. Once a week they visit the CNY Bounty website (www.cnybounty.com), select food items to place in their virtual shopping cart, and pick up their order between 4-5pm every Wednesday in the Coop.

With over 900 products from over 90 local farms, there has never been an easier way to access a wide variety of locally produced, fresh food. Read more