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Bicycle Safety Gets a New Look at Colgate

By Sustainability Office on September 30, 2013

This summer, Rabbi Dena Bodian, Associate University Chaplain and Director of Jewish Life, contacted the Sustainability Office with a concern and a potential solution. The concern: not enough Colgate students were wearing bicycle safety helmets. The solution: to provide a safety helmet to any student who needed one as part of Colgate’s Green Bikes program.

Rabbi Bodian’s concern was supported by the 2012 National College Health Assessment (NCHA) survey which indicated that 35 percent of Colgate students do not wear a helmet consistently and 19 percent never wear a helmet at all. So, when Rabbi Bodian approached Dean of the College, Suzy Nelson, and Director of the Shaw Wellness Institute, Thad Mantaro, to ask if they were interested in sponsoring the program, both were excited to do so. Each generously offered matching funds to purchase 50 helmets for use on campus.

Today, every Green Bike rental includes a safety helmet with an extra 25 helmets available for any student cyclist who needs one. Interested? Contact the Sustainability Office at sustainability@colgate.edu to request your helmet. Hurry they are going fast.

Bicycle commuting is not only popular among students. Over the past few years, we have seen a growing trend in bicycle use among Colgate faculty and staff. The next time you take out your bike, remember to set a good example and wear your safety helmet. Fall in Central New York is a wonderful time to bicycle. In the meantime, the Sustainability Office would like to give a huge thank you to Rabbi Bodian, Suzy Nelson, and Thad Mantaro for supporting bicycle commuting and rider safety on campus!

Bicycle commuter at Colgate

Bicycle commuter at Colgate without a safety helmet!

Solar Energy at ‘Gate: One Step Closer to Climate Neutrality!

By Sustainability Office on September 30, 2013
Solar Thermal Installation

2013 Solar Thermal Installation – 100 Broad St. Photo by Patrick Leamy.

Have you noticed the newly assembled solar panels on the side wall of the Creative Arts House (100 Broad Street)? Students living in the building are now using renewable solar energy instead of fossil fuel for their domestic hot water use!

The solar thermal panels will eliminate our use of nearly 900 gallons of fuel oil while reducing our heating costs by over $2,600 each year. Furthermore, the 600 square-feet of solar panels will reduce Colgate’s carbon footprint by over nine tons, inching us ever closer to our goal of carbon neutrality by 2019. Since these systems can last for over 20 years, this turns out to be a good deal for both our energy budget and for the planet.

Want to learn more about this historic project?  Click here!

Make Your Sustainability Goals Official

By Liza Solberg on September 20, 2013

Next week from Monday, September 23- Friday, September 27 the Green Raiders will be in the Coop helping students write out pledges for the changes they will make this year to live greener. The pledges are unique to each person and their sustainable interests. For example “I pledge to reduce my shower time from 10 to 5 minutes” which would help save Read more

Green Raiders Football Tailgate

By Sustainability Office on September 6, 2013

Tomorrow, Saturday September 7th, is the first home football game! We know that Colgate students, alumnae, and families like to socialize and tailgate before the game. What better opportunity for us to educate fans about recycling in Hamilton?! Traditionally Colgate supplies solely trash cans for sporting events. Although trash cans are better than littering, much of the waste produced at sporting events can be recycled.

Read more

Tips for Starting the School Year Green

By Sustainability Office on September 6, 2013

Written by Liza Solberg, Communications Intern/Green Raider 

As the school year starts up, the second year of the Green Raiders program does too. This semester our team of 11 passionate and hardworking Green Raiders will not only be volunteering at Sustainability Office events such as the upcoming Recycling event at the first Football Tailgate, but they will also be working on individual projects of their choosing to make big changes on Colgate’s campus. We want to make sure the 2013-2014 school year takes huge strides towards our Climate Action plan for carbon neutrality by 2019  . We will be reaching out through social media as well as events on campus in hopes to educate and involve our peers in sustainable living. To kick off the year, here are a few simple tips for going green on campus:  Read more

Divestment in Higher Education

By Sustainability Office on September 4, 2013


Article submitted by Allison Shafritz ’15

I can’t remember ever loving a place more than I love the beach. Maybe it has to do with the fact that I grew up by the water in New Jersey or the fact that the majority of my summer vacations were- and still are- spent relaxing in the sand, but I think it is safe to say that I have a particularly strong attachment to the shore. No matter who you are or where you live, there’s just no denying that there is nothing like the feeling of sand beneath your feet and waves crashing over your head. Somewhere along the way, this love for the beach developed into a longing to protect the ocean and everything surrounding it.

So when I was in high school, I joined the Environmental Club and decided to participate in a beach sweep. This meant that not only did I get to spend a day at the beach in early November (when “I feel like seeing the ocean” just doesn’t cut it as an excuse to get in the car and waste all that gas driving up and down Ocean Avenue), but also that I would get to play a part in cleaning up the coastal area. And if I could pick one day in my life that really affirmed my interest in environmental studies, this beach sweep was it. Read more

Reuse, Recycle!

By Sustainability Office on September 2, 2013

Article submitted by Kathryn Bacher ‘1421ba8bb

Do you ever think about what happens after you throw something away? Once the garbage leaves your house, its life cycle may seem finished to you, but it is really just beginning its journey to sit in a landfill. Waste production in the US has almost tripled in the past 50 years. According to the EPA, in 2011 Americans sent 250 million tons of trash to landfills yet only recycled and composted about 34%.

Colgate is doing its part to encourage waste reduction and recycling, but it still sends over 750 tons of trash to the landfill each year, with a recycling rate of about 25%. Our campus goal is to reduce this number to 500 tons by 2015, which can be achieved by reassessing what we consider trash. Garbage is a subjective term, so ask yourself if the items you consider obsolete or useless might benefit someone else. Read more