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Colgate Office of Sustainability Accepting Applications for Summer 2014 Internship Program

By Sustainability Office on February 14, 2014

The Colgate Office of Sustainability is hiring! We’re looking for three stellar student interns to assist with several projects and initiatives this summer. See below for more job details. Applications will be open until the positions have been filled.

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Colgate Community Garden Accepting Applications for 2014 Growing Season

By Sustainability Office on February 10, 2014

It is cold now, but soon enough buds will be bursting, plants will be sprouting, and birds will be singing.  It is time to start planning for the 2014 growing season.  We will be accepting applications for two interns through April 9, 2014.  Read below for more of the details.

Student in the Community Garden

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Changing Climate Brings a Changing Campus

By Sustainability Office on February 10, 2014

By Jenna Glat ’15

As global temperatures rise, ocean levels are rising and weather is becoming more extreme throughout the world. Here on campus, changes have been noticeable: a surprisingly warm and sunny September, an overly rainy summer, and a hurricane in the fall of 2012. Many students, especially upperclassmen who live in the Newell or Parker apartments, are aware that flooding on lower-campus is becoming much more common, putting student housing at risk. The fields adjacent to Taylor Lake constantly flood due to runoff from the upper hill, and the Community Garden on College Street was destroyed twice this summer alone. As the “100-year flood,” or the flood that only has a 1% chance of occurring in any given year (we’ve seen 3 “100-year floods” in the last 5 years), increases, student and faculty planning committees have begun to plan for the future of Colgate in a warmer climate.

In the 2011-2012 academic year, President Jeffery Herbst began appointing special groups to map out the troublesome areas of campus and to replace them with potential new sites for student housing, academic buildings, and extracurricular space. The Advisory and Planning Committee, or APC, working with the architecture and planning firm Sazaki Associates, has released various presentations to the public on their website, presenting their ideas for our campus.

While the Campus Master Plan group is working on improving many different aspects of campus, one of their goals is to enhance campus systems by attacking the floodplain, which makes up much of lower campus. Their goal is to remove the apartments from their current location, and to separate Taylor Lake from Payne Creek. By rerouting the water, flooding concerns would reduce water buildup on campus as well as turn the campus into a functional arboretum. The campus planners estimate that the annual impervious runoff volume from campus is a whopping 37,430,667 gallons of water. This is roughly twice the volume of Taylor Lake, which explains why flooding is such a concern. Additional goals of the planning are to enhance campus movement, both by pedestrians and vehicles; to promote a community with the Village; and to develop a more compact campus.

Diagram of Colgate Campus

It will be very interesting to see what happens at Colgate in the years to come. While many of us will no longer be on campus to see the brunt of the renovations and redesigning, as the time frame for the improvements is 10-15 years, the changes will likely impact thousands of new students and will hopefully allow Colgate to successfully adapt to the effects of climate change. It is important to note that the planners are keeping sustainability in mind while they design these developments; they intend to change campus in the greenest way as possible.

If students are interested in more information, they can check out www.colgatemasterplan.com for detailed presentations on proposed changes and for the opportunity to submit feedback. The campus community is constantly being consulted in order to bring about the best changes, so keep an eye out for opportunities to meet with the planning committee and to submit input!

Colgate’s Sustainability Program Featured in the Colgate Scene

By Sustainability Office on February 5, 2014

The Office of Sustainability is very appreciative of the recent coverage of our sustainability program in the winter 2014 edition of the Colgate Scene (pg. 36-41).  Working with our Communications team on this story, helped us realize the incredible effort, talent, and love that goes into each edition.  We hope that you will take time to read our story and share with your friends and colleagues.

Colgate Emissions Reductions

Colgate Emissions Reductions

Also, please join the Colgate Sustainability Group on LinkedIn, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and subscribe to this blog (see right sidebar).

Bottled Water: What you didn’t know

By Sustainability Office on February 3, 2014

By Gillian Fisher ’16

I had never given much thought to the quality of the water I drank until I traveled to Costa Rica this past summer. I never before needed to think twice about what water I was drinking, or even what water I was using to brush my teeth and wash my clothes.

On Playa Buena Vista, a secluded beach in the Pacific-coastal town of Samara, these worries became second nature. In a house with no electricity or way to get to town other than wading across a crocodile-infested river, getting potable water became more of an ordeal.

In the United States and many other Western countries, we do not give a second thought to where our tap water comes from. We flip on the faucet and get as much cold, clean water as our hearts desire. When we take showers, we don’t pause to think about the huge amount of hot, potable water that is going down the drain. Read more

RecycleMania Returns to Colgate

By Sustainability Office on February 1, 2014

Recyclemania poster

For the fifth straight year, Colgate is participating in the nationwide recycling contest called RecycleMania. Each year, over 600 colleges and universities—representing over 6 million students and 1.5 million faculty and staff— challenge each other to reduce waste, increase recycling, and raise general awareness of sustainability issues on campus.  This year the 8-week competition begins on February 2 and runs through March 29.  During this time, we collect and weigh all landfill trash and all recyclables on a weekly basis.  We then compare our totals to previous years and with peer institutions across the country. Read more