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Get Ready for 13 Days of Green!

By Sustainability Office on March 31, 2017
-Isabel Dove ’19

It’s time to get ready for every Colgate student’s favorite spring tradition – no, not SPW – 13 Days of Green!

For the past eight years, the Sustainability Office has hosted programming during the 13 days leading up to and including Earth Day on April 22nd. The 13 Days of Green are meant to foster a culture of environmental stewardship and social equity by engaging the Colgate & Hamilton communities in sustainability as we come together to celebrate Earth Day. This year, we have tons of fun, engaging, and green events for students, faculty, and community members to learn about sustainability and help Colgate reach its goal of carbon neutrality by 2019.

The 13 Days of Green will begin on Monday, April 10 with a kickoff festival at 3:30 on the academic quad. There will be food, games, music, seedlings to take home, and zero waste! After the kickoff, the festivities will continue throughout the next 12 days. Here are some of the highlights:

  • The Green Summit and Oak Awards on 4/13
  • Spring Cleaning Clothing Swap on 4/15
  • A movie screening of Before the Flood on 4/19
  • The Earth Day Zero-Waste SPW Brunch on 4/22

By attending these events, you will be entered into a raffle for a chance to win sustainable prizes such as an ENO hammock, solar-powered bluetooth speakers, and a Nalgene water bottle!

Also be sure to keep an eye on the campus calendar and look out for ENST brown bags and sustainable events sponsored by other organizations, such as the Broad Street Gallery and Green Thumbs’ Locavore Dinner!
Although environmental protection should be celebrated every day, these 13 days will enthusiastically highlight sustainability within the Colgate community. Check out http://www.colgate.edu/distinctly-colgate/sustainability/13-days-of-green for a full calendar of events for the 13 Days of
Green and follow us on social media to find out how you can live everyday like it’s Earth Day!

Joe Biden’s Contributions to Environmental Protection

By Sustainability Office on March 24, 2017
-Chloe Matonis ’18

As Colgate University prepares for former vice president Joe Biden to visit campus as part of the Global Leaders lecture series, the Sustainability Office would be remiss if we did not acknowledge his numerous contributions to environmental protection, sustainability, and advocacy for animal rights.

During his 34 years in Senate, Biden was primarily known as a chieftain of foreign policy. Behind the scenes, however, he was consistently a strong advocate for environmental protection, earning himself a respectable 84% lifetime voting score from the League of Conservation Voters. Now, he emphasizes the close connection between geopolitics and environmental stewardship. In a statement given before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee in 2007, Biden said:

“I personally believe that the single most important step we can take to resume a leadership role in international climate change efforts would be to make real progress toward a domestic emissions-reduction regime. For too long we have abdicated the responsibility to reduce our own emissions, the largest single source of the problem we face today. We have the world’s largest economy, with the highest per-capita emissions. Rather than leading by example, we have retreated from international negotiations.”1

To solve what he sees as the defining challenge of our time, Biden has been pushing for more U.S. involvement in international climate negotiations, more-stringent fuel-economy regulations, and a higher usage of biofuels and other alternative energy sources.2

Courtesy of ontheissues.org, here is sample of the environmental positions Biden has taken:

  • The United States should guarantee Katrina reconstruction. Biden supported a federal law guaranteeing the right to rebuild Gulf regions devastated by Hurricane Katrina, stating that the devastated area is “a national problem.”
  • Take away the billions of subsidies to oil companies. Biden introduced legislation to decrease subsidies from large oil companies. The first step he proposed was lower the $6 billion that go to the oil companies. The second step he proposed was to use the Justice Department to investigate the issue of oil price gouging. Lastly, he advocated for significantly raising and mandating automobile mileage.
  • Voted YES on including oil & gas smokestacks in mercury regulations. This resolution limits smokestack emissions in a two-phase program founded on a market-based capping system. It caps mercury emissions to 38 tons by 2010. It also requires the second and final cap to begin in 2018 and stay fixed at 15 tons.
  • Voted YES on continuing desert protection in California. This ends the discussion, and therefore closes the vote, on terminating existing programs that protect California’s deserts.
  • Voted YES on reducing funds for road-building in National Forests. This was a vote on an amendment to cut the $47.4 million provided for Forest Service road construction by $10 million, and to eliminate the purchaser credit program.
  • Voted YES on requiring EPA risk assessments. This requires risk assessments of any new EPA regulations.
  • End commercial whaling and illegal trade of whale meat. Biden pushed for the International Whaling Commission to remain firmly against commercial whaling, opposed the lethal taking of whales for scientific purposes unless it is specifically authorized by the Scientific Committee of the Commission, and supported the permanent protection of whale populations through the establishment of whale sanctuaries.
  • Higher standards on the EPA for mercury cleanup. Biden proposed stricter regulations for power plants to clean up their mercury pollution and emissions. The regulations follow the requirements of the Clean Air Act to protect our nation from toxic mercury contamination.
  • Stronger prohibitions against animal fighting. Biden co-sponsored strengthening prohibitions against animal fighting. This includes protecting dogs and roosters from being drugged, forced to fight, and physically mutilated for entertainment.

We should embrace Joe Biden’s environmental ideals and make Colgate a sustainable campus that he is proud to visit. Follow @colgatesustainability on Instagram to see how you can get involved!


  1. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/08/24/joe-bidens-environmental_n_120914.html
  2. http://grist.org/article/biden/

Announcing the 2017 Sustainability Summer Internship!

By Sustainability Office on March 13, 2017


The Sustainability Office is pleased to announce three paid positions for students to support the Director of Sustainability and the Sustainability Program Coordinator for 10 weeks during summer 2017.  This is an exciting opportunity for Colgate students to get hands-on experience putting sustainability into action. The position requires up to 40 hours per week, starting the week of May 22nd and ending in early August.  Work schedules are flexible and will allow for vacation time, however, a total of 10 weeks of work during the summer is required.

Each sustainability intern will report to the Sustainability Program Coordinator and support the activities of Colgate’s Office of Sustainability.  Summer 2017 tasks may include, but are not limited to:

  • Novel programming – to further the mission of sustainability, the summer interns will research new and innovative programs to implement on campus.
  • Creative Writing and Video Production – interns may craft creative writing pieces and video blog entries for the Sustainability Office blog.
  • Social media – interns will post comments and events on our Twitter and Facebook accounts.
  • Green Bikes – sustainability interns will help to manage our bike rental program.
  • Community Garden – on occasion, the sustainability interns will spend time helping in Colgate’s Community Vegetable Garden.


The ideal Sustainability Intern:

  • has strong interpersonal skills and is able to work effectively and respectfully in a collaborative, culturally diverse work environment.
  • is detail-oriented and possess the ability to accomplish results in designated time frames.
  • is comfortable working in a fast-moving/changing environment and be able to handle multiple tasks simultaneously.
  • has the ability to effectively motivate community members to act.
  • possesses strong organizational skills.
  • has excellent writing skills.
  • is computer literate and is proficient in the use of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Google Drive applications.
  • has the ability to maintain a productive and healthy work/life balance.

Must be capable of working up to 40 hours per week.

The Sustainability Office 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. Most often, summer interns continue with their work during the academic year.


Interested candidates should send their resume and one-page cover letter to the Program Coordinator, Pamela Gramlich.  The cover letter should explain why you are interested in sustainability at Colgate and specify your personal and/or academic qualifications. The candidate must also apply in the portal. These positions will be open until filled.


Please contact Pamela Gramlich by phone at 315.228.6360 or by email at pgramlich@colgate.edu with any questions.

More information about Colgate’s sustainability efforts can be found online at www.colgate.edu/green.

RecycleMania March Update

By Sustainability Office on March 9, 2017

The numbers are in and this week’s recycling rate is about 14% – a statistic that is still far from our goal of 23%.

In case you missed it, RecycleMania is an 8-week competition in which universities aim to increase their recycling rates and decrease the amount of waste they are sending to local landfills. We have set a campus-wide goal to achieve a 23% recycling rate by the end of the competition, a 5% increase from our baseline 18% recycling rate. If you are interested in learning more about how you can be involved with RecycleMania and increase your personal recycling rate, visit our Green Raiders while they are tabling in the Coop until the end of the competition.

Our RecycleMania theme for this week is plastic! All week we will be focusing our recycling discussions around plastics, how their use can be reduced, how they can be reused, and how they can be recycled in Madison County. If you can’t come see us in the Coop or attend our signature plastics week event, below are some tips to get you started:

Reduce: The best way to help the environment (and our recycling rates) is to skip the plastic altogether. Along with key changes like carrying a water bottle and coffee mug, you might want to start carrying your own reusable utensils and straws. Want to know more ways to reduce your plastic use? Click here

Reuse: If you have plastic containers that you no longer need or want, consider giving them new life with a DIY project designed to reuse them. Not only will you decrease the amount of plastic going into the landfill, you will have a “new” item for no cost to you. Ready to get started? We already did a Pinterest search for you.

Recycle: Recycling your plastics at Colgate is a simple as could be. Just make sure it has the recycling symbol, clean it, and throw it in the recycling bin designated for bottles and cans. (Hint: your Coop soda lids and straws are NOT recyclable, but your Dunkin’ Donuts cup is)