Last month over 3,500 alumni, family, and friends gathered on campus for the Bicentennial All-Class Reunion. The Office of Sustainability coordinated efforts with the Office of Alumni Relations to make Lunch and Dinner on Friday as low waste as possible. In addition to obtaining biodegradable plates, napkins, utensils, and cups, zero waste stations were set up across Whitnall Field.
To set up, help guide, and educate alums of our efforts, the Sustainability Office had student and staff volunteers stationed at the various zero waste stations. These zero waste stations had three bins: one for compost, for bottles and cans, and one for landfill waste. The goal of these stations was to reduce the amount of general landfill waste by recycling and composting. We were proud to see much of the food waste being correctly placed in the compost bins! All of the food collected in the compost bins was placed in the office’s composting plot.
Reunion Weekend also featured a number of other sustainable initiatives:
- Email is the primary method for marketing Reunion, reducing the amount of paper used
- Local produce and products are integrated into meals
- Water coolers are provided around campus in place of one-time use disposable water bottles
- Golf carts are used for transportation (instead of vans) around campus to reduce greenhouse emissions
For almost a decade, the Office of Alumni Relations and the Office of Sustainability have worked to reduce waste in support of campus sustainability and carbon neutrality goals. Colgate is working toward being a zero-waste campus by 2025 and minimizing waste at events like Reunion is a great step in this direction.
Read more about our journey to become carbon neutral here.