OES eNewsletter: October 2013

fixIt1“I am pleased to announce that over fall break, Oberlin College welcomed our first bike fix-it station! The Office of Environmental Sustainability partnered with the Green EDGE Fund, to bring the first Dero bike fix-it station to Oberlin College’s campus. The fix-it repair station makes basic bike repairs and maintenance simple, quick, and easy. The self-serve fix-it station is located in the middle of campus, situated by the covered bike racks between Mudd and Wilder Hall. The station itself serves as a stand with hanger arms, and comes equipped with maintenance and repair tools, such as hex keys, wrenches, tire levers, and screw drivers. Moreover, Oberlin College is one of the the first to have attached to the fix-it stand an all weather tire pump for year round use, even in freezing or below freezing temperatures. For those new to bike maintenance, a QR code on the front of the station gives simple instructions. Simply scan the code, and follow the guide provided.
This station will be the first of three to be installed on campus. OES is asking that users please give us feedback on where to install the next two stations – on north and south campus, respectively. Your feedback can be specific “in this nook near this building” or more general “in the main quad.” Email sustainability@oberlin.edu with your input.
The station is a great supplement to the the bike coop. With 24-hour access to tools, bike riding will hopefully become easier, more efficient, and more accessible to everyone! The Office of Environmental Sustainability would like to thank the Green EDGE Fund and all others who gave input and aided the process along the way — including our excellent carpenters that installed the station.”
– Bridget Flynn, Sustainability Coordinator &
Sarah Epstein, Sustainability Engagement Intern

News & Announcements:

  • From Coal to Carbon Neutrality Workshop: A workshop envisioning carbon neutrality will take place this Saturday, 11/2 from 1-4PM in the Science Center. It will be a large event with dance, music, and comedy performances, local seasonal snacks, and small group workshoping on a variety of issues related to carbon neutrality. The whole college community is welcome. I hope to see you there. Read more about ithere.
  • Local Shuttle: The local shuttle that was piloted last semester is continuing this semester! You can catch the shuttle from Wilder on Fridays and Saturdays from 3:00-7:00PM from the AOS stop behind Wilder Hall on a loop to Walmart, DrugMart/Johnny’s, and IGA. Learn more on the Oberlin Student Transportation page here.
  • Central Heating Plant Upgrade: Oberlin College’s coal-fired power plant will be undergoing major renovations beginning on October 14. This season marks Oberlin College’s last season to be heated with coal. To read more about this transition and what it means for you, see here.
  • OES’ Student Interns: I am excited to announce that OES will have 8 student interns this semester working on a variety of projects! We received excellent applicants and have established a great crew. They are: Mae Kate Campbell, Sarah Epstein, Colin Hunsberger, Daniella Mostow, Julienne Pasichow, Madeline Raynor, Abraham Rowe, and Parker Oka-Wong. Bios will be uploaded soon! You will be hearing more about them and from them in no time.

Upcoming Events:
For all environmental-related events on campus – check out the Environmental Events Calendar! If you would like it to be shared with you, email Bridget. If you would like one of your events to be added to eNewsletter, please email us.

November 1Lab Crawl | Science Center @11:45AM-1:30PM: The Lab Crawl is an open house that provides a fun and informal interaction with math and science on campus and an opportunity for raffle prizes and pizza. This event is sponsored by CLEAR, read more here.

November 2From Coal to Carbon Neutrality Workshop @ 1PM-4PM | Science Center: If there’s one sustainability-related event you attend this whole year, let it be this one. The purpose of this event is to bring together the college community — students, faculty, staff, administration — to have conversations and generate ideas and projects to address how we can mobilize as a community to reach our carbon neutrality goals. There will be music, dance, and comedy performances and local seasonal snacks provided. [College Calendar | Facebook Event] I sincerely hope to see you there.

November 5Reclaiming Our Democracy @ 7PM | Nancy Dye Lecture Hall (formerly West), Science Center: A talk by Sam Daley Harris, founder of RESULTS, a citizens’ activist organization committed to ending hunger and poverty, and mentor to the Citizen’s Climate Lobby.November 7Brad Tyer Book Reading @ 7:30PM | Hallock Auditorium in the AJLC: Join author, Brad Tyer, for a book reading from his new work Opportunity, Montana:  Big Copper, Bad Water, and the Burial of an American Landscape.November 9President’s Lecture @ 12:15PM | Finney Chapel: This year’s President’s lecture will feature Professor David Orr. These lectures give Oberlin’s students,faculty, staff, and local residents an opportunity to hear outstanding faculty and alumni share their expertise and insights.

For more info and to see a full list of events, please the Events tab on the OES website: http://new.oberlin.edu/office/environmental-sustainability/events/

Here are various data reporting numbers.

As I mentioned above, the central heating plant is currently being renovated. Here’s some numbers related to that project: Currently, there are 2 huge coal boilers — 43,000 lbs of steam/hr.  (86,000 total) — in the plant.They are proposed to be replaced with 2 new natural gas boilers that are sized for 26,000 lbs/hr. (52,000 total)   that’s a 40% reduction in capacity, which shows commitment to efficiency projects and developing energy zones. The current natural gas boiler in the central heating plant was downgraded a few years ago from 60,000 lbs/hr to 47,000 lbs/hr. It will get refurbished with the central heating plant renovation; we expect it will be around 50,000 lbs/hr.
As you can see, the new boilers will be much smaller. The hope/plan is that after 10 years we’ll retire the refurbished boiler so we’ll only have the two small boilers (which have a 10:1 turndown so they can run at only 2,600 lbs/hr once we take more systems off the CHP). I also wanted to note that an additional percent of fuel reduction will occur in this process, since the old coal boilers produce high pressure steam, and the new ones produce low pressure steam, which takes less energy per pound of steam produced.

Did You Know?

  • Oberlin’s commuters deviate substantially from national polls. Currently in Oberlin, 32% of trips to work are made on foot (much higher than the national average). 6% of Oberlinians bike to work, which is higher than the national average of 1%. Furthermore, only 53% of people drive to work which is lower than the national average of 86% (Source).
  • Republic’s Material Recover Facility in Oberlin underwent massive renovations last year and is now reopened! Oberlin is now able to RECYCLE PLASTICS #1 through #7 as well as cartons! They used to only accept #1 and #2. This applies to both City and College collection. Read this for more information or the RCT’s website.

Green Facts & Tips

  • Make your Halloween Green: All the candy, costumes, decorations, parties, and pumpkins for one time use can really take an environmental toll. Check out these awesome, fun tips for reducing your Halloween footprint while still having loads of fun! Here.
  • Get outside: Winter is right around the corner. So get outside while you still can without looking like a bundled up pumpkin! Take advantage of the weather and go on some walks outside (around the Arb, at the Metro parks nearby, etc.) and bike to work and school while it’s still easy to. Hopefully you were able to go pumpkin and apple picking and rake your leaves and jump in them, too!

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