“As the semester and calendar year comes to a close, I’d like to take a moment to reflect on what’s occurred this semester, as well as give thanks. This semester, we welcomed a record number of awesome interns who expanded our social media presence, planned our monthly OES Hangouts, started planning for Ecolympics, made improvements to our website, launched a cold water for laundry campaign, researched Complete Streets policies to aid the City of Oberlin, researched sustainable purchasing, and a variety of behind the scenes projects that we are excited to announce next semester! Additionally, we installed a bike fix-it station and all-weather bike pump, worked with the City on the zero-waste plan and managed a near zero-waste event, and held the From Coal to Carbon Neutrality workshop where 100+ students, faculty, and staff got together to mobilize towards carbon neutrality. The College began work on our updating our central heating plant and decommissioning our coal-fired boilers, researching the first renewable energy zone, and updating and revising the Environmental Policy. We forged new partnerships, connected with new people, and made memories all the while furthering campus sustainability.
Since the November and December eNewsletter issues were combined, I also want to exercise some belated thanksgiving. I am so thankful for an incredibly bright, passionate students I get to work with. Not only the OES interns, but the Green EDGE Fund, the Resource Conservation Team, the and the Real Food Challenge, OSCA, SEED House, and individuals across the College. I also have the pleasure to collaborate with the brilliant, engaged faculty and hard-working, supportive, interesting staff on Oberlin’s campus. I am also able to meet with City staff, local businesses, and residents of the amazing Kendal community. Oberlin is really a hot-bed of interesting people working to create a good, just world. I want to thank all of the City and College partners — as well as my colleagues at other institutions — for both supporting Oberlin sustainability and diligently working to enact sustainability in their respective worlds. I am so thankful for all of you.
Looking forward to the spring semester, there is a lot to be excited about: the start of the new director of OES; the famed Ecolympics competition; launching the pilot of the Green Office Program, intern blogs on our newly created WordPress; gorgeous, new recycled-content trash and recycling stations; the installation of two additional bike fix-it stations and all-weather pumps; more fun OES Hangouts; and so much more! Until then, I wish you all the best in wrapping up the semester, happy holidays, and a happy new year from all of OES!”
-Bridget Flynn, Sustainability Coordinator
News & Announcements:
- New AVP for Energy Management and Sustainability: The search for the new director of OES is over! Beginning on January 2, Oberlin College will welcome our new Assistant Vice President of Energy Management and Sustainability. We are looking forward to the expertise and enthusiasm she will bring to this position. A bio will be available in the January eNewsletter!
- New Hires for CBSM Project: Oberlin’s award-winning (see previous eNewsletter) community-based social marketing (CBSM) will be expanding project capacity for spring semester. The project will welcome 6 undergraduates who will work on a variety of behaviors, campaigns, and research.
- Improvements to Downtown Oberlin: The downtown Oberlin revitalization project will not only yield ADA-compliant crosswalks with audible signals, on street bike parking, expanded sidewalks and outdoor patio seating for business, improved storm water management, but also an electric vehicle charging station! Read more about the project here.
- Environmental Dashboard Project Expands: The Environmental Dashboard receives a large grant from State Farm’s Youth Advisory Board to expand into all the Oberlin public schools. Read more here.
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.
Good luck on wrapping up the semester and enjoy the holiday season!
For more info and to see a full list of events, please the Events tab on the OES website.
Here are various data reporting numbers.
According to the National Retail Foundation (NRF)’s holiday consumer spending survey, the average holiday shopper will spend $737.95 on gifts, decorations, greeting cards and the like. NRF forecasts that holiday sales –defined as sales in November and December — will increase by 3.9 percent this year to $602.1 billion. To put that figure in perspective, that’s about the GDP of some countries, like Switerland or more than 3x the GDP of Peru (according to CIA).
Did You Know?
- The new green bags lining the trash cans at the College are biodegradable! Learn more about this initiative by infographic here.
- Over the College’s winter shutdown from 12/24-1/1 many campus buildings are not in use. In order to reduce energy usage, heat in dozens of buildings is lowered to pipe-maintenance temperatures. Read more about this excellent money and utility saving initiative here.
- Republic’s Material Recover Facility in Oberlin underwent massive renovations last year. 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. PLEASE RECYCLE! Read this for more information or the RCT’s website.
Holiday Green Facts & Tips
- Reuse gift wrap: Millions of dollars are spent on buying beautiful, clever, seasonally-oriented gift boxes, wrapping paper, tissue paper, and gift bags each year. When you’re able, keep them and reuse them — it will not only save resources, but also a trip and money to buy more! Or wrap presents with old newspaper. These are easy ways to become more sustainable. See a full list of holiday tips here.
- Think green while gift-giving: Have you tried getting crafty and making your own gifts — baking vegan cookies, brewing your own beer, making jewelry, or creating bath scrub? These are fun, thoughtful ways to make your gifts more personal and more sustainable. When purchasing gifts, consider the durability and reuse or recycle-ability of the product.
- Give socially-conscious, fair trade gifts:
- Put your money to work helping others and the planet:
The full version of the eNewsletter can he found here.