February 2014 eNewsletter

Bridget after walking to work, thinking "I thought the snow was over." Be safe out there, everyone!

Bridget after walking to work, thinking “I thought the snow was over.” Be safe out there, everyone!

Greetings! I realize this February eNewsletter is coming at you quite a bit tardy; my apologies! While February is the shortest month of the year, it’s also the first month of the spring semester at Oberlin. We packed a lot into this four-week month.
This semester OES is advising a record-breaking 6 Environmental Studies 101 groups. Four groups will be working on Ecolympics-related events and programming, one on a campus sustainability walking map brochure, and one on sustainable commuting options for college employees. More on those projects will be published in April. The CBSM Research group is in full swing researching a whole suite of behavior changes — from light switch messaging to shower timers. The OES interns are furthering the development of the Green Office Program, planning so many cool events for Ecolympics, crafting a robust toner and ink cartridge recycling program, hosting our monthly OES Hangouts (like the one tomorrow!), and more. Looking forward over the next couple of weeks, there are a plethora of activities occurring. With all the exciting sustainability developments around campus, we will have a full stack of news, events, announcements, and tips for you in the March issue in a couple weeks, like updates from the Board of Trustees meeting, investment symposiums, and more.
Now that OES has a new director of the office, our team is well-formed and ready to accomplish a lot. Our internship program has developed significantly over the years and continues to grow and enhance the ability of OES to reach our goals and expand efforts. In order to hear from these incredible students, we
created a blog where you can read about the work of the interns in their own words.
– Bridget Flynn, Sustainability Coordinator

News & Announcements:

  • Fire at City BuildingA fire at the City of Oberlin’s garage destroyed the City’s entire fleet of refuse and recycling trucks. Currently, the City is renting refuse trucks to continue picking up items destined for the landfill. Because Oberlin doesn’t have the appropriate trucks, all recycling left on the curb and from College buildings is currently going to the landfill. Until a solution is found, residents and College folks can drop off items at the Republic facility located 2.5 miles from campus on Oberlin-Elyria Road. Further instruction can be foundhere. OES will continue to post updates in our eNewsletters and social media and simultaneously work towards a solution for the College and in conjunction with the City. For Village Housing residents, the RCT is picking up recycling.
  • Solar Array feature: Our very own solar array wasfeatured in Midwest Energy News this month. The article highlights the unusual, mutually-beneficial agreement between the College and City.
  • Go More Meatless: Dascomb and Stevenson will be offering increased vegetarian and vegan options once a week. Dascomb will be on Mondays beginning 3/10 and Stevenson on Tuesdays beginning on 3/18. This initiative aims to enhance health and reduce the resource-intensity of our food choices.

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.

March 13Green EDGE Fund Brainstorming Sess – Wilder 112 @ 12:30PM: Want to put solar panels on Kahn or invest in sustainability projects on campus? Join in on a pizza party and information and brainstorming session with the Green EDGE Fund.

OES Hangout: Spring Break Edition – Wilder 112 @ 6PM: Hang out with the some folks from the OES and enjoy some food, potluck-style. This is an informal gathering and all are welcome!

Why Men Need Feminism: A Workshop with Chris Crass – AJLC 102 @ 7PM: Chris Crass, a long time organizer, activist. and writer endeavoring to build a working class, feminist, multiracial movements for collective liberation.

March 14: OES Pi(e) Day Meet-and-Greet – Wilder 315 @ 1:59PM: On 3.14159 come get nerdy, eat some pies, play some games, and meet Meghan Riesterer, our new AVP of Energy Management and Sustainability.

March 16: Anti-Racist Politics and Organizing in White Communities Workshop – AJLC 102 @ 2PM: This workshop, lead by Chris Crass, will explore explores ways of transforming divisions of race into catalysts for powerful vision, strategy, and movement building.

March 19: Forum on Bike Parking Downtown – Oberlin Public Library Community Room @ 8AM: Share thoughts and ideas concerning bicycle parking and other issues related to the downtown streetscape.

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/

Did You Know?

Most coffee cups that you get at DeCafe, Azariah’s, Slow Train, the Local, and other locations around town cannot be recycled. The lid and cardboard sleeve can be put into recycling, but the actual cup has a wax lining that renders it ineligible to be recycled for paper. Instead of using a paper cup, bring your own mug or get a ceramic “for here” mug! You can even get a mug discount at DeCafe, Science Cart, Azariah’s, Slow Train, the Local, Starbucks, and other retailers if you bring your own mug! Furthermore, beginning next week, customers will be charged $.25 at the Science Cart and DeCafe for selecting paper cups. This money will go to CDS Recycler’s sustainability initiatives.

Green Tips

  • Road Trip: Instead of taking a flight to your spring break destination, take a road trip! Road trips are recommended not just because they can be epic adventures solo or with friends, but because driving a fuel-efficient vehicle tends to emit significantly less carbon than flying. Plus, you can make multiple stops along a route and see the geography and topography changes while you are on the ground. You can play around with carbon calculator tools, such as this one, to see how much carbon your travel plans generate.
  • Reduce waste during travel: Bring utensils, thermos/mugs, tupperwares, and snacks with you on your trip. This will reduce the amount of packaging wasted during your trip (think: water bottles, coffee cups, wrappers, to-go containers), particularly if there’s the oft-dreaded Styrofoam (which cannot be recycled and takes hundreds of millions of years to decompose). 

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