May 2014 eNewsletter

From the desk of OES:

Monday, May 25, was Commencement for Oberlin College. Congratulations to all 675 graduating seniors that are now alumni!

First, I want to say congratulations to everyone on wrapping up an incredible 2013-14 school year. Congratulations to the seniors that graduated this weekend and joined the ranks of Oberlin’s esteemed alumni. Congratulations to all the professors that taught incredible classes, advised students, and worked on committees this year. Congratulations to all the staff for wrapping up another fantastic year supporting the institution.

Did you notice all the green initiatives over Commencement/Reunion weekend? Graduation programs are printed on 100% post-consumer recycled paper, local and organic foods are served, waste from the Kickoff Dinner and Champagne Luncheon are composted, and the Reunion/Event Ride Finder website allows for carpooling arrangements to be made. These are just some examples of the plethora of green initiatives occurring over the weekend. In addition, some alumni and visitors offset the carbon generated by their travel to campus by donating to Providing Oberlin With Efficiency Responsibly (POWER) and the Carbon Management Fund (CMF).

This month the Office of Environmental Sustainability launched Oberlin College’s first mobile app on the Apple App Store! The app, Oberlin College Eco Tour, features various sustainability-related places of interest. Download it and take your friends on a tour! The app was developed over the last year by OES intern, Parker Oka-Wong, without previous app development experience. I am so proud of all OES interns accomplished this year!

Thank you to everyone who made this year so outstanding. Now go out and enjoy your summer!

– Bridget Flynn, Sustainability Coordinator

News & Announcements:

  • Oberlin College Eco-Tour Mobile App: Oberlin College’s first mobile app was developed by Office of Environmental Sustainability intern, Parker Oka-Wong. The app highlights sustainability-related places of interest on campus. Find it on the App Store or iTunes today:
  • Cindy Frantz and Stephen Mayer Publish: Associate Professor of Psychology Cindy Frantz and Professor of Psychology Stephen Mayer published an article entitled “The Emergence of Climate Change.” The article appears in theJournal of Social Issues, a publication of the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues. It explores the psychology behind the disparities between the scientific consensus on climate change and people’s willingness to recognize and respond to it.
  • David Orr and the Oberlin Project: EcoWatch featured David Orr, the Oberlin Project, and Oberlin College on their website in anticipation for a presentation by David Orr. Orr spoke to the City Club of Cleveland last month.

Upcoming Events:
For all environmental-related events on campus – check out theEnvironmental 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.

May 11: Cleveland VegFest @ 9AM-7PM Cleveland State University Student Center: The 2nd Annual Cleveland VegFest will feature nationally-acclaimed authors, chefs, films, and speakers, as well as a marketplace featuring local, vegan vendors. [website]
May 18-20thOhio Association of Litter Prevention and Recycling Professionals Conference @ Various Locations: This year’s conference will include a tour of various Cleveland staples including Great Lakes Brewery, Progressive Field, and First Energy Stadium as well as two days of presentations. [website]
Saturdays, all summer: Oberlin Farmers Market @ 9AM-1PM: May through October you can find an array of local produce, products, neighbors, farmers, and friends at the Oberlin Farmers Market. It is located at in the parking lot near Oberlin Public Library and City Hall (69-85 South Main Street) in Oberlin.

Since classes are out for the summer at the College, it’s a great time to venture to Cleveland and surrounding communities for events. Sustainable Cleveland has a calendar full of events here:

For more info and to see a full list of events, please the Events tab on the OES website:

Students learning about and receiving green products from Teens Turning Green.

Here are the results of some surveys conducted by George Mason University’s Center for Climate Change Communications.

Each year in the United States about 40% of carbon dioxide emissions comes from electric power plants, especially those powered by the burning of coal. On Monday, June 2, the EPA is expected to propose new limits on CO2 emissions from existing coal-fired power plants. These regulations are likely to face fierce resistance from the coal industry and their allies.

A national opinion survey the Center conducted in April 2014 found that – by nearly a two to one margin – Americans support setting strict limits on carbon dioxide emissions from existing coal-fired plants, even if the cost of electricity to consumers and companies increases. However, there is some division on the issue by political party. The vast majority of Democrats (80%) support setting such limits, while 50% of Independents and slightly less than half of Republicans (43%) support limits.

For more of the Center, their reports, and findings, visit

Did you know?

A look at the conceptual design of the Center.

The Peter B. Lewis Gateway Center will be breaking ground this month on June 12, 2014. The Center will be a 100,000-square-foot, mixed-use development featuring a hotel, conference center, and commercial space. It will be powered using renewable technologies and plans to meet the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Platinum standard. The Gateway Center will be the cornerstone of Oberlin’s Green Arts District, which includes the Apollo, Art Museum, and the rest of that block, and the keystone of the Oberlin Project — the college-city partnership in sustainable urban development.

Green Tips

  • Keep Cool: To help keep cool in the summer, wear natural fabrics and drink plenty of cool water and stay hydrated (that might mean laying off that second cup of coffee). Try utilizing shades and tree cover instead of air conditioning. For more green tips about how to keep your body and home cool in the sweltering summer, check out these tips.
  • Low Impact Summer Festivities: Summertime weather provides ample opportunity for low-impact activities and outings. Take a trip to a local park, woods, or beach to enjoy the outdoors by yourself or with friends. Check out a ballgame at a nearby field. Summer is also a great time to pick up that book you’ve been meaning to read or complete that craft idea you’ve been toying with. If you decide to travel regionally, take a vehicle instead of an airplane — you don’t have to worry about snow on the roads — and you’ll save a substantial amount of carbon.


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