June 2014 eNewsletter

From the desk of OES:


A photo captured before the start of the Peter B Lewis Gateway Groundbreaking Ceremony at the Oberlin Inn.

While the first day of summer (the summer solstice) was June 21, for college folks we’ve been into the summer swing for a month now. Once the semester concludes and dust settles from move-out and Commencement/Reunion weekend, what do administrative departments do?

With the new fiscal year beginning on July 1 many departments are reconciling budgets and getting finances in order. Many folks are catching up on emails and rekindling projects that had to be put on the back burner in the midst of a busy year. Faculty and staff take well-deserved vacation time in the summer, too.

Bridget checking out a LEED Platinum building  while on vacation in Louisville, KY.

Bridget checking out a LEED Platinum building while on vacation in Louisville, KY.

In addition, staff prepare for another academic year — laying the foundation for new projects, accessing needs, evaluating how things went and scoping out room for improvement. This is true at OES, too. Some of the projects that we are picking up over the summer months include: updating Oberlin’s STARS report, putting the finishing touches on the revised Environmental Policy, planning for the academic year and hiring a few more interns, installing the next two bike fix-it stations and all-weather pumps, hanging the Ecolympics posters and installing the water refill stations in the winning dorms, and more.

Next week, Keith Watkins, Director of Facilities, Meghan, and I will attend a one-day conference bringing together sustainability and facilities officers from institutions within the Great Lakes College Association (GLCA). Last year, Oberlin hosted the meeting and we had a fantastic time! This year, we are headed to Greencastle, Indiana home of Depauw University. I look forward to a productive yet relaxing summer. I hope the same for you! Are you doing anything cool this summer? Feel free to share your stories with us via emailfacebook,twitter, or Instagram.

– Bridget Flynn, Sustainability Coordinator

News & Announcements:

  • Meghan Riesterer elected to IDEA Board: Meghan Riesterer, our very own Assistant Vice President of Energy Management and Sustainability, was elected to the International District Energy Association’s (IDEA) Board of Directors this month. Meghan is
  • Gateway Building Groundbreaking: The official groundbreaking ceremony for the Peter B. Lewis Gateway Building was held on June 12, 2014. Multiple community leaders spoke about the history of the Oberlin Inn and expressed their excited anticipation for the new building and the positive impact it will have on the community.
  • Ecolympics Prize Installation: Water refill stations were installed in the three winning dorms of Ecolympics this month. Harkness, Keep, and Johnson House will now feature a framed Ecolympics poster boasting their 2014 achievement alongside the hydration station.
  • Bike Fix-it Installations: Oberlin College’s next two bike fix-it stations and bike pumps are being installed on campus. One will be on north campus near the entrance of Philips gym and the other will be on south campus in front of South Hall. Oberlin’s first station is located between Mudd Center and Wilder.These stations made quick repairs and pumping up tires a breeze! *The pump head on the first station is currently out of order and will be fixed very soon. Sorry for any inconvenience!* 
  • Cleveland’s First Buffered Bike Lane: This summer Cleveland put the finishing touches on their first buffered bike lane. These lanes give cyclists more room on the road. Check it out on the Bike Cleveland blog here.
  • 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: http://bit.ly/oberlinecotour

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.

July 12Kitchen Supplies Freecycle Event @ Oberlin Community Services: City of Oberlin Recycling and Oberlin Community Services have teamed up to hold a kitchen supply free-cycle event for the community. For this event, clean kitchen implements and working small kitchen appliances and utensils may be taken to the Oberlin Depot on Friday, July 11 from 10AM – 3PM for collection. On Saturday, July 12 from 9AM – 1PM anyone may come to the Oberlin Depot to take these kitchen items for free! Bowls, toasters, measuring cups, food choppers, and more! [calendar]
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: http://www.sustainablecleveland.org/get-involved/upcoming-events/.

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/

Population growth is quite a perplexing sustainability issue. Some argue it’s extraordinarily detrimental and therefore the most pressing topic to address; others say, more people isn’t so bad, because we have more ideas and more potential for innovation. Regardless of where you fall, the numbers are staggering: the world’s human population has more than doubled since the time the baby boomers were born in the 1950s.

The world’s human population increased from 3 billion in 1959 to 6 billion by 1999, which is to say in 40 years it doubled (x2). The US Census Bureau’s latest projections suggest that population growth will continue into the 21st century, although more slowly. The world population is projected to grow to 9 billion by 2044 which is another 50% increase. That means that by the time 2014 graduates are celebrating their 30-year reunion, the growth of people on the planet will be equal to the total number of people on the planet when their parents were born.



Did you know?

    • Campus Dining Services (CDS) Recyclers and RCT put together a Little Green Book to assist students in finding their way through dining services and their green initiatives. It details information about composting, trayless dining, the herb garden, local and low carbon foods, vegan options, and other commitments by CDS and Bon Appetit.
  • The Resource Conservation Team (RCT) collected 725 bags of materials during this year’s Big Swap! Thanks to everyone who donated, took items, or volunteered!

Green Tips

  • Driving cool: It can get pretty toasty in the car while your driving on your summer road trip or carpooling to work. However, using the air conditioning uses more gasoline and rolling down the windows makes the car less aerodynamic and reduces fuel efficiency. To combat the heat without sacrificing too much of your fuel economy, opt for the A/C while on the highway (in short bursts instead of “set it and forget it”) and rolling down the windows while in stop-and-go traffic and at lower speeds.
  • Crowd-funding great ideas: If you like to contribute to making great ideas happen, but don’t have time to be directly involved, are limited by geographical location or lack needed skills, you can donate money to making change. Kickstarter, IndieGogo, and other crowd-funding platforms allow idea-generators to pitch their idea and ask communities for the funding necessary to make their idea a reality — from publishing a novel to manufacturing innovative green energy; from initiating a community garden to putting out a record. There are journalism, film, music, art, technology, games… all sorts of projects! One of my favorite campaigns right now is solar roadways.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s