January-February 2015 eNewsletter

From the desk of OES:

Last month in February, I had the honor to participate in the opening panel discussion at the International District Energy Association (IDEA) Campus Energy Conference in Denver, Colorado. Over 600 people were in attendance for the forum on “Clean Energy for the Next Generation.” The panel included representatives from Oberlin College, University of Colorado, University of Texas, Princeton University, and some industry partners. The panel of experienced energy industry leaders discussed emerging trends in clean energy deployment and optimization on campuses and communities in the context of a rapidly-changing utility and energy marketplace. Topics included capturing wasted-heat, microgrids, sustainability, master planning, energy integration, environmental compliance, energy policy trends and resource management strategies. We had a lot to add to the conversation. It was an amazing experience to talk about what its means for Oberlin College to be a leader and create transformational change in a community and beyond. With a legacy of inclusion and respect for diversity setting the tone for campus today, where sustainability is one of the defining social justice issues of our time, we are daring to imagine a world where we think beyond our physical and organizational boundaries to create energy systems, communities, and lives that are sustainable and resilient. The audience was captivated by our approach for transformation change at Oberlin College.

With a focus on peer exchange, best practices and business development, the IDEA campus conference proved invaluable for connecting with other like-minded campus utility professionals and keeping pace with new information. Since campus professionals face many of the same challenges in planning and operating efficient, reliable campus utilities, this conference provided to be an atmosphere of open exchange and collaboration that was focused and unique. Part of the campus conference features a student video competition on the topic of district energy. This year students from University of Virginia won.

If you are interested in submitting a video for next year, please contact me at mriester@oberlin.edu for help and support.

– Meghan Riesterer, Assistant Vice President of Energy Management and Sustainability

News & Announcements:

  • College Recycling: Most locations on campus are now back to recycling! There have been some changes to the way recycling works on campus, so be sure to follow new guidelines. A Guide for all of campus will be sent out and made available soon! In the meantime, the City of Oberlin has more information here.
  • Meghan on IDEA Panel: Meghan Riesterer was on an industry leaders panel at the Campus Energy Conference of IDEA. She had a wonderful time at the conference connecting with other campuses.
  • OES featured in Sustainability Internship Program (SIP) Guide: The Office of Environmental Sustainability‘s internship program lent to a guide published by AASHE. The Guide features the how-to’s of managing sustainability internship programs.
  • Tardy: We apologize this month’s eNewsletter, covering some events over January and February isn’t getting out until the beginning of March. We are super excited for all that’s happening and will have a lot to report at the beginning of April on all that’s happened this March and future happenings in April, featuring ECOLYMPICS 2015!
  • Ecolympics Article on NASPA: Bridget Flynn wrote a blog post for NASPA, the organization for Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education, on the Ecolympics competition. Check it out here: https://www.naspa.org/constituent-groups/posts/21-days.-36-events.-27-dorms-and-co-ops.-13182-kwh-of-electricity-saved.-55.

Environmental Dashboard intern, Conrad Schloer, getting dorms ready for Ecolympics 2015!

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 12thChemistry, Carbon, and Climate Science for Global Environmental Security @ 8pm in the AJLC Hallock Auditorium: Manvendra K. Dubey, senior scientist in Earth System Observations at Los Alamos National Laboratory, will be giving a talk on how scientists are seeking to establish a causal relation between anthropogenic emissions and specific environmental problems in order to drive policy making. [Calendar]

March 15thSilkscreening Workshop @ 3pm in Wilder Main: The Oberlin Apparel Collective will be hosting a silkscreening workshop from 3-6pm where you can design your own t-shirt and learn how to print it. [Facebook]

March 16thRecycled Jewelry Making @ 7pm in the Science Center Atrium: Take a study break and make some cool recycled crafts with Oberlin’s Resource Conservation Team! [Facebook]

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

Numbers:2014 was a big year for clean energy, with the U.S. solar and wind industries experiencing record breaking growth. Since 2008, solar and wind have more than tripled in capacity, all while becoming increasingly more cost effective. 7,200 MW of solar energy generation capacity was installed in 2014, and employment growth in the solar industry was 20 times higher than employment growth in the overall economy.

Did you know?
  • Research shows that we aren’t actually sure if Daylight Savings Time (DST) actually saves energy. Here’s a paper explaining more. Share your thoughts on the topic on our Facebookor Twitter!
  • The City of Oberlin’s new recycling trucks are now in use! The trucks have a hybrid-hydraulic engine, making them very fuel efficient. Recycling is single stream, which is expected to increase recycling rates. The new residential carts are on wheels and will make it easier to recycle. Please place carts 5 feet apart from one another. Place recyclables in dumpsters or carts loose (unbagged) and place any recyclables in carts or dumpsters, not in bags on the ground.

Green Tips

  • Oberlin Recycling and Waste Disposal: After the disastrous fire that destroyed the City’s fleet of refuse and recycling trucks, pickup of the College’s recycling has resumed! It’s a great time to get yourself (re)acquainted with proper disposal of waste and unwanted items. Recycling at Oberlin is single stream! Cans, glass, paper, paperboard, and plastics labeled #1-#7 can be placed in recycling bins with blue linersCardboard should NOT be recycled alongside other recyclable materials and instead must be flattened and placed in designated cardboard dumpsters (located inside most dorms). Gently used articles of clothing, and any unwanted household/school supplies can be donated to the Free Store in the basement of Asia House. Dead batteries can be dropped off at Wilder front desk, Phillips Gym, and Facilities Operations (in the Service Building) for recycling. Computer/cell phone batteries, old electronic devices, and empty ink cartridges, can be recycled by the Technology Store in Mudd Level A. Compact florescent lightbulbs (CFLs) can be dropped off at Oberlin City Hall (85 S. Main St.),  and Watson Hardware (26 S Main St.). If all else fails, trash (landfill material) can be placed in bins with green liners. 

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