May 2017 eNewsletter

From the desk of OES:

Oberlin students at a past People’s Climate March (Mae Kate, far right)

Sustainability at Oberlin manifests itself in a lot of ways. There’s the flashy technology based side that the Environmental Dashboard/orbs embody, the myriad elements of green design and alternative energy across the campus, and the crowds of students and professors alike zipping around on bikes. And then there’s Ecolympics, a beautiful couple of weeks each year where the passion and drive that is so unique to the Oberlin community spills out into an amazing display of commitment and togetherness.
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April 2017 eNewsletter

From the desk of OES:

The Ecolympics banner hanging above College St.

I feel like I always start these saying that there is a lot going on. This month is an exception, in the sense that there is even moregoing on than usual. Oberlin Ecolympics 2017 kicks off this Friday, April 14. During this time, college dorms and co-ops and the city schools will compete to reduce their electricity and water use. At the same time, faculty/staff offices will be encouraged to reduce their consumption AND everyone is invited to the community events series. There will be approximately 30 events during the three-weeks of Ecolympics!
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March 2017 eNewsletter

From the desk of OES:

Oberlin student, Naomi, working at Lake Tahoe this Winter Term.

It’s been 2.5 months since our last eNewsletter! A heck of a lot has happened since we last wrote – both at Oberlin College and in the nation. Students participated in some incredible Winter Term projects, OES staff attended various conferences, and we wondered what would be next in Trump’s first 100 days.

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November/December 2016 eNewsletter

From the desk of OES:

Moses, Mae Kate, and Liam (OES interns) pictured in front of the Oberlin Bike Co-op during the OES Intern Scavenger Hunt.

It’s the last eNewsletter of 2016 – and what a year it’s been. This year we celebrated the 10 year anniversary of the Office of Environmental Sustainability (OES) and a decade of progress since our carbon neutrality commitment. This year has been full of challenges for many people and now with a president-elect who is a climate change denier, our obstacles are not over yet. In spite of this, we have made progress. Water protectors at Standing Rock succeeded in re-routing the Dakota Access Pipeline, the divestment movement doubled, and Oberlin College has more than halved our carbon emissions since making our commitment. We can learn a lot from places where we see success. I hope we can build upon our triumphs in the new year; we need to.

October 2016 eNewsletter

From the desk of OES:

Hillary Pan, Gabe Jacobson, Emma Ayzenberg, Olivia Vasquez, and Bridget Flynn taking a road-trip to AASHE 2016

I was lucky enough to attend and present at the annual AASHE Conference and Expo held Oct 9-12 this year in Baltimore, Maryland. I was joined by three other Oberlin students involved in sustainability. Bridget, Sustainability Coordinator in OES, told us that AASHE is the biggest and best sustainability-in-higher-education conference. We didn’t know exactly what to expect from the experience, but we hoped to hear about other institution’s challenges in campus sustainability from a mainly student perspective. The theme of the conference was “Beyond the Campus”, which means that the conference focused on “the dissemination and implementation of [sustainability] solutions in surrounding communities and the world.” We went into the conference aware of Oberlin’s progressive reputation, and comprehensive dedication to developing a community culture that embodies sustainability at every level, especially as we aim to achieve carbon neutrality.
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September 2016 eNewsletter

From the desk of OES:

“You don’t know what you have until it’s gone. For example. toilet paper.”

You don’t know what you have until it’s gone. I saw this silly photo one day as I was scrolling through facebook. As I was in the bathroom at work the next day, it struck me how true it was; also how it relates to sustainability. How many times have you been in a stall without toilet paper desperately clawing at the roll? When I am in the bathroom at work with two huge rolls of toilet paper I will use more than my single roll I buy at home. And I will use even less when there is little to no toilet paper. It seems when our resources are (or seem) plentiful we take them for granted.
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August 2016 eNewsletter

From the desk of OES:

The Fresh Swap allows first-year students to shop for popular college items FOR FREE. This program is run by the RCT promoting resource reduction and reuse in conjunction with the Free Store. Photo by Yevhen Gulenko.

Welcome to another school year! A particular warm welcome to those of you new to Oberlin. Oberlin is a place full of possibility.

There is ample passion, knowledge, resources, and desire to create change in this small, yet special community. Coming into a new community – whether as a first year or a seasoned resident breaking into a new scene – can be a challenge to navigate. Just like when traveling to a foreign country, one of the best things you can do is to understand context and history before jumping in. Continue reading