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Oregon State University Featured in “The Princeton Review’s Guide to 375 Green Colleges: 2017 Edition”

September 21st, 2017

Oregon State University is one of the 375 most environmentally responsible colleges according to The Princeton Review. The education services company known for its test prep and tutoring services, books, and college rankings features Oregon State in the 2017 edition of its free book, The Princeton Review Guide to 375 Green Colleges.

Published September 19, the ranking can be accessed at here.

The Princeton Review chose the schools for this seventh annual edition of its “green guide” based on data from the company’s 2016-17 survey of hundreds of four-year colleges concerning the schools’ commitments to the environment and sustainability.

“We strongly recommend Oregon State University and the other fine colleges in this guide to the many environmentally-minded students who seek to study and live at green colleges,” said The Princeton Review’s Robert Franek, Senior VP-Publisher.

Franek noted the growing interest the company has seen among college-bound students in green colleges. “Among more than 10,000 teens and parents who participated in our 2017 College Hopes & Worries Survey, 64% told us that having information about a school’s commitment to the environment would influence their decision to apply to or attend the college.”  (A complete report on that survey can be found here.)

The profiles in The Princeton Review’s Guide to 375 Green Colleges provide information about each school’s admission requirements, cost and financial aid, and student body stats. They also include “Green Facts” about the schools with details on the availability of transportation alternatives at the schools and the percentage of the school food budgets spent on local/organic food.

The Princeton Review: Guide to Green Schools

How Schools Were Chosen for the Guide

The Princeton Review chose the colleges based on “Green Rating” scores (from 60 to 99) that the company tallied in summer 2017 for 629 colleges using data from its 2016-17 survey of school administrators. The survey asked them to report on their school’s sustainability-related policies, practices, and programs. More than 25 data points were weighted in the assessment. Schools with Green Rating scores of 80 or higher made it into this guide. Most of the schools (362) in this edition are in the U.S. Twelve are in Canada. One is in Egypt. Information about Princeton Review’s Green Rating and its Green Honor Roll saluting schools that received the highest possible rating score, 99, can be found here.  Note: The scores can be found in the profiles of the schools on The Princeton Review and in the 2017 edition of The Princeton Review books, The Best 382 Colleges and The Complete Book of Colleges, published in August 2017.

How the Top 50 Green Colleges List Was Done

The Princeton Review developed the ranking list using data from its institutional survey for its Green Rating and its surveys of students attending the colleges. Ten data points from the institutional survey were factored into the assessment. Data from the student survey included student ratings of how sustainability issues influenced their education and life on campus; adminis­tration and student support for environmental awareness and conservation efforts; and the visibility and impact of student environmental groups.

Street Fair: Celebrating Sustainability

September 21st, 2017

What an eventful day at the Sustainability Street Fair yesterday! Thanks to everyone who braved the stormy weather and came by our booth to learn about sustainability and try out our new bike generator!

Street Fair: Celebrating Sustainability

September 20th, 2017

Join Campus Recycling, the Student Sustainability Initiative, the Sustainability Office and others today at the Street Fair: Celebrating Sustainability.  Our annual event this time takes place in the Brick Mall just north of the SEC Plaza.  Take a stroll through the Fair and celebrate sustainability with us between 12 and 4pm. Come meet your local and campus sustainability organizations and enjoy outdoor activities, a collaborative art project and yoga next to the Beaver Community Fair on the Brick Mall east of the M.U. Quad.  Learn more and join our Facebook event!

Now Hiring Eco-Representatives!

September 19th, 2017

Attention resident students! Want to get paid for doing sustainability outreach and education in your residence hall?  This is a one of a kind employment opportunity!  Prior experience great, but not required.

University Housing & Dining Services, Campus Recycling, the Student Sustainability Initiative and the OSU Sustainability Office are currently recruiting this year’s Eco-Reps.  Eco-Reps are paid student employees who deliver sustainability programming to the residence hall in which they live, so it is only available to students living on campus.

Tasks center on sustainability outreach and education, as well as running composting programs.  This is a great, entry level job for those interested in sustainability!  Each year we hear from past cohort members how they have stayed engaged on campus, and gone on to successfully get other jobs in their feel.

Applications are due Oct.1 and all the details on how to apply are here

You can check the FY17 Program Summary for results from last year and prior.  And please help spread the word!

OSUsed Store Back to School Sale September 19

September 18th, 2017

In celebration of school starting, the OSUsed Store’s evening sale will offer special merchandise such as extra bicycles, extra student desks, and 50% off bed riser sets. Stop by on Tuesday, September 19th between 5:30 – 7:30 pm!

The OSUsed Store is located at 644 SW 13th St. in Corvallis.

Street Fair: Celebrating Sustainability

September 7th, 2017

Take a stroll through the Street Fair and celebrate sustainability with us between 12 and 4pm. Come meet your local and campus sustainability organizations and enjoy outdoor activities, a collaborative art project and yoga next to the Beaver Community Fair on the Brick Mall east of the M.U. Quad. Learn more on our Facebook event!

Throughout event (12:00-4:00):
• Amazing sustainability groups!
• Yard games – disc golf, bean bag toss, giant jenga, and more
• Art zone – chalk the street to show us what sustainability means to you

In the “Move Your Body” grass area:
• 12:00-12:30: Self-guided yoga and relaxation (some mats provided)
• 12:30-1:30: Dance class hosted by OSU West Coast Swing Club
• 1:30-2:00: Open dance with OSU West Coast Swing Club
• 2:00-2:45: Flow Yoga for All Levels lead by Katie Zarajczyk of Live Well Studio (mats provided)
• 2:45-4:00: Self-guided yoga and relaxation (some mats provided)

Oregon State is One of the “Coolest Schools” in the Nation

August 25th, 2017

Last week, the Sierra Club ranked Oregon State University as one of the top 20 “coolest schools” in the nation. Out of 227 schools, Oregon State is listed as 20th in the nation. The official article can be found here.

This ranking is based on several factors such student sustainability outreach, department and faculty engagement in sustainability research, preconsumer and postconsumer food waste composting, energy consumption, etc. The official scoring key can be found here.

The Sierra Club highlighted Oregon State’s efforts in reaching their carbon neutrality goal by 2025. Oregon State’s Solar by Degrees program led to the installation of 12 acres of photovoltaic arrays. Research on how the solar panels effect soil and crop production is being conducted. Putting crops under the photovoltaic arrays produces more electricity.

Brandon Trelstad, the sustainability officer for Oregon State, was excited to learn that growing crops under the arrays could increase solar production. “This is the kind of synergy we look for in sustainability work; systems thinking and looking for co-benefits across those systems.” Trelstad said.

Oregon State’s dining services also created the Eco2Go program, which introduced reusable and returnable takeout containers. This prevented 400,000 disposable takeout containers from ending up in the landfill in 2016.

Keep up the great work Oregon State!

City of Corvallis Airport Solar Array

August 24th, 2017

The City of Corvallis invites you to attend the grand opening of a new 100 kW solar array that has been installed at the Corvallis Municipal Airport. Representatives from the City of Corvallis, Pacific Power and Energy Trust of Oregon, as well as elected state and local leaders, will officially dedicate the new installation at 2 p.m. August 28 at the airport, 5695 SW Airport Ave.

The new array will produce enough energy to power nearly all of the City of Corvallis’s daily electricity needs at the airport. It was installed on a former superfund site that is in the final stages of environmental remediation. To avoid disturbing the site’s soil, the 378 individual solar panels that comprise the array were installed above-ground in a series of concrete-filled troughs. The array feeds into Pacific Power’s electricity grid.

Funding for the $273,712 project came primarily through a grant from Pacific Power’s Blue Sky program, which funds community renewable energy projects in Oregon, Washington and California. The balance of the funding was provided by the Energy Trust of Oregon, a nonprofit organization that promotes renewable energy projects throughout Oregon. Thanks to the generous contributions from Pacific Power and the Energy Trust, the City of Corvallis incurred no out-of-pocket cost on this project.

The public can view real-time energy generation, as well as sustainability metrics, online at www.corvallisoregon.gov/airportsolar.

Hope you can make it!

The Best and Worst States for Green Living

August 17th, 2017

Recent research by LEED Consulting firm, Above Green, reveals that Oregon is one of the top states for green living. The state scores exceptionally well in each category relating to energy use, waste management, green buildings, and sustainable building practices. Ranking #3 on the list, Oregon has respectfully held a great reputation for creating awareness and activism relating to the environment. The cities goal of becoming a “20 minute city” is to reduce commuter’s carbon footprint, being able to travel to work in 20 minutes or less. Being exceptionally passionate about green building and sustainability the team was curious about which states in the U.S. can be the best and worst for green living.

This map showcases their findings:

The map is based on six key data points: carbon emissions, water usage, renewable energy usage, number of electric vehicles, number of green buildings, number of green building professionals, and air quality. The factors were weighted by importance – for example, air quality counted more than number of electric vehicles.

The top five best states for green living are:

  1. Alaska
  2. Montana
  3. Oregon
  4. Washington
  5. Hawaii

The top five worst states for green living are:

  1. Delaware
  2. Rhode Island
  3. Ohio
  4. Mississippi
  5. New Jersey

Here are some interesting findings for the six areas that were reviewed:

  • There are 464 electric vehicle-charging stations in Oregon, with a total of 1,100 charging outlets, and, one of the most abundant networks of Electric Vehicle charging stations allowing people to travel relatively carbon free.
  • The 16 known hot springs that Oregon has to offer helps contribute to the abundance of geothermal energy, ranking third in the nation for potential energy after Nevada and California.
  • Kate Brown signed an anti-coal state senate bill, 1547 that phases out coal generation imports by 2035, this will help support consumer demanded utilities to be powered by 50% in-state renewable energy.
  • Among Oregon’s greenest cities are Corvallis, Bend, Portland, Eugene, Ashland, Hillsboro, Sherwood, Mosier, and Salem who all have shown great indications of eco-friendly practices.
  • In 2016, Oregon Department of Energy (ODOE) adopted a new sustainability policy, which provides guidelines for sustainable planning and outlining roles for sustainability coordinators, committees, and planning. Also, implementing 2.3 MW of new net-metered renewable energy generation.
  • Portland, Oregon has implemented 398 Eco roofs since 2008, with more underway through the industry group compiling 300 members called GRiT (Greenroof info Think-tank).
  • Building efficiency incentives have long been in place for Oregon involving new construction; equipment renovation, remodels, and pursuing LEED certifications based on total energy savings can help cut cost up to 50%.
  • The town of Mosier uses 70% less energy than the national standard, setting a great example for the rest of Oregon and the other states.
  • Eugene, Oregon was the 3rd city to take initiative and create a Plastic Bag Ban to cut out heavy use of single-use plastics.

From findings based on these six key data points, Above Green found that generally the northern and western states were better for green living. There were additional factors that could be considered for a more complete evaluation, but this gives an idea of how green each state is.

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