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2017 Master Recycler Class reg. open

October 26th, 2016

Master Recycler class graphic

Now’s the time to sign-up for the 2017 Linn and Benton Master Recycler class offered by Republic Services and OSU Campus Recycling – act soon to secure your spot!

WHEN: 8 required classes on Tuesday nights, January 10th through February 28th at 6:15-9:00 pm plus 2 required Saturday field trips (January 21st and February 11th) and 1 optional Wednesday field trip (February 1st).

WHERE: On the OSU campus

WHAT: This once-per-week, 8-week class will explore landfill science, waste reduction, reuse opportunities, recycling, composting, hazardous waste, community sustainability and taking action. This non-credit class is free to residents of Linn and Benton County who agree to “pay back” what they learned by completing 30 hours of volunteer service within one year of course completion.

INFO & SIGN-UP: Visit http://tiny.cc/recycclass for more details. Registration is open until late December or until spots fill, whichever comes first.

Corvallis Sustainability Coalition: Now Seeking Interns!

October 25th, 2016

The Corvallis Sustainability Coalition is seeking interns for Winter term for the 2016-2017 school year. If you or anyone you know is a senior in an undergraduate program and needs to fulfill an internship requirement for their degree, here is a great opportunity!

Build your resume and work on one or more projects thatcoalition will focus on several areas of sustainability. The internship is flexible hours with an option to fulfill a 6 or 12 credit internship, depending on the needs of the applicant.

Background on the Coalition:

The mission of the Corvallis Sustainability Coalition is to promote an ecologically, socially, and economically healthy city and county. By using the Sustainability Guiding Objectives, a framework for decision-making based on the four Natural Step system conditions for a sustainable society, our community will:
1. Reduce and ultimately eliminate our community’s contribution to fossil fuel dependence and to wasteful use of scarce metals and minerals. Use renewable resources whenever possible.
2. Reduce and ultimately eliminate our community’s contribution to dependence upon persistent chemicals and wasteful use of synthetic substances. Use biologically safe products whenever possible.
3. Reduce and ultimately eliminate our community’s contribution to encroachment upon nature (e.g., land, water, wildlife, forests, soil, ecosystems). Protect natural ecosystems.
4. Support people’s capacity to meet their basic needs fairly and efficiently.

To apply, you will need to submit:

❖ cover letter
❖ resume
❖ unofficial transcript
❖ answers to the application questions on a separate page, typed, with proper grammar, and sufficient length and detail.

Application Questions:

1. What term are you applying for (Winter Term) and for how many credits? (6 or 12)
2. Why are you applying for this position?
3. What action teams interest you the most and why?
4. What are your goals after graduation?
5. What efforts have you made in your own life to be more sustainable?
6. What volunteer experience do you have?

Interested in applying? Learn more here

The application deadline for Winter Term 2017: November 21, 2016

Send applications and questions to:
Lani Beavers
Intern Supervisor

Get your Fix at the 2016 Fall Repair Fair!

October 24th, 2016


Do you have a torn shirt, broken bike, or otherwise damaged items? Bring them to the Fall Repair Fair on Wednesday, November 2 from 5:30 – 7:30 PM in the OSUsed Store (644 SW 13th Street).

Volunteers will teach you how to fix your broken items; attend demos to learn more skills! See the list below for this month’s skills and demonstrations. The event is free and open to all.

Repair skills offered:

  • Appliances and Electronics
  • Bicycles
  • Clothing (hand and machine sewing)
  • Computer Diagnostics
  • Housewares (furniture, ceramics, lamps, etc.)
  • And more!


All demos are a drop-in format; stop by any time during the hour to learn new skills. Demos offered will include:

5:30 – 6:30 PM

  • Rub-A-Dub: Make Your Own Toiletries – Come learn how to make your own deodorant, body scrub, and/or dry shampoo using simple, natural ingredients! Come away with recipes and a sample of one of the finished products, while supplies last. Making your own toiletries is a practical and fun way to save money, ditch products with those long lists of unknown ingredients and lighten your environmental footprint. (Leaders: Charlotte Gruninger and Amy Jean, volunteers with the Waste Watchers)
  • Wormshop: Composting with a Worm Bin – Worm bins are a method of composting using red wrigglers to break down food waste. Stop by to learn how to construct and maintain a worm bin for your household, which is a great way to reduce your trash and create a useable product! (Leader: Kyle Reed, Outreach Assistant for Campus Recycling)

6:30 – 7:30 PM

  • Yarning for Warmth: Learn Crocheting  Learn how to crochet! We will teach you a basic pattern that can be used for a variety items like scarves and hats. We will also offer materials and guidance to get you started making your own door draft blocker (a tube that is tucked under doors to keep out pesky winter drafts). Crocheting your own items saves you money, is a creative outlet and reduces packaging waste. (Leader: Shannon Ritz, Repair Fair Chair for the Waste Watchers)
  • Clean Up Your Act: D.I.Y. Green CleaningBe kind to the environment and your wallet at the same time! Come learn how you can use a few basic, food-safe ingredients to clean your whole home. Bonus: take home a free sample – mason jar included! (Marisa Specht, Program Assistant for Campus Recycling)

Additional Details

Note: We don’t have spare parts, but will do our best to repair what we can and/or refer you to where you could find the parts you need. If you have parts already, we may be able to help you install them.

repair-fair-mapDirections: We are located at 644 SW 13th St. in Corvallis; see a map of the entrance and parking here; view our building on Google Maps here. Please enter through the warehouse gate on 13th Street, between A Ave. and the railroad tracks. City buses 36 and 8 stop within 2-4 blocks of our building while routes15 and 7 stop 6 blocks away at 11th & Monroe (view full details on the Corvallis Transit System website or use Google Transit to find the best option for you).

Join this event on Facebook.

Coffee and Chocolate in the Quad

October 21st, 2016


Have you heard about fair trade?  Come get free coffee and learn!

Join us next Wednesday, October 26, for free coffee and information about Fair Trade!  We will be in the SEC Plaza from 12:00pm-3:00pm handing out coffee that was ethically purchased to support Fair Trade, a program working to pay farmers the wages they deserve.  We will also have Fair Trade trivia you can play to win treats and other fun prizes.  But make sure to bring your own cup or reusable mug.image01

Why are we doing this?

Oregon State is working to become a Fair Trade Certified University.  This is a big deal, if we proceed with the momentum we have been working at, Oregon State can become one of the first Fair Trade certified public universities in the United States. (http://fairtradecampaigns.org) We are working to promote what we are doing and inspire students to be mindful of their own purchases.

What is Fair Trade?image00

Fair Trade is a non-profit organization created to bridge the gap between big corporations and underpaid farmers, support the environment and create more sustainable ways of production for foods we consume every day.  Many farmers are rural peoples in South America and Africa and barely make enough the keep living; sometimes to only making between 1-3% of the price the product is eventually sold.  Fair Trade works to give the producers an equitable cut of pay to allow them to continue their work and even promotes more sustainable farming practices to further help them, as well as the environment.  Companies can become Fair Trade certified and are able to put the Fair Trade trademark on their products.  Some main products through fair trade include coffee, tea, cocoa and sugar. Learn more about Fair Trade here:



How can I support Fair Trade in my daily life?

Be conscious of what you are purchasing and where it comes from!  Look for Fair Trade Certified products which will have a Fair Trade certification on the product.

That’s great, but I still need a little more incentive to come receive free coffee.

October is actually National Fair Trade month!  In honor of Fair Trade month, Fair Trade is holding a photofest competition.  By coming to the SEC and getting free coffee and learning about Fair Trade, you can submit a photo you take at this event for a chance to win a trip to South America!


We hope to see you there!  

SSI Adopt-a-Bottle Campaign

October 20th, 2016

Trying to stay hydrated, but missing a reusable bottle? Don’t worry! Visit the Valley Library or West Dining Hall to “Adopt” a sanitized reusable bottle for FREE thanks to the Fresh From the Faucet 2016-2017 Adopt-a-Bottle campaign. Fresh From the Faucet is a student-led initiative on the Oregon State University main campus that focuses on increasing the use of reusable water bottles and consumption of tap water while decreasing the use of bottled water and sugary beverages. The Fresh From the Faucet committee, resulting from collaboration of the Student Sustainability Initiative, Nutrition and Dietetics Club, UHDS, and OSU Surplus, is kicking off the Adopt-a-Bottle campaign that will serve the community while addressing components of a healthy and sustainable lifestyle from individual, local, and global scales.

Adopt-a-Bottle is a new movement at OSU with goals to rescue and recirculate reusable bottles that turn up in lost and found locations throughout campus that are never claimed. Reusable water bottles that are not claimed are held at the OSUsed Store for 30 days and are then made available for resale and some are donated to the Adopt-a-Bottle program [1]. The bottles are then sanitized in a commercial dishwasher by UHDS employees. Once the bottles are sanitized they are sealed with Adopt-a-Bottle labels to identify them as official Adopt-a-Bottles ready to be adopted and put back to use!image00

This year, the Adopt-a-Bottle program is working towards implementing the same basic model of reducing waste and recycling items that the OSUsed Store encompasses, but with increased accessibility by having the bottles at shelved stations available for FREE in heavily trafficked areas on campus such as the Valley Library (pictured right) and

West Dining Hall (pictured below).

image01Designated Adopt-a-Bottle stations will be stocked with sanitized bottles for anyone to grab at no charge in order to cater towards students and staff that are in need of a reusable water bottle in effort to popularize the social, economic, and environmental benefits of refilling a reusable water bottle with filtered tap water.

Why is filling up from the tap a more economically viable option? If you were to drink the recommended eight glasses of water a day you could easily be spending up to $1,400 annually, while refilling the same volume at U.S. tap rates would equal less than $0.50 per year [2]. We are fortunate to have an abundance of EPA regulated and filtered tap water for our consumption. Check out the 2016 Corvallis Water Quality Report here if you would like to get more information about the sources and safety of the municipal tap water [3].

Unfortunately, the recycle rate in the United States is only 23% so using plastic bottles contributes to the accumulation of non-biodegradable waste in both our oceans and landfills [2]. Tap water is more environmentally responsible because it requires far less resources. Filling up from a faucet does not create the necessary water pollution, waste, and greenhouse gas emissions that bottled water does through methods of extraction of nonrenewable resources, bottle manufacturing, and the distribution of bottles across the globe. With colleges and universities responsible for consuming more plastic water bottles than many other organizations annually students at Oregon State University, and across the nation, have stepped up to discourage the habit of using bottled beverages [2].

Oregon State University prides itself being an institution that is conscious about sustainability and an institution that educates the community about steps that can be made in order to relieve the planet from unnecessary harm. The Adopt-a-Bottle program aims to promote the use of  tap water rather than bottled beverages because tap water is accessible, free, and healthy and reusable bottles consume less resources and pollute less over their lives than single use disposable beverages.

Blog post written by Emily Cruse, Fresh From the Faucet intern.

[1]  OSUsed Store http://surplus.oregonstate.edu/surplus/public-sales/osused-store

[2]   Ban The Bottle https://www.banthebottle.net/

[3]  2016 Corvallis Water Quality Report http://www.corvallisoregon.gov/modules/showdocument.aspx?documentid=10173

Join the Waste Watchers, become a Hero!

October 17th, 2016

Click to view larger.

Want to become a waste-fighting hero? Help fight the scourge of waste by volunteering with the Waste Watchers. Here are some ways to get involved:

Waste Watchers Weekly Meetings

Tuesdays, 6:00 – 7:30 PM
112 SEC
At the weekly meetings, the team plans events and marketing at their weekly meetings. Attendance is not required every week, so come by when you can. Snacks provided. Info about the group at http://tiny.cc/wastewatchers.

Volunteer at the Repair Fair

Wednesday, Nov. 2, 5:30 – 7:30 PM
644 SW 13th Street
Repair Fairs are offered once-per-term, providing free repairs and D.I.Y. demonstrations for participants. Help make the event run smoothly by taking photos, greeting people, or collecting demographic information. More details on the sign-up form.

#BeavsRecycle Committee

Wednesdays, 1:00 – 2:00 PM
206 SEC
#BeavsRecycle is a campaign that celebrates the high rates and long history of recycling at OSU. Join the committee during our weekly meetings to help plan the campaign.

Tour of the OSU Microbiology Labs

October 13th, 2016

This Spring, The Spring Creek Project is partnering with The Corvallis Arts Center and the OSU Department of Microbiology on an art exhibit, “Microbiomes: To See the Unseen.” This Friday, jump start your creativity with a tour of the OSU microbiology labs.


A common theme of The Spring Creek Project is to tie together science and art. The exhibit will feature art and writing inspired by microbiome science. Stay tuned for art and writing submission details!

To get ready for the exwhats-the-microbiomehibit, Spring Creek Project invites you to join in on the tour of the OSU microbiology labs. The tour is Friday, Oct 14, 1-4pm. Register here for the tour! Space is limited.

The tour will be hosted by Jerri Bartholomew, the Emile F. Pernot Distinguished Professor of the Department of Microbiology. Learn about the microbiome research happening right here at OSU.

The exhibit: “Microbiomes: To See the Unseen.” will be held April 13-May 27, 2016. More details to come!

Business Highlight: Burgerville

October 11th, 2016

Have you seen the new restaurant in town? 70-75% of the ingredients are locally sourced. Their vegetable oil is recycled into bio-diesel. They provide affordable health care to employees.  Right off 9th Street, Burgerville has joined Corvallis! With a tag line, “Fresh. Local. Sustainable.” it only felt right to do some research and highlight sustainable efforts Burgerville have put into place!logo-1

With the name Burgerville, it’s obvious they make burgers. Of course! Burgerville holds strong connections with their ranchers and cattle farms. Jack Graves, the Chief Cultural Officer of Burgerville will spend time on the cattle farms learning about their ranching methods, and ensuring the best quality reaches the 42 Burgerville restaurants around the Pacific Northwest. Burgerville uses Country Natural Beef, a hormone and antibiotic-free high quality product that comes from a land-conscious cooperative. Country Natural Beef holds strong value in taking care of the land, and creating a sustainable ranching lifestyle by preserving the land, practicing humane animal-handling practices and selling a high quality product.

Fresh food was the original commitment from the start of Burgerville in 1961. To achieve their commitment to fresh, Burgerville sources 70-75% of their ingredients from local farms and providers. They define local as within 400 miles of their headquarters in Vancouver, WA.

Renewable energy runs the local Burgerville restaurants, either directly with programs like Blue Sky, or with off-sets such as Green Tags. Burgerville makes an effort right down to the lighting within the restaurants, using all efficient LED light bulbs.wind-turbines-wind-energy

Economic and environmental sustainability are only two parts to a three-part conversation, but Burgerville does not forget about  social responsibility by offering comprehensive and affordable health care to their employees. Burgerville prides themselves in being a community-driven business, and work  hard to improve and invest in the communities they arrive in.

Have you been to the new Burgerville in town yet? Don’t forget to admire the reclaimed wood around the outside and inside of the building. The tables are also all reclaimed wood, with the chairs made out of recycled coke bottles!

Stop by for a burger (or a fantastic meat-free bean burger) and meet the business that invests in sustainable practices!


A special thanks to Jack Graves, CCO, for the valuable informational interview where he provided all of the information within this blog post, as well as Sara Perrin, who helped set up the meeting!

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