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The Oregon State University Sustainability Blog

2016-2017 Sustainability Fellowships

August 26th, 2016

Need internship credit, a job, or something to fill up your time? The deadline is approaching for the 2016-17 Sustainability Fellowships starting this Fall! Read about the options below and apply now.

now-hiringThere are five sustainability fellowships available through the Student Sustainability Initiative. The students will be hired as employees through SSI, Memorial Union Fallbut will work directly with their fellowship host site. The time commitment ranges from 10-15 hours/week at the pay rate of $10.05/hour. The fellowship dates are from Sept 21, 2016-June 9, 2017. There is the option to use the fellowship as a required internship, or practicum credits. Check out the fellowships and full position description below:

  1. Starker Arts Garden for Education (SAGE) Sustainable Food Fellow at Corvallis Environmental Center.
  2. Bicycle Program Fellow at OSU Transportation Services.
  3. Compost and Recycling Fellow at OSU Valley Library.
  4. Spring Creek Project Fellow at Spring Creek Project.
  5. Sustainability Curriculum Development Fellow at Sustainability Double Degree and Minor Program.

The Deadline to apply is September 2. Apply here, and for more information, contact Caelin Alba at ssi.feeboard@oregonstate.edu.


Buy Used: OSUsed Store summer clearance sales on Aug. 23 and 26

August 18th, 2016

Clerance sale graphic

Much of the OSUsed Store’s merchandise will be on sale at our Summer Clearance Sales on Tuesday, August 23rd between 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. and Friday, August 26th between 12:00 and 3:00 p.m. The clearance prices will be as follows:

  • Specially marked items throughout the store 50 or 75% off
  • Buy one item, get one free within orange dot sticker merchandise (includes computer peripherals such as monitors, printers, video cards, etc.)
  • Buy one item, get one free within white price gun tag merchandise (includes housewares, office supplies, lab glass and equipment, and more)
  • Football cleats 50% off ($15/pair)

About OSUsed Store Sales

The OSUsed Store carries computers and computer accessories, furniture (desks, file cabinets, tables, chairs, bookcases, etc), office supplies, sporting goods, household items, bicycles and much more.

We are is located at 644 SW 13th Street in Corvallis (view on Google Maps). The store is operated by OSU Surplus Property and sells surplus equipment and material to departments on campus as well as members of the public during special public sales, in an effort to reduce landfill waste and keep money in the university.

While public sales provide an opportunity for the general public to make personal purchases, departments are welcome to shop 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Mondays through Thursdays. Note: Buy one, get one free and football cleat deals are good only during clearance sale times listed above.

See more sale dates on our calendar. For more information, visit our OSUsed Store webpage or contact us.

A view of the OSUsed Store.

A view of the OSUsed Store.

Business Highlight: Toyota of Corvallis, The First LEED Platinum Certified, Net Zero Car Facility

August 12th, 2016

Toyota of Corvallis is the first car facility in the world with a LEED Platinum certification and is designed to be net zero energy. We were invited to see the facilities and hear the engineers and builders talk details about the planning process, the building specs, and what to expect in the next year. Read on to learn more!

The goal is to generate more power than it consumes in one year. Net zero energy. A LEED Platinum building. Starting in 2012, Toyota of Corvallis started designs for their new facility. In 2016, the designs have come alive with an entire roof of photo voltaic solar panels, a geothermal heating and cooling system, LED lighting, and efficient insulation throughout.13908947_1088226197919437_6469088102133902674_o

The entire roof of the facilities is covered in solar panels, which is one of the biggest installations the installer had done. The panels should create enough energy to power 25 homes (300,000 kwh/year), and last around 35 years. Any solar power not used by the car dealership will be returned to the grid. Other sustainability strategies include outlets that turn off at night to conserve energy, water reduction, and water-saving landscape design.13934749_10153992389808541_3545228420560058301_n

The presenters emphasized how important occupant behavior matters in obtaining the goal of net zero. All staff members at Toyota of Corvallis must be conscious of their energy use, and turn lights off when not in use, and evaluate their own footprint within the building at work. Energy usage matters and has an expense, no matter where the energy is coming from.13920055_1088226421252748_2157960568672709173_o

Thank you, Chip Edwards, General Manager of Toyota of Corvallis, for inviting our office to the open house event.

If you are interested in getting a tour of the new facilities, please contact the OSU Sustainability Office at sustainability@oregonstate.edu, and follow us on our social media! We are setting up a tour field trip soon. Stay tuned!

Growing Gardens: Now Seeking a Youth Grow Classroom Intern

August 5th, 2016

Interested in assisting in garden lessons with kids in a classroom setting? Growing Gardens is now seeking a Youth Grow Classroom Intern for Fall, Winter, and Spring 2016/17. Learn about youth development, claCapturessroom management, and garden activities for kids while gaining experience with integrated curriculum in the garden.

Growing Gardens is seeking interns to work in Portland at least one day per week, 4-6 hours a day between hours 8am-2pm. The intern will assist the lead Youth Grow School Garden Coordinator in leading small groups of students on lessons regarding the garden.

Thgrowinggardense deadline to apply for Fall is August 31st, 2016; for Winter is December 9th, 2016; for Spring is March 17th, 2017.

Learn more on the Growing Gardens Website.

Apply here.

Contact Sarah Canterberry, Youth Grow Manager, 503-284-8420, sarah@growing-gardens.org for more information.


Pedal Corvallis: A Community Bike Share Program

August 1st, 2016

Pedal Corvallis is officially here! Thanks to the partnership of Oregon Cascades West Council of Governments and InterCommunity Health Network Coordinated Care Organization the community bikeshare has arrived to Corvallis, OR. Zagster© is operating the share, a company who operates more than 130 programs nationwide. The community bikeshare program is targeted to aid Medicaid members for medial appointments and personal trips, but is open to all community members ages 18+. 

A community bikeshare adds positiveps to the community it surrounds. A bikeshare gets more people on bikes! Shocking, right? Bikeshares positively impact local business since riders
increase their spending in the surrounding areas. Biking promotes improved health, since biking just 30 minutes a day can reduce the risk of heart disease by 82%! And finally traffic improves. As traffic improves, transit connections are more reliable and easier.

Let’s talk details.

There are 6 different bikeshare stations around Corvallis, all within 2 blocks of a Corvallis Transit stop:

How much does it cost? There are a few options:

  • Buy a 3-day pass:
    • $5 one time membership fee.
    • Trips under 2 hours are FREE.
    • then pay $3/hour.
  • Buy a 1-month pass:
    • $10 one-time membership fee.
    • Trips under 2 hours are FREE.
    • then pay $3/hour.
  • Buy an annual pass:
    • $25 annual fee.
    • Trips under 2 hours are FREE.
    • then pay $3/hour.

Check out the two bike options Pedal Corvallis has to offer:

The Cruiser








The Trike









Visit Zagster’s website to sign up and set up an account.

There are many more details on Pedal Corvallis here, and here.



Business Highlight: Tec Labs

July 26th, 2016

CaptureEver heard of Tecnu? Maybe in the days of camping with your family, and your mom is scrubbing you down after enjoying a romp through the woods? Or in the desperate search at the drug store after getting infected with poison oak? Tec Labs is a company based in Albany, OR who pride themselves in being sustainable; for the environment, and for their employees! Let’s check them out!

Tec Labs is an over-the-counter pharmaceutical company who focuses on topical products used to prevent itch from outdoor pests such as poison oak, or mosquito bites. Some of their products include the Tecnu skin cleanser that removes those pesty oils from poison oak, Licefreee products to deal with lice, insect repellent, and other topical products to put on bug bites.bites

Tec Labs was ranked 32nd in the Top 100 Green Workplaces in Oregon for 2016. Their passion is to take calicere of their customers first, and provide a product that works, but they see taking care of the environment just as important as well. In the past few years, they had a sustainability report created to evaluate how the company is doing in the following fields: Carbon Footprint, Water usage, Waste, Suppliers, and the Community. Within the next 5 years, Tec Labs has set sustainability related goals to reduce green house gas emissions by 5%, reduce water usage by 2.5%, and reduce waste production by 5%.

In addition to taking care of natural resources, and our environment, Tec Labs strives to create a sustainable work-life balance for their employees.

Keep up the great work, Tec Labs! Thanks for being an example for other sustainable businesses.

Student Sustainability Initiative Project Grant: SEC Permaculture Garden by Kyler Jacobo

July 11th, 2016

Come learn about the SEC Permaculture garden created by and for students!

permacultureHave you walked by the Southeastern corner of the Student Experience Center (SEC) lately? This year, students Kyler Jacobo, and Allen Dysart have been working through the Student Sustainability Initiative (SSI) Project Grant Program to establish an accessible, perennial food forest in the 500 square foot plot located on the eastern side of the building. This site is rather small for a garden, and has many utilities located on site that obstruct the otherwise blank canvas of the soil. Within the 500 square feet site there are three electrical boxes, a drain, several signs, and a manhole. This would generally eliminate the site as a candidate for food production but these students have designed an edible garden complete with compacted gravel pathways, a raspberry trellis, a raised strawberry bed, several fruit trees and a plethora of shrubs and ground covers in this space. This garden was based off of the principles of permaculture in order to maximize productivity while minimizing maintenance and impacts on the environment.

“My vision of this of this grant was to promote sustainability on campus by utilizing our land in a productive and responsible manner. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to receive funding for this grant because of the great connections and knowledge I have gained from being a part of this project. Through the SSI, I have gained valuable insight as to what I can expect in my future, collaborating with other departments while following standards and meeting deadlines,” says Jacobo.

The final design of the garden was inspired by Andrew Millison’s Permaculture Design Course where students focused on this plot of land and the space surrounding the SEC for their main class project. Although the grant project is complete for this school year, there will be opportunities to help next year. Seasonal work parties will take place and signage will be installed in the fall. The SSI will be looking for a sustainable landscaping intern early next fall term to help with projects like this. If you’re interesting in getting involved in any capacity, feel free to contact Micco at SSI.landscape@oregonstate.edu

Special recognition to students Jordan McCornack, and Georgia King who both assisted in making the project complete by helping in plant selection and the application process. Regarding university staff, thanks to Bill Coslow, head of the OSU Landscaping Department for providing technical support and arranging meetings with various campus officials such as. Thanks to Sid Cooper for giving his official seal of approval to this project. Thanks to Jen Christion-Myers for providing policy support for the grant committee, Cody Buckman for his generous loan of tools that made every work party possible, Sylvan Pritchett and others from UHDS for providing their technical knowledge, John Mikkelsen for a generous donation of Willow Oak salvaged from the Strand Hall renovations, Susan Bourke and others from the Craft Center for making the woodworks possible, and Andrew Millison for his willing partnership. Lastly, Micco Emeson for helping us stay on track throughout the year.

OSU collects 23,000 pounds during Move-Out Donation Drive

June 28th, 2016

The results are in: OSU residents donated about 23,000 pounds during the Res. Hall Move-Out Donation Drive!

results graphic

This includes an estimated:

  • 11,997 pounds of housewares
  • 6,867 pounds of clothing, shoes and linens
  • 3,103 pounds of food, toiletries, and school supplies
  • 1,000 pounds of loft kit wood

That’s 22,967 pounds total!

While the weight did not meet our goal of 28,000 pounds, it is slightly higher than the total weight from two years ago. As you can see below, last year was a record high. The decrease we saw from 2015 to 2016 is equal to 32 percent. This is primarily due to a major decrease in wood weights (1,000 to 7,618 pounds, an 87 percent decrease) and to a lesser extent a decline in clothes/shoes/linens (9,706 to 6,867 pounds, a 29 percent decrease).

Chart of donations since 2010

Donations since 2010

We are uncertain about why donation weights declined. Because our waste hauler does not weigh trash, we are not able to speculate on whether donations decreased due to increased landfilling of items. It is possible that the major decline we saw in wood weights was due to a decrease in the number of single-use loft bed kits used or an increase in the number of kits that were taken home by residents (in either case, this would be a win for waste reduction).

Volunteer sorting donations.

Volunteer sorting donations.

This effort involves a lot of planning, marketing and logistics. Donation bins and move-out kits are supplied to residents about three weeks prior to move-out and the majority of donations come in during finals week. During this peak time, we were so grateful to have 51 volunteers give over 160 hours of time to pick-up and sort donations! And special thanks also go out to our partners at UHDS for their continued role in the program and to all the residents who donated!

While a portion of the materials are resold at the OSUsed Store to cover the costs of the program, the majority are given to local non-profits. This year that included The Arc of Benton County, King Valley Charter School, Linn Benton Food Share and more. See a full list on our Donation Drive webpage.

Learn more about this history of the Move-Out Donation Drive on our history webpage.

The Res. Hall Move-out Donation Drive is an annual event coordinated by Campus Recycling in collaboration with Surplus Property and University Housing and Dining.

Yes, the OSUsed Store is open in summer!

June 28th, 2016

Shop at the OSUsed Store

That’s right – most classes may be out, but the OSUsed Store remains open throughout the summer during our standard store hours:

Public Sale Hours

The store is open to all shoppers on:

  • Tuesdays 5:30-7:30 pm
  • Fridays 12:00-3:00 pm

Learn more about public sales.

Dept./Government/Nonprofit Hours

Employees may shop for their OSU departments, government agencies and nonprofits:

  • Mondays – Thursdays at 8:00 am – 5:00 pm

Learn more about shopping for your department.

About the OSUsed Store

The OSUsed Store carries computers and computer accessories, furniture (desks, file cabinets, tables, chairs, bookcases, etc), office supplies, sporting goods, household items, bicycles and much more.

The OSUsed Store is located at 644 SW 13th Street in Corvallis (view on Google Maps). The store is operated by OSU Surplus Property and sells surplus equipment and material to departments on campus as well as members of the public during special public sales, in an effort to reduce landfill waste and keep money in the university.

A view of the OSUsed Store.

A view of the OSUsed Store. Click to view larger.

Sustainability Alumni Profile: Dustin Quandt

June 27th, 2016

Here is another edition of our Alumni Profiles Project. What has Dustin been up to since graduating?

Meet Dustin Quandt, a 2011 Oregon State Alumni in Environmental Science. He was the very first student worker for the OSU Sustainability Office and worked as the Energy Audit Student worker.rsz_img_2601

During his time at OSU: Dustin was an Energy Audit student worker. He learned a lot about the intricacies that hold Oregon State together and how to work around that to make lasting changes. Dustin found it valuable to work with people invested in a building  or program in order to get things accomplished.

Since OSU: Dustin is now working as an AP Environmental Science teacher at Pioneer High School in Ann Arbor, MI. He has been doing many environmentally focused projects with his classes such as installing native plants around the high school campus, installing a boiswale, and partnering with the National Wildlife Federation to install pollinator habitats. Dustin is also revamping the greenhouse to use as a science lab for his course. Thanks to his experience working at the Sustainability Office, Dustin knows how to find his way through bureaucracy. Dustin family is also growing; they welcomed their son, Owen, into the world a year ago! Dustin chooses to lead by example for his students by bicycling to work, using reusable food containers, buying local, and cooking almost all their meals.

Thank you Dustin, for allowing us to peek into your world. We love seeing alumni continuing to take charge in new communities and maintain a sustainable lifestyle.

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