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The Oregon State University Sustainability Blog

Dot Sales at the OSUsed Store May 31st and June 3rd

May 26th, 2016

Clearance sale graphic

Much of the OSUsed Store’s merchandise will be on sale at their Dot Sales on Tuesday, May 31st between 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. and Friday, June 3rd between 12:00 and 3:00 p.m.

Dotted items throughout the store will be 50% off. Plus the following items will be buy one, get one free: all merchandise with orange dots and white tags, chairs, books, and football pants.

Orange dotted items include computer peripherals (monitors, printers, video cards, etc.) and white tagged items include housewares, office supplies, lab glass and equipment, and more.

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.

While our 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.

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

The 2016 Move-out Donation Drive has begun, and you can help!

May 26th, 2016

Did you know that last year 34,000 pounds of material was diverted from the landfill and given to non-profits during move-out? Our goal this year is 28,000 pounds and you can help!

How Can I Help?

Live in a Res. Hall? Donate your items!


Donation Drive How-To’s. Click to view larger.

It took your 30 weeks to move into your room; now you have 2 weeks to move-out! Donation bins are being placed on the ground floor of your hall this week. Items accepted for donation include:

  • Food that is unopened and non-perishable (please place in bag provided grocery bags)
  • Toiletries and personal hygiene products (please place in bag provided grocery bags)
  • Dry clothing, bedding and towels
  • Household items like décor, dishes, lamps, electronics, etc.
  • Broken electronics, CDs/DVDs and ink cartridges (to be recycled)
  • Furniture, bicycles and loft bed kit wood (place outside on the ground next to your dumpster)

Check out the move-out timeline for a suggested timeline for getting things done before final exams hit.


move-out-volunteer-buttonAssist with the donation drive on June 7 – 10 and 13, receiving and sorting material with Campus Recycling staff in the warehouse, or joining our crew to go out on routes!

See shift times and sign-up to help using this form.

The Res. Hall Move-Out Donation Drive is a collaboration between OSU Campus Recycling, Surplus Property, and UHDS. Visit the Move-Out page for more information on the Donation Drive.

SSI Research Grant Project: Creating a Cost-Effective Solar Concentrator

May 25th, 2016

CaptureLast Summer’s grant awardee Michael Rebarchik continues to work on his project on creating a cost-effective solar concentrator. Energy demands increase globally, while the fossil fuel future remains unsteady and the search for a new energy resource is more important now than ever. Solar energy remains promising, but often solar technology can be expensive.

Michael wanted to create a low-cost solar concentrator that can be used to convert solar energy into alternative sources of energy through chemical reactions. The global vision is to distribute the concentrators to low-income areas around the world to supply energy at a low-cost.

In addition to creating the concentrator, Michael and his advisor, Dr. Nick Au Yeung, wanted to use the high temperatures from the concentrator to convert organic material to biochar. Biochar is charcoal that help reduce carbon dioxide emissions, improve water quality and improve agriculture productivity when used in soil.


Michael says in appreciation for the SSI grant, The SSI Research Grant allowed me to finish a major part of this project in the construction of the solar concentrator. Now that the concentrator is constructed, I will be capable of making reliable and structured measurements. Additionally, I have been introduced to a lot of people in the biochar community dealing with both biochar generation and its possible applications. These connections were extremely helpful during the work we have done so far and will continue to be useful as the project continues to develop.

Want a chance to research and work on a sustainable project with a campus department and faculty adviser? As mentioned previously, The SSI Research Grant is changing to the Sustainability Fellowship Program. Student project fellowship applications will open up June 1st. Check it out!

Find Michael’s full report here

SSI Fellowship Program

May 23rd, 2016

CaptureWant to get paid and develop leadership skills within the sustainability field? The Student Sustainability Initiative (SSI) has a new opportunity for students to become a Sustainability Fellow, working with a campus department or a community organization doing research with a faculty mentor working to solve global sustainability challenges.

The Sustainability Fellowship Program pairs students with campus departments and organizations to work on challenges through research and community engagement.

Apply now! Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until funds are allocated. The priority deadline is May 26, 2016.

For more information visit here or feel free to contact Kim Helm (kimberly.helm@oregonstate.edu)


Update from the Inside by Micco Emeson

May 20th, 2016

Micco Emeson is the SSI Landscape Coordinator and part of the Growing Food Security initiative team. Here is a little peek at what’s been happening:

It’s Spring, and lots of stuff is happening in the realm of sustainability.

Some highlights from the sustainable landscaping side of things at the Student Sustainability Initiative include:

  • Establishing a pollinator garden on the OSU campus,
  • Planting several cherry trees along 15th st.
  • Completion of the permaculture garden outside the Student Experience Center
  • Construction of accessible garden beds at the Asian Pacific Cultural Center

As Landscape Projects Coordinator for the Student Sustainability Initiative, I had high hopes of facilitating a tree planting on campus. I approached the head of campus landscaping with this idea, and they were more than willing to provide an avenue for students to engage in such an activity. OSU has a prestigious Tree Campus USA certification, which allows for the receipt of points for the nationally accepted Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS). Student engagement in tree maintenance and establishment is required for this certification. Campus landscaping located a site for the trees, purchased the trees, and are even pre-dug the holes! This event took place this Saturday, April 23 as part of CCE’s annual Earth Day of Service.Garden photo

In addition to getting the green light on the tree planting, I also learned of an opportunity to help on a pollinator garden project. Starting as a collaboration several years ago between faculty from the Horticulture, Forestry, Campus landscaping and Entomology departments, the pollinator garden is an initiative to provide pollinator habitat and promote awareness of the benefits of pollinators such as bees, birds and moths. This garden was also installed Saturday, April 23 as part of CCE’s annual Earth Day of Service. Go take a look at the garden, fenced off by pink ribbon across campus way from Linus Pauling.

The Asian Pacific Cultural Center approached me last term with a request to help install a raised bed. After obtaining permission and technical support from campus landscaping, as well as some generous donations of lumber, we decided to plan an installation work party for Sunday, May 15; so before school ends, make sure to drop by the APCC and check out their new garden bed!

Finally, the installation of the SEC Permaculture Garden is coming to a close this year. This fall term I invited students to participate in the project, pitching it as an opportunity to gain real experience with project management. A couple students from both Andrew Millison’s Permaculture Design Course as well as students from the Ecological Engineering Student Society formed the core of this group, and they were awarded a $2,000 project grant  from the Student Sustainability Initiative. The installation of accessible pathways made of compacted gravel, raised beds and a variety of edible plants was made possible by this grant. With two work parties under our belts, we’re planning a third and final for Saturday, May 21, during which we will be installing a raised strawberry bed and a raspberry trellis.


Stay tuned to the SSI listserv for details! Contact SSI.media@oregonstate.edu if you want to be added.

Are you ready to move out? Help OSU reach its goal in the 2016 Move-out Donation Drive!

May 17th, 2016

Did you know that last year about 34,000 lbs of material was diverted from the landfill and given to local non-profits? This year the goal is to reach 28,000 lbs, and you can help!

How You Can Help

Res Hall Move-Out Get ReadyLive in a Residence Hall?

You can prepare for Move-Out by lightening your load now! Bring home any unneeded items when visiting home on the weekends, donate extra clothing in the labeled clothing bins in your Res. Hall laundry room, and eat your food before buying any more.

You can also donate unwanted or extra items into the donation bins located in the first floor lobby of each hall. Donation bins will enter Res. Halls before Memorial Day, and will stay from May 25 through June 13.

Learn more about how to donate, and what you can donate.


Volunteers help collect donated material during the 2016 Move-out Donation Drive.

Assist with the donation drive on June 9th, 10th and 13th, receiving and sorting material with Campus Recycling staff in the warehouse, or joining our crew to go out on routes!

See shift times and sign-up to help using this form.

The Res. Hall Move-Out Donation Drive is a collaboration between OSU Campus Recycling, Surplus Property, and UHDS. Visit the Move-Out page for more information on the Donation Drive.

Sustainability Alumni Profile: Nicholas Snowhill

May 13th, 2016

Check out another edition of our Alumni Profiles Project! What have they been up to since graduating OSU?

Meet Nicholas Snowhill, a 2014 Oregon State alumni in Civil Engineering. While studying at OSU, he worked at the Sustainability Office and was in charge of maintaining the electric vehicle charging stations around campus.


During his time at OSU: Nicholas worked at the Sustainability Office for about two years, maintaining the electric vehicle charging stations around campus. He also managed the carpool  program through Drive Less Connect. With his knowledge of alternative transportation, he volunteered in the OSU and Corvallis community with outreach events and research. He loved discussing sustainability with people and what exactly sustainability looked like for the future of the planet and our society. Nick says regarding his time at OSU, “I learned to love learning. I learned that with a little knowledge, if applied right, can lift you up to a better life in a better situation.”

Since OSU: Nicholas works for the Oregon Department of Transportation as a Highway Survey Technician. He uses satellites and lasers to map highways and surrounding areas. In the upcoming Fall of 2016, Nicholas is getting married to his college sweetheart and  best friend, who actually encouraged Nicholas to first apply to the Sustainability Office! He now lives in Hillsboro and on the weekend he enjoys playing Dungeons and Dragons with friends he met through the Sustainability Office here at OSU.

Nicholas continues to live a sustainable lifestyle through utilizing public transportation every day, and helping his office recycle spray paint cans. He also recently purchased some solar panels for his home, and chooses to be mindful of energy use within the home by turning off breakers in his home when they aren’t required for use.


Keep up the great work, Nicholas!

Society of Wood Science and Technology 59th annual Conference by Kendall Conroy

May 11th, 2016

OSU students at the Corvallis campus are eligible for up to $500 per academic year to participate in professional development opportunities. The Student Sustainability Initiative is seeking proposals that benefit OSU students and the SSI’s mission of “Advancing student efforts to create a culture of sustainability at OSU through opportunity, education, and action” are preferred.

At the end of winter term 2016, I had the opportunity to fly all the way to Curitiba, Brazil to present at the 59th annual SWST conference. The presentation I gave was titled “Roadblocks, Hurdles, and Glass Ceilings: The Female Executive Perspective” and was based on the research I have been doing at OSU with Professor Dr. Eric Hansen since Winter term 2015 about the impacts of gender diversity on the forest sector.

My presentation was about 20 minutes long, including some plentiful Q&A. In addition to presenting my research, I also had the opportunity to listen to all types of other presentations about current topics within forest products covering subjects discussed in my major classes including wood chemistry, life cycle analysis, forest products business trends, and sustainable log sourcing practices, as well as attend a local Brazilian wood building products trade show (seen on the left).

Along with the academic experiences of this trip I was fortunate to get an amazing cultural learning experience as well. I was exposed to Brazilian foods, customs, and people. Having never been to South America,this was all very new and different to me.  I greatly appreciate the SSI for helping me attend this conference and be a part of all the researchers sharing their research to help grow the wood products industry and help promoting a more sustainable culture globally.

Summer Internships at Zenger Farm!

May 9th, 2016

Zenger Farm, a national leader in sustainable urban agriculture and education, is currently looking for summer interns! This is a great opportunity for OSU students planning on returning to the Portland Metro area for summer. zenger

Dynamic, motivated individuals are wanted to join the education team as Summer Camp Interns. Gain experience teaching in an outdoor setting while enjoying the bounty of Zenger’s beautiful farm! Camp interns will work closely with Zenger staff to help facilitate camp activities including cooking, gardening, outdoor exploration, games, art and more.

This is a unique opportunity for those looking to gain experience and comfort with outdoor education for a wide range of age groups. Interns will learn how to facilitate fun and engaging learning activities, learn group management skills, and work on a collaborative team. Internships culminate in taking on the role of Lead Counselor (with staff support) during the final week of the internship.

This is an unpaid volunteer internship, though there is potential to receive college credit.To learn more about the internship or to apply, check out the Zenger farm website.

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