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The Oregon State University Sustainability Blog

Green Office Certification

June 13th, 2017

The Green Office Certification is a simple yet effective way for OSU faculty and staff to further their sustainability efforts and get recognition for their work. It’s also intended to provide ideas for steps your office can take to reduce your environmental footprint and carbon emissions. The Green Office Certification was created through a partnership between the Sustainability Office, Campus Recycling, and Transportation Services.

An online Qualtrics survey is used to assess an office’s practices in areas such as water, waste management, purchasing, transportation, and outreach. Upon completion, the survey will be scored. Bronze, silver, gold, and platinum are the four certification levels based on the score.

Bronze

In addition to the School of Psychological Science, the Student Sustainability Initiative, and the Center for Civic Engagement, three more offices have been Green Office Certified! These three offices have the bronze certification level. Procurement, Contracts and Materials Management (PCMM) was awarded on May 3, 2017. The West Dining Center Office was awarded on April 18, 2017. The Department of Recreational Sports was awarded on June 5, 2017. Congratulations!

We would love to help you get your office certified! To get started, please take this survey. Additionally, if you would like to see more tips on how your office can become more sustainable, visit our resources page here.

SUMMER SUMMIT: Food, Energy and Water Challenges

June 9th, 2017

 

This August natural researches from Oregon State University, Washington State University and the University of Idaho will gather to address food, energy and water challenges that our region faces. Each university will be represented by members with their own expertise to address the way these issues effect not only environmental health but also economic and human health in individual regions and the entire Northwest. The meeting will be held in the centrally located Hermiston, Oregon.

At a recent workshop led by Stephanie Hampton from WSU and Andrew Kliskey from Idaho, five grant proposals were drafted for the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the National Science Foundation on the issues. Some of the broad questions being asked were, “Will the region have enough food in 2050?” and “Could a more efficient system for irrigation lead to less energy used for pumping and also result in more food production?”. Other issues being talked about include updating hydropower plants and food production infrastructure.

Chad Higgins, an agricultural engineering professor at OSU said, “The food, energy, water nexus is so huge that it’s scary, but it’s also exciting.  There are so many opportunities to look at things either in detail or to try and be broad..We can bring each person’s expertise together to predict pain points, like are we going to be scarce in any one resource in the future, and where?”

Cynthia Sagers, vice president for research at Oregon State, notes that when it comes to food, energy and water challenges, a solution in one location can lead to problems hundreds of miles away. The collaboration between the universities is crucial in fixing the problems our future generations will face.

 

In addition to the August event, the planning team is applying for external funding to support ongoing meetings to help sustain momentum.

 

The Great Move Out is coming. Here’s how you can make it a success.

May 31st, 2017

Photo of housing

Last year the Res Hall Move Out Donation Drive diverted 23,000 pounds of material from landfills and donated to non-profits during move out. This year, for the first time, OSU will work both on-campus and in the Corvallis community to divert even more materials!

Your help is needed on this effort to improve our neighborhoods, keep goods out of landfills, and help the community. You can make that happen by volunteering or donating.

Volunteer your Time

Off-Campus Event Volunteering Details

  • What: OSU, the City of Corvallis, Republic Services, RPMG, and the Sustainability Coalition are partnering to maintain the cleanliness and livability of our community, and to help off-campus students responsibly donate and recycle unwanted items.
  • When: Various shifts are offered between 3pm and 9pm on Wednesday, June 14, and between 9am and 5pm on Thursday, June 15.
  • Details and sign-up here

Res Hall Event Volunteering Details

  • What: Campus Recycling, Surplus Property and UHDS are partnering to collect donations from residence halls. Shifts are available for collection (go out on trucks with our staff, visiting res halls to collect recyclables and donated items) and sorting (work at the fairgrounds, accepting and sorting incoming items).
  • When: Various shifts are offered between 8am and 7pm June 8-20.
  • Details and sign-up here

Are You a Student? Donate Rather than Discard.

For those Living on Campus:

Donation instructions

Click to view how-to’s webpage.

Many residents find that they have more in their room than can fit in their ride home. And deciding what to keep is hard when you’re taking finals! If you no longer want some of your stuff, get started now in sorting out donations, using the bags you received on your door. Donation bins are available in your hall and accept:

  • 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 and loft bed kit wood

More instructions on this webpage.

For those Living Off Campus:

For those living off campus and moving out, there is a 2-day event to take donations of reusable goods on Wednesday June 14th from 4pm-8pm and Thursday June 15th from 10am-2pm at the Grace Lutheran Church Parking Lot at Kings & Harrison.

At the event they will accept the following from students: furniture, mattresses, electronics, books, school/office supplies, clothes, and kitchen and household wares. Join the event on Facebook.

Thank you for making this a successful Move Out!

OSU RECEIVES STARS “GOLD” DESIGNATION FOR SUSTAINABILITY EFFORTS!

May 26th, 2017

Oregon State continues to lead in sustainability efforts among universities after receiving their sixth Gold star designation. STARS, otherwise known as the Sustainability, Tracking, Assessment and Rating System uses the four categories academics, engagement, operations, planning and administration as well as one additional innovation category to gauge campus sustainability. Gold is the second highest rating that a university can receive.

This designation comes from the work Oregon State has done in research, campus engagement, campus grounds and diversity and affordability. OSU also received glowing remarks from STARS administrators about the two innovation credits the university submitted.  One covers its commitment to improving student food access and food security by accepting federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, on campus.  The second innovation submission discusses the success of OSU’s full transition to reusable food to-go containers rather than disposables.  More info about these and other highlights are in OSU’s FY16 Annual Sustainability Report. OSU President, Edward J. Ray, wrote to STARS, “Measuring and transparently communicating our contributions toward a more equitable, healthy and prosperous future is more critical now than ever.” Oregon State will continue to innovate and engage while keeping its commitment to sustainability a priority.

Ready for move out? Help OSU reach its 2017 goal during the end of the year Move Out Donation Drive!

May 24th, 2017

Did you know that last year we diverted about 23,000 lbs of material from the landfill and gave it to local non-profits? This year we’re hoping to reach 28,000 lbs, and you can help!

Read the rest of this entry »

Green Office Certification

May 23rd, 2017

Green Office Certification

The Green Office Certification is a simple yet effective way for OSU faculty and staff to further their sustainability efforts and get recognition for their work. It’s also intended to provide ideas for steps your office can take to reduce your environmental footprint and carbon emissions. The Green Office Certification was created through a partnership between the Sustainability Office, Campus Recycling, and Transportation Services.

An online Qualtrics survey is used to assess an office’s practices in areas such as water, waste management, purchasing, transportation, and outreach. Upon completion, the survey will be scored. Bronze, silver, gold, and platinum are the four certification levels based on the score.

Currently, there are three certified offices on campus. The School of Psychological Science was awarded the Silver Green Office Certification on December 13, 2016.

Silver

The Student Sustainability Initiative and Center for Civic Engagement were awarded the Bronze Green Office Certification on April 13, 2017. Bronze

We would love to help you get your office certified! To get started, please take this survey. Additionally, if you would like to see more tips on how your office can become more sustainable, visit our resources page here.

2040 Thriving Communities: REPORT OUT

May 15th, 2017

Some Oregon State groups participated in listening sessions regarding Benton County 2040, and now it is time to share from results from those responses.

The Benton County 2040 Thriving Communities Council is hosting five events in May to share nearly
9,000 responses from more than 3,400 people over the past few months. The 2040 Council’s “Report
Out” events are scheduled for:

  • Tuesday, May 16 at 6:30pm Monroe Library: 380 N. 5th Street, Monroe
  • Wednesday, May 17 at 6:30pm Marys River Grange: 24707 Grange Hall Road, Philomath
  • Thursday, May 18 at 6:30pm Adair Village City Hall & Community Center: 6030 NE William R. Carr Avenue, Adair Village
  • Tuesday, May 23 at 6:30pm Corvallis Library: 645 NW Monroe Avenue, Corvallis
  • Wednesday, May 24 at 6:30pm Alsea Library: 19192 Alsea Hwy, Alsea

Since late last summer, members of the 2040 Thriving Communities Council attended community
events, hosted an online survey, conducted 42 listening sessions, and reviewed community plans to
explore what people in Benton County like about living here, what they want the county to be like
between now and 2040, and how we get there.

The data-gathering and visioning process allowed council members to synthesize 2040 Core Values to
address long-term complex issues. These values will be used to align the work of government, citizen
groups, businesses, and people to help achieve our visions for the future.
“We have been immersed in this data gathering process for the past year, and as a council, we’re really
excited to bring this information to our communities and talk about what we found,” said Peggy Lynch,
2040 Thriving Communities Initiative Council member.

The purpose of the these events is to provide the public with the background and desired outcomes of
the 2040 Thriving Communities Initiative, describe and share data and feedback from the past year, and
explain how the 2040 Council will re-engage communities to gain feedback on the 2040 Core Values.
“I have been impressed with the deliberate and thoughtful approach used by the Thriving Communities
Initiative. The council has taken a full year to meet with residents from all over Benton County and really
hear what they value about living here,” said Vince Adams, 2040 Thriving Communities Initiative Council
member.

“Now we’re going to take some time to check in to make sure we got the message right and invite more
people to engage. The goal for this phase of the work is to make sure the core values arising from our
community conversations really reflect what is important to the people of Benton County. That will
guide our goal setting and strategy work going forward.”

The 2040 Thriving Communities Initiative is a community-driven exploration of what we like about
where we live, and how we want our communities to be like in the future. The 2040 Council is a group of
individuals representing a variety of interests, including the farming and logging industries, Oregon State
University, regional development, municipalities, private sector and community organizations.

For more information about the 2040 Thriving Communities Initiative or Council, please visit
www.Benton2040.org or contact Sean McGuire at 2040inititaive@co.Benton.or.us.

Summer Job Opportunity: Pedal Corvallis Bikeshare

May 5th, 2017

Another update about Pedal Corvallis: They are hiring! Oregon Cascades West Council of Governments is looking for two Pedal Corvallis Outreach Ambassadors!

Some background: The OCWCOG and its partners launched a community bikeshare program, called Pedal Corvallis, in June 2016, and partnered with Oregon State University (OSU) on an expansion to campus in April 2017. The program has a total of 8 stations, 41 bikes, and 2 adult trikes in Corvallis, and is open to anyone age 18 and older.This would be a temporary, part time position for the summer. Some duties and responsibilities include engaging stakeholders and work with partners to promote Pedal Corvallis, attend training on outreach techniques and protocols, attend community events and discuss bike sharing details with the pubic.

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS:
To receive credit, and proceed to the next step of the recruiting process, your application form must clearly show that you meet the following:

  •  Ability to speak to public audiences in a professional, engaging, and highly effective manner.
  • Excellent written communication skills
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office applications and basic data entry and email
  • Experience coordinating / planning / facilitating events
  • Works well in an unstructured environment, with limited supervision
  • Works well in a team, and fosters team spirit with all types of people
  • Good at problem solving and thinking creatively
  • Enthusiasm about bicycling / bikeshare and helping members of the public
  • Prompt, punctual, and reliable; strong problem-solving skills, initiative, and personal integrity

Pay is $15.35/hr with travel reimbursement!

Applications are welcome on a rolling basis, and screening will begin as early as Friday May 19.

Read full application details here.

HOW TO APPLY:
Candidates should send a cover letter explaining why they consider themselves suited for the
position and a résumé of qualifications and relevant experience. Before applying, candidates
should be familiar with the information at www.ocwcog.org/pedal and
www.zagster.com/pedalcorvallis.

May the Fourth Be with You!

May 4th, 2017

University Housing and Dining is putting on an event TODAY, May 4th. In honor of the Forth. Enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner specials inspired by a galaxy far, far away, plus much more!


WHO: Open for staff, faculty and students!

WHAT: Trivia Questions: test your galactic knowledge
Chewbacca Impersonation: Do you speak Wookie? Give it a try.
Costume Contest: we’re looking for the best Yoda, Chewbacca and Rey costumes. Prizes awarded!
Crafts, photo opportunities, and lots of galactically epic food.

WHEN: 7am-8pm

WHERE: McNary Dining Hall

WHY: May the fourth be with you!

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