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The Oregon State University Sustainability Blog

Beyond Earth Day Starts April 22

April 19th, 2017

Beyond Earth Day Starts next Saturday, April 22!

(See full event details on the website http://tiny.cc/earth-calendar).
Earth Day of Service: Times vary by project, Departs from M.U. Lounge (Registration required) https://www.facebook.com/events/1398567143556581/ 

March for Science: 1:00 – 4:00 PM, Departs from Benton Co. Courthouse, 120 NW 4th St. https://www.facebook.com/events/247128265735703/

Hoo Haa: 2:30 – 7:30 PM, Organic Growers Club Farm, 34076 NE Electric Rd. http://earthday.oregonstate.edu/event/earth-day-hoo-haa/

2017 Earth Ball: 7:30 – 11:00 PM, Sky High Brewery Rooftop, 160 NW Jackson Ave. ($15)  https://www.facebook.com/events/204128543381274/

Sunset Park Clean-Up: 12:00 – 2:00 PM, Sunset Park, 4567 SW Country Club Dr.

Earth Justice Mural: 8:00 AM – 7:00 PM, M.U. Quad https://www.facebook.com/events/1937192579834168/

17th Annual Community Fair: 11:30 AM – 3:00 PM, S.E.C. Plaza (Featuring Pedal Corvallis Campus Launch Event, native plant sale & used bike sale)  https://www.facebook.com/events/1781374122177761/

Check your Carbon Foodprint: 5:00 – 6:00 PM, M.U. 207 https://www.facebook.com/events/1233083430123136/

Earth Day Sale: 5:30 – 7:30 PM, OSUsed Store, 644 SW 13th St. https://www.facebook.com/events/415283908845905/

Cowspiracy Screening: 6:00 – 8:00 PM, Strand Ag. 111 https://www.facebook.com/events/824475951039488/

Intentional Communities: Panel Discussion: 5:30 – 7:00 PM, M.U. 221 https://www.facebook.com/events/1947135062183246/

Food Forest Planting Party: 9:00 – 11:00 AM, McNary Dining East Lawn (Registration required) http://uhds.link/food-forest-list

Dinner & Chat with Betty LaDuke: 6:00 – 7:30 PM, S.E.C. Lobby  https://www.facebook.com/events/370605486670171/

Mug Shots: A coffee giveaway: 8:30 – 11:00 AM, M.U. Quad  https://www.facebook.com/events/1931958963691074/

Earth Day Sale: 12:00 – 3:00 PM, OSUsed Store, 644 SW 13th St. https://www.facebook.com/events/1795870364073775/

Northwest Spring Fest: 5:00 – 10:00 PM, S.E.C. Plaza https://www.facebook.com/events/285977545178070/

Out of this World Succulent Giveaway: 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM, M.U. Quad https://www.facebook.com/events/1856622311254361

Think Inside the Box: Is It Recyclable?: 1:00 – 3:00 PM, M.U. Quad Steps https://www.facebook.com/events/1888723488040590/

“Between Earth and Sky” Showcase & Screening: 5:30 – 10:00 PM, LaSells Stewart Center  https://www.facebook.com/events/268332100293382/

Composting & Recycling Jeopardy: 12:00 – 1:00 PM, Valley Library 

We’re hiring! Two positions available

April 14th, 2017

The Sustainability Office is currently recruiting for two student workers to join our awesome team!  One position will focus on the Green Office Certification program, our Carbon Planning process, Eco-Reps, Sustainability Advocates and more.  The other will manage signature events, tabling and other face to face contact, collaborating closely with groups like Campus Recycling and the Student Sustainability Initiative.

Applications are due April 30!

Hiring Graphic

Digital Media and Event Student Outreach Assistant duties include assisting with events and coordinate event planning, social media and web content management and collaborating with other OSU sustainability-related groups and, at times, community groups.  Please see position description and application instructions here.

Digital Media and Programming Student Outreach Assistant will act as a team with the Event Student Outreach Assistant position on events, and other outreach and engagement activities, and focus on Green Office Certification , Carbon Planning, Eco-Reps and Sustainability Advocates.  They will also contribute to social media and web content management.  Please see position description and application instructions here.

Starting pay is $11.00, employment begins spring 2017 and is ongoing assuming satisfactory performance.  Preference will be given to applicants with availability through at least spring 2018.

RecycleMania results are in! The winner of the 2017 Civil War is…

April 11th, 2017

The winner of the 2017 RecycleMania Civil War is…

University of Oregon!

Final cumulative scores for the 2017 RecycleMania Civil War. UO won with 12.6 to 10.6 pounds per person.

While last year’s Civil War was close, this year UO gained a large lead early in the competition, maintaining it until the final week of the competition when OSU managed to narrow the gap. This marks the second year that UO has won the competition, after taking back the trophy from us last year.

Cumulative Civil War results by week.

OSU and UO are now collectively tied for wins: OSU won in 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2015; UO won in 2013, 2014, 2016, and 2017.

In total, Beavers recycled 232,063 lbs and composted 61,440 during the 8-week competition. As with previous years, total composting and per capita pounds of composting increased (from 60,076 lbs and 2.209 per person in 2016, to 61,075 lbs and 2.227 per person this year). However, per capita recycling diverted and recycling rate were slightly down. The amount of trash remained roughly the same.

The Kilowatt Crackdown has BEGUN

April 10th, 2017

The Kilowatt Crackdown is a month long competition to reduce electricity usage. From April 10 to May 7, five residence halls take on an energy challenge in their hall.

Which residence halls are participating?

Cauthorn Hall

Bloss Hall

West Hall

Finley Hall

Teabeau Hall

Hey! I live in one of those halls! What can I do to make us win?

The first week’s theme is LIGHTS. Here are a few tips to reduce light usage!

  1. Swap out incandescent bulbs for LED or CFL bulbs.
  2. Be diligent about turning off lights when a room is empty or when outside lighting is enough.
  3. Use natural light whenever possible- open blinds!

Start talking with your Eco-Representative on ways to beat the other halls!

So who is winning?

Make sure to follow along with real time results here: http://bit.ly/2ny7izG 

What have you done today to help reduce your kilowatt usage?

Marine Science Day at the OSU Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport, Oregon

March 28th, 2017

SAVE THE DATE! Saturday, April 8, 10am-4pm

Join the OSU Hatfield Marine Science Center (HMSC) in Newport for Marine Science Day.  HMSC will open its doors for a behind-the-scenes peek at the cutting-edge research, education and outreach in marine sciences that makes this marine laboratory unique. Meet researchers from Oregon State University and five government agency partners. Explore with interactive science displays presented by marine scientists and special family-friendly activities by Oregon Sea Grant and the Oregon Coast Aquarium. 

Come learn what’s new at the OSU Hatfield Marine Science Center on the Oregon Coast.

For more information, a flyer, Schedule of Events or to volunteer, see hmsc.oregonstate.edu/marinescienceday. The event is free, open to the public and appropriate for all ages.

For accommodation requests related to a disability or other questions, email maryann.bozza@oregonstate.edu or call 541-867-0234.

Note: Most Marine Science Day exhibits and activities will be indoors, although visitors are advised to dress for the weather as some exhibits will be outdoors. The OSU Hatfield Marine Science Center is located at 2030 SE Marine Science Drive in Newport, Oregon. See our map and directions including public transportation options here.

Eco2Go Container Round Up!

March 16th, 2017

Do you spy an Eco2Go container??

Another term is almost to the end! March is working hard to give us some sunshine today.

While out and about, please start rounding up any eco2go containers you see in your break rooms, or in places they don’t belong!

Please return the boxes to either of the three dining centers (McNary, Marketplace West, or Arnold) or returned to any of the exterior locations visible on the map here: https://uhds.oregonstate.edu/feature-story/eco2go-food-containers

Last year UHDS removed over 400,000 disposable to-go containers from the waste stream and are well on the way to top that number this year. If you have a large number of containers in your office area please contact housing@oregonstate.edu and they will help get them picked up.

Let’s continue to divert from the landfill, and round up our reusables!

Thank you for your continued support of this program.

Washington Higher Education Sustainability Conference Recap

March 7th, 2017

About a week ago, four students from Oregon State University took a trip up to Spokane Washington to attend the Washington Higher Education Sustainability Conference. This was a two-day long event held at Gonzaga University. There were numerous speakers, which included faculty and students from numerous Universities in the surrounding area. About half of the attendees from this conference were students, and many were speakers. Two keynote speakers opened the conference each day discussing their roles in sustainability throughout their careers. Students were asked to summarize their experience at this conference below.

Kelley Deas:

A week ago, I got the opportunity to attend the Washington Higher Education Sustainability Conference along with four other students and three staff members. The conference was an amazing place to share ideas and learn about different opportunities within sustainability once we graduate. My favorite part of this conference was the Keynote speaker, Mitch Thomashow. I was very interested in his presentation, and he talked about so many different things that I was interested in. He discussed sustainability around the world along with how his son is an artist and ties sustainability within his work. Since I am very interested in both art and sustainability, this really spoke to me. I felt like it was difficult to combine my two interests, but this showed me that it is in fact possible. He also later had a presentation about the “Nine Elements of a Sustainable Campus” which I also found very helpful towards my job in the Valley Library composting and recycling program. In this presentation, he discussed his experience being the president of Unity College in Maine. He talked about their process of becoming a more sustainable campus. In the end, I believe this conference was very helpful in considering what I would like to do once I graduate.

Ashlei Edgemon:

I learned about a variety of ways to help further incorporate sustainability into my daily life and into the alternative break that I will be leading over spring break. I also learned more about the social and economic pillars of sustainability, which I tend not to think about as much as I do environmental sustainability. Additionally, I had the opportunity to attend a session where a couple schools shared about their alternative break programs, which was quite intriguing for me to learn about. Each of the schools run their programs completely differently than we do, so it was interesting to see the myriad of ways alternative breaks can be implemented. Hearing about their programs gave me some ideas of things we can do to improve ours, as well as gave me an opportunity to see how much larger our program can grow. I was able to connect with some people I met at the conference, and I will actually be Skyping with one of them soon to talk more about both of the alternative breaks we will be leading to San Francisco this spring.

Alexandra Porter:

The Washington Higher Education Sustainability Conference (WAHESC) was a great opportunity for students who are involved and passionate about sustainable programming to learn about integrating activities and programs at Oregon State University. With keynote speakers and six individual presentation sessions, there was plenty of learning and information sharing. Individuals from different schools and companies presented on what has been successful and challenging in their experiences of applying sustainability to the higher education curriculum.

One of the sessions I found most interesting was about successful university campaigns that have made sustainable differences on their campuses. There was a point-tracker for behavior change, a 68-degree standard with sweater promotion, and zero plastic water bottles campaign. It was inspiring to hear about how students at other universities are making a difference, fueled by passionate, dedicated individuals with the support of faculty. Their campuses are doing a great job at setting sustainable standards. It made me want to do similar campaigns at Oregon State University. With a large student body, if each person participated in some way, we could see real differences in our campus waste, recycling, and energy use.

I would want recycling and composting behaviors to be normalized on campus. I believe there needs to be more availability of recycling, composting, and waste bins. There should be educational infographics and events to help people become accustom to the different bins.  There should also be a data collection to show progress of the additions to encourage students to continue, showing that their actions are making a larger difference.

If these practices could be implemented on a global scale that would be even better. We have learned that human degradation of the environment is a global issue. It will take each country’s intentional steps to become more sustainable. It will take sharing of successful projects and coordination in implementing these practices worldwide. American universities can be examples for other places around the world.

The conference was inspiring for my academic career. It was refreshing to leave campus and learn about sustainability in another setting. I enjoyed the collaboration with different universities and meeting other like-minded students.  It gave me experience in networking.

Thanks for sharing your experiences, and thank you Spokane for hosting the WAHESC conference!


Annual RecycleMania Competition 2017: UPCOMING EVENTS

February 23rd, 2017

RecycleMania is an annual 8-week recycling competition between universities, which runs February 5 – April 1 this year. Join thousands of college students across the nation  competing for the national recycling title, and help OSU beat UO! You can make it happen by recycling, composting and reducing your trash.

2017 Calendar

For more information, check out: http://fa.oregonstate.edu/recycling/events-and-opportunities/recyclemania-osu

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