Archive for January, 2010


We’ve begun composting the food waste from the dining halls on campus!

Here’s an excerpt from our press release:

Partnering with Richmond, Virginia’s Natural Organic Process Enterprises (NOPE), Dining Services will use new specifically-marked containers separate from those used for trash and recycling. Organic waste generated from food preparation will be separated from the waste stream at the Commons, Sadler Center RfoC, Miller Hall and the Marketplace dining locations, as well as the catering unit. Post-consumer food waste will be collected for composting at the Commons and Sadler Center RfoC locations.

NOPE will then collect the containers at each of the campus dining locations and haul them to an organic composting facility in Waverly, Virginia. The facility, run by McGill USA, features a natural microbe-enhanced process that, according to their website, “when provided with the right balance of moisture, temperature, and oxygen, [is] able to affect the rapid decay of organic material.” The material is processed for six to eight weeks before being packaged and sold as organic fertilizer.

Integral in the successful creation of the program were the three sustainability student interns hired by Aramark in the fall of 2009. Ian Fuller ’11, Christy Ottinger ’10, and Sarah Will ’10 coordinated with Larry Smith of Aramark and Dining Services and Phil Zapfel, the College’s Sustainability Fellow, to choose a hauler, design a collection program, and submit a proposal for COS green fees funding.

In addition to eliminating up to forty percent of the dining halls’ contribution to the College’s waste production, the environmental benefits of composting are widely known, said Will. “Composting completes the circle of food production,” she noted, adding that composting “will decrease our contribution to the waste stream, which limits the greenhouse gases produced as a side effect from decomposing organic material.”

January 27th, 2010

Apply to live in the EcoHouse!

The EcoHouse is new for the 2009-2010 academic year, and they’ve done a fantastic job of promoting sustainable living practices in an on-campus location. They’re looking for new residents for next year! Think you’d like to be a part of EcoHouse? They’ll be hosting an open house on Monday, and applications are due on Wednesday of next week.

Here’s the announcement, from EcoHouse member Lauren Edmonds:

Apply to live in the EcoHouse!

Apply to be a part of W&M’s newest housing community, one dedicated to environmentally sustainable living.  The EcoHouse is working to find ways to make dorm living more environmentally friendly and to educate the rest of the campus community about environmental issues.  We’re looking for rising sophomores, juniors, & seniors for the upcoming year.  Applications are available at & are due by Wednesday, January 27th to Randy Chambers (

The EcoHouse is also hosting an Open House on Monday, January 25th from 7 to 9:30 in their lounge (in Landrum basement) to answer questions about the house & the application process.  Feel free to stop by; we’ll have desserts for anyone who’s interested in the house.  Contact with questions.

January 22nd, 2010

Webinar on W&M’s Sustainability Successes

If you happen to have some free time tomorrow (Wednesday the 20th) at 1:30 PM, consider tuning into the Sustainable Endowments Institute’s Beyond Grades webinar series. They’ll be covering successes in the Administration category of SEI’s latest Green Report Card. William and Mary received an A in Administration this year, and the webinar will feature our very own Lynda Butler and Dennis Taylor, the co-chairs of the Committee on Sustainability. They’ll be discussing how we at W&M have been able to do so much in so little time. This is a great sign that our progress isn’t only visible here on campus, but around the nation!

January 19th, 2010

Hello Again!

Hello again, everyone! I’m glad to be back for another semester of sustainability here at William & Mary. We’ll be making quite a bit of progress in the upcoming semester, so make sure to stay in touch here at Hark Upon the Green and at

A few highlights coming up in the next few weeks:

  • We’re beginning our composting program in all of the dining halls on campus, beginning next week.
  • We’re launching our campus-wide Do One Thing campaign in early February, to build on the successes of the Mason School of Business’ program last fall.
  • I’ll be keeping you updated on the progress of our Eco-Ambassadors.
  • Conference Services and Athletics are beginning their new Event Recycling Program very soon.

All of these programs will get the full-post treatment in the weeks to come. Stay tuned!

January 14th, 2010

Eco-Ambassador Update: Residence Life

Over the last few months, I’ve met with most of our Eco-Ambassadors, and I’ve been very happy with their progress so far! I’d like to highlight just a few of the great projects they have going.

I met a week or two ago with Aaron Branch, the Eco-Ambassador for Residence Life, and his two staff partners, Chris Durden and Holly Agati. They have been looking to improve Residence Life’s recycling of old materials, RA and Orientation Aide training in sustainability, and perhaps most importantly, communication of all of the fantastic things Residence life is already doing. They pointed me in the direction of their sustainability web page, where they’ve gone into great detail to show all of the progress they’ve made recently.

A few highlights:

  • Several years ago, when we renegotiated the laundry services contract, we replaced all of the top load washers for front loading models. Front loaders use less water and the spin cycle leaves the clothes drier – which mean less energy is required to dry the clothes.
  • In cooperation with Facilities Management we have replaced toilets, showerheads and sink aerators with low flow models designed to conserve water in all of our buildings. All of our current and replacement fixtures meet the low flow standard.
  • All new porch furniture and picnic tables are made of recycled plastic materials.
  • In the spring 2008, we incorporated green cleaning solutions to replace 6 chemical solutions. The green products include True 7 (neutral cleaner), RAM (degreaser), Star (glass cleaner), and Tenacity (multipurpose cleaner). These products are part of a dilution system. We mix the product on site resulting in a considerable savings as well as being earth friendly.
  • The toilet paper and paper towels used in all public restrooms in the residence halls are green seal products. We have been using them since 2005.

Take a look yourself to learn something new about sustainability in W&M’s residence halls!

January 14th, 2010


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