Archive for December, 2011

Apply to be an EcoAmbassador for Spring 2012!

Still looking for a few credits to round out your schedule? Have an interest in sustainability? Then apply to be an EcoAmbassador! The deadline to apply is Sunday, January 8, 2012. The EcoAmbassador class is a one credit, directed independent study course. Students spend 5 hours per week working on a sustainability related project, and produce a 5 page final paper and a short Power Point presentation at the end of the semester. Students also attend monthly meetings with the class instructor and their fellow EcoAmbassadors. Previous EcoAmbassadors have worked on a tennis shoe recycling project, mapping fisheries using GIS, improving transportation on campus, writing articles for the COS blog, and more. Spring 2012 EcoAmbassadors will be helping to plan Earth Week, working on getting W&M certified as a bike friendly campus, mapping campus features using GIS for Facilities Management, and working on Swem Library’s sustainability website. To apply, please visit the following website:

December 20th, 2011

What’s on the Table for New Virginia Sustainability Legislation Next Month?

Finals week is here and that means the holidays are almost upon us. Like a belated holiday treat, each January this state’s legislators begin their General Assembly session to vote on the new Virginia laws.

It is a small window when the General Assembly is actually in session – only two months this year, so groups prepare their legislative priorities early. Sustainability bills will definitely be on the agenda. Here are some major issues that should come up for vote this winter:

* Uranium mining: Banned since the ’80’s, there is a powerful lobby to have the ban lifted this year. There is serious risk that uranium mining can result in radiation contamination in rivers and groundwater. Environmental groups are in heated opposition.

* Renewable Energy: The Virginia Conservation Network will push for the General Assembly to pass a mandatory renewable portfolio standard program that would require more use of solar and wind power in the state. Additional goals are increased tax incentives for solar installations and continued funding for wind power research.

* Mountaintop Removal Mining: Environmental groups will oppose about $44.5 million in subsidies for mountaintop removal mining in Virginia.

* Budget Allocations for Water Quality: Conservationists seek about $40 million for assistance to farmers to implement best practices for water quality. Funding is also wanted for water treatment facility upgrades.

* Transportation: Always a huge priority, transportation will be a big issue this budget year. There is a choice to be made between prioritizing highway construction and alternatives that incentivize public transportation, carpooling and walking.

Want to know more? The General Assembly streams the legislative sessions live online. After January 12, you can watch the House of Delegates in session here and the Senate here.

Happy Holidays!

Caitlin Kilpatrick
Master of Public Policy, Class of 2013

December 12th, 2011

W&M Dining Featured in Sustainability Video!

MeadWestvaco, packaging solutions company, reached out to us here at William & Mary in order to feature the college in a video about our dining sustainability internship program and composting on campus. They filmed a few weeks ago in the Commons Dining Hall and the link below is the finished product. We are very excited on how great this video came out and to be an example for campuses across the nation on how to become greener.

In addition, we are excited for the exposure of our W&M Dining Sustainability interns as they provided the commentary throughout the video. They truly are a pivotal part in keeping our sustainable movement going on campus. Also, featured in the video are Dining’s Director of Operations and Sustainability Coordinator and W&M’s sustainability fellow.

This video in addition to several other collateral pieces will be used in their GreenToGo campaign that is promoting their compostable material packaging solutions.

Watch the video here!

Faren Alston
Marketing Manager
W&M Dining

December 12th, 2011


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