Archive for October, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

Learn more about Food Sustainability on Campus

October 31st, 2012

Student Advocacy at William & Mary

If you are looking for a way to get way to get directly involved with sustainability on campus, SEAC – the Student Environmental Action Coalition at William & Mary – is well underway this semester, but it is never too late to get involved. We are working on several exciting projects, and the time is now to add yours to the list!

SEAC’s campaign structure enables us to reach into all aspects of sustainability on campus, and allows diverse ideas and initiatives to flourish. Our Energy Justice Campaign is newly formed and focuses on a wide variety of energy issues. EJ meets on Monday nights in the SEAC office, which is (delightfully furnished and) located in the campus center. Our Gardens campaign has been working hard on the campus gardens, and are currently planning for an herb garden. They meet every Wednesday at 6:30 in the SEAC office, and hold work days in the gardens on Sunday at 3:00! Recycling, which meets at 9:00 on Tuesdays, has put together a FREEmarket that promotes the three R’s (reduce, reuse, recycle) and foster a sense of community on campus.

We welcome your ideas both at SEACspace and at our Big SEAC Meetings, which take place Monday nights at 8:30 in Washington 223.

SEAC operates on consensus basis, which means that all decisions are approved by the group as a whole. Basically, we’ll talk ideas out until we come to a conclusion that works for everyone, which, in my opinion, helps to foster a sense of shared vision and purpose. Just as decisions are made by the whole community, so are ideas, and so are actions! SEAC is what you make of it, so come out to a meeting and make it yours.

Sharon Hartzell

October 29th, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

October 24th, 2012

Green Halloween Tips for Spooky Sustainability

Once a year, people of all ages dress up like who they’re not – but rest assured. You can still live your sustainable lifestyle, even when you are celebrating Halloween!

Decorations are integral to this holiday, whether you live in a house or a dorm room. Some of these decorations, like pumpkins, gourds and cornstalks, offer an opportunity to support local agriculture. Just down the road from our campus is Pumpkinville, a great place for a Halloween celebration. I went to Pumpkinville last year, and had a great time riding the hayride and picking out gourds for my dorm room. And, it’s a just-down-the-road destination for a Halloween excursion, letting you reduce your carbon footprint.

It’s always an option to make your own Halloween decorations. Between ghosts made from old cloth, plastic bags filled with leaves and painted into pumpkins, and the many, many uses of cardboard, it’s likely that you can make all your halloween decorations from things you already have around the house/dorm or in your recycling bin.

Perhaps the most central aspect of Halloween is the costumes. Seasonal stores come to town every Fall offering standard costumes, but it’s much more individualized, and creative, to make your own! Between Goodwill and the Campus FREEmarket, it’s easy to find supplies for costumes.

Chocolate is not always the most sustainable item to obtain. The Daily Green has some ideas for alternative Halloween candies. And, in EcoEmporium at the Students’ Exchange, we have access to Kallari Chocolate, which is produced sustainably.

These candy sources may be more expensive than the usual fare produced by large companies. Luckily for us, as college students, the other Halloween alternatives discussed in this post are more cost-effective.

Here are some extra resources to green your Halloween, or your family’s:

October 23rd, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

Photo by Chris Jordan

October 17th, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

October 3rd, 2012

Meet Patrick Foley, College Sustainability Fellow!

By now, many of you have met Patrick Foley, William & Mary’s current Sustainability Fellow. Since the summer, Patrick has been at the epicenter of sustainability initiatives at the College. I was able to speak with Patrick last week, and learn more about what lead him to this position!

Q: What do you do as the College Sustainability Fellow?

A: As the College Sustainability Fellow, I work with students, faculty and staff to coordinate sustainable initiatives across the campus. The project I’m most involved with at the moment is the College’s proposed Eco-Village, a sustainable living community that is going to be energy independent from the rest of campus and a signal of our college’s commitment moving forward to being green.

Q: How did you first get interested in environmental issues?

A: When I was little, I used to read Koko’s Kitten every night before bed. Koko’s Kitten is the story of Koko the gorilla who uses sign language to express her love and commitment to her pet kitten, All Ball. When I was in 4th or 5th grade, I decided to do a research project on gorillas because i wanted to talk about Koko…and that is when I learned about the bushmeat crisis in South Africa and that gorillas were being rapidly brought to the point of extinction. I then wanted to make it my life’s goal to protect Koko the gorilla and all the gorillas so they could have a place to live.

Q: How did you get involved with sustainability at William & Mary?

A: As a freshman, I was involved with the Sharpe Community Scholars, a program designed for incoming students interested in community service and local outreach. Through the program, I worked on an initiative designed to assess the feasibility of installing a green roof on the William & Mary campus. My participation in this program led me to volunteer for the College’s Committee on Sustainability, and I’ve been hooked ever since!

Q: What do you think is the biggest environmental challenge facing our generation?

A: It’s difficult to pinpoint exactly one area, but I think one that deserves to be mentioned and is often overlooked is the inevitable decline of infrastructure that would accompany any level of global climate change. While most people are aware of the effects that global climate change and rising sea levels would have on different species, there’s a general lack of knowleddge about the economic and social cost that would accompany such a change. For instance, communities living along coasts would face a crisis of almost unfathomable proportions if the current estimates prove true. This was an issue I worked on very closely when I was working at the Center for Health and the Global Environment at Harvard Medical School and it was the subject of my research as an undergraduate as well. I think that’s one issue I’d want students and the general public to be more aware of.

Q: You graduated from William & Mary just last year. How has life changed now that you’re no longer a student?

A: You start to realize that there’s more to life than grades and academics. I think when I was a student I was very singularly focused on that, and I still see that with many William & Mary students now. When you see it from an outsider’s perspective, it’s funny that we’re so into our studies. Not that studies aren’t important, but remember to have fun too!

Q:What’s your favorite memory of William & Mary as a student?

A: One time I snuck into a panel discussion with Sandra Day O’Connor and I was so beyond excited for the entire thing! And, any time I was in a class with Professor Nemacheck.

Q: What is your favorite book?:

A: Henry Clay, Statesman for the Union by Robert Remini

Q:Top 3 musical artists?:

A: Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin, and Jennifer Hudson

Q: Favorite movie?:

A: Dreamgirls

October 3rd, 2012


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