Archive for March, 2013

Recyclemania Fair showcases sustainability initiatives

Most of us are familiar with the “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” campaign. Out of these three R’s, recycle often garners the most attention when, in fact, effective environmental change depends on a combination of reducing consumption, reusing or repurposing waste, and finally, recycling what cannot be reused.

The Recyclemania Fair in Lodge 1 was held on March 20th to demonstrate the commitment of William & Mary Dining to sustainability on campus. William & Mary is in the midst of a heated battle with schools across the US and Canada during the eight-week long Recyclemania competition. Each school reports the amount of recycling and trash collected every week and is ranked based on several categories: most recycled per capita, best recycling rate as a percentage of total waste, and the least amount of combined trash and recycling. You can view William and Mary’s performance on Six weeks into the competition, William and Mary leads Virginia schools with a weekly recycling rate of 50%.

The purpose of the Recyclemania fair was twofold. The first was to raise awareness of the competition. Students and faculty were invited to sign a Recyclemania banner to pledge their support for recycling on campus. Sustainability Interns Michael Curcio ’15, Colleen Swingle ’14, and Wesley Meyer ’15 answered students’ inquiries about the competition, about what to recycle, and about where to recycle different wastes on campus.


Secondly, the Recyclemania Fair served as a platform to engage the community in other sustainability initiatives. Chip Hall, the General Manager of Natural Organic Processes Enterprises (NOPE) informed students about the College’s composting program to reuse food wastes. Students could also compost to-go lunch containers in bins placed around Lodge 1. Sustainability Intern Rebecca Starr ’13 along with Dining Services staff demonstrated creative ways to recycle old magazines into colorful envelopes, pinwheels and gift bows. Free reusable utensils and mugs encouraged students to reduce their need for these common disposable items. Furthermore, the fair hosted a food demonstration to communicate Dining Services’ commitment to local farmers. Chef Kirk James transformed local heirloom tomatoes and homegrown basil into a delectable caprese salad.

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Did you attend the Recyclemania Fair? Would you like to learn more? Dining Services would love to hear from you! You can connect with us through Facebook at W&M Dining, Twitter @WMDining, or email Happy reducing, reusing, and recycling!

-Huan Song, Dining Sustainability Intern

March 28th, 2013

Blue Gold: World Water Wars Screening

Charity: Water at W&M will be hosting a screening of Blue Gold: World Water Wars in honor of World Water Day on March 22nd in Washington 201!

Blue Gold: World Water Wars is a documentary that looks at the political and environmental implications of the global scarcity of water, proposing that future wars will be fought over water. This film has won several awards and brings light to an issue that often goes unnoticed.

Admission is FREE (but donations are welcome) and anyone from the campus community is welcome to join. Visit the Event Facebook Page to RSVP, and watch the trailer below!

March 22nd, 2013

Green Course Content: Sustainability-Inspired Design

March 20th, 2013

SEAC Presents: Stay Clean, Go Green! Monday at 8:30

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Ever wanted to explore the world of herbal remedies and eco-friendly alternatives to commercial cosmetics and cleaners?

Today (3/18, at 8:30pm in Blair 223), SEAC members Jackie Carroll and Jess Murray will present an essential list of must have (and affordable!) eco-ingredients that will yield all of the household cleaners, cosmetic items, and herbal remedies you could ever desire! They will teach you how to stock your cabinets with eco-potential for $25, and will share with you their tried-and-true recipes for shampoos, household cleaners, deodorants, acne and scar treatment, and more! They will also unveil the chemical components of your current skincare regimens.

Save the environment and your dollars, and come to Blair 223 at 8:30 tonight!

March 18th, 2013

COS Summer Research Funding – Apply By Monday!

Each summer, the Committee on Sustainability provides funding for students to carry out projects that enhance sustainability efforts at the College. These research grants are open to all continuing students of the College: undergraduate, graduate and professional students. Four students will be funded up to $5,000 ($3,500 stipend and up to $1,500 in research support), and will be provided with on-campus summer housing, to conduct creative research projects that advance sustainability.

Last summer, Michael Curcio, a sophomore at William & Mary, was one recipient of the COS grant. He spent eight weeks over the summer working in the Campus Garden located behind the Caf.

“The majority of my work focused on maintenance of the gardens, which included watering, planting, weeding, and harvesting. I also spent some time mapping the gardens and created an electronic copy to track what and where we have planted.”

Curcio also coordinated with Campus Kitchens to donate extra produce that they grew, and worked on designing a gazebo to serve as a meeting and organizing place at the gardens. For Curcio, the COS grant gave him the means to stay in Williamsburg over the summer and work on his project, as well as providing money for gardening supplies. Says Curcio, working for COS was a wonderful experience. “I continue to manage the Campus Gardens today, and what I learned over the summer helps me to do that.”

Colleen Swingle spent her summer looking into the feasibility of a local foods and farming initiative on the William & Mary campus. She researched what other schools did in terms of producing or procuring local foods. She also visited schools to check out their local food initiatives, and to figure out how William & Mary might be able to incorporate such projects into their curriculum. The COS grant covered all of her travel expenses, and she was able to go to places she probably wouldn’t have been able to go to had she had to pay for it.

“It was fun to be here over the summer, and to have autonomy over a project,” Swingle said. She also enjoyed meeting a number of different faculty and staff members who she might not have had the opportunity to work with otherwise. She would definitely recommend it to other students looking for something to do over the summer, and will be applying for another grant this year to continue Curcio’s gardening project.

In conjunction with faculty in Environmental Science and Policy, COS has worked to identify some target areas for student research. This year, they are encouraging applicants to consider projects promoting energy efficiency, stormwater management, alternative energy, recycling, sustainable design, independent research and environmental education.

The deadline for applications is Monday, March 18th at 5:00 PM. Please visit for instructions on how to apply. If you have not already done so, please contact Patrick Foley at with any questions.

March 16th, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Sustainability by Design

March 13th, 2013


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