A New Leaf


My name is Sharon Hartzell. I am an undergraduate at the College, and one of the Committee on Sustainability’s Fall 2011 Eco-Ambassadors. For my project, I am working with our Sustainability Fellow, Sarah Hanke, to improve the  Committee on Sustainability’s web presence. I am interested in diversifying the content of COS’s blog and website, ensuring that the College’s sustainability information is highly accessible and appeals to the widest possible audience. As I learn more about website management, I will strive to incorporate more multimedia content into the COS website, and make navigating the website as intuitive as possible.

I plan to make the COS blog more interactive than ever before, with regular updates and guest posts from a number of organizations, departments and committees at the College. Our campus has an impressive number of initiatives relating to sustainability and the environment, and I hope to create a shared space to get the word out about the tremendous efforts W&M is making to live green.

The blog already has a fresh new look, and we will soon be introducing our first guest post. Stay tuned!

In the meantime, check out National Geographic’s feature on creating eco-friendly Halloween costumes. It’s geared towards kids, but remember – you’re never too old to play dress-up!

Until next time,

Sharon Hartzell
Class of 2014

October 16th, 2011

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

Weekend Update

From the past few days…

  • The Mason School of Business’s Undergraduate program’s Do One Thing (DOT) Campaign on Facebook has reached over 500 fans and over 200 DOTs posted, according to Undergraduate program director Chris Adkins. Add yours today!
  • COS launched the Eco-Ambassador program on Saturday with a marathon kickoff & training event, graciously hosted by Larry Smith in the Commons Cafeteria. 7 departments & offices across campus are hosting students working to create their own sustainability projects and implement them in each office. From Modern Languages to Landscape & Grounds, you’ll be seeing new ideas in daily sustainability practices popping up all over campus!
  • COS also has announced its request for proposals for the Fall 2009 Green Fee projects! Anyone on campus can submit a proposal for improving any aspect of campus sustainability, funded by the student green fee. Look over the requirements and start working on a proposal of your own!

September 21st, 2009

Apply to be an Eco-Ambassador!

Students, there’s a great new opportunity to get involved in campus sustainability. We’ve launched a new hands-on, creative, and innovative internship program called Eco-Ambassadors. We’ll be picking 8 students to work in various offices & departments across campus, coming up with their own sustainability projects in tandem with a staff member. This is a great way to get some experience in working with faculty & staff you may not usually interact with, like those in Grounds & Landscaping or the President’s Office.

Here’s the official announcement:

Applications are now being accepted for the Eco-Ambassador internship program sponsored by the Committee on Sustainability. Eco-Ambassadors may be eligible to receive independent study credit for two semesters through the Environmental Science and Policy program for their participation. The internship will consist of 5-10 hours spent per week creating and implementing a sustainability project in a particular department or office, in collaboration with a supervising staff member.

All students of Sophomore social class and above (including graduate students) are eligible to apply. The program’s kickoff event will be held Saturday, September 19th in the Commons Cafeteria conference room, from 9:00 AM to 3:30 PM. All participating students are required to attend, as this will serve as both the orientation session and the first project brainstorming session.

Interested students are encouraged to fill out an application and submit it to the College’s Sustainability Fellow Phil Zapfel at pmzapf@wm.edu by Thursday, September 10th at 5:00 PM. Any questions are to be directed to Phil Zapfel.  The application is available at http://www.wm.edu/sites/sustainability/getinvolved/ecoambassadorprogram .

As always, feel free to email me if you have questions!

September 2nd, 2009


Welcome to Hark Upon the Green! This blog is a shared space for members of the sustainability community at William & Mary to write about sustainability topics on and beyond.

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