Summer Sustainability at W&M

It’s been quite a while, hasn’t it? Some technical difficulties and the rigors of finishing up the first year of the Sustainability Fellowship can keep a man from his blog for some time. That said, I’d like to get back in the swing of things with a quick update as to what’s going on here on campus during the summer months.

Our annual summer research grants were awarded for the second time in April, and the students should be starting their work in the coming week or two. We usually only fund four students for summer research through the Green Fees, but this year’s applicant pool was so strong that we decided to fund an extra research project. I’m very excited to see what the students can create during their weeks here this summer.

The students (and their research topics) are:

  • Amanda Anderson ’11: green roof design
  • Max Cunningham ’13: a comprehensive transportation plan for W&M
  • Jane Gray Morris ’13: public space construction in the W&M sustainable gardens
  • Jamison Shabanowitz ’12: an e-recycling program
  • Alexandra Volpert ’11: reducing nutrient loading in Lake Matoaka

We’ll also be welcoming our new Sustainability Fellow in July. Before I take my leave, however, I hope to help the interns get started on their great research, finalize my sustainable procurement guidelines, and put together a final report on W&M’s great progress over the past year. I’ll be back soon with more posts on what’s new in sustainability at W&M.

Until then!

June 2nd, 2010

Great News From Dining Services!

There’s quite a bit of great news coming out of Dining Services these days. The three student sustainability interns hired by Aramark at the beginning of the year are certainly earning their keep! The changes they’ve made will reduce the dining halls’ waste output and save Dining Services and the College quite a bit of money.

  • New napkin dispensers are on display at the dining halls. These dispensers (containing napkins made with 100% recycled paper, of course) reduce napkin use by 25%, because they only release one napkin at a time.
  • Individual condiment bottles are on the way out — but new condiments, placed in larger centralized dispensers, are replacing them. All of your old favorites will still be available: ketchup, mustard, hot sauce, etc. But you’ll be seeing some additions, including a “sweet heat” hot sauce from Frank’s, and barbecue sauce, too!
  • Possibly the biggest change, though, is the new reusable take-out container program launching in the Spring! Starting in January, students can sign up to join the reusable take-out container program. When swiping in, students can ask for one of the containers, and upon bringing it back to the dining hall, they will receive 10 cents on their Flex Points! In addition, the student who uses the reusable containers the most times by late April will receive 50 additional Flex Points. That’s a lot of Domino’s! Are you a student interested in joining the program? Email the Sadler Center RFoC sustainability intern, Ian Fuller, at ibfuller@wm.edu to join!

November 12th, 2009

Aramark & Dining Services celebrate National Campus Sustainability Day

Dining Services at W&M has been one of the most forward-thinking and proactive units on campus in terms of embracing and improving sustainability, partly because of the new environmentally-friendly mindset of our dining vendor, Aramark. In particular, Larry Smith and Matt Moss, the directors of Dining Services here at the College (and Aramark employees), have been extremely helpful in working alongside of COS and various student groups to improve sustainable practices in the dining halls.

Just this year, Larry secured Aramark funding for three student interns, one in each of the main dining halls, to improve recycling, composting, and sustainable food purchasing at the College. Beginning in August, three undergrads (Ian Fuller ’11, Christy Ottinger ’10, and Sarah Will ’10) have been working 10-15 hours per week, creating and implementing their own sustaianability projects. One in particular they’ve been putting together is for National Campus Sustainability Day, which is next week on Wednesday, October 21.

I’ve asked Sarah, the sustainability intern at the Commons Cafeteria, to summarize the events of that day, and to give an overview of what they’ve been doing for the past two months:

October 21st is National Campus Sustainability Day. Special menus will be featured at each dining hall that implement local and sustainable ingredients and meals. At the Marketplace, each HomeZone dish will be centered on a different local food item, and the Commons and the Sadler Center will both feature a “Green, Greener, Greenest” menu.

In addition to providing “green” meals on National Campus Sustainability Day, Ian, Christy, and Sarah have been implementing sustainable initiatives in dining facilities across campus. They have expanded recycling programs in the kitchens at Miller, the Sadler Center, and the Commons. The Commons now has centralized condiment dispensers to reduce the amount of plastic waste from individual condiment containers. There are new recycling containers in the Campus Center lobby to promote recycling after meals at the Marketplace. The Sadler Center and EcoHouse participated in a pilot program for reusable take-out containers, funded by the Committee on Sustainability, that will be expanded in the Spring semester. Reusable mugs and to-go mugs can now be found side-by-side in both the Sadler Center and the Commons.
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Look out for the interns on Wednesday in each of the dining halls, and feel free to give them any ideas of your own!

October 16th, 2009

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


About:

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. If you would like to contribute to the blog, contact Madeleine Boel, Committee on Sustainability Web Assistant, at mgboel@email.wm.edu.
Make sure to visit Sustainability at W&M for all of W&M's progress on sustainability efforts. Catch up with William & Mary Sustainability on Twitter at WM_GreenisGold
To learn what William & Mary's Environmental Law Society is up to, visit their blog at http://envirols.blogs.wm.edu/.

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