Take Back the Tap: Bottled Water Panel Tomorrow

If you happen to be in the Williamsburg area tomorrow morning, try to stop by the Sadler Center’s Tidewater B room at 12 noon for a panel discussion on the environmental impact of bottled water and the bottled water industry. Speakers will include a representative from Coca-Cola and College faculty from Geology, Philosophy, Business and VIMS, moderated by yours truly!

February 16th, 2010

Clean Energy Forum on Wednesday

With the UN Climate Change Conference fast approaching, the W&M Student Environmental Action Coalition and national youth climate organization Focus the Nation are looking to get College and community members talking about local and national solutions to climate change issues. The two organizations are co-hosting a Clean Energy Forum here on campus this Wednesday, December 2nd at 7PM in Andrews Hall 101.

There’s an excellent panel lined up, including former Virginia Delgate and Democratic candidate for governor Brian Moran!

Find out more information here.

I hope to see you all there!

November 30th, 2009

Student Volunteers: Recycling

In light of the College receiving an A for student involvement in the latest College Sustainability Report Card, over the next few days I would like to highlight a few of the student volunteer efforts that make W&M so successful and unique among universities making strides in sustainability. There are quite a few student organizations and individuals who have put their hard work into making W&M a more environmentally friendly campus, and we owe them enormously for their efforts!

One of the most visible environmental issues on this or any campus is recycling. Accepted as one of the basic institutional commitments to sustainability, most every campus in the nation has some sort of recycling program. Here at W&M, our system is a bit unique in that it relies on the effort of student and staff volunteers. Cash-strapped as we are, it is up to individuals in offices or buildings across campus to collect their own recycling and take it to one of the large blue 8-cubic-yard Tidewater Fiber dumpsters located around campus.

As such, a few student organizations have grouped together in order to provide a more streamlined and efficient recycling program for many areas of campus. The Student Environmental Action Coalition, the Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity, and the Student Assembly have partnered on a volunteer recycling program that services much of old campus, both in academic buildings and outdoors. Those of you walking around campus should have noticed the new blue receptacles on the Sunken Garden and around the Sadler Center terrace. Provided by the Student Assembly & Facilities Management, and emptied by Alpha Phi Omega, these bins allow members of the College community to recycle on the go.

Emptying recycling bins is a never-ending (and sometimes thankless) process, and the students in APO, SEAC, and the SA who do it are often invisible to those walking by the bins each day. Their efforts, however, do not go unnoticed, and we thank them all for their great work!

October 14th, 2009

COS Recycling interns save thousands of dollars!

Great news from two of the Committee on Sustainability’s summer research grant recipients: Tyler Koontz and Judi Sclafani’s work on restructuring our recycling & waste contracts will save the College at least $40,000 a year! Read more here at W&M News.

This is the biggest of a few excellent signs that our recycling program is moving in the right direction. Those of you on the Williamsburg campus will be seeing recycling bins in academic buildings and on Old Campus soon, as SEAC and Alpha Phi Omega get ready to start their semester of volunteer recycling. We’re also working on an alternative recyclables program, where students will have more access to recycling for batteries, light bulbs, electronics, and the like. I’ll make sure to keep you updated!

September 4th, 2009

Sustainability @ W&M site relaunched!

Hello again! Just thought I’d let you all know that we’ve redesigned and relaunched the Sustainability at W&M website. You’ll be seeing more news, events, and information on our progress and current initiatives as the days pass.

In other news:

  • 220 students volunteered for the Office of Community Engagement & Scholarship’s “Students Helping Out Williamsburg” (SHOW) day today, including some putting up sustainability signs and stickers purchased by the Committee on Sustainability. Thanks to Melody Porter from OCES and students Mallory Johnson and Amanda Potter for making that happen!
  • I’m so glad to see all of the students come back! For the third year in a row, every freshman and transfer student received a reusable mug (courtesy of the Student Environmental Action Coalition (SEAC) & Dining Services) and a compact fluorescent light bulb (courtesy of Residence Life). I helped SEAC distribute the bulbs and mugs this year, and I was amazed at how many new students said, “I’ve already got a mug and CFLs!” Great to see. Every year, there’s more and more students doing their part!
Until next time,
Phil

August 25th, 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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