The Wesleyan Green Team hosted a mini-trash bin workshop and discussion for faculty and staff on March 20. Dawn Alger, Theater Department administrative assistant and Green Team member, and Jen Kleindienst, sustainability director, led the workshop.
Mini-bins are small containers that are used in place of standard waste receptacles. They encourage recycling and reduce the number of trash can liners used on campus. The Green Team provided craft supplies including cleaned coffee containers, colored paper, stickers, yarn, magazines, glue and scissors. Participants also discussed campus recycling efforts while designing their mini-bin.
“We’d love to see all staff and faculty members at Wesleyan use mini-bins in place of standard trash cans,” Alger said.
Wesleyan’s Green Team is researching, communicating, and implementing effective strategies that increase sustainability within the university. For more information on the team, or to join, visit the Green Team website.
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On April 22, the Wesleyan Climate Ambassadors will host the 5th Annual Earth Fest at the base of Foss Hill from 1 to 4 p.m. This celebration of Earth Day is aimed at bringing the sustainability community and campus together to honor Mother Earth.
Participants will enjoy student bands, free vegan and veggie burgers, a clothing swap and a pin-the-solar-panel-on-the-building game.
Participants also will learn more about what the sustainability community is working on at Wesleyan.
Throughout the month of April, Wesleyan is celebrating Earth Month with an array of activities. Events include film screenings, lectures, concerts, a festival on Foss Hill and more. For a full list of on-and-off campus events, visit the editable Earth Month 2017 calendar. For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Featured events are below:
On March 31, Wesleyan hosted #BeTheChange, Connecticut’s annual Campus Sustainability Conference, featuring former U.S. Environmental Protection Agency head Gina McCarthy as the keynote speaker. Organized by the Connecticut Alliance for Campus Sustainability, the theme of the day-long conference was “Engagement and Empowerment around Climate Change: Fostering Inspiration and Action at the Local Level.”
About 150 students, staff and faculty from the state’s public and private colleges attended the conference, which also included workshop sessions on climate and sustainability action; empowerment on campus; engaging in state policy and legislation; engaging in community and municipal action; and engaging at the grassroots level. Several community members, business representatives and government representatives also attended.
McCarthy was appointed EPA chief in 2013 by former President Barack Obama. One landmark of her four-year tenure occurred in 2015 when she signed the Clean Power Plan, setting the first national standards for reducing carbon emissions produced by power plants. Under McCarthy’s direction, the EPA also made strides in curbing air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening chemical safety regulations, and protecting water resources.
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On March 31, the Connecticut Alliance for Campus Sustainability will run its fourth annual Connecticut Campus Sustainability Conference on campus from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The theme for this year’s conference is “Engagement and Empowerment around Climate Change: Fostering Inspiration and Action at the Local Level.”
Discussions will center on sustainable citizenship in Connecticut and how to take action at multiple levels, including the role of universities, state policy makers, students, municipalities and individuals.
The conference encourages the involvement of attendees and invites them to share their work on campus sustainability as break-out session speakers.
As part of Wesleyan’s sustainability efforts, the Wesleyan Student Association Dining Committee removed all trays from the Usdan Marketplace in 2009. The “traylessness” initiative is one way Wesleyan is working to reduce food waste at the university.
For the third year in a row, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awarded Wesleyan with a Regional Food Recovery Achievement Certificate for its efforts reducing and diverting food waste. Wesleyan is among 26 organizations and institutions to receive the honor in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine.
This also is the third year Wesleyan has participated in the EPA’s New England Food Recovery Challenge.
“These organizations are showing that protecting the environment, saving money and feeding the hungry can go hand in hand,” said Curt Spalding, regional administrator of EPA’s New England office. “It’s true year-round, but especially important to keep in mind during the holidays when family and friends gather to enjoy celebratory meals, that our food should feed people and not landfills.”
According to Wesleyan’s Sustainability Director Jennifer Kleindienst, Wesleyan continues to improve its compost-to-trash ratio is Usdan’s dining facilities. “This is due to a number of factors, the best I can see is improved understanding of what is/isn’t compostable and switching to all compostable disposable products in dining locations,” Kleindienst said. “We’ve been doing a lot to reduce food waste and our compost interns and Eco Facilitators have been busy talking to fellow students about what is/isn’t compostable and how they can play a role.”
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City of Middletown Mayor Daniel Drew, Wesleyan President Michael Roth, and former Vice President for Finance and Administration John Meerts participated in a ribbon-cutting ceremony Nov. 1 for Wesleyan’s new ground-mounted solar photovoltaic system. Following the ceremony, President Roth and Meerts flipped on the switch that activated the 25-panel system.
On Nov. 1, Wesleyan celebrated the installation of a 750 kW-AC ground-mounted solar photovoltaic system, or solar farm, located near Physical Plant, at the corner of Long Lane and Wadsworth Street.
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Wesleyan students, staff and faculty may join the Local Food Co-Op. Fresh produce, dairy items, bread and roasted items are delivered to Wesleyan once a week throughout the academic year for pick-up.
The student-run Wesleyan Local Food Co-op sources a large variety of fresh foods and distributes them on campus. The co-op offers locally grown produce, fresh dairy products (cheese, milk, yogurt, butter and ice cream), meat, eggs, tofu, seitan, preserves, bread and coffee.
Sign up for the co-op online by Sept. 21 and pay from 3:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sept. 28 in Daniel Family Commons.
The program began solely for students but is now open to staff and faculty participation in the wake of expressed interest. More than 500 members of the Wesleyan community are part of one or more co-ops.
Participants can pick up their shares on Wednesday evenings in the Usdan Multi-Purpose Room on the ground floor and must volunteer once each semester with organization and distribution.
For more information e-mail email@example.com.
Wesleyan’s campus is home to 89 acres of natural areas. These meadow areas are only mowed once a year and are home to wildflowers, native grasses and provide food and homes for wildlife. As part of the Wesleyan Sustainability Grounds Initiatives, the university is in the process of expanding no-mow areas across campus.
Hundreds of lupines grow in a meadow near Physical Plant on Long Lane.
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