Tag Archive for sustainability

Wesleyan Named “Green Business Recycling Hero”

The City of Middletown, Conn. named Wesleyan University a “2011 Green Business Recycling Hero.”

According to the recycling heros list, “Wesleyan recycles a variety of materials beyond what is mandated. These include office furniture, clothing and mattresses. They also compost, purchase materials made from recycled components, and have initiated many green initiatives revolving around green building, transportation and energy conservation.”

The City applauds Wesleyan and other local organizations and businesses who are reducing, reusing and recycling to protect the environment.

Gasoline, Nuclear Power Topics of “Where on Earth” Symposium

"The Energy Puzzle In More Than 140 Characters" and "The Future of Nuclear Power" are the topics of the Where on Earth are We Going Symposium Nov. 5.

On Nov. 5, two energy experts will speak during the annual “Where On Earth Are We Going?” symposium. The event is sponsored by the Robert Schumann Lecture Series in the Environmental Studies Program.

At 9 a.m., Lisa Margonelli, director of the Energy Policy Initiative at the New America Foundation in Washington D.C., will speak on “The Energy Revolution Will not be Tweetable: the Energy Puzzle in More than 140 Characters.” Margonelli is the publisher of The Energy Trap and blogs frequently at The Atlantic web site. Her book Oil On the Brain: Petroleum’s Long, Strange Trip to Your Tank follows the oil supply chain from the gas station to oil fields around the world.

Gas at $3.50 a gallon is expensive, but its environmental, economic, political and moral price is much higher, she says. Margonelli will offer a provocative tour of the true cost of gasoline – as bad for the citizens of the Middle East as it is for Americans -and then explain how we can change by looking at energy as a system and finding opportunities for mini revolutions in technology, policy and behavior.

At 10:30 a.m., Paul Gunter, a lead spokesperson in nuclear reactor hazards and security concerns, will speak on “The Future of Nuclear Power Following the Fukushima Disaster.”  Gunter acts as the regulatory watchdog over the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the nuclear power industry.

Staff, Faculty to Plant Community Garden

Faculty and staff can rent a garden plot at Long Lane Farm. Each gardener is responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of their garden plot. (Photo by Olivia Drake)

Wesleyan faculty and staff are growing a community.

This summer, up to 50 employees have the opportunity to maintain their own plot in a Wesleyan Community Garden at Long Lane Farm.

“We hope that the community garden will promote local growing and give people the space to grow their own produce,” says Bill Nelligan, director of environmental health, safety and sustainability.  “We will be planting alongside the student garden which will facilitate a growing atmosphere.”

Each plot measures 10 by 15 feet. Plot fees are $50 and include fence upkeep, annual soil amendments and community tools.

Each gardener is responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of their garden plot. Watering, weeding, harvesting and any other garden related maintenance are all the responsibility of the gardener. Gardeners may arrange for other gardeners to water their plots.

A limited number of tools, hoses and watering equipment will be available in the community garden storage shed for use during non-scheduled work times. Each gardener will be given one key to the garden and the storage bin for access to tools and watering equipment.

Children are welcome in the garden but must be accompanied by an adult and must be supervised at all times.

In addition to maintaining their own gardens, employees are expected to help during the season with general chores. These may include site maintenance, phone calls, mailings, plot assignments, path maintenance, construction projects, watering, annual planting, fall cleanup, composting and social events.

Only organic fertilizing techniques are allowed.

For more information e-mail Bill Nelligan at wnelligan@wesleyan.edu.

Staye Speaks About Wesleyan’s Energy Use in Business Journal

Peter Staye, associate director of utilities for Physical Plant-Facilities, was featured in the May 16 edition of The Hartford Business Journal. In the article, titled “Energy Saving Projects Focus on Measurable Results,” Staye explained how Wesleyan has invested more than $6.5 million into a variety of innovative, energy-saving measures. Wesleyan has reduced energy about 22 percent since 2005, but the focus is now shifting to a more challenging initiative – changing the culture of energy use on campus.

“Not that long ago, energy was abundant and cheap. Now it’s neither, but there is still the feeling that everyone should have their own refrigerator and coffee machine and so on,” Staye says in the article.


Green Fund to Decrease Wesleyan’s Carbon Footprint

The Wesleyan Green Fund is a student-financed and student-managed fund for sustainability that will finance initiatives that decrease waste and increase visibility of environmentally responsible practices on campus.

The newly-established Wesleyan Green Fund Committee is supporting initiatives that move the university forward in sustainability and environmental stewardship.

On Dec. 3, the student-managed committee will finance projects that will decrease the carbon footprint of the university, decrease waste, increase Wesleyan’s use of energy from renewable resources, or increase visibility of environmentally responsible practices on campus.

The committee will select projects proposed by Wesleyan students, faculty and staff.

Through a $15 fee, collected voluntarily from students during the Fall 2010 semester, the committee raised about $40,000. These “green funds” will be applied to several sustainability-focused projects at Wesleyan that otherwise would not be possible. The Green Fund Committee already has granted funds for composting equipment on campus.

5 Questions With . . . Bill Trousdale on Energy

Bill Trousdale, professor of physics, emeritus, stands near a statue of inventor Nikola Tesla. Trousdale taught at Wesleyan for 30 years and has had an interest in global warming since 1972.

This issue, we ask “5 Questions” of Bill Trousdale, professor of physics, emeritus. He recently lectured on “Global Warming and Energy Options” and “The Pros and Cons of Nuclear Energy.”

Q: Professor Trousdale, you researched solid state physics at Wesleyan for 30 years, retiring in 1989. Did you always have a side interest in energy creation, consumption and global warming?

A: Yes for almost as long as I can remember, in the early 1950s when I learned about the second law of thermodynamics. I was appalled by burning oil at 2,000 degrees to maintain a house at 72 degrees. That is a thermodynamic abomination.

Wood-Framed Housing Receiving Home Energy Solutions Program

In the foreground, Gary Rawlings, lead energy auditor technician at Lantern Energy, shows Bill Nelligan, director of environmental health, safety and sustainability, a gap between the register and air duct at 24 Fountain Avenue. The space allows cold basement air to seep through the vent.

In 1900, when the student residence at 24 Fountain Avenue was built, heating oil was cheap. Insulation wasn’t a concern. Window sealant didn’t exist. Hot water gushed from the shower heads.

“We call homes like this ‘balloon framed,”’ explains Gary Rawlings, lead energy auditor technician for Wesleyan’s contractor Lantern Energy. “Air from the basement flows up through the walls and escapes through the window frames, the area around plumbing pipes, doors, and attic. In this particular house, there’s a big gap around the air duct. That’s never a good sign when you can see down into the basement.”

The 24 Fountain residence is one of eight homes on the street that took part in the Home Energy Solutions (HES) program on Aug. 18. Eventually, all 150 homes on campus will receive an energy audit, which may save the university more than $200 a year, per house, explains Bill Nelligan, director of environmental health, safety and sustainability.

The HES program is administered by Connecticut Light and Power Company and subsidized by the Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund through a charge on customers’ energy bills. Wesleyan pays

Jacobs ’85 and Haubenstock ’84 on Renewable Energy

Michael Jacobs ’85

Two Wesleyan graduates, Michael Jacobs ’85 and Arthur Haubenstock ’84, joined five other experts in the field of renewable energy in Washington, D.C., on April 26, on a Capitol Hill panel. The seven offered a presentation to Congressional staff on advances needed to integrate renewable resources—including wind and solar energy—into the electric grid. The panel was organized by the EESI (Environmental and Energy Study Institute) and WIRES (the Working Group for Investment in Reliable and Economic Electric Systems). Jacobs, a senior engineer with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) focuses on wind power, and Haubenstock is chief counsel and director of regulatory affairs with BrightSource Energy, a large-scale solar energy company.

Arthur Haubenstock ’84

“One of the greatest challenges in developing an alternative power source is developing a transmission structure,” says Haubenstock. “Unlike fuels in other sources, renewable energy tends to be intermittent, yet we need

Wesleyan Honored for Climate Change Efforts

Bill Nelligan, director of environmental health, safety and sustainability, delivers the opening remarks at the 2010 Climate Change Leadership Awards Ceremony June 7 in Kerr Lecture Hall. Wesleyan was one of seven individuals and organizations honored by Connecticut Governor M. Jodi Rell for its innovative efforts to address global climate change.

Wesleyan Community Celebrates Earth Day

Barry Chernoff, the Robert Schumann Professor of Environmental Studies, professor of biology and director of the Environmental Studies Certificate Program, welcomes the audience to Wesleyan’s 2010 Earth Day Celebration titled ““Keeping Our Feet to the Fire: Joining Art and Science to Engage Environmental Issues.”