Question of the Week: Foodprint Challenge

April 16th, 2014 | Kyle Reed

spork-win-meTime for our Question of the Week!

The first person to respond with the correct answer will win a reusable OSU spork.

Submit your answer here (“Leave a Reply,” below) or on our Facebook page. Only one post per person, please.

Question of the Week

The Eco2Go program offers students a sustainable means to eat out by reducing the amount of disposable to-go containers being consumed. How much does it cost to buy into the program, and how much money do you save with each use of an Eco2Go container?


It costs $7 to buy into the Eco2Go program, and there is 20 cents saved with each use.

McNary Dining is currently in the midst of their Foodprint Challenge, where they encourage students to reduce the amount of waste they produce at the dining hall. The challenge asks students to place ALL waste (including organics, trash, and recyclables) on the dish-return trays, so that their staff may properly sort everything.

Six trash cans in the dining hall were audited to evaluate the waste produced from one breakfast that is not captured in the dish-return system. The audit found that in the trash bins, only 5% of the waste was actually trash, with 80% being compostable material, and the remaining 15% were recyclables.

The challenge also encourages students to reduce waste produced from to-go containers by signing up for Eco2Go. More information about the program may be found here.

And congratulations to Seema Mangla for being this week’s winner. Great job!

Waste Watchers Spotlight: Walker Holden

April 15th, 2014 | Kyle Reed

WalkerName: Walker Holden

Title: Star Volunteer

Degree: Environmental Science

Year: Freshman

When did you start volunteering with the Waste Watchers?

I began volunteering at the beginning of Fall term.

What has been your favorite project or event that the Waste Watchers have been involved in?

I love the Repair Fair that we hold twice a term. It’s great that we do this and always have a healthy attendance rate.

What keeps you volunteering with the Waste Watchers?

Wonderful friends, plenty to do, and it feels great to be a part of planning events that will help the environment.

What would you like to see the Waste Watchers do in the future?

I would love it if the Waste Watchers would do more regularly occurring events, ones that happen every month or so.

What is one way you reduce waste in your everyday life?

Whenever I get a paper back, I put it into a drawer, and pull the paper out whenever I need scratch paper or to write something down.

Want to learn more about the Waste Watchers? Visit the volunteer webpage to learn more about how to get involved.

Earth Week Events!

April 14th, 2014 | Andrew Futerman

OSU Earth Week is fast approaching and sure to be a crowd-pleaser! This year Earth Week takes place from April 20th-26th 2014. We have a long list of really fun and exciting events to check out.

For more information visit:

Our Facebook Page and

The Earth Week Website

New this year: Each day of the week has a theme:

  • Sunday 4/20 – Animal Appreciation: Honoring our fellow creatures.
  • Monday 4/21 – Promoting Justice: Improving equity on an Earth with limited resources.
  • Tuesday 4/22 – Celebrating Community: Coming together to celebrate the Earth and each other.
  • Wednesday 4/23 – Built Environment: Shaping the places where we live, work and play.
  • Thursday 4/24 – Conserving Resources: Wisely using what the Earth provides us.
  • Friday 4/25 – Get Outdoors: Experiencing the natural world around us.
  • Saturday 4/26 – Service Day: Giving back to the Earth that supports us.


Sunday, April 20, 2014

Animal Shelter Help

9-11 AM

Heartland Humane Society, 398 SW Twin Oaks Cir.

For Animal Appreciation day we have coordinated with Heartland Humane Society for help with feeding animals, cleaning their living spaces, and walking the dogs. Registration required (link coming soon). (Sponsored by the Student Sustainability Initiative)

Monday, April 21, 2014

Earth Justice Mural

6:30-9:30 AM

M.U. Quad

Join the SSI and SET in drawing a giant sidewalk chalk mural on the paths of the MU Quad. Each of the paths will represent a different justice issue related to sustainability. Early morning chalking party, free coffee and bagels provided! (Sponsored by the Student Sustainability Initiative)

“Years of Living Dangerously” Film Screening

7-9 PM

Snell Hall International Forum

Screening of “Years of Living Dangerously”, facilitated discussion about our changing climate, it’s environmental/social justice implications, and what we as students can do about it all. (Sponsored by the Student Sustainability Initiative)

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

14th Annual Earth Week Community Fair

11 AM – 3 PM

M.U. Quad

An annual fair of 50+ groups from on- and off-campus offering activities and environmental information. Learn about what’s going on and how you can plug yourself in! (Sponsored by Campus Recycling)

Earth Day Flash Mob

12:45-1 PM

M.U. Quad

Come together to celebrate Earth Day with a flash mob! The Waste Watchers will provide recycle bins and a rhythm to play on them together. (Sponsored by the Waste Watchers)

Earthday Hoo Haa!

3:30-7 PM

Organic Growers Club farm, Hwy 34

The annual Hoo Haa is a celebration of the earth, agriculture and features FREE hot supper, FREE live music and FREE transportation to and from the campus! Celebrate the most fundamental of all resources – SOIL! Please leave pets at home. (Sponsored by the OSU Organic Growers Club)

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Water Conservation Scavenger Hunt

8 AM – 6 PM

OSU Campus

Search the campus and vicinity for examples of how the built environment affects water resources. Pick-up instructions at Tuesday’s fair or visit Email photos by 6 PM to be entered for prizes. (Sponsored by the Student Sustainability Initiative)

OSUsed Store Earth Week Sale

12-3 PM

OSUsed Store, 644 SW 13th St. Corvallis, OR 97333

Choose used! Save money and natural resources by seeking used goods before purchasing new ones. At the OSUsed Store’s public sale you can shop used furniture, bicycles, computers, electronics, housewares and more. (Sponsored by OSU Surplus Property)

Documentary Film: “Addicted to Plastics”

5-6:30 PM

Gleeson Hall 100

Viewing of a documentary on the worldwide use of plastics – pros and cons. The BUILT ENVIROMENT is very much concerned with the use of plastics, since approx. 30% of every US home is made of plastic and recycling rates are terrible (<5%). (Sponsored by Plastics for Poets and CBEE Student Club)

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Reusable Menstrual Products Workshop

11 AM – 4 PM

OSU Women’s Center

Come by the Women’s Center to learn about reusable menstrual products and enter to win prizes. At 1:30pm – 2:30pm Beth Brown from Student Health Services will be speaking about menstrual health and answering any questions. (Sponsored by the OSU Women’s Center)

Garden Fest!

2:30-6 PM

Student Sustainability Center, 738 SW 15th St.

Get your hands dirty planting in the SSI garden and learn from activities and workshops how students can garden on campus and at their homes! (Sponsored by the Student Sustainability Initiative)

From Rags to Bags Craft Activity

4-5:30 PM

M.U. 206

Come re-purpose old Pride Week T-Shirts and give them new life as reusable grocery bags! Learn the technique and walk away with your very own bag. Bring your own T-shirt or use a provided one. Supplies are limited to the first 20 participants. (Sponsored by the OSU Pride Center)

Panel on Climate and the Economy

6:30-8:30 PM

Westminster House, 101 NW 23rd St.

Is our current economy at the heart the climate crisis? Come hear author Rob Dietz (author of “Enough is Enough”), and others present perspectives on alternative economic systems. (Sponsored by 350Corvallis)

Friday, April 25, 2014

Bird Watching Walk: Breeding Birds on Campus

9-10 AM

Meet at the M.U. Steps

Grab your binoculars and we’ll discover the species that choose to raise families on campus. (Sponsored by Neighborhood Naturalist)

Carpool/vanpool Information Meeting

12-1 PM

Kearney 311

Thought about sharing a ride to reduce your environmental impact, save money and avoid parking and traffic hassles? Come hear carpool and vanpool riders experiences and learn about options. Free pizza provided in this casual lunch gathering! (Sponsored by the OSU Sustainability Office)

Arbor Day Tree Planting

12:30-1 PM

Between Langton and Waldo Hall

Celebrate Arbor Day and Earth Week by helping us plant a tree near the new Student Experience Building. Get outdoors and help us support the urban forest we walk beneath every day! (Sponsored by OSU Urban Forestry)

Recess at Avery Park

Get outdoors with the SSI and the Environmental Sciences Club! Stop by Avery Park for fun outdoor activities including frisbee games, a 2-mile team relay, plant/tree tour, BBQ, and more!

Start/End:           2:00 PM–5:00 PM

Location:              Avery Park

Cost:      free activities, food for sale

Hosted By:          Student Sustainability Initiative

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Earth Day of Service (Be rooted in your community)

Times and locations vary by project

The Center for Civic Engagement will host 7 service projects to encourage students to be rooted in their community in observation of Earth Day. Register by April 23 at (Sponsored by the OSU Center for Civic Engagement)

For more information visit:

Our Facebook Page or

The Earth Week Website

Discount Drawing Sales at the OSUsed Store Wednesday and Saturday

April 14th, 2014 | Andrea Norris

Discount Drawing Sale graphic

Come to the OSUsed Store sales on Wednesday, April 16, 12:00-3:00 pm and/or Saturday, April 19, 9:00 am – 12 pm and reach in the egg basket for a chance to draw a sale price of 25, 50 or 75% off one item!

Terms: Coupons exclude spot bid and online merchandise. Use of coupons are limited to no more than one per customer, on one item, during one public sale (April 16, 12-3 pm or April 19, 9 am-12 pm). Customers may receive and a use one coupon at one or both public sales.

Available merchandise will include computers and computer accessories, furniture (desks, file cabinets, tables, chairs, bookcases, etc), office supplies, sporting goods, household items, bicycles and much more.

The OSUsed Store is located at 644 SW 13th Street in Corvallis (view on Google Maps). We will have many items for personal or departmental use – computers and computer accessories, furniture (desks, file cabinets, tables, chairs, bookcases, etc), office supplies, sporting goods, household items, bicycles and much more.

Our public sales provide an opportunity for the general public to make personal purchases. Departments are welcome to shop 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, or during public sales on Wednesdays. Coupons are only valid during the public sale time listed above.

See our other sale dates on our calendar. For more information, visit our public sale page or contact us.

SSI Travel Grantee: Amy Kordosky

April 12th, 2014 | Rachel Tholl
Amy Kordosky received an SSI Travel Grant of $250 to travel to Costa Rica during OSU’s Spring break and participate in a construction & renovation project in San Jose. She wrote up a blog post for the Ecologue to describe her experience and provided a few pictures.
Team of engineers and their team leaders

Team of engineers and their team leaders

Ten engineers from Oregon State University, including myself, went to San Jose, Costa Rica to volunteer in a construction and renovation program through International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ). The project our group worked on was to turn an old parking lot into a children’s playground for a local church. While there, we cleared out the lot, leveled the ground, mixed and set concrete over the area, and painted a mural with the neighborhood children.

OSU team with the kids!

OSU team with the kids!

Much of my time on this trip was spent which shovel in hand, mixing batch after batch of concrete in the street, and I loved every minute of it. After taking civil engineering classes for four years, I thought I knew much of how concrete works. However, being a part of the process of making the concrete and practicing methods that I have not learned about in school really made me appreciate the difference in the way people do things. Although the concrete got mixed much slower than it would have in the United States, it was nice to see that we were able to make it just based off our own manpower, no electricity or outside energy necessary. I felt like I was making a difference for this church and neighborhood, and at the end of the week I was wishing I had more time to give. I would love to go on another volunteer trip soon, and appreciate the Student Sustainability Initiative for helping me with this experience.

- Amy Kordosky

Before & After

Before & After

OSU Sustainability Office Hiring for Three Student Worker Postions

April 11th, 2014 | Paige Thompson

Join the OSU Sustainability Office Team!


The OSU Sustainability Office seeks outgoing and enthusiastic students to fill three different paid positions beginning in May 2014 and running through at least the 2015 school year. All positions are available to work study and non-work-study students. Applications are due midnight, April 27, 2014.


Digital Media and Marketing Student:

The OSU Sustainability Office seeks a student worker to deliver marketing and outreach via the web, social media, and in person. This position supports Sustainability Office staff in developing and delivering various programs that promote behavior change. Work schedule is flexible but the student should expect to work 20-30 hours/week during the summer and 10-20 hours/week during the school year. The student should excel in verbal and written communication and can expect to work with social media and web content management, event planning and assistance, and collaboration with other OSU sustainability-related groups. For the position description, please click here.

Transportation Project Student Technical Assistant:

The OSU Sustainability Office seeks a student employee to support transportation options programs on the Corvallis campus. The Sustainability Office, in collaboration with Transit and Parking Services and University Relations and Marketing, seeks to reduce the university community’s reliance on single occupancy vehicles. The work schedule is flexible but the student should expect to work 20-40 hours/week during summer and 10-20 hours/week during the school year. The student will be providing support to transportation options programs, participating in OSU Alternative Transportation Advisory Committee Meetings, administering the Drive Less. Connect. carpool matching system for OSU, and more. For the full position description, please click here.

Utility Data Student Technical Assistant:

The OSU Sustainability Office seeks a student to assist with utility data requests, analyses and management, and administration of OSU’s new utility data dashboard. This position supports Sustainability Office staff in customer service and raising awareness with the broader campus community in understanding energy consumption at OSU.  Work schedule is flexible but the student should expect to work 20-30 hours/week during the summer and 10-20 hours/week during the school year. The student can expect to work on utility data requests, utility data management, real-time energy dashboard management, as well as other duties. For the full position description, please click here.

The OSU Sustainability Office seeks a student intern to deliver marketing and outreach
material via the web, social media and in person. The Sustainability Office, with two full
time staff and five student workers, is the central support organization for sustainability
efforts at OSU and serves the broader campus through a wide variety of services and
programs. This position supports Sustainability Office staff in delivering various
programs that promote behavior change.

RecycleMania 2014 Civil War Results

April 10th, 2014 | Kyle Reed

The final results for this year’s RecycleMania Civil War are in! The winner of this year’s competition is…University of Oregon. This is the second consecutive year that UO has won the recycling Civil War.


Overall, we collected 238,916 lbs of recycling (plus an additional 44,333 lbs of organics in compost), and 545,871 lbs of trash this year. These results were lower than last year’s weights; we experienced a 10% decrease in total recycling, along with a 22% decrease in items composted, but we also received a 21% decrease in trash.

The decrease in items disposed of, along with an increase in student population, led to a lower per capita of what was being recycled and composted, as can be noted above. Last year, the per capita results were 16.5 and 16.7 lbs/person for OSU and UO respectively. The benefits of this lay in that our waste reduction has increased, with less material overall being thrown away.

These lower rates also led to an increase in the amount of material being recovered, with a total recovery rate of 34.2%, up from last year’s 31.9%.

Question of the Week: Items in Container Recycling

April 9th, 2014 | Kyle Reed

mug-win-meTime for our Question of the Week!

The first person to respond with the correct answer will win a reusable stainless steel OSU coffee mug.

Submit your answer here (“Leave a Reply,” below) or on our Facebook page. Only one post per person, please.

Question of the Week

Which item shown below does NOT go into the container recycling on campus?

tub-yogurtcan redcoffee cup NOfoil square


The coffee cup.

Disposable coffee cups are never recyclable on campus, and should go in the trash (although the paper sleeve can be recycled). The reason for this is that the plastic lining used in the cups is difficult to separate from the paper, preventing it from being pulped back into paper.

Both the yogurt tub and its lid are accepted in the containers recycling, as well as the soda can and the aluminium foil. It’s best to wash these items out before recycling them to prevent food contamination and mold from occurring.

And congratulations to Becky Johnson for winning this week’s Question of the Week!

Earth Week 2014

April 8th, 2014 | Andrew Futerman

OSU has been celebrating Earth day ever since the first one in 1970. We love our earth so much that we celebrate our love with a full week! This year we have more events than ever before! Earth week is aimed to be a week of fun geared towards environmental awareness, engagement and educational activities. The fun will start April 20th and run into April 26th!

Below is the link to the full calendar! Make sure to take a look since every day has one a different theme consisting of Animal appreciation, Promoting justice, Celebrating community, Built environment. Conserving resources, Get outdoors, and Service day.

Campus Conservation Nationals 2014 Results

April 6th, 2014 | Andrew Futerman

Campus Conservation Nationals (CCN) is the largest conservation competition for colleges and universities in the world! This friendly competition measures the percent reduction of electricity and water usage in the residence buildings on campuses. Last year, the competition saved over 2 million kilowatt-hours of electricity and 1.5 million gallons of water! This year, our campus competition ran from February 24th to March 14th to help contribute to the 1,189,149 kWh and 287,948 gallons saved in the national competition thus far!

The results from this year’s inter-hall challenge CCN competition are finally in! The winner for the 2014 CCN Competition at Oregon State University is…(drumroll please!)…SACKETT HALL! Sackett Hall won with a 6.24% reduction in energy and water. The image below shows the standings for each of the halls. Congratulations to all of the halls!

CCN Results 2014

Thank you to all the residents in the residence halls for participating in the competition. A special thank you also goes out to the Building Captains and EcoReps for promoting the competition in the halls!

Try to treat every day as if it were a CCN competition. To learn more about what you can do to conserve electricity and water, check out the SSI’s weekly sustainability tips.