January 2010 Sustainability Update

February 2nd, 2010 | Brandon

For your reading pleasure, I’m posting contents from the the January 2010 edition of the Sustainability at OSU Update.  For more information about the update, and to subscribe, please visit this Ecologue post.

From our friends at Campus Recycling

Recyclemania has Begun – Pitch In to Win!

Recyclemania is a 10-week, nationwide recycling competition between universities which started on January 17th and runs until the end of spring break. OSU will compete for highest per capita recycling, per capita compost, total recyclables, and recycling rate. Pitch in by recycling everything possible and spreading the word. More info, including upcoming events and weekly results, are online – http://recycle.oregonstate.edu/recyclemania/

The 2010 Building Energy Challenge takes off Monday, February 1!  The occupants of ALS, Bexell, Milam, Moreland, Wilkinson and the Women’s Building are vying for prizes and glory while striving to make their buildings more energy efficient.  Beyond what they usually do, building occupants will turn off lights and computers, replace incandescent lamps with compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), and shut off equipment at night in an attempt to reduce February electricity use at least 5% below the baseline for the month.  Not in a participating building?  You can still play a part!  Look around your space for ways to save energy and get your building involved when the Challenge returns in 2011!  For more information, see the Building Energy Challenge website : http://oregonstate.edu/sustainability/building-energy-challenge-winter-2010.

Sustainability Course Lists

Did you know that in a 2009 report, the Institute for Natural Resources found that OSU offered over 350 different courses that emphasize sustainability at OSU’s main campus in Corvallis, online, and at the Cascades and Hatfield campuses? These courses attempt to link the environmental, economic, and social dimensions of sustainability.  The Sustainability Office and the Student Sustainability Initiative are working together to update and make available the course list using processes that meet STARS criteria (see below).  Consistent with these criteria, courses will be designated “sustainability related” or “sustainability focused” and vetted by a team of faculty, staff and students.  We’re looking for help, particularly faculty interested in serving on the evaluation team.  The time commitment is not expected to be extensive.  Please contact brandon.trelstad@oregonstate.edu to get involved, and see the current lists at http://oregonstate.edu/sustainability/courses

OSU to Utilize New Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System

The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) has developed over the last several years a self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to gauge relative progress toward sustainability.  Much like the LEED green building rating system, STARS assigns points in categories which aggregate to an overall score.  The course lists project (previous story) is an example of how the Sustainability Office has been preparing for several months for STARS; we expect it to be the next wave of engagement in sustainability for higher ed.  We’re looking for people interested in serving on small evaluation teams.  The time commitment is minimal.  Contact Brandon to get involved, and visit http://stars.aashe.org/.


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