Sustainable printing, it’s not all about the paper!

April 2nd, 2014 | Marshall Moses

When printing in an office or for school you may be printing large amounts of material multiple times. Printing double sided, and trimming down content is always a great way to cut back on material use. Those are great ways to start, but if you could save yourself even more money at the printer by doing one simple edit, would you do it?

The money saving is in the ink! Different fonts use different amounts of ink based upon their volume. There are many different default typefaces to choose from, some of the most popular are: Calibri, Garamond, Times New Roman, and Cooper Black. The following shows each of the fonts compared at the same size, which do you think is the best for bulk printing?


If you answered Garamond, you are correct! Garamond is a great font face, it uses less ink while preserving legibility in smaller sizes. Many top selling books are printed in Garamond to save money at the printers, examples of those books include: the Harry Potter series, and the Hunger Games trilogy. Whether you’re printing a novel, or a memo you can make an impact on your wallet, and your environment with this simple change!

Question of the Week: “All in the Hall” Buildings

April 2nd, 2014 | Kyle Reed

cup-sun-win-meTime for our Question of the Week!

The first person to respond with the correct answer will win a reusable cold cup (with straw).

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

Question of the Week

“All in the Hall” is a pilot program starting this term, which focuses on increasing recycling by providing equal opportunity to recycle or landfill waste. In which buildings has this program been implemented in?


The program is currently in Cordley, Gilbert, Gilfillan Auditorium, and Weniger.

The aim of the program is to increase recycling by pairing all trash receptacles with recycling, to provide an equal opportunity to properly dispose of waste. Trash cans have been removed from the classrooms, and replaced with hallway units to allow for this goal to be achieved.

The bins will be audited throughout the term. More information, along with future results of the audits, may be found here.

And congratulations to Iza Petek, the winner of this week’s Question of the Week!

Eco Event Month

March 24th, 2014 | Alaina Hawley

The month of February may as well be renamed Sustainability month on the Oregon State Campus. Recycle Mania and Campus Conservation Nationals are both national sustainability focused campus wide competitions that take place and overlap during the month of February. In addition to the campus versus campus competition, both have residence hall competitions. To capitalize on all of the sustainability focused thinking during this time, the West Hall Eco-Taskforce decided to take things one step further and create a competition between the floors in our hall. Eco Event Month was created to highlight and add to all of sustainability information being shared during February.

Decorated Reusable Water Bottles

Decorated Reusable Water Bottles

Eco Event Month was structured to include four weeks each with an eco-theme and four events per week. Every week had a documentary showing, a jeopardy game, and two other events based upon that week’s theme. Examples of these events include metal reusable water bottle decorating, water taste testing, and a compost program scavenger hunt. Attendance at events earned the individuals a point and a point for their respective floor. An eco-basket full of sustainable prizes was given to the individual with the most points at the end of the four weeks, and the floor with the most cumulative points will be given a pizza party and money to donate to a sustainability focused charity or non-profit.

This competition was meant to be a fun and interactive way to combine the efforts of Recycle Mania and Campus Conservation Nationals and overall it was very successful. Setting up the competition is quite simple and fun event ideas can be easily found, so if you like our idea maybe think about setting up your own Eco Event Month next year, or even better adjust it to work along side Earth Week in April!

TOP Indicators help with Tracking Oregon’s Progress

March 24th, 2014 | Brandon

Newly released by the Oregon Community Foundation and the OSU Rural Studies Program, Tracking Oregon’s Progress, or TOP Indicators are a new addition to the Oregon Explorer and Rural Communities Explorer’s Communities Reporter Tool.  They are aimed at helping understand trends in Oregon’s economy, people and communities and environment.

Institute for Natural Resources logo

The TOP indicators include 89 metrics from 1990 to 2011 across all counties in the state.  They were selected to reflect state priorities as expressed in the Oregon Benchmarks (now discontinued) and the Governor’s 10-year Plan for Oregon. A 2014 State TOP report (Weber et al.) that is accessible from the site reveals the following 20-year trends:

  • Oregon’s economy has grown based on increases in population and number of jobs, but inequality persists
  • Poverty rates have increased, especially for children
  • Oregonians have become better educated and are healthier, but some groups lag behind
  • Oregonians have reduced solid waste
  • Timber harvests have declined by nearly 50%
  • Air pollution continues to expose sensitive groups to unhealthy air

These trends and others can be generated and compared for each of Oregon’s counties using the Communities Reporter Tool. The TOP indicators project was sponsored by The Oregon Community
Foundation, OSU (Rural Studies Program, Extension Service,and Libraries & Press), and the Ford Family Foundation. Institute for Natural Resources is in on-going conversations with the Oregon State University Rural Studies Program, Oregon Community Foundation, Oregon Department of Administrative Services, Portland State University, and Metro to see if the reporting of TOP indicators can be an on-going collaborative program that continues the legacy of the Oregon Benchmarks.

For more information on the Rural Communities Explorer, check out this video!

SSI Travel Grantee: Danielle Heenehan

March 20th, 2014 | Rachel Tholl
Danielle Heenehan received an SSI Travel Grant for $160.90 to attend the Portland Mushroom Cultivation Weekend in November of 2013. Danielle wrote a short summary and brought back a few pictures for the Ecologue.

Fungi are some of the most important and ecologically diverse groups of organisms on the planet. They play an important role in nutrient cycling in forests by breaking down organic matter; they inhabit the roots of most vascular plants providing them with essential nutrients which in turn provides us with good healthy food crops; they provide numerous drugs for mankind such as penicillin; and also provide many different foods for us to eat. After taking Mycology and Permaculture Design at OSU as well as jumping on the “mushrooms can save the world” bandwagon, I was very excited for the opportunity to attend a 2-day Intensive Mushroom Cultivation/Mycopermaculture Course in Portland, Oregon thanks to a travel grant I received from the Student Sustainability Initiative!
Picture 1

Almost twenty hours of learning about fungi was a lot to take in! However, we learned about a variety of interesting topics including conservation strategies such as spore saving (somewhat like plant gene banks); education programs emphasizing specific

Picture 2

aspects of conservation; and using fungi to clean up polluted soil or water (mycoremediation). In order to reap the many benefits fungi have to share with us, we must know how to cultivate them and this was the main focus of the course. We learned a variety of sustainable mushroom cultivation methods. This included growing mushrooms on easily accessible or recycled materials (cardboard, wood block, or raw sawdust) as well as materials to fruit mushrooms on (logs, compost, straw, and food waste). Overall, the course was a lot of fun and I am excited to apply some of what I learned towards working on local permaculture and/or sustainability projects.

-Danielle Heenehan

Question of the Week: Confidential Shredding Discount

March 19th, 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

This week, we are offering a discount for any departments who place a confidential shred request. How large is this discount?


Departments who place a confidential shred request this week will receive a 50% discount (regular price is 15 cents per lb.)

The event is being held as a part of RecycleMania to encourage departments to recycle. We have two weeks to go, and are just behind UO. Help OSU win the civil war and reclaim the trophy!

And congrats to Sahar Mohtashamipour for winning this week’s Question of the Week!

Dept. Shredding Discount Week offers 50% off and a chance to win RecycleMania

March 17th, 2014 | Andrea Norris

In order to encourage OSU departments to recycle during the RecycleMania competition, Campus Recycling is offering a Departmental Shredding Discount Week this week, Monday-Friday, March 17-21.

OSU departments that submit confidential paper pick-up requests online during this timeframe will get 50% off (regular price is 15¢ per lb.). Please note that only paper from OSU departments will be accepted.

Get a discount, clean house and help OSU boost its paper recycling weights before the end of the RecycleMania competition! rm-2014-civil-war-scoreboard-wk5

According to our calculations, if we collected the same amount of confidential collected during this event last year, we would nearly tie up the competition!


  • Submit an online request here during this week (must be placed on or between Monday, March 17 and Friday, March 21 for fee to be waived).
  • While we ask that you submit your request during this week, we cannot guarantee that your material will be picked up this week (since we anticipate having a high number of requests, we may not be able to pick-up within our usual 3 business days). However, all requests submitted during finals week will receive the discount even if they are not picked up during that week.
  • We anticipate picking up all finals week requests by the end of spring break – Friday, March 28.

Questions? Please contact Andrea Norris via email or 541-737-5398.

contact Andrea Norris via email or 541-737-5398

SSI Travel Grantee: Casey Taylor

March 16th, 2014 | Rachel Tholl

Casey Taylor is a student at OSU who received $500 in funding from the SSI Fee Board in order to attend the Ecological Society of America’s Annual Meeting in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Casey wrote up a blog for the Ecologue to describe the trip and benefits that she got from attending the meeting.
Ecological Society of America Annual MeetingIt is commonly argued within the ecological community that ecologists should become more involved with the public and with public policy concerning environmental sustainability. Many ecologists complain, though, that getting involved publicly is often considered to be an “extra”—something nice to do if you have the time after all your other responsibilities, or worse, something that may negatively affect your credibility among other scientists. That being said, how do ecologists engage in the public sphere when given an institutional motivation for doing so? Last summer, I traveled to the Ecological Society of America’s annual meeting in Minneapolis, Minnesota to share the initial results of a research project aimed at this question, and to see how the organization’s members would respond.

I wanted to study these questions because, as a community, ecologists are well aware of the connection between their field of study and the wider environmental problems that face society, and often advocate for greater public involvement. However, my previous experience conducting ecological research during my confirmed the prevalence of the concerns mentioned above among ecologists about such public involvement.

Recently, the National Science Foundation has begun requiring attention to the broader impacts of proposed research projects, the NSF hopes to encourage a greater connection between the world of scientific research and the society that sponsors it, and has the potential to address these concerns among ecologists and other scientists. I wondered if ecologists, as a subset of scientists that acknowledges its closeness to the environmental issues faced by society, would take up this requirement as an opportunity to carry out more public engagement activities considered within the academic establishment as a distracting and potentially damaging extracurricular activity.

My research in this area is still in its early phase, but a few patterns have emerged.  What I have found so far is that ecologists do engage in public engagement projects more than the other groups that have been studied in response to the NSF’s broader impacts requirement, but that they preferred to stick the familiar terrain of training graduate students and building academic collaborations (two other suggested ways of meeting the NSF requirement) rather than engaging with the broader community.

Ecological Society of America Annual Meeting

When the time came for my session, lots of conference attendants stopped by my poster to talk about these topics. Many were enthusiastic about the importance of fostering better connections between ecologists and public audiences. Some emphasized the frustration they felt toward the resistance within the scientific community toward public engagement activities, while others were optimistic about the changes they felt the broader impacts requirement was beginning to affect in academic culture. Certainly, there appears to be a solid core of ecologists who welcome the changes brought by the NSF, and the greater legitimacy it offers to get involved in the public realm and bridge the divide between the scientific community and broader society.

After the ESA meeting, I had the opportunity to meet with an organization of ecologists called the New World Agriculture and Ecology Group (NWAEG). The members of this group are dedicated to bridging their academic work with issues of conservation, social justice, and sustainability. This group, which also includes my mentors from my Master’s program at the University of Michigan, is inspiring for the way its members and their colleagues persistently strive to connect their research to the most troublesome problems faced in efforts to create a more sustainable and just global society. For my part, I found myself able to participate in their discussions from a whole new angle based on my time in OSU’s Public Policy program.

Now that I am back in Corvallis, the experiences that I had this summer attending the ESA and NWAEG meetings in Minneapolis will be incredibly helpful not only in continuing with my work studying public engagement by ecologists, but in helping me to chart my own future as an academic dedicated to maintaining an active connection to the community surrounding me.

- Casey Taylor

Campus Conservation Nationals Water Reads

March 15th, 2014 | Tim Moss

Howdy All! Today is the final day of water meter reads for this years conservation competition and what a beautiful day to end such an important and uplifting event. Y’all did a great job this year keep up the good work and enjoy the sunshine!

Picture (fields) Picture (Weatherford)

Get Caught Green Handed

March 14th, 2014 | Brenton Keddy

Throughout the second week of March, members of SSI and the “Waste Watchers” sought out to catch students at OSU on their best ‘green’ behavior. Those that were seen recycling, composting, reusing, or performing other healthy environmental activities were rewarded with a variety of prizes. This promotion of being “green” was held throughout all last week covering highly populated areas on campus, as well as an OSU baseball game and men’s basketball game in which autographed memorabilia was presented.

jessica + ball

Environmental health should be practiced regularly as our duty for the generations to come, but occasionally these activities can be much more rewarding when you “Get Caught Green Handed!”