Volunteer for the Bike Parking Utilization Study and get swag!

September 27th, 2014 | Alaina Hawley

Have you ever found yourself in the middle of campus, needing to park your bike but there wasn’t a place in sight? Help the OSU Alternative Transportation Advisory Committee solve the bike parking issues on campus by participating in the Bike Parking Utilization Study on Tuesday and Wednesday October 14th  and 15th, or October 21st and 22nd, from 10 am to 12 pm. Because of weather influences on bike use, the survey will only take place one of those two sets of dates; we plan to be ready to collect data on either week to capture highest use conditions.  Plus, counting bikes in the rain is not the most fun!

Screen Shot 2014-09-23 at 10.34.10 AM

Over the course of the two hour periods, volunteers will survey a given area of campus looking at the total number of bike parking spaces, how many bikes are present and the bike rack’s current maintenance condition. As shown in the map above, campus will be divided into six sections with roughly the same number of spaces to count, then teams of two will walk their assigned zone for two hours. During these two hours, one team member will count the number of bike parking spaces, number of bikes currently parked, and the condition of the bike parking racks at each location in their zone, while the other volunteer records these numbers on a data collection sheet.

The data collected will be compiled into a report and used to direct university investment to areas that need attention. With quantifiable data supporting the need for improvements on campus it is easier to prove the need for funding. With that in mind, come help us lay the groundwork for continuing to improve bike parking on our campus.

To thank participants, the Sustainability Office and Parking Services will provide volunteers their choice of a swag item, including bike seat covers, cold cups, sporks and other fun stuff! For more information or if you have questions please contact Alaina Hawley.

Get involved! Learn about the Waste Watchers at the Meet ‘n’ Eat

September 26th, 2014 | Kyle Reed

campus-livingWant to get involved in waste reduction? The Waste Watchers are holding their first event of the year on Monday, September 29 from 5:30 – 6:30 pm at the Student Sustainability Center.

Enjoy snacks and meet people who share your interests in sustainability, while learning about our organization and the ways you can get involved to reduce waste at OSU.
Interested but can’t make it? Visit http://recycle.oregonstate.edu/volunteer to learn more, and consider voting for our fall winter meeting time at http://doodle.com/kuq78v9v9b444inw.

Enjoy snacks and meet people who share your interests in sustainability, while learning about our organization and the ways you can get involved to reduce waste at OSU.

Interested but can’t make it? Visit our website to learn more, and consider voting for our fall meeting time.

Question of the Week: Start-of-the-year Events

September 24th, 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 OSU cold cup (straw included).

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

Question of the Week

We will be hosting several events during the start of this school year. Two of these events are the Sustainability Festival and the Waster Watchers’ Meet ‘n’ Eat. What are the dates and times for these events?


The 7th annual Sustainability Festival is this Friday, September 26 from 11 am – 1 pm, while the Waste Watchers’ Meet ‘n’ Eat will take place on Monday, September 29 from 5:30 – 6:30 pm.

Congratulations to Lisa for winning this week’s Question!

Eco Representatives – Now Recruiting for Residence Halls

September 23rd, 2014 | Sam

Are you a new student living in a residence hall? Are you interested in getting involved in sustainability at OSU? The Eco Representative program is a great way to promote sustainable practices and take on a leadership role in your dorm.


Eco-Representatives (Eco-reps) are responsible for encouraging a culture of sustainability in the residence halls in which they live. This position is in charge of educating residents about sustainable lifestyles and resources, assisting with marketing and outreach efforts for sustainability programs, and planning and executing sustainability-focused events.

Last year there was an Eco-rep for Halsell, West, and Wilson residence halls with a fourth hall to be added this year.


Eco-reps manage their hall’s participation in a variety of programs and events throughout the school year. One of the main focuses of Eco-reps last year was the composting program, in which the 3 halls composted 2,797 lbs in winter and spring terms. They also participated in programs like RecycleMania and Electric or Treat, where SSI staff and Eco-reps handed out CFL bulbs for Halloween.

Eco-reps will work 5-6 hours per week and have a variety of duties including:

  • Attending and engaging with Residence Hall Council
  • Providing weekly reports on activities and events, and attending weekly meetings with Eco-Rep Coordinator and monthly meetings with Resident Director
  • Coordinating hall compost program by recruiting participants, emptying and cleaning compost bins, weighing and tracking data
  • Engaging other student clubs and organizations in Eco-Rep or general campus activities
  • Communicating with sustainability groups on campus, attending meetings when needed.
  • Assisting with marketing and outreach in the residence hall for campus wide and UHDS sustainability programs
  • Utilizing multiple tactics in marketing and outreach efforts, including tabling, canvassing, email listservs, fliers, bulletin boards, social media, and self-designed tactics
  • Recruiting, coordinating and maintaining volunteers to assist with responsibilities, as needed
  • Engaging in ongoing training on sustainability and campus resources

More information is available here, to apply submit a resume and cover letter that addresses why you are qualified and interested in the position, as well as a brief description of an event or program you might organize if hired. Send these application materials to Sonja Mae at the OSU Sustainability Office by Sunday, October 5.

Choose used! OSUsed Store has many items on clearance this Wed. and Sat.

September 23rd, 2014 | Andrea Norris

Sale graphic

Come by the OSUsed Store for our weekly Wednesday public sale and monthly Saturday sale, where we will have clearance prices on several items in the store. Our hours are Wednesday, September 25, 12-3 pm and Saturday, September 27 at 9 am – 12 pm.

The following items will be on clearance:

  • Desks and tables 50% off
  • Chairs buy 1, get 1 free
  • Couches 50% off
  • Computer monitors 25% off

Other 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). The store is operated by OSU Surplus Property and sells surplus equipment and material to departments on campus as well as members of the public during special public sales, in an effort to reduce landfill waste and keep money in the university.

While 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. Clearance prices are only valid during the public sale times listed above, however.

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

Question of the Week: Paper Clips and Staples

September 17th, 2014 | Kyle Reed

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

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

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

Question of the Week

When recycling paper, do you need to remove staples and paper clips before placing it in the bin?


Paper clips and staples are not required to be removed before paper is put into a recycling bin. Those items are able to be sorted out at sorting facilities. Although, you might want to remove paper clips for reuse!

And congratulations to Dann Cutter for winning this week’s Question!

Corvallis Car Free Day

September 16th, 2014 | Sam

Gear Up for the 5th Annual Car Free Day in Corvallis!

This year’s Car Free Festival will take place Sunday, September 21st, at Riverfront Park in Corvallis with Car Free Day following on Monday the 22nd.
On Sunday, there will be back to back events from 1-4 pm including music, food, kid’s activities, information booths, games and more.
unicycleEvery attendee will receive Car Free goodies; a bandanna, arm band, head band, or streamer to hang from your bike or back pack to let everyone know you’re getting there car free. There will also be a collection area at the festival for people to donate athletic shoes through Five Star Sports. Wearable shoes go to Africa for re-use and unusable shoes go to Nike for grinding up and recycling.
Before the festival, there will be a car-free themed story time at the Central Park gazebo at 12:30 pm hosted by the Corvallis Public Library. This will be followed by a celebratory parade from Central Park to Riverfront Park, accompanied by a police escort.
This family-friendly event will give everyone a chance to gear up for Car Free Day, which is a great opportunity to learn about, and take advantage of, the abundant transportation options available in our community. You can even take a Car Free Day Pledge here.

On Car Free Day, Monday, Sept. 22, join the community and people all over the globe for a day of walking, biking, or taking public transit. There will be neighborhood checkpoints throughout Corvallis where you can join your neighbors for free food, drinks, transportation information, and bike safety checks.

Below is a list of the 8 Neighborhood Checkpoints. You can view them in map form here.

  • First Alternative Co-op South (1007 SE 3rd at Chapman Place)
  • Skate Park (at 2nd Street and “B” Avenue, under the highway bypass)
  • Western View Center (35th Street near SW Philomath Blvd.)
  • First Alternative Co-op North (2855 NW Grant Avenue at 29th Street)
  • Corvallis High School (1400 NW Buchanan Avenue on 11th Street side)
  • NW Hills Community Church (3300 NW Walnut Blvd., west of 29th)
  • Crossroads Christian Fellowship (2555 NW Highland Drive at Walnut – SE corner)
  • Cheldelin Middle School (987 NE Conifer Blvd.)
Whether you’re looking to save money, reduce your energy use, or simply enjoy the health and social benefits of being car free, you are invited to participate in Car Free Day. You won’t want to miss it!

Corvallis Makes Quarterfinals in National Energy Competition

September 11th, 2014 | Sam


Corvallis has made it to the quarterfinals for the Georgetown University Energy Prize, a $5 million incentive to reduce energy consumption.

The Corvallis application was submitted  in June, including letters of support from numerous local businesses and non-profits, Mayor Julie Manning, the Corvallis City Council, and all three utilities: Pacific Power, Consumers Power and Northwest Natural.

Members of the Corvallis Sustainability Coalition’s Energy Action Team (EAT) and Energize Corvallis – a project of the Corvallis Environmental Center – spent months assembling the town’s application. The $5 million GUEP prize will be awarded to the community that reduces its residential and municipal use of metered electricity and natural gas more than any other contest entrant.

The goals of the GUEP are to foster innovative approaches to energy efficiency, educate the public and engage students in energy issues, and to grow markets for products & services that facilitate energy efficiency.

Any US city with a population of 5,000 to 250,000 is eligible. The winning city will be judged based on reductions in energy use, innovation of approach, quality of community outreach, sustainability, and replicability.

The final stage of the two-year competition will begin January 1, 2015 after applicants generate a comprehensive energy use reduction plan for the City and its residents, which must be submitted to Georgetown by early November.

The Corvallis community has always put its best food forward in matters of sustainability and the GUEP competition is no exception. Together with help from volunteers, the City and community, Corvallis will have a good chance of becoming a finalist.

More information about Corvallis’ entry in the Georgetown University Energy Prize can be found here .

Question of the Week: Homes Powered by Coffin Butte

September 10th, 2014 | Kyle Reed

bottle-isolated-win-meTime for our Question of the Week!

The first person to respond with the correct answer will win a 20 oz. reusable OSU water bottle.

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

Question of the Week

At the Coffin Butte landfill, methane is harvested and used to produce electricity. About how many average-sized homes could be powered from the energy produced this way?


Around 4,000 homes could be powered from the energy captured from our landfill gas emissions.

Methane is created naturally as materials decompose in the landfill. The gas created at landfills account for approximately 18.2 percent of human-related methane emissions.

Methane itself is 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide. By capturing the methane generated at landfills, we reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

And congratulations to Dann Cutter for winning this week’s Question of the Week!

Solar Energy Workshop Event

September 4th, 2014 | Sam

Here at OSU we boast a variety of cutting edge sustainable energy options. From our LEED Platinum rated Energy Center to our portable Solar Trailer, sustainable energy is an important feature of our campus.


But sustainable practices don’t stop there; the Corvallis community and its homeowners are embracing solar energy as well with help from companies like Seeds for the Sol.

Seeds for the Sol is a non-profit, grass-roots organization that helps low and middle-income homeowners afford solar systems.

On Tuesday, September 9th from 6:00 to 7:30 pm there will be a demonstration at the Corvallis Public Library to learn the basics of solar energy. Participants will learn how solar works in Oregon’s climate, available solar technologies and how they fit into your overall energy use, how to assess your site for solar, and financial incentives and tax credits that can cover up to 80% of the cost.

Seeds for the Sol founder Julie Williams, a teacher at Corvallis High School, will introduce the company’s unique neighbor-to-neighbor funding model, which is helping homeowners put solar on their roofs by providing them with zero-interest loans.

seeds for the sol

Julie will present some of the homes in Benton County that have installed solar with help from Seeds for the Sol, and explain four ways neighbors can get involved, including:

Becoming a Sun Harvester by installing solar panels on your home using a zero-interest loan, which you’ll pay back using incentives & tax credits.

Becoming a Sun Buddy by sharing your savings and providing a zero-interest loan (repaid in 5 years or less) to help other homeowners in the community put solar on their roofs.

Becoming a pass-through partner by saving on your personal or business taxes and helping Seeds for the Sol install more local solar.

Becoming a Sun Supporter by making a donation and supporting Seeds for the Sol’s mission to educate, build connections, and reduce our carbon footprint.

This will be an event you won’t want to miss, don’t forget to RSVP here.

To learn more about the Sunbuddy program or how to be a Seed Pod donor, check out Seeds for the Sol’s website.