October 15th, 2013 | Sneha Gantla
October 16th is World Food Day – a global effort to end world hunger. At OSU’s Student Sustainability Initiative, we’re focusing our efforts not on new modes of farming, but what we can do right now to have an impact. We came up with the Clean Plate Challenge to call attention to the food that is being wasted and the effect it has on our global community. Join us, on Wednesday the 16th, by cleaning your plate. Eat every last bit of food on your plate, throw away nothing, and show us your effort. Take a picture and participate in the conversation on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram – #osussi #WFD2013 #foodwaste
You may have heard many experts pose the question, “How do we feed 9 billion people in 2050?” Human population is expected to grow to 9 billion by 2050 and one of the major concerns is how to feed that many people. Often times, conversations on solutions are focused on increasing productivity of crops to better conserve our water, land, and other resources. What is left out of the discussion is the issue of food waste. At current rates of food waste, we would have to increase production by 60% to feed the projected 9 billion people in 2050.
So, how much food do we waste now? Globally, one third of food produced goes to waste. In the US, we throw out about 40% of what we produce. If we could reduce food waste by a mere 25% in the US, UK, and Australia, we could lift 1 billion people out of hunger. And that’s without new agricultural technology to increase the efficiency of our production methods. One of the biggest aspects of global hunger is not that we don’t produce enough food, it’s that the food that is produced is not distributed equitably. The people who need it most don’t have access to it, and the people who have it, often live in excess. Addressing global hunger is not just a technical question, it’s a question about social justice. Furthermore, all that food waste has severe environmental impacts. When 1.43 billion tons of food is wasted, it is a lot of wasted energy. Water and land resources used to produce that food is wasted and additionally, it is creating billions of tons of greenhouse gas emissions. This makes food waste an important environmental and social issue.
This is not an effort to remind you to eat all that is on your plate because there are starving children in Africa. It’s about recognizing the impact of our actions and learning to take little steps to do our part, together.
October 8th, 2013 | Andrea Norris
Who are the Waste Watchers?
Waste Watchers is a joint group between Campus Recycling and the Student Sustainability Initiative whose mission is to engage students and the community in waste reduction at OSU by providing educational programming, meaningful opportunities for action, and empowerment of future leaders.
Meet some of our members in these other blog posts. You can become a Waste Watcher too by volunteering with us, in a variety of ways.
How to Volunteer
1) Volunteer at an event
We regularly have one-time volunteer opportunities, a list of which is hosted on Campus Recycling’s website
For example, you may provide support at a Repair Fair, table at a booth or staff a waste station at an event.
2) Attend our weekly meetings
All are welcome to drop by our weekly meetings, at which we work on new ways to encourage people to recycle and reduce waste! This term we are working our Repair Fair events and America Recycles Day.
When: In fall term 2013, we are meeting at 6:30-7:30 pm Wednesdays, except during the weeks of November 18-29 when we will meet Tuesdays (11/19 and 11/26) at the same time and place (due to the Repair Fair on Nov. 20 and the day before Thanksgiving on Nov. 27). All fall dates: 10/9, 10/16, 10/23, 10/30, 11/6, 11/13, 11/19, 11/26, and 12/4.
Where: OSU Student Sustainability Center, 738 SW 15th St
3) Work on a side project
If you can’t attend meetings or want to work more independently, consider leading or working on another project with our help! This might include researching a topic in waste reduction, designing a Repair Fair workshop, writing for our blog, or picking a specific topic or area of campus that interests you and designing a program or activity to increase awareness. It’s really up to you! Email Andrea Norris with your ideas.
4) Serve in a chair position on our team
We have leadership positions open on our volunteer team: Chairs of Recruitment, Membership, Presentations and Social activities. This is a great way to build your skills and your resume! Find descriptions and sign-up info here.
Have questions about anything above, ideas to share or want to sign-up? Please contact Andrea Norris via email or 541-737-5398.
September 30th, 2013 | Paige Thompson
Are you living in a Residence Hall on campus?
The OSU Sustainability Office is now seeking to hire four Eco-Representatives for the 2013/2014 school year for Wilson, West, Cauthorn and Halsell Hall. Eco-Reps are paid positions that assist with outreach and other sustainability related programming within the halls they reside. They help spread the word and carry out sustainability events and programs, encourage participation, recruit volunteers and educate their peers on how to get involved or make better choices. Eco-Reps are students who are passionate about sustainability, have the ability to get people excited to participate and can effectively and positively communicate with their peers. For more information on job duties and the application process you can visit our website here.
Application Deadlines are Saturday, October 5th at midnight.
September 24th, 2013 | Kyle Reed
Learn about the Waste Watchers, a joint volunteer group between Campus Recycling and the Student Sustainability Initiative, at our first event of the year – the Meet ‘n’ Eat.
The mission of the Waste Watchers is to engage students and the community in waste reduction at OSU by providing educational programming, meaningful opportunities for action, and empowerment of future leaders.
WHAT: At the Meet ‘n’ Eat, enjoy snacks, meet new people who share your interests in sustainability, learn about this volunteer team, and find out how you can get involved with the different waste reduction efforts on campus.
WHEN: Wednesday, Oct. 2, 5:30 – 6:30 pm
WHERE: OSU Pride Center, located at 1553 SW A Ave (the house on A Ave between 15th & 16th Streets; view on Campus Map)
We hope to see you there! RSVP for the event on Facebook.
(Note: If you can’t make the event, you can vote for the regular fall term meeting time by filling out your availability in this poll by Oct. 2 at 6:30 pm.)
September 18th, 2013 | Nick Snowhill
CAR FREE DAY is Sunday, September 22!
Take the Car Free Day Pledge at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/CarFreeDay2013
12:30 pm – Group Bike Rides
Meet at one of these neighborhood gathering points to ride together to the Car Free Day Festival at Riverfront Park:
- Lincoln School
- Starker Arts Park
- Benton County Fairgrounds
- Chintimini Park/Senior Center
- Osborn Aquatic Center
- Cheldelin Middle School
- Hoover Elementary School
Bike safety checks will be offered prior to the ride, and group leaders will take the groups on designated routes leading to the festival.
1 pm to 4 pm – Car Free Day Festival: A Family Friendly Event
Come on down to Riverfront Park (1st Street, between Monroe and Jackson) and join in the fun!
- Lots of great food, games, and exhibits
- Music by Matt Neely’s Vintage Swing Trio and by Absolute Harmony, featuring CHS teacher Julie Williams
- Bike Swap Meet, organized by the Corvallis Bicycle Collective – donate, consign, and/or purchase a bike
- A bike parade, led by the Derby Dames, going from Riverfront Park to the Skate Park for a bike polo demonstration at 4:00
Help spread the word at https://www.facebook.com/events/611853565522072/
Sponsors of Car Free Day in Corvallis are Corvallis Sustainability Coalition, City of Corvallis, Cascades West Rideshare, Corvallis Bicycle Collective, Corvallis Clinic, Corvallis Farmers’ Market, Cycle Solutions, First Alternative Natural Foods Co-op, First United Methodist Church Natural Step Ministry, Footwise, Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center, Oregon State University, Peak Sports, Play It Again Sports, Republic Services, Safe Routes to School, SoupCycle, and 350 Corvallis.
September 17th, 2013 | Andrea Norris
Campus Recycling is now recruiting a Student Graphic Designer to join our outreach team, to design and implement print and digital media for the purpose of educating and engaging the OSU community in recycling and waste reduction.
Job duties include:
Graphic design (constitutes 60% or more of work hours):
- Designing, ordering and distributing print and digital media such as posters, fliers, recycle bin signs, newspaper ads, and graphics for digital use (website, blog, social media, TV slides, etc.)
- Using OSU brand identity guidelines and/or templates to create media
- Taking photos and/or recording video for marketing pieces or to capture events and activities
- Assisting in the development of marketing plans
- Occasionally creating written content (blog posts, website information, event descriptions, etc.)
- Occasionally staffing booths at events, providing event support, contributing to event planning, participating in volunteer meetings or assisting with other waste reduction outreach as needed
The successful applicant will start work in early October for 10-15 hours/week, the majority of which will be scheduled on weekdays 8 am-5 pm, with some evening and weekend commitments. Starting pay is $10.00/hr.
Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.
For a list of qualifications and application instructions, please download the full position description here (PDF).
September 9th, 2013 | Andrea Carson
Have you visited the First Alternative Natural Food Co-op South Store lately?
If you have, you might have noticed bright mango colored containers surrounding the building. These containers are a part of the Corvallis Sustainability Coalition’s Three Waters Project which will soon be launched into the Corvallis community! The Three Waters Project encourages more efficient use of tap water and discharge of both storm water and waste water through behavioral changes, low flow technologies, system changes, and alternative water sources. The ultimate goal of the Three Waters Project is to teach community residents and local businesses in the City of Corvallis how to conserve water and increase water efficiency either at home or at work.
These mango-colored rain barrels at the First Alternative Natural Foods Co-op South Store act as part of a rain harvesting system for the Co-op. The rain harvesting system supports a rain garden, helps with storm water diversion, and diverts water for watering plants. This demonstration site, which includes the rain harvesting system, rain garden, water use monitoring efforts, and water efficient technologies, provides an example of how a business can reduce 50% of its use of the 3 municipal water systems (tap water, storm water, and waste water) while maintaining its productivity.
Rain water collection barrels before they were installed and painted at the First Alternative Natural Co-op South Store.
Oregon State University’s Student Sustainability Initiative will also be partnering with the Corvallis Sustainability Coalition’s Water Action Team to install a model rain harvesting system at the Student Sustainability Center. Over the next few months, come visit to check out the Center and see the progress on the project!
The Corvallis Sustainability Coalition’s Water Team is always looking for more volunteers. If you are interested in helping the Water Action Team design, install, or promote the Three Water Project contact them.
September 4th, 2013 | Paige Thompson
by Sonja Mae
The Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory for Fiscal Year 2012 is now available on the OSU’s Sustainability Office webpage. A Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory is an annual report produced by Sonja Mae, Sustainability Program Specialist, and Brandon Trelstad, Sustainability Coordinator. A Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory is a collection of all measurable and verifiable data for emissions from natural and anthropogenic sources from OSU including all the research stations and extension offices. The inventory is broken down into three standardized reporting scopes. Scope 1 includes emissions that are owned and controlled by the reporting entity. This includes emissions produced by the Energy Center, on-site incinerators, OSU owned vehicles as well as gases emitted by living animals! Scope 2 includes emissions from purchased emission sources like electricity from the local utility. Scope 3 includes emissions that are not directly owned or controlled by the reporting entity, but are related to its activities like employee travel, commuting and solid waste disposal.
The inventory also includes offsets that are either produced or purchased by the university. The inventory helps OSU track emissions relative to population and real estate acquisitions from year to year and guide the development and implementation of the OSU Climate Action Plan. Below is a summary of annual comparisons. You can view the full report on the Sustainability Office webpage by clicking here or click here to go directly to the report.
September 2nd, 2013 | Paige Thompson
Are you interested in gaining college credits while learning about sustainability, energy efficiency, and more green related topics?
The Benton County Sustainability Program is seeking motivated students to work with the Sustainability Coordinator to develop an updated energy database for Benton County. The position is expected to begin in October 2013 and run until December of 2013. There are chances of the internship rolling into 2014 depending on project status.
Internship duties would include:
- Analyzing and inputting of data into the US EPA Energy Star Manager database for Benton County
- Working with the Benton County Sustainability Coordinator to analyze and update databases as needed
- Sharing Utility data with diverse county staff and local partners.
- 8 work hours, with flexible hours and location
- Dependable positive attitude with a strong interest in sustainability/energy efficiency
- Enrollment in higher education institution
- Ability to gain credits from internship
- Working knowledge of Microsoft Office, particularly Excel 2010
- Ability to work independently with supervisor review.
Are you interested in:
- Building experience with a sustainability/energy program
- Working in a supportive, learning atmosphere
- Developing your network with local and regional organizations such as OSU, OSU-Extension, Pacific Power, Northwest Natural, and Republic Services.
Email your current resume and a short (1 page maximum) cover letter describing your abilities to:
Adam Stebbins: firstname.lastname@example.org
Benton Country Projects Coordinator