Resident Hall Recycling Competition results are in

February 25th, 2014 | Kyle Reed

The Resident Hall Recycling Competition has come to an end, and the results are in: Halsell emerged the victor, finishing the competition with 3.63 lbs of recycling per person.

The scrap trophy that Halsell gets to keep over the next year.

The scrap trophy that Halsell gets to keep over the next year.

Following in second and third were Bloss and West, with 2.92 and 2.86 pounds of recycling respectively.

Every res. hall will receive Inter-Hall Challenge points dependent upon their placement in the final results. Likewise, a trophy will be awarded to Halsell during the RHA General Assembly on Wednesday, Feb. 26.

Lasting from Feb. 1 through Feb. 21, the competition sought to divert recyclable items from the landfill by encouraging students to think about what they were throwing away. At the end of each week, the pounds of recycling per student were recorded, and results were posted in the dining centers, as well as the res. halls themselves.

The Res. Hall competition was a part of a nation-wide competition known as RecycleMania, where universities from across the US compete to see who can recycle the most.

A variety of waste reduction-related events will run each week alongside the competition. We hold the Res. Hall competition each year to help teach and encourage students to think about what they are throwing away.

Further details regarding the Res. Hall competition and RecycleMania may be found on the RecycleMania website.


Oregon State ranked in top ten Greenest Universities by BestColleges

February 24th, 2014 | Paige Thompson

best-colleges-online

A recent write-up by BestColleges.com documented Oregon State University as the ninth greenest university in

The interior of Kearney Hall after its green renovation

The interior of Kearney Hall after its green renovation

the United States. The website put together the list based on STARS (Sustainability Tracking, Rating, and Assessment System) scores given to each school through the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education.

BestColleges published their top 32 picks for the greenest colleges in America, and mentioned OSU’s green remodels taking place on campus, the Campuses Take Charge annual program, and several other sustainable aspects of the university in it’s ninth place ranking of the school.

To read more about BestColleges rankings, and see what other schools were featured, check out the link to their website here.


Campus Conservation Nationals 2014

February 21st, 2014 | Colette Conover

Campus Conservation Nationals 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! There are high hopes for this year with over 100 universities across America and Canada competing, but the competition is getting more and more ambitious. The overall competition is open from February 3rd to April 25th.

CCN-stickers-SHOWERTOGETHER CCN-stickers-DOITINTHEDARK

OSU has competed in the electricity reduction portion of the competition in previous years, but this will be the first year for water reduction on our campus. Our competition will run from February 24th to March 14th, and launched with a kickoff party in Marketplace West’s Large East Conference room Thursday February 20th in the evening. We had fun and informative conservation activities like bingo and guessing games, partnering groups with interactive games (Fresh From The Faucet, Solar Vehicle Team, and Sustainability Office), free desserts, giveaways like CFL bulbs, shower timers, and catchy stickers, and 105 commitments to conserve are recorded on the dashboard so far!

CCNkickoff

Check out our building dashboard for the results from the competition and conservation tips! Go Beavs!

OSU’s Building Dashboard: http://buildingdashboard.net/oregonstate/


CCN’s webpage: http://competetoreduce.org/ccn.html


Question of the Week: Triangle on plastic items

February 20th, 2014 | Kyle Reed

bottle-isolated

Time for our Question of the Week!

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

On many plastic items, there is a number surrounded by a triangle. What does this symbol mean?

Answer

The type of plastic used.
Each number correlates with a different polymer of plastic. This does not, however, tell whether or not the plastic is recyclable.
To learn more about this system, visit our blog: http://oregonstate.edu/sustainability/blog/2014/01/recycling-mythbusters-the-recycling-symbol/

The type of plastic used.

Each number correlates with a different polymer of plastic. This does not, however, tell whether or not the plastic is recyclable.

To learn more about this system, visit our segment in the Recycling Mythbusters series, where we delve more deeply into the topic.

And congratulations to Walker Holden for being the first to correctly answer this week’s Question of the Week!


Oregon State Alums help outfit Team USA in Sochi

February 19th, 2014 | Paige Thompson
Imperial Stock Farm is located in Shaniko, Oregon, 60 miles south of The Dalles

Imperial Stock Farm is located in Shaniko, Oregon, 60 miles south of The Dalles

Two Oregon State Alums, Dan and Jeanne Carver, own Oregon’s Imperial Stock Farm located on 50 square miles of the High Desert. Dan graduated from the Corvallis Campus in 1956 with a degree in business administration and technology, while Jeanne obtained her masters in Physical Education in 1979. The pair, their son Blaine, and his wife Keelia (both OSU graduates as well) produce yarn from the sheep on their stock farm and operate a large yarn warehouse that supplies the popular yarn to 300+ stores.

In an article by Kevin Miller for Oregon Stater Magazine, Jeanne recalls on a persistent caller from the summer of 2012. When she finally returned his call, she was shocked to hear that he was calling from Ralph Lauren in New York City. The caller informed her that

Team USA's sweaters were made exclusively with yarn from the Carver's ranch

Team USA's sweaters were made exclusively with yarn from the Carver's ranch

he would like to place an order, and heard that Imperial’s yarn is the best in the business. Shortly, Ralph Lauren employees came to visit Imperial Stock Ranch, and placed the largest order the farm had ever seen. The Carver’s soon learned that this yarn would be used to outfit Team USA in the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics Opening Ceremonies.

The Carvers were featured in an NBC promotional piece as well as a spotlight on their Olympic Connection.

Their yarn was featured in the ever-so colorful sweaters that Team USA sported entering the Sochi stadium.

To read the whole story, or learn more about the Carver’s and Imperial Stock farm, click here.


Recycling Mythbusters: Contamination in Recycling

February 18th, 2014 | Kyle Reed

By Mythbuster Kyle Reed

Who are the Recycling Mythbusters?

We are Kyle “Reedcycler” Reed, Amanda “Jill of All Trades” Abbott and Rachel “Waste Watcher” Tholl. This term we will be introducing you to some recycling-based myths, and busting them so you don’t have to.

From left to right: Amanda Abbott, Rachel Tholl, and Kyle Reed.

From left to right: Amanda Abbott, Rachel Tholl, and Kyle Reed.

Together we are the Recycling Mythbusters.

We don’t just tell the myths, we put them to rest.

Myth: Items put into the recycling bin aren’t actually recycled, and are instead thrown away.

Let’s start this myth with the knowledge that not everything is recyclable. Some items – known as contaminants – don’t belong in the recycling for numerous reasons. These contaminants can either appear in the form of non-marketable items, such as clamshells; items that simply belong in other recycling sorting systems, like plastic bags; or items that have food contamination, which can leach into other recyclables during transit.

Last week, we talked about how these items were removed from the sorting line. Unfortunately, not all items are able to be removed, due to the breakneck speeds by which the sorting lines move. Some are sorted out in later automated processes, but a portion may make their way through to be recycled. From there, they may completely ruin large portions of the recycled product, if not the entire batch.

This can have major repercussions. First, the market value of the contaminated recycled material is greatly diminished, and almost always ends up in the landfill because of that. Additional costs and damages are also caused due to contaminants. For example, recycling contamination in the city of Phoenix costs more than $1 million annually due to damaged machinery and disposal costs of wasted materials.

There isn’t a lot of leeway when it comes to contaminants that end up being recycled. According to the waste hauling company, Waste Management, even if just one contaminated item breaches through the sorting process, thousands of other items in the bale can be ruined as well, resulting in landfilling.

View OSUs online recycle guide

View OSU's online recycle guide

While recycling facilities continue to update and improve upon their sorting methods, the easiest remedy for this problem is simply to take the time to ensure that no contamination reaches the sorting facility in the first place.

Here, knowing is most of the battle. If you haven’t taken the time to do so, check out OSU’s recycle guide to learn about what is and isn’t recyclable on campus. Then, it’s just a matter of making sure that what you are putting into recycle bins is clean and ready to be recycled.

This post is part of our “Recycling Mythbusters” blog series, where we focus on busting common misconceptions about recycling. Tune in every week to learn more.


Transformation without Apocalypse: How to Live Well on an Altered Planet

February 13th, 2014 | Paige Thompson

The Spring Creek Project’s Winter Symposium kicks off tomorrow and runs through Saturday


transformation

The College of Liberal Arts– Spring Creek Project, presents Transformation Without Apocalypse, a two-day event discussing climate change, alternative visions of the future, and community awareness. The event will take place in LaSelles Stewart Center, beginning Valentine’s Day and running until 7:30 PM Saturday evening.

The Symposium features several keynote speakers including Tim DeChristopher, Ursula K. LeGuin, and Kim Stanley Robinson. Aside from presentations, the Spring Creek Project is also putting on free workshops, and a Radical Reimagining Fair featuring over 25 community sustainability related groups and organizations.

If you would like to participate in the event in anyway, click here for more information including registration and details on speakers and workshops.

See the Sustainability Office and Campus Recycling

The OSU Sustainability Office and Campus Recycling will be featured tabling on Saturday, February 15th at the Radical Reimagining Fair. Stop by and say hi!


Share recycling e-cards with your Valentine!

February 13th, 2014 | Andrea Norris

If you are interested in sustainability, and presumably you are as a visitor of this blog, you may be thinking about how to go beyond throw-away trinkets to show your love this Valentine’s Day.

Might we suggest you both show your support for sustainability and appreciation for your loved ones by sharing recycling-themed E-Cards?

Visit THIS FACEBOOK ALBUM for several shareable Valentine’s cards put together by Campus Recycling and Waste Watcher volunteers.

Cards can be shared with all your Facebook friends, or you can share different ones for each of the special people in your life. And if you are not on Facebook, you can still view and download the cards to email to your loved ones.

Happy Valentine’s Day and happy RecycleMania 2014! More RecycleMania events and info are located here.


Question of the Week: February RecycleMania events

February 12th, 2014 | Kyle Reed
Time for our Question of the Week!
The first person to respond with the correct answer will win a reusable 20 oz OSU water bottle!
Submit your answer here (“Leave a Reply,” below) or on our Facebook page. Only one post per person, please.
- See more at: http://oregonstate.edu/sustainability/blog/2014/01/question-of-the-week-plastic-clamshells/#sthash.sdx62pMx.dpuf
Be first to correctly answer the question and win an OSU ChicoBag!

Be first to correctly answer the question and win an OSU ChicoBag!

Time for our Question of the Week!

The first person to respond with the correct answer will win an 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

What are four upcoming or current RecycleMania events for the month of February? List the name and date of the events. (Hint: See our website for a RecycleMania calendar).


Outdoor Used Equipment Sale this Saturday

February 12th, 2014 | Andrea Norris

w14gearsalewebfeature-01

OSU Rec Sports, in partnership with Surplus Property, will host a sale of used outdoor sporting equipment this Saturday, February 15 at McAlexander Fieldhouse. The event will be held 8:30-11:30 am but we recommend coming before 10 am for the best selection.

Come find great deals on used gear including camping, skiing, climbing, boating and more! For more information, contact the Adventure Leadership Institute at 541-737-4254.

Afterwards, stop by the OSUsed Store’s monthly Saturday sale at our store at 644 SW 13th Street (view on Google Maps). We are open every third Saturday of the month at 9 am – 12 pm. Learn more on Surplus Property’s website.