Keene’s Greenest Businesses Award

By Mary Jensen, KSC Recycling Coordinator: Keene State College was nominated last year as one of Keene’s Greenest Businesses. It was great recognition, even if we didn’t win! If you know of another business you think deserves recognition, I encourage you to nominate them for this award. Check out the press release, and here is a link to the form.

http://ci.keene.nh.us/sustainability/keene-challenge

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Free Buckets!

Tired of storing your driveway salt in a cardboard box? Ready to finish that 5 gallon bucket sculpture you started in 1998? Still looking for the “perfect” holiday gift to give that special someone?

Well come on down to the R.O.C.K.S area and grab a few buckets!

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Happy Thanksgiving Break

From Mary Jensen: Over the holiday break please shut down any computers, printers, speakers, copiers and other electronic equipment in your office, work area and in computer labs you oversee. Make sure to shut your monitor off completely – energy is used even in sleep mode. Shut off lights in offices, classrooms, work or common areas. If you have control over your heat, please consider lowering the temperature to 60 degrees.

For more information about energy use and campus computers: http://www.keene.edu/sustain/gg_computing.cfm

Tips for a “Green” holiday season
http://www.keene.edu/sustain/gg_holiday.cfm .

Thank you and best wishes for a wonderful, and safe, holiday break.

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PCSF Grant Opportunity

On behalf of Mary Jensen, chair of the President’s Council for a Sustainable Future:

The President’s Council for a Sustainable Future is welcoming grant applications for the Fall 2010 Semester. Projects should support educational and institutional activities that promote environmental awareness and stewardship and also benefit the campus community.

The deadline for the Fall 2010 semester is November 19th, 2010. For more information: http://www.keene.edu/sustain/grants.cfm

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Movie “Tapped” at KSC

“Is access to clean drinking water a basic human right or a commodity that should be bought and sold like any other article of commerce? Stephanie Soechtigs debut feature is an unflinching examination of the big business of bottled water.”

The film is a behind the scenes look into the unregulated and unseen world of an industry that aims to privatize and sell back the one resource that ought to never become a commodity: our water.

From plastic production to the ocean in which so many of these bottles end up, this inspiring documentary trails the path of the bottled water industry and the communities which were the unwitting chips on the table. A powerful portrait of the line affected by the bottled water industry, this revelatory film features those caught at the intersection of big business and the public’s right to water.

This film holds information that the Campus Ecology club feels is important to spread, as students, consumers, brothers, sister, and most importantly humans. Please come join us next Wednesday for the showing, we shall provide refreshments, popcorn, and blankets.

Time: Wednesday, October 20 • 9 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.
Location: The Fiske Quad (Between Morrison and Huntress Hall)
Brought to you by: The Campus Ecology Club

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ROCKS office holds big giveaway!

If you’re in need of packing peanuts or wooden pallets, come by the ROCKS office, we have lots of both looking for a good use.

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Changes to recycling in academic buildings

From Mary Jensen, Recycling Coordinator:
Over the past several years, the R.O.C.K.S. program has been adapting to a new waste and recycling management program in various academic buildings. The Science Center, Morrison and Parker Halls and the Huntress classrooms have all moved to a centralized waste and recycling collection system. What that means, in a practical sense, is that we have taken the trash containers out of the classrooms and grouped recycling and trash containers in locations convenient to a series of classrooms. We put signage into each classroom, on the wall where the trash cans had been, with instructions on how to find the nearest waste and recycling containers. In every building where we have made this change we have seen a dramatic increase in the recycling and a reduction in waste, which saves us money.

Costs have also been lowered by using fewer trash bags and by greatly reducing the need for small trash cans. In addition, housekeeping has fewer trash cans to empty, freeing up some of their time for other tasks. With some exceptions, we have found that the students adapted fairly quickly to the new system.

We did a trial run of multiple containers in each classroom (trash, bottles and cans, paper) but found that each container became a mix of materials and they were hard to keep clean. Overall, the multiple containers took up a large footprint in the classroom and were expensive to purchase, replace and maintain.

We know that this will not work in every situation (Science Center labs for example) but the advantages have far outweighed the disadvantages in our current locations.

We are planning to implement this system in every academic building over the summer. If you have any concerns about this process in your building or specific locations within your building, please let us know. We are happy to have your suggestions and recommendations. David Morrill is the Asst. Recycling Coordinator and he’ll be going through the buildings putting up signs and replacing containers. Either of us are happy to talk with you about your suggestions and concerns.

Thank you in advance for your support of this program change.

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U.N. Report Promotes a Vegan Diet Worldwide

From the food subcommittee of the President’s Council for a Sustainable Future:
This has been the long-standing argument for many years by vegetarians and vegans alike. Can we heed the warnings and overcome entrenched habits? This will, no doubt, be a social marketing challenge of great importance. Read the article:
http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2010/06/02-7

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Trash Audit Results

From Dave Morrill, Asst. Recycling Coordinator: Earth Week events were wonderfully successful. Thank you to everyone who participated and attended.

The Trash Audit on Wednesday showed some very interesting results. We collected 30 bags of trash totaling 117 lbs. from all over campus. Eco-Reps helped separate out the recyclable materials and the results are below. (Percentages are rounded).

24% of materials, by weight, found in the trash were recyclable.

We also found 10 usable items including:
• several unopened bottles of Gatorade,
• bowls
• a laundry basket
• a folding tray
• and a whole roll of garbage bags.

Remember we have a re-use room in the basement of Elliot Hall where you can drop off items you no longer want but are still functional.

One third of the trash collected, by weight, was compostable (food waste and other organics).
We continue to look for ways to compost these materials on campus or in the region. If we did it would cut our waste disposal costs, and carbon footprint significantly while producing a valuable soil amendment.

Trash 49.5 lbs.- 42%
Compostables 40.5 lbs.- 34%
Plastics 9 lbs.- 8%
Media 6.5 lbs.- 6%
Paper 5.5 lbs.- 5%
Metal 2.5 lbs.- 2%
Glass 1.5 lbs.- 1%
Textiles 1.5 lbs.- 1%
Cardboard 1 lbs.- 1%
Total 117.5 lbs.

There is certainly room for improvement here, but overall this shows most people on campus put their recyclables in the recycling bins.
Way to go KSC recyclers!!!

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Keene State Named Environmentally Responsible College

Keene State College is one of the country’s most environmentally responsible schools, according to The Princeton Review’s Guide to 286 Green Colleges. Continue reading

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