What is Sustain Champlain?

Sustain Champlain is a campus-wide initiative strives to infuse sustainability concepts and practices across Champlain College by coordinating and promoting best practices within four areas: our institution, academics, operations, and culture.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Perry Hall Open House -- Almost Zero Waste event!

We are making progress. The big Open House event for Perry Hall -- was nearly a zero waste event. At least on the consumer side of things, with having the staffed compost bins and using compostable service items, there was very little trash that went to the landfill. Hopefully this event can set the standard for others on campus!

Thanks to the Green Team:
Students: Lauren Swanson, Annie Grantham, Annie DelMoro, Ashley Shin, Jocellyn Harvey, Chris Clapp, Mike Mullins, Matthew Forrest
Staff: Meghan Hurley, Megan Canella, Jacob Frankovich

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

First Lady Michelle Obama spoke via video at the 31st AnnualConference of the American Community Gardening Association,which was held in Atlanta on August 5-8. In her message she addresses on the importance ofcommunity and school gardening.

Champlain College is expecting to have a community garden ready for the next growing season, next to Rowell Annex. Contact Faculty members Mike Lange, David Kite, or me for more information.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A letter to Champlain Faculty & Staff

Dear Colleagues,

One aspect of my job at Champlain is to track and analyze campus operations such as utility useage and waste generation. Last year was the first year tabulating our waste statistics and now with another year's data, I am happy to annouce that we are moving in the right direction! Overall, trash decreased by 12%, recycling increased by 15%, and composting increased by 154%!! The large jump in compost collection is due to the expanded collection points, primarily at the dish return in the Cafeteria.

But truly, this is not a full success story, but just steps in the right direction. Spot checks at various bins and dumpsters around campus tell me that we have a long way to go. Last year's waste sort showed that over half of what was in the trash could have been recycled or composted. And even with a reduction in trash, we are still sending the weight equivalent of 49 African elephants worth of trash each year to the landfill in Coventry, where it is buried forever. WE CAN DO BETTER!

How? The 3 R's still apply:

REDUCE: use a refillable coffee/tea mug and water bottle; don't copy or print unless necessary (and double-side when you do); buy products with less packaging; avoid single-use items, etc.

REUSE/REPURPOSE: pass along unneeded office supplies to others via Broadcast emails, etc.

RECYCLE/COMPOST: As there are many new employees at the College and many new to the area, here's the skinny on how recycling & composting works at Champlain.

We have an "all in one" system where our recyclables get sorted down the road (literally, at the MRF). Essentially, all paper & cardboard, glass, plastic bottles & containers & aluminum go in the blue recycling bins. For questions about specific items, see the detailed list. Items should be reasonalbly clean.

Last year, we expanded compost collection around campus. Bins can now be found in the Fireside Lounge, Hauke Conference Room, Jazzman's Cafe, and a few small bins in the Perry Hall kitchenette areas. We send our compostable items to a large scale facility, where they will take ALL food items (meat & dairy too), and some paper products (napkins, paper plates, etc.)

Finally, please let me know (or better yet, put in a SchoolDude request) if you are in need of more bins, different sized bins, etc.

Thank you for your efforts as we continue to reduce waste at Champlain.

~ Christina

P.S. My team and I will be reaching out to students about these same issues... these efforts involve our whole community.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Electronic Waste

Tomorrow night I'm going to talk to the residents of Rowell Hall about electronic waste. In preparation for this, I was doing a bit of web research and came across this great quick film clip -- one of many on GOOD Magazine.
What do we do with our e-waste at Champlain? We collect it and send it along to Good Point Recycling in Middlebury, an ethically responsible e-waste recycling facility. All of your electric gadgets, batteries, etc. can be dropped off in our e-waste collection tubes. When Champlain upgrades computer equipment, usable items are often donated to places like COTS. No-longer-functioning items are also recycled with Good Point. For those of you looking to dispose of other e-waste, check out the guidelines on the CSWD website.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Eat Local Week

So this week (September 11-19) is Eat Local Week, co-sponsored by City Market and by the Burlington Free Press. Everyone is invited to get a scorecard and once you reach 100 points, you can drop it off at City Market to be entered in a drawing for a $250 gift card to City Market or the Burlington Farmers' Market. What a deal!

How am I going to get my 100 points?
My family & I attended the Small Farms Food Fest at Shelburne Orchards on Sunday (25 pts.)
We also went apple picking that day (25 pts.)
We've had several meals of all local ingredients (25 pts.), such as:
* VT Yak Company bratwurst, grilled corn & zucchini, homemade pesto, and tomato salad (veggies from our garden and from the Intervale Community Garden).
* Another meal was homemade pizza with our own tomato paste, eggplants, basil, tomotoes and peppers (veggies from our garden, ICF, and Full Moon Farm) -- on top of Leonardo's Pizza wheat crust (not quite all local, but close).
* Breakfast is easy! We visit our lovely laying ladies in the backyard (Goldie, Salt, and Pepper) for fresh eggs, topped with chopped tomatoes and cilantro, with some bacon grown by friends in E. Albany, VT

And for the last 25 pts? I'll make some applesauce with our freshly picked apples, to share at a potluck tonight.

But what about at Champlain College? The Sodexho crew is supposedly cooking up some local fare this week. Be sure to thank them for their efforts and let them know you'd appreciate this year round!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Did You Know?

You can City Market worker credit by volunteering at many local organizations and events such as the upcoming Art Hop this weekend. Member workers earn a 12% discount by working four hours per month or 7% for working two hours per month. Learn more...http://www.citymarket.coop/membership/member-discounts

Thursday, September 2, 2010

What will Champlain College do for 10.10.10??

Last night on the David Letterman show, Vermonter Bill McKibben, talked about his newest book Eaarth as well as the efforts of his organization 350.org. 350 is trying to get people around the world to host a Climate Work Party on October 10. 2010-- as a message to our elected officials that it is time to get to SERIOUS work about climate change. So what will we here at Champlain do???