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Category Archive for 'Being Green'

This Spring, Wesleyan decided to eliminate bottled water from our campus. The impetus for this project first manifested in Wesleyan’s Sustainability Advisory Group for Environmental Stewardship (SAGES). The eventual elimination of bottled water stemmed from an initiative championed by the College of the Environment (COE) in their sponsorship of two student interns to work to effect the necessary change. Our commitment to eliminating bottled water reflects our community’s mindset that water should remain a public resource, not a commodity.

Bottled water represents a less sustainable, less regulated, and more expensive alternative to tap water. Our decision to provide tap water at our events reflects our understanding that access to clean, safe, and affordable drinking water should be a basic human right. We hope you’ll join us in our excitement about our initiative to move towards a better future hydrated by tap water.

If you have any questions about our decision to remove bottled water from campus, please contact our COE Sustainability Interns, Melody Oliphant ’13 (moliphant@wesleyan.edu) or Hailey Still ’12 (hstill@wesleyan.edu).

The WSA and other sustainability leaders worked over the last year to introduce a Sustainability Coordinator at Wesleyan. This full-time person will acts us a liaison between different departments, an advisor to sustainability-oriented student groups, and a leader on green projects. This new position represents a giant step for Wesleyan and will make our community more environmentally sustainable for many years to come.

The position is now officially posted and applications are being accepted.It is tailored towards recent Wesleyan graduates. We encourage you to apply, especially if you are a current Wesleyan senior seeking a job for next year!

For more information and to apply, go to careers.wesleyan.edu, click on “Staff openings,” and find the Sustainability Coordinator posting.

If you have questions e-mail Zach Malter at zmalter@wesleyan.edu.

Pumpkin Fest at Long Lane Farm

  • Live Music
  • Crafts
  • Farmer’s Market
  • Food
  • Farm Tours

Bring a canned good to be entered in a raffle

Saturday, October 29
12:00 noon to 4:00 p.m.

Sponsored by Long Lane Farm, the WSA,  Bon Apetit, Wesleyan Farmer’s Market, and the College of the Environment.

The Green Fund Committee is now accepting committee member applications for the year. The Green Fund Committee is responsible for allocating the funds raised from the Green Fund Fee: an opt-out $15 fee charged to each undergraduate each semester. Any student, faculty, or staffperson can submit a proposal to the Green Fund to improve the Wesleyan Community’s environmental footprint. The fund is intended for projects that the University might not pursue on their own means. If you feel like you would be a good candidate for this committee, fill out the application at:

The application is due on Monday, September 26th at 5pm. For more info, visit: greenfund.WSA.Wesleyan.edu.

You can also contact: greenfund@wesleyan.edu with any questions or comments

Want to help with one of the most exciting sustainable events on campus? Want to volunteer with the Waste Not! Tag Sale this spring? Housing during Senior Week and the two days following Senior Class Move-Out is guaranteed in exchange for volunteers’ commitment to working with Waste Not! during this time. The volunteer team will be collecting and organizing donated items in preparation for the huge move-in sale we hold in September. All proceeds go to local charities and sustainability projects at Wesleyan. Please fill out this form by April 21st if interested. Space is limited, apply ASAP.

Contact wesustainability@gmail.com with questions.

On April 23, 2011 at 7 p.m., Wesleyan University’s Center for the Arts will present the world premiere of Dear Mother Earth: An Environmental Oratorio by composer Glenn McClure. The free premiere will be performed by the Wesleyan University Orchestra conducted by music director Angel Gil-Ordóñez while joined by the Wesleyan Ensemble Singers, the Middletown All-City Grade 4 and 5 Chorus, singers from Middletown High School, and Ghanaian, Korean, Japanese Taiko, and Caribbean steel drummers from Wesleyan. The event will take place at Crowell Concert Hall located at 50 Wyllys Avenue, Wesleyan University, Middletown CT.

“Dear Mother Earth: An Environmental Oratorio” was commissioned by Center for the Arts for the inaugural year of Wesleyan’s College of the Environment as part of the Feet to the Fire initiative and was made possible by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The Feet to the Fire program is dedicated to the proposition that a multidisciplinary examination that includes art will provide a more comprehensive and deeper understanding of these global issues.

The musical content of Mr. McClure’s 40-minute oratorio is driven by environmental data related to insect diversity in local rivers collected by Wesleyan University students. The composer worked in collaboration with mathematics scholars to create a translation equation that transforms scientific data into melodic and harmonic content – a musical model of the bio-mathematics concept of “emerging complexity”.

The lyrics are drawn from letters written by children from around the world, including Middletown’s Macdonough Elementary. These letters were addressed to “Mother Earth” and share each child’s view of both the unique beauty and the challenges of their part of the world. While some movements are based solely on one child’s letter, other movements bring themes from multiple letters together, stretching from Ghana and Nicaragua to the classrooms of Middletown. Images of student letters and artwork will be projected during the performance of the oratorio. “While each letter is unique, they all share the central themes of celebrating beauty, thankfulness, compassion and a call to action,” said McClure. “Just as a flock of individual birds turn together in the wind without any discernable leader, these children have expressed these themes in their letters and illustrations.” Along with the premiere, a project website will be launched that will continue to gather letters from children around the world and their musical responses as well as provide educators with teaching lessons and musical scores. This information can be found at http://letterstomotherearth.com.

For more information about either events, please visit www.wesleyan.edu/cfa or call (860) 685-3355.

Earth Day Celebration 4/22

Friday, April 22, 2011, at 8 p.m., in Crowell Concert Hall, The College of the Environment and the Center for the Arts will celebrate Wesleyan’s Annual Earth Day Celebration. The free celebration will feature students and faculty participating in the College of the Environment’s inaugural think-tank, on the topic “Vulnerability of Social, Economic and Natural Systems to Environmental Stress”. College of the Environment Director Barry Chernoff will introduce reports by Bryan Bannon (Environmental Studies), Jeremy Isard, ‘11 (College of Social Studies), Helen Poulos (Environmental Studies), Dana Royer (Earth and Environmental Sciences), Phoebe Stonebraker, ‘11 (Biology) and Gary Yohe (Economics). The event will also include a performance by Gina Athena Ulysse (Anthropology, AFAM, FGSS) in collaboration with composer/turntablist Val-Inc entitled Fascinating! Her Resilience about the significance of the word “resilience” in relation to the different narratives about Haiti in the post-earthquake cultural environment. An excerpt of “Dear Mother Earth: An Environmental Oratorio” will be performed.

Bring pride to your wood-frame or program house! Do it in the Dark is Wesleyan’s wood-frame energy competition! Make a conscious effort to reduce your energy consumption and you and your housemates could win gift certificates to a restaurant of your choice in Middletown! We reward participants in two categories: lowest overall consumption (controlled for the houses’ square footage and outside temperature) and the greatest percentage of decline in consumption in the same house during the same month, last year (to control for specific differences in each house’s efficiency). The winners for January have just been calculated and the winners in these categories were 6 Fountain Ave and 37 Home Ave, respectively. Congratulations, energy-savers!

Make April the month that your house wins! The results will continue to be posted on wesustainability.blogspot.com, check it out to see how your house does and get energy saving tips!

The College of the Environment internships allow students to undertake research on environmental topics under the guidance of a faculty mentor during the Summer or Fall, 2011. The scope of environmental topics is meant in the broad sense and the research may be undertaken using techniques, approaches and paradigms from all majors or major programs. Internships are available to Wesleyan Students across the entire University.

The summer internship will run from May 25, 2011 – July 29, 2011, while the Fall 2011 internship would run the term of the semester. Internships carry a stipend of $4,000.

The deadline for applications is due on or before Monday, February 21, 2011, allowing us to announce internship candidates by Friday, March 4th, prior to spring break. Student applications are to be delivered to Ms. Valerie Marinelli, Administrative Assistant, College of the Environment, 284 High Street.  Click here to download an application.

The student application also requires two short letters of recommendation from Wesleyan faculty. In addition to recommending the student, the faculty mentor must briefly (1-2 paragraphs) explain the project, its importance and relevance to her/his research program. Letters of recommendation may either be sent to Ms. Marinelli through campus mail or by email (pdf preferred) to vmarinelli@wesleyan.edu.

To get the application, please stop by the College of the Environment, 284 High Street or check with any Administrative Assistant on campus who has received the email.

The applications, including statements by faculty, will be judged by the oversight and awards committee.

For further information, please contact Valerie Marinelli at (860) 685-3733.

Monday, February 21, 12:00 noon
Usdan 108

Join Barry Chernoff, Director from the College of the Environment, as he discusses the Environmental Studies Program, encompassing the linked major, think tank and the certificate program. A pizza lunch will be served. Please RSVP by Feb 16 in order to place your order. For more information, please contact Valerie Marinelli at vmarinelli@wesleyan.edu or 860-685-3733.

The Green Fund is a student-financed, student-managed fund for campus sustainability projects

Do you have a project idea to decrease the carbon footprint of Wes? Decrease waste? Increase the use of renewable energy? We are looking for innovative, well-developed proposals that can move the university forward in sustainability and environmental stewardship.

If you need help submitting a proposal or want some questions answered, stop by the main floor of Usdan at dinner on Thursday, February 3rd to speak with members of the Green Fund Committee!

For more information/ideas/to submit an application, visit: https://sites.google.com/a/wesleyan.edu/green-fund/

Applications will be approved on a rolling basis.

Deadline for consideration this semester is April 29th!

The Green Fund is a newly established, student-financed, student-managed fund for campus sustainability projects. It is independent of our university’s financial vulnerabilities and will finance initiatives that decrease the carbon footprint of the University, decrease waste, increase the University’s use of energy from renewable resources, and increase visibility of environmentally responsible practices on campus. The fund is supported by a 15 dollar per semester fee that students may opt-out of.

The Green Fund is now accepting proposals for innovative, well-developed proposals that can move the university forward in sustainability and environmental stewardship.

For more information/ ideas/ to submit an application, visit: https://sites.google.com/a/wesleyan.edu/green-fund/

Applications will be approved on a rolling basis. Deadline is December 3rd!

The Green Fund Committee
Josh Levine, Sophie Ackoff, Evan Weber, Bingxin Wu, Delphine Starr

This summer, Yinka Taiwo-Peters ’12 started and ran “The Water Awareness Project” in Abuja, Nigeria, with the aid of the Rausch Internship grant from the Environmental Studies Department. There is a growing water crisis in Nigeria with a large proportion of the population having no access to safe drinking water. It is estimated that only half of the 140 million people have access to safe water, and even fewer to basic sanitation facilities.

The goal of Water Awareness Project was to create awareness among Nigerian youths on the role of water in practicing good sanitation habits, while emphasizing water conservation practices. In June, Yinka gave 30-minute to 60-minute talks on the role of water in sanitation and water conservation practices in twenty-schools in Central Abuja. In July, she worked with the pupils of an Abro Hallmark International School, located in Mpape, Abuja, a settlement deficient of portable water. With the help of a plumber, the pupils and Yinka installed a water tank that employs a rainwater harvesting system from the rooftop of a school building. This particular activity emphasized the importance of community engagement from one’s younger years and showed a water conservation practice. With the tank installation, it is hoped that the students will spend less time in search of water before classes and medical costs will be reduced as a result of water-related diseases contracted from the use of contaminated water.

At the end of July, Yinka concluded the water awareness project and conducted mini surveys from the students in participating schools. In the future, she plans to continue this project by expanding to more rural settlements and schools in other parts of Nigeria.

Waste Not is Wesleyan’s student-organized collection of unwanted items at the end of the Spring semester. Don’t throw away your stuff at the end of the year, give it a new home!

In the fall 2010, we’ll have a huge tag sale in an effort to keep our stuff in circulation and out of the dumpster. Money from the sale and leftover items will go to charity. All food and laundry detergent is also donated to charity!

How to help!

If you live in a residence hall: Look out for the taped off “Waste Not Collection Zones” on your dorm’s entrance or a stairwell landing. You can leave any items there or, if your item is too large, give the Waste Not Coordinators a call or email and we will pick it up for you!

If you live in a program house: Let your house manager know you want to participate in Waste Not and/or send a quick email out to wesustainability@wesleyan.edu. We’re taping off collection zones in any houses that want to participate! You can leave any unwanted items there and they will be collected by volunteers later in the week!

If you live in a senior wood frame: To let us know when your items are ready to donate to Waste Not, just put an official Waste Not hanger on your door (you should have received this over the weekend). All the necessary information is on this hanger. During senior week we will be coming around to pick up items from the wood frames.

You can also drop off items directly at the Waste Not collection center in Zion Church, a few doors down from Neon Deli and across from the Freeman Athletic Center, starting Saturday, May 15th!

Please call the sustainability interns if you have any questions at all:

Jannie Trelogan 202.258.2276
Cella Jones 914.787.0081

or email us at wesustainability@wesleyan.edu

Items you can donate:

  • clothing
  • furniture
  • chests of drawers
  • shelves
  • refrigerators
  • microwaves
  • rugs
  • lamps
  • electronics
  • printers
  • alarm clocks
  • phones
  • textbooks
  • course packs
  • books for classes
  • other books
  • posters
  • dorm decorations in general
  • bedding
  • dishes/kitchen ware
  • hangers
  • mirrors
  • food (will be donated upon collection in the Spring)
  • cleaning supplies
  • laundry detergent (also will be donated)
  • brooms
  • household chemicals

On Wednesday April 21, 12:00 p.m. in Downey House, Room 113, Wesleyan World Wednesdays, Environmental Studies and  African StudentS Association/Wes Friends of Africa  presents a discussion and short film on why we shouldn’t take clean water for granted.

Learn about how Max Perel-Slater ‘11 and Abby Horton ‘11 worked with a community in rural Tanzania to build a rainwater catchment system to make clean water more accessible.  There will also be a screening of the film “The Water Project.”   A question and answer will follow, and lunch will be served.

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