Sustain Champlain – Fall 2015 in review

In this our tenth year of Sustain Champlain, we’ve continued making strong headway in making our campus and community a more sustainable place to work/live/study. Here’s a glimpse as to what we’ve been up to:

Student Eco-Reps

    • 16 Student Eco-Reps representing  diverse academic fields have explored themes including: Waste, Fall 2015 Eco-RepsTransportation & Conscious Consumption
    • 5 students attended Student Sustainability Leadership Symposium at Connecticut College and two students presented (in good company with students from Tufts, Harvard, etc.)
    • Joined the RAs for Leadership Development night on Wed 11/18 to discuss the upcoming Kill-A-Watt Challenge in February

Academic Connections Committee

    • Working with Robin Collins, who with a team of students, is putting together a group to submit a stormwater project (raingarden) at Boardman Hall for the national EPA Rainworks Competition
    • Val Esposito (EHS), Cheryl Casey (CCM), Robin Collins (ITS) and I were awarded a grant via Vermont Campus Compact and attended a workshop about environmental service learning. Water quality will be a central theme for three spring classes
    • Preparing for annual Sustainability Month in February – please let us know if you have any FieldTripsspeaker/presentations/film screenings that would be appropriate to include in our master calendar. 
    • Working with Kim McQueen & the Champlain Publishing Initiative to collect “Profiles in Sustainability” – interviewing our campus population to show the diverse array of sustainability work
    • Developed a google map of field trips within walking or short driving distance
    • Developing a tool to assess sustainability literacy, that we hope to pilot test in the spring semester
    • Fall events have included: Biomimicry speaker, FairTrade speaker, fair trade LEAD event, etc.

Green Revolving Fund Committee

    • Campus Apiary now has a new viewing window & interpretive sign, thanks to the GRF. Check it out behindIMG_6011 Perry Hall
    • Received two proposals for our Nov. 1 deadline – funding one from the CCPI on a series of materials about the importance of bees; film screening planned for April;  second proposal was sent back for a bit more work
    • Working with Physical Plant team to determine next lighting upgrade project that the GRF can fund.   
    • Next deadline for community proposals in March 1. See more information here. 

Purchasing (Food & more) CommitteeLoook for These Logos

    • Continuing our work as a Fair Trade Designated campus:
      • Had a few events in October in honor of Fair Trade month
      • Building a live list of fair trade products offered on campus
      • Working with Campus Store on a fair trade apparel option
    • Created a “good giveaways” spreadsheet of ideas and sent to those departments/teams to often have giveaways
    • Researching vendor code of conduct that includes language about commitment to social and environmental responsibility
    • Ironing out logistical details of using the Real Food Calculator – tracking how much local, organic, humanely raised & ecological raised food Sodexo purchases   

Waste Reduction/Diversion Committee

    • held annual Trash Bash – Oct. 26 – still over half, by weight, of what was thrown in trash could have been IMG_0557diverted to compost, recycling,etc.
    • Working with Sodexo on a plan to promote reusable take out containers for the Grille/Zime
    • Still working toward finalizing Waste Stations in CCM building – bin labels are here, signs and bubbles with real objects next. Hope to have all in place over winter break.
    • Working on a appreciative/informative video for custodial crews, to ensure that their final stage of taking materials from buildings to appropriate dumpsters is happening
    • Together with PAUSE, developing a Cigg Butt anti-litter campaign
    • Developing a campus swap shop for Durick Hall
    • Reinvigorating campaign for refillable mug usage

Transportation Committee

  • Bikes
  • Parking
    • two additional spaces in Rowell lot for Zone 4 permit holders. We have also added a space for Visitors to Rowell Annex
    • Added 3 more handicapped spaces (1 CCM, 2 MIC)
    • Starting installing No Idling signs around campus – finishing up Robin Collins’ class project, funded by Green Revolving Fund
    • Working with Burlington Electric Department on installing 1 EV charging station

The spring will continue with even more work and more fun, with big events such as the annual Kill-A-Watt Challenge and Sustainability Month in February. Contact us if you are interested in getting involved in these events or any of our committees.