S USTAINABILITY @ A NDOVER The Phillipian
January 10, 2014
January 10, 2014
The Green Cup Challenge Andover will participate in its eighth annual Green Cup Challenge from January 15 to February 12. The competition is open to the Eight Schools Association, which is comprised of Andover, Choate Rosemary Hall, Deerfield Academy, The Hotchkiss School, last year’s winner Lawrenceville Academy, Northfield Mount Hermon School, Phillips Exeter Academy and St. Paul’s School. The goal of the competition is for
participating schools to reduce their current energy consumption from their average during the same period in the past four years. Schools that reduce their energy consumption by the largest percentage win the Challenge, and losing schools must f ly the f lag of the winning school on their campus for a day, a penalty established last year. As in past years, Andover will also hold an internal competition between dorms. “I’d love to reach out to the
Students and Faculty Reform E-Proctor Program
faculty and staff and get them more involved, but not all [buildings are] on Gunga Data, and I don’t have a workforce to do all the data collection and reporting right now,” said Debra Shepard, Sustainability Coordinator. Shepard has previously worked on similar competitions with colleges and has discussed new ideas for future challenges, which she will have more time to plan. Her ideas include a pledge campaign to encourage students, faculty and staff alike to change their individual routines. Shepard also hopes to begin using newly developed power strips, still being prototyped, that can monitor consumption in individual rooms. “One thing that I’d like to see… is to make the competition more personal. If you think about Green Cup, it’s a national competition between campuses. It’s really hard to motivate individuals off of something so broad,” said Shepard. Exeter created the Green Cup Challenge in 2003. In 2006, after immense intramural success, it extended the competition to nearby boarding schools. Today, more than 120 schools participate in regional competitions around the country, according to the Green Cup Challenge website.
A group of students, faculty and administrators are working to reduce, reuse and recycle the E-leader program to make it more effective and sustainable in the future. The E-leader program—which oversaw E-proctors and E-prefects—was eliminated last year due to scheduling issues and the lack of a faculty coordinator, according to Trish Russell, Dean of Studies and former Sustainability Coordinator. This year, Mark Cutler, Instructor in Spanish, is working to restart the program. “I think that [the name ‘E-proctor’] was problematic for the Dean of Students Office, because I think that they had trouble differentiating these leaders from the proctors in the dorms, and then also training-wise, do they… go to the same proctor and prefect training that everybody else goes to, or do they get their own training?” said Cutler. Cutler and a student team consisting of Jess Gammon ’14, Lily Grossbard ’15, Alex Tamkin ’14 and Dan Wang ’14 are currently working to redefine the exact role of the Eleaders. They hope that placing an E-leader in each dorm will promote sustainability, whether it be through larger initiatives, like dorm renovations, or smaller ones,
such as reminding students to turn off lights or recycle. “[The smaller initiatives] open the door to conversations about how we as a society consume, and how we choose to dispose of things when we’re done with them,” said Cutler, “If all it amounts to is [improved] trash and recycling… then I think that we’ve done a decent job.” E-leaders would give “Trash Talks” to their dorms about the fundamentals of recycling versus trash, a topic that they repeatedly find students are confused about. Cutler and the students’ hope is that this new system will allow dorms to recycle or reuse objects that are commonly thrown away, like plastic bags and old electronics. The group has been going from dorm to dorm to talk about this new trash initiative and has used the opportunity to initiate the conversations on sustainability and consumption that they believe are essential. “We’ve started in Pine Knoll, working from dorm to dorm, to see how we can make recycling and more detailed wasteremoval an easier and more convenient process. We’re building off of models that have worked in the past… It may seem small, but in the end, we’re trying to send a larger message about environmental re-
sponsibility by starting out from the basics,” wrote Wang in an email to The Phillipian. Gammon wrote in an email to The Phillipian, “Freshman dorms are probably the most important places to inspire sustainable thinking, because Freshmen carry those habits with them through the rest of their time at Andover. Even if initiatives come from the administration, if students don’t care, nothing will change for the better.” The four have also spoken with house counselors and students in dorms that have sustainability initiatives in place, including Bancroft, Fuess and Johnson, according to Gammon and Wang. “The E-proctor initiative has a lot of potential if it’s implemented properly, and I think that what happened last year is that people saw it as sort of amorphous and didn’t know exactly how to incorporate Eproctoring into the general proctoring category,” said Cutler.
Lily Grossbard contributed reporting
Lily Grossbard contributed reporting
Science 430 Studies Water Usage in Paresky Science 430, Environmental Science and Global Climate Change, taught by Anna Milkowski, Instructor in Biology, embarked on a project during Fall Term in order to analyze and evaluate the water usage in production, preparation and consumption of food at Paresky Commons. The food production industry is one of the largest sectors for water usage, accounting for around 70 percent of freshwater withdrawals in a context of global water stress. As the population and food demand increases, regulating the water use in the food industry becomes critical. In their project, JB Cline ’14, Annie Davis ’14, Helen Leahy ’14 and Joy Wang ’14 examined the systematic development of beef, coffee, pasta and bread through the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) method, which will aid in identifying more sustainable options for Paresky.
The 80 pounds of Barilla Plus Penne pasta available at Paresky Commons every night use upwards of 3,500 gallons of water in processing, transportation and cooking.
Every morning, hundreds of students rush to Paresky Commons for their daily coffee fix. An average of 910 cups of coffee are prepared in Paresky daily, according to Michael Giampa, Food Service Director, a process which requires a total of 30 gallons of water.
Production According to Luca Ruini’s “Dry Semolina Pasta LCA,” the total amount of water used to produce 500 grams of Barilla Plus Penne, prior to transportation, comes out to 0.63 gallons. Pasta production begins with the growing of durum wheat, Barilla Plus Penne’s primary ingredient, which uses 0.42 gallons of water per 500 grams produced. The durum wheat is processed into a fine grain powder and shaped to look like penne. The next step is packaging, which uses another 0.21 gallons for every 500 grams. Thus the production of Paresky’s nightly 80 pounds of pasta requires approximately 50 gallons of water for every 500 grams prepared. Transportation Three factories manufacture and distribute the majority of Barilla pasta. These are located in Ames, Iowa, Bannockburn, Illinois and Avon, New York. Even if Paresky purchases its pasta from the closest branch in New York, transportation alone takes up to 886 gallons of water. A trip from a farther branch in Iowa requires nearly 3,000 gallons of water per trip. Cooking The pasta then has to be cooked in large amounts of water. The 500 grams of pasta that was referenced previously requires approximately 5 gallons of water to cook thoroughly. Thus, the 80 pounds of pasta prepared daily requires nearly 400 gallons of water to cook. By the time the pasta is processed, transported and cooked, it has used upwards of 3,500 gallons of water. Solution When thinking of ways to decrease Paresky’s pasta’s water consumption, one solution would be to simply to purchase a different brand of pasta from a nearby purveyor. Much of the water used goes into the transportation of the Barilla pasta to Paresky, so altering Andover’s pasta supplier would drastically change these total amounts.
BREAD Andover consumes around 50 loaves of bread per day, according to Michael Giampa, Food Service Director at Paresky. The current choice of bread consumed Andover is relatively good for the environment, with a combination of efficient industrial equipment used in the baking process and short travel distance from the bakery to Paresky. Production During the farming period, the water required to produce one loaf of bread is estimated to be around 0.8 lbs – approximately 0.1 gallon – of water, according to an article in the “International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment.” The total water consumption for one ton of wheat for bread production is 207,639 gallons, according to a report published by the Danish Institute of Agricultural Sciences Department of Agroecology in 2003. Since only around 72 percent of the original wheat weight becomes actual flour, the water usage during production of one ton of flour for bread production is 253,869 gallons. The bread consumed at Andover is produced at Fantini Factory, an industrial bakery with three ovens that have a heat capacity of 1.68 million British thermal units per hour. These industrial features save a lot of water during the baking process, according to the Massachusetts State government. Transportation Fantini Bakery is located in Haverhill, Massachusetts, approximately 11.2 miles away from Phillips Academy. Because every gallon of gasoline requires, on average, 12.9 gallons of water, the water footprint for transportation from the bakery to Paresky is estimated to be around 28.89 gallons per trip, according to the U.S. Department of the Interior and U.S. Geological Survey. Solution Different equipment and methods used in crop harvesting, flour production and baking process can affect the amount of water used to produce bread. For example, during the wheat production process, the soft wheat may be grown either conventionally or organically. After crop production, the milling of the grain might take place in different mills in many locations. Bread can be baked either at a bread factory or at a private bread maker. Industrial bakeries, however, use much less water than local bakeries because their equipment is more water-efficient.
Production Production accounts for the vast majority of the water consumed in the creation of one order of Green Mountain coffee, with 5,951,796 gallons used to water crops and process coffee fruits into their bean form. Transportation Coffee also uses more water depending on the distance it travels to get to Andover, as it requires 12.9 gallons of water to produce one gallon of gas. Paresky’s supplier, Green Mountain Coffee, is based in Waterbury, Vermont, meaning that all coffee needs to travel there before it reaches Andover. The water consumption in transportation, however, is still minute in comparison to the amount used in harvesting and processing the beans. Solution Green Mountain Coffee is a fair-trade company and produces its coffee with a relatively small environmental footprint. Without reducing coffee consumption, the only way for Andover to directly reduce the amount of water used in the coffee supply chain is by only sourcing coffee from Colombia or Mexico, instead of further suppliers in Sumatra or Kenya. Alternatively, reducing the amount of coffee consumed is much more effective in reducing water consumption. Around the world, 37 trillion gallons of water are consumed per year through coffee, with 37 gallons used to create every 125 mL cup of coffee. As the most important agricultural product traded in the world, more than 1 trillion cups of coffee are consumed every year by people around the world.
BEEF Andover uses 409.4 gallons of water to transport, produce and serve just one burger. A single order of 400 burgers—or 88 lb of beef—brings the total amount of water up to 163,760 gallons for one lunch. Production The water used to create the animal feed constitutes 98 percent of all water used in the production of beef. Drinking water for the animals, service water and feed mixing water account for the remaining 2 percent of water usage, according to Arjen Hoekstra. The total volume of water for animal feed production, drinking and service adds up to 4,094 gallons per kilogram of beef, according to a scientific report by Mesfin Mekonnen and Hoekstra. The average burger patty weighs around 100 grams, therefore requiring 409.4 gallons of water per burger. Assuming that Commons’ typically orders 400 burger patties at a time, the total amount of water used for each order comes to be around 163,760 gallons. Transportation It is estimated that “a typical food item in the United States will travel 1,500 to 2,400 miles from farm to plate,” according to the Iowa State University’s Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture. Considering Exeter’s close proximity to Andover and that both purchase a majority of their beef from remote vendors, Exeter, who purchases its beef from Chicago, Illinois, serves as a close comparison. 12.9 gallons of water are required to produce one gallon of gasoline. Assuming the driver averages five miles per gallon over a 2,000 mile round trip from Chicago to Andover, 400 gallons of gas would use 5,160 gallons of water from oil production and refinement. Moreover, if 400 burgers are served to students, each patty would require both 12.9 gallons of water and one gallon of gas to transport. Solution Because beef production accounts for the most water, reducing the water consumption in the production phase is most effective. According to “National Geographic,” chicken and pork require 468 and 576 gallons of water per pound respectively. Considering these numbers, the amount of water used can be reduced to two-thirds of what it is currently by switching to pork or chicken. The amount of water used during production can also be decreased with a change to crops that require less water but maintain the animal’s nutrient requirement. On the transportation end, Paresky Commons can source food locally, not only decreasing transportation distance, but also water pollution. The challenge, therefore, is finding local farms that can provide the amount of food needed to sustain the Andover community.
Tips for the Green Cup Challenge: • Turn off the lights when you are not in the room • Unplug appliances when you are not using them • Take shorter showers • Close your windows to conserve heat