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Issue 2

May 2012


In This Issue: Community Action GreenTech................................................................03 Living Tips ................................................................04 Ecohouse ..................................................................05 Student Research.....................................................07 Academics.................................................................08 Food...........................................................................09

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Perspectives..............................................................11 Office of Sustainability............................................13 Opportunities...........................................................17 Expressions...............................................................19

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On The Cover Students volunteer on Athens Beautification Day and help transform Ecohouse landscaping. Athens Beautification Day is hosted by the Ohio University Student Senate Off-Campus Living Commission with the purpose of cleaning up the city while strengthening relationships among community groups. It is a perfect opportunity to volunteer for a few hours and find out more about organizations in the community you currently live in. Cover Photo: Š Shanon Wise


From Our Director Community involvement has always been a natural cornerstone in my approach to and understanding of sustainability. I often discuss the fundamental idea that we must offer up our time, efforts and knowledge to our neighbors in an effort to enhance the sustainable development and environmental vitality of an area. Since relocating to Ohio, though, I have been delighted to discover a need to deepen my interpretation of “community.” Area residents and OU students/faculty/staff seem to hold a great sense of responsibility to the term. Here, I have witnessed a sincere sense of connection to one’s community. I have seen neighbors delight in the ability to assist with yard work on a hot day; students volunteer their time to educate youth; farmers patiently answer questions that they’ve answered hundreds of times before…and, all in the name of caring for their community. I was moved by one local resident’s recent description of community as both a responsibility and an opportunity; a delicate balance of caring for ourselves and one another in a manner that doesn’t compromise the resources that surround us. Sustaining a community is hard work. It requires a level of interdependence that is rarely achieved in contemporary living. We are taught at an early age to limit our vulnerability and be independent creatures; strong and capable. Though, such isolation can limit our personal and collective growth. It is my sincere hope that each of you has the opportunity to further explore your understanding of and appreciation for sustainability by engaging in the communities that surround you. This issue of Routes is meant to offer you a quick glimpse into sustainability’s relationship to “community.” Our doors are open to those who wish to engage deeper in this conversation and discover their own definitions for “community” and “sustainability.” Please feel free to contact us at the information provided on this page. Thank you for your dedication to yourselves, your environment and your neighbors. I am excited by the opportunity to be a part of this community and learn alongside each of you.

Routes Magazine Director Annie Laurie Cadmus

Graduate Assistants Jessica Bilecki* / Outreach Alex Snyder* / Technical Mary Leciejewski / Events Elaine Goetz / Reporting Penny Morgan / Web

Writers Maddie Edminister Emily Kuzmick Katie Lasco

Photographers Shanon Wise Alex Snyder

Layout Neal Patten

*Indicates editors

Keep In Touch:

Sincerely,

Annie Laurie Cadmus Director of Sustainability, Ohio University 2


Green Tech

By Alex Snyder

OPower App on Facebook: Challenge your friends to see who’s more energy efficient! The long awaited OPower energy application for Facebook lets you track your energy consumption and share and compare with your friends. The site is currently in its BETA stages but seems to be working without a hitch. The site also provides quick and easy tips that can help you and those around you conserve energy and save money!

Wind Map: I have been obsessed with “Wind Map” since I first saw it a few weeks ago. Who knew looking at wind patterns could be so fascinating. This free website lets you see wind movement across the US and gives you a handy key to judge the wind speed.

Instagram: Apparently this application for the iPhone and now the Android is worth a whopping $1 billion…or so the fine creators of Facebook think so. With this issue of Routes focusing on community, I wanted to share Instagram because it allows people from all over the world to share their images and show off their communities! With that said, if you’re on a hike or busy in the garden, snap a quick picture and share it with us at facebook.com/sustainableou!

Athens Time Exchange: Do you have a useful skill? Or maybe you need some help!? Athens Time Exchange is a great way to both give and get. Help someone out with a project and you’re paid in “time.” You can then bank your time and use it to pay someone else who is in the program for something you need done! It’s people helping people and best of all it’s fun, easy, and free!

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Living Tips Get out and enjoy the fresh air by gardening! Not only is it great exercise and cheaper than the grocery store, organic and naturally grown food is great for overall health. If you don't have a garden, make use of a community garden. Here in Athens, we have the Westside Community Garden located at 400 West State Street and the Community Garden Pilot Program located at Ohio University's Ecohouse at 8133 Dairy Lane. Grow your own food and make some new friends! Shanon Wise

Support local business! You can do this in many ways, including purchasing produce and baked goods from businesses that support local producers such as Casa Nueva, Donkey Coffee, Village Bakery, Abrio's Brick Oven, Fluff and Purple Chopsticks just to name a few. Or go straight to the source. Visit the Farmer’s Market located at 1000 East State Street every Wednesday and Saturday 10 to 1.

Practice sustainability at all of OU’s dining halls. Reduce your carbon footprint by participating in Meatless Mondays; help us reduce the amount of water used to wash dishes by participating in Trayless Tuesdays and using a reusable water bottle instead of a cup; reduce waste by taking only take what you know you’ll eat; and, limit what is sent to the landfills by avoiding plastic bags and disposable cutlery at the Grab N’ Go.

Volunteer. It gives you the opportunity to change lives, including your own, so find a skill you can put to good use and help out your community!

Shanon Wise Eco Reps is a student organization devoted to educating students about ways to “go green.” They put on residence hall programs, help the Office of Sustainability with RecycleMania and ResChallenge, and participate in various Earth Month events. To Learn More, Contact: Liz Emley - President

ee244409@ohio.edu 4


Ecohouse

By Katie Lasco

Permaculture: A Step Towards Sustainability in Athens

Photo: Emily Kuzmick Participants Sarah Minkin and Eden Kinkaid think about what to put in their design.

While most of Athens slept soundly in their beds on the crisp Sunday morning of April 22, a small group of students and community members were already awake and getting dirty. Dressed in work pants and armed with rakes, they pushed piles of rich compost across the front garden of the Ohio University Ecohouse, located south of campus at 8133 Dairy Lane. Two wheelbarrows trundled towards the red brick porch with more of the dark material. Though haphazard-looking to start, the plot would eventually be transformed into a small garden, complete with a walkway, semi-circle of culinary herbs, and neat border of daffodils and irises. “So we just got the big shrubbery out, and now we have to sheet mulch,” said Jessica Bilecki, an Environmental Studies graduate student and permaculture activist. “The flags are marking the gooseberries and service berries, and then there’s going to be some wild indigo, because the indigo is a nitrogen-fixer.” Plants that are nitrogen-fixers have bacteria that convert nitrogen in the atmosphere to other compounds like ammonia, which can be consumed by other plants when the nitrogen-fixer dies, This eliminates the need for extra fertilization. Similarly, dynamic accumulators like comfrey have deep roots

that draw up minerals from underground. “Those nutrients get released into the soil when the foliage dies and breaks down on the surface,” Bilecki explained. The project was the culmination of a threeday permaculture workshop offered by the OU Office of Sustainability and taught by Bilecki, Kurt Belser, and Weston Lombard. All three instructors are certified in permaculture design. Belser is coowner of the Wingnuttery, while Lombard manages One World Tree nursery and is co-founder of the Athens Area Permaculture Guild. The first two sessions, held on Saturday and Sunday of the previous weekend, provided a theoretical introduction to the principles of permaculture. Lessons were taught in a classroom at The Ridges, but then the group would periodically move outside and look at applications to the land. On the second day, participants practiced what they learned about the design process. Participants were divided into groups and asked to create their own design plan for the Ecohouse garden.

Photo: Shanon Wise Mark Jacobs, planting at the Ecohouse

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Although the workshop emphasized landscaping, permaculture is actually a broad system of thinking. A combination of the words “permanent” and “agriculture”, permaculture is a holistic design approach that integrates the model of natural ecosystems into all aspects of life. There are six categories of design: building; tools and technology; education and culture; health and spiritual well-being; finance and economics; and community governance. “You’re trying to make the inputs of one element the outputs of another,” Lombard said. “So people might have water runoff going into aquacultures with fish, and use that water to fertilize hydroponic growing, which then gets further recycled.” Other features of permaculture design include passive solar systems, fuel from organic waste, and rainwater catchment units. Lifestyle choices come into play as well, and many permaculture activists choose to ride their bike, practice yoga, buy fair-trade products, or reduce waste. However, the idea isn’t to slow down technology or do without modern comforts. “There’s a certain standard of living that we all want. But we can’t keep doing what we’re doing,” Bilecki said in an interview. “Permaculture is one tool that can help us maintain a decent standard of living without compromising the health of the planet”. Although Athens gets more attention for its local food movement, there seems to be a substantial interest in permaculture as well. Chris Chmiel, owner of Integration Acres and founder of the Pawpaw Festival, studied permaculture during his time at Ohio University and cites the principles as an inspiration for the layout of his farm. “The core of what we’re doing with pawpaws and goats is based in permaculture,” Chmiel said. “Pawpaws are fly-pollinated and naturally resistant to grazing animals. The goats don’t browse on the trees, increase soil fertility, and usually increase the number of flies for pollination.” In other words, the goats provide outputs that naturally help the pawpaws grow. Similarly, Lombard described a week long workshop he recently hosted at his family’s farm in Athens, where 17 participants learned about the

principles and application of permaculture. Some came from the community, while others traveled from as far as Maryland. These individuals illustrate Athens as a place where the foundation and ethics already exist for the permaculture movement to grow. “This community has been open to these ideas for a while,” Bilecki said. “People here are pretty concerned about the environmental impacts their personal decisions make, probably more than the average community.” Workshop participant Liz Alexy grew up in the area, and has plans for graduate school in the fall. She expressed similar sentiments as she spread even a pile of compost with her rake. “I think I am like many children in Athens: hippie parents, back-to-thelanders. And there’s a huge interest in following what our parents did.” Perhaps, Bilecki suggested, the study of permaculture could even be integrated into Ohio University curriculum. No formal courses currently exist, but the incorporation of permaculture design into an academic setting would benefit the evolving theory, because research questions could be posed about the effectiveness of certain principles. For now, the movement towards permaculture and sustainability in Athens will continue to grow with events like the workshop. If people here can learn to change their individual lives, perhaps they can serve as a model for other communities. “Until we understand how we can apply these principles in our own lives, it’s hard to apply it on large scales,” Bilecki said.

Photo: Emily Kuzmick

OHIO Ecohouse is a student residence designed to “demonstrate affordable green technology and sustainable living in order to inform, engage and inspire bot residents and visitors. The OHIO Ecohouse is not just a place — it is a dynamic educational experience which promotes critical thinking and tangible actions toward sustainability.”

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Student Research Going Green with Paint Pigments Here at Ohio University, even our paint could soon be turning green. Doctoral Civil Engineering student, Elaine Goetz, has been working with other individuals in her program towards developing a system that would use the process of electrolysis to extract harmful metals from mine drainage that pollute streams and convert them into paint pigment. This concept of repurposing by converting pollutants into paint is not entirely revolutionary, as the Swedes have been extracting copper from mine drainage and turning it into paint for centuries. The color has become somewhat of a signature in Swedish architecture with its recognizable red hue covering buildings made of

From this...

Photo: Alex Snyder

both wood and brick. Despite its popularity abroad, this is a fairly recent activity in the United States, with only a few other reported cases of research in the area. Pyrite, an iron sulfide mineral found in local coal mines, reacts with water and air to produce pollutants. The iron from the pyrite dissolves in the water, which finds its way into rivers and streams. Upon oxidation, the iron precipitates, coating the stream beds and eliminating any chance of a sustainable ecosystem. By removing this mineral from streams, we are doing both ourselves as well as the environment a good service. For our own benefit, we are able to convert these substances, through the process of electrolysis, into paint products that can be used in our local community or sold on a larger scale market. As far as the

By Maddie Edminister

environment is concerned, we are able to foster thriving ecological communities in rivers and streams that would otherwise be drowned out by the weight and toxicity of the mineral pollutants. Elaine Goetz has been working with her advisor, Dr. Guy Riefler, and fellow doctoral student, Husam Abu Hajar, over the past few years on developing a processing plant where this process will actually take place. She has received much guidance and direction from Blake Arthur, a manager for the Ohio Division of Mineral Resources and Management, who designed this particular process and outlined it in his research, titled, “The Electrolysis of Mine Drainage.” The pilot plant, which was funded by the US Forest Service, is located in Nelsonville and is expected to open for testing in the very near future. At this plant, the electrolysis will ...to this. actually take place and the paint pigment will be extracted. The coloring of this pigment varies depending on the precipitate, which stream it is extracted from and the drying and grinding process it endures, but in our area it is likely to be Lowimpactliving.com made up of warm tones such a reds, oranges and yellows. “In 2007, 78% of the paint pigment used in the U.S. was imported. If this process of electrolysis of acid mine drainage catches on, pigment produced right here in southeastern Ohio could replace a significant percentage of imported pigment,” according to Goetz. The initial research will be done in Snake Hollow, a creek near Chauncey, Ohio, which is fairly rich in aluminum as well as iron pollutants. By extracting these pollutants, the researchers will be cleaning up the river. Ideally, they will be able to convert the chemical pollutants in the pilot plant into paint pigments that can be used locally in our Athens community. The paint pigments may end up being red, but this process is all about going green.

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Academics

By Michelle Schechter

New Environmental Studies Undergraduate Degree for Honors Tutorial College In the fall of 2013, Ohio University’s Honors Tutorial College will begin offering an undergraduate degree of Environmental Studies. Previously a certificate was the only formal environmental studies opportunity available for undergraduates. The program was developed by Professor Geoff Buckley, a professor in the department of Geography along with the support of the Associate Dean of the Honors Tutorial Jan Hodson. Many may wonder what a student can do with an undergraduate degree in environmental studies post-graduation, but according to Geoff Buckley, “most students will go on to graduate school, but if not, many should consider doing something urban or energy related.” The focus now is developing urban communities to reduce the use of cars and gas and lowering the emissions we produce from the use of vehicles. Other fields students can look into can be transportation planning or hazards/climate change. All of the students that will be admitted into the Honors Tutorial College (HTC) program will be highly motivated and hopefully will be able to help us all live sustainably. Students will be able to begin the application process in December of 2012 and if selected will begin the program in fall 2013. To be eligible for this program students must have a strong interest in pursuing environmental studies post-graduation and be a member of the HTC. The Honors Tutorial College is different compared to any other college at Ohio University and students enrolled in HTC are required to complete a number of seminars and tutorials. Like most typical undergraduates, HTC students are required to take general requirements to fulfill University Requirements. General requirements include subjects such as social sciences, humanities and Junior Composition. Students are able to choose from a variety of interesting classes covering topics they want to learn more about. In their final year at

OU students are required to write a thesis in order to complete the program and graduate. Click here for more information about HTC or the environmental studies degree.

We double dog dare you

to participate in the National Bike Challenge, a local and national competition to see who can log the most bike miles.

Why: prizes, bragging rights, a healthier planet and a healthier you When: May 1 - Aug 31 How :go to http:// www.nationalbikechallenge.org/join.html and click the “Join the Challenge” link. After registering for a free Endomondo account, you can join our team (Office of Sustainability at Ohio University) or create your own team. Then log the miles you ride and see who wins!

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Food

Photography and text by Emily Kuzmick

Fruit Salad

A Better Way to Start Your Day! Athens, Ohio is one of the best places to experience the benefits of locally grown, organic foods. From locally run restaurants and cafés such as Casa Nueva, Donkey Coffee, and Village Bakery and Café’ to open food markets such as the weekly Athens Farmer’s Market, anyone affiliated with the Athens area has a multitude of options. Campus programs strive to take advantage of the readily available food sources that help sustain local businesses as well as the environment. One such group is Vegan Cooking Workshop, an organization here on campus that meets weekly to “cook, serve, eat, and clean” with food that is locally purchased and organically grown. Additionally, the organization works towards building a strong sense of community, something vital in sharing sustainable practices. What most people don’t realize is that the recipes are completely attainable, easy to make, and of course, delicious—this vegan breakfast recipe is perfect for helping to sustain an ideal environment, a strong community, and a healthy body.

    

Apples from Farmer’s Market (chopped) Oranges or tangerines Pineapple Blueberries Strawberries

Directions: Chop, mix and serve!

Vegan Pancakes (from allrecipes.com: NICDELIS)

1 1/4 cups flour

2 tablespoons sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

1 1/4 cups soy milk or water

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Directions: 1. Heat pan on stove to medium heat. 2. Combine dry ingredients in a bowl. 3. Add soy milk and vegetable oil to mixture. Mix until smooth. 4. Ladle one spoonful of batter into pan. 5. Flip carefully when bubbles appear in middle of pancake, or when edges begin to stiffen. 6. Repeat until batter is gone, and try not to eat them all while you’re cooking them!

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Tofu Scramble Vegetables:  1 bell pepper  1 container of drained and crumbled extra firm tofu (not silken)  Cooking oil  1—2 cups chopped kale, spinach, Swiss chard or arugula Spice Blend:  1 teaspoon cumin  1 teaspoon thyme  Crushed garlic  1 teaspoon paprika  ½ teaspoon turmeric  1 teaspoon salt

Directions:

Sauté kale and peppers in cooking oil. Add spice blend and a little water to help mix the blend. When veggies are tender, move them to the sides of the pan and form an empty circle in the middle of your pan. Add more oil to the middle of the pan, then add the tofu. If tofu sticks, add more water. When tofu turns golden, mix in the vegetables and fry until veggies are cooked!

Fruit Syrup    

12 oz. of fresh strawberries (now in season) or frozen berries 1 ¼ cup unsweetened apple juice 10 teaspoons cornstarch 2 ½ teaspoons lemon juice

Directions: 1. Combine in blender and puree until desired consistency. Or, for a chunky fruit sauce, do not puree ingredients and simply combine ingredients by hand in a saucepan. 2. Cook in saucepan over medium heat until mixture begins to thicken or until desired consistency. 3. Serve while still warm over pancakes, muffins, scones or ice cream!

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Perspectives Abroad it and that trickles down to what we eat and it’s ok. If you talk about why you should not waste food at home, you should I sat down with Pronoy Rai, an International Development not waste water—it’s not yours. It’s something that’s Studies Masters student from Hydrabab, India to talk about nature’s. The attempt is to talk about the world from an differences in how sustainability is addressed in the U.S. and in ecocentric perspective and not an anthropocentric India. I learned that India has a better transit system than the perspective. Like you are the center and environment is all U.S. and has a National commitment to greenhouse gas around you. It doesn’t work that way. It’s like the emissions reduction. Here are a few other tidbits environment is the entity and you are a part of it like there Pronoy shared. are animals and trees and birds and clouds and all of it which is J: Do you talk about sustainability related issues in part of the environment. That’s the broad understanding. If school and when does that conversation you do take an ecocentric view of the world perhaps it start happening? creates opportunities to convey the message that you—just because you have the power to, you cannot waste things. So P: Scarcity in some ways has created opportunities. I for example in my house, where I grew up, it was engrained in remember at least from my 5th or 6th grade we are taught us that you cannot waste food. You only take as much food as constantly about environmental conservation. I think I would you can eat. If you left food, you know, everyone would be credit that to the fact that there is already the realization that uncomfortable at the end because that is not what you should resources are scarce and there isn’t as much monetary be doing. resources to invest in creating infrastructure and that kind of J: Does that ecocentric view carry over into how thing. So our schools always had conservation in the syllabi. business is conducted? Do businesses try to That aside, I would also credit the dominant religion in India to minimize waste? have played a role because environmental preservation in P: I would like to think so, but no. Unless there is economic Hinduism is very essential. Ensuring trees are not cut, food is incentive. Which is why the level of pollution is so high not wasted, for instance, these are things that are central to— because companies just don’t care and regulatory reforms are and it’s not a religion by your standards because it’s not very weak. organized at all, it doesn’t have any structure, it’s more philosophy. Hinduism is essentially a way of life...it’s like Interested in learning more or how to get involved? Pronoy Buddhism, it’s sort of broad categories of instructions on how recommends starting with the Ministry of Environment and to live a happy sustainable life. I think sustainability is a part of Forests in India, ATREEE and any number of NGO’s.

A glimpse into India | Jessica Bilecki

Students in Costa Rica

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Monteverde, Costa Rica | By Jaymie Tighe Have you ever wanted to leap out of the box and experience cultures other than your own? Have you ever wanted to see the world but have no idea how to organize your trip? Have you ever wanted to take college classes in a different country? Then education abroad is your calling! Many college students jump to the opportunity to explore the planet, expand their cultural perspective, and learn something new within subjects they are passionate about. Deciding which education abroad experience to attend can, unfortunately, be a daunting task that many college students face. Studying internationally is a life changing experience, so making sure which program is right for you is a big deal. At Ohio University, you’re in luck! There are great resources available on campus and online to help you catch the travel bug. Sustainable development and community-centered programs are at the forefront of the green revolution. Keeping up with demand, Ohio University has numerous programs to pick from that can be taken for credit and paid for with existing scholarships. Routes will periodically feature profiles of community-based study abroad programs focused on addressing sustainability issues that might spark your curiosity. This issue’s featured program is Sustainability + Environment, in Monteverde, Costa Rica offered by the Council on International Education Exchange. The Costa Rican (CIEE) program is designed for students that are interested in learning about sustainable practices and environmental conservation driven activism in a beautiful and tropical climate.

What You’ll Do in Monteverde, Costa Rica:  The CIEE coursework offered focuses on population growth, consumption, urbanization, and globalization. You will experience possible solutions firsthand by exploring the intersection of humans and how they impact the environment, economy and everyday society.  Gain experience from an internship through local education, conservation, development business, or an NGO.  You will adventure to protected areas of rare biodiversity within remote and unique locations in Costa Rica and Nicaragua. There you will gain knowledge in conservation, sustainable practices, and be engrossed in the Costa Rican sustainability movement by volunteering with local organizations.  While living with your Costa Rican host family, you will explore local culture and be immersed in Spanish language. This education abroad opportunity is well rounded, mixing conservation work with environmental advocacy, catering to a large range within the green sector. If your career path has any relevance inside this emerging field, this program may help you stand out against the crowd. According to the resident director Karen Masters, “Involvement is for someone who wants to save the world, but isn’t afraid to get dirty while doing it!” Interested students can find more information about this program by going to the Ohio University Office of Education Abroad to talk to an advisor, or go to CIEE.

For what its worth… “Studying development and related environmental issues abroad with CIEE Thailand when I was an undergraduate was by far the best learning experience of my life and worth every penny.” ~Jessica Bilecki

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Office of Sustainability Grant Winners |

Jessica Bilecki

For Earth Month this year members of the OU community were invited to organize their own sustainability related event. Eight groups were awarded mini-grants up to $500 each from the Office of Sustainability to assist with program implementation. Here are this year’s grant winners. Local Cooking Demonstration Awardee: Heidi Anderson, Education/Special Events Coordinator at OU Wellworks and Conscious Ohio On April 24th a group of OU employees gathered to learn more about cooking with fresh and local food. The evening consisted of watching a movie trailer for “Hand to Mouth: The Athens Ohio Food Cycle”, learning about the campus-wide CSA program where people can ‘subscribe’ to a weekly box of fresh produce, Photo: Ryanne Gallagher observation of cooking demonstrations and culminated in a dinner of the dishes featured in the cooking demonstration. FLOW — For Love of Water Awardee: Benjamin Bushwick “Water issues are real.” To help educate students about sheer volumes of water bottle waste and other social and ecological issues associated with water around the globe Benjamin Screened the movie Flow– For Love of Water. In addition, as part of Earth Fest 2012 he created a visual display to help communicate facts about the options we have when it comes to drinking water. Benjamin’s hope is that students will be empowered to boycott bottled water and its associated negative impacts. After all, as Benjamin puts it, “As consumers, we carry tremendous power: We decide which businesses live, and we decide which businesses die. We allow them to thrive. We can condemn them for lies.” Mackin’ on Local Food Awardee: Jill Carlson, MacKinnon Hall RA

Photo: Lisa Kefalos

Talk about staking functions! This event encouraged recycling, zero waste, energy efficiency and supporting the local food economy. When MacKinnon Hall residents brought their recyclables to a drop off point they traded in their ‘waste’ for energy efficient light bulbs, a taste of local food, and maybe even a lesson about local food as well. It was a way of bringing the greater community to campus and helping students connect to local restaurants that support local farmers and producers. See a full write up in Compass. 13


Mini Farmers Market on campus Awardee: Tracy Kelly, Graduate Student Senate It’s not entirely convenient to try to get to the Athens Farmers Market every Saturday morning so GSS brought the Market to OU! This helps raise awareness about local food producers and provides students with easy access to delicious snacks, some of which they may never have considered before. Kohlrabi anyone? Seriously, try it with a sprinkle of salt. Mmmmm Photo: Jessica Bilecki

300 Trees Pledge Awardee: Stephanie Miller & Molly Gurien, Biological Sciences This program encouraged students to voluntarily pledge to plant 300 trees in their lifetime. Why 300? This is the number that is said to counter balance the amount of fossil fuel pollution one person produces in a lifetime. Over 75 students signed the pledge and were given 30 tree seedlings to plant. In addition, about 300 trees were planted by volunteers the weekend of April 14th and 15th on OU property and reclaimed mineland. Photo: Molly Gurien

Beekeeping workshop at OU Lancaster Awardee: Giorgi Shonia, OU Lancaster’s branch of the Kanawha Environmental Education Project Like honey? What about zucchini, pumpkin, tomatoes, apples, pears, almonds—you get the picture. Small as they may be, we need pollinators but honeybee populations have been facing some major challenges recently. Ohio University Lancaster’s branch of the Kanawha Environmental Education Project organized a beekeeping workshop at the Lancaster Campus. Students and residents attended a Photo: Jess Lanning Eagle-Gazette presentation by Mr. Zale Maxwell and learned about some of the problems bees face today and had a live hive experience.” Following the presentations, the film “Vanishing of the Bees” was screened. Vegan Cooking Awardee: Halie Cousineau, Conscious Ohio (Vegan Cooking) Friends, music, dancing and good food. What could be better? The Vegan Cooking Workshop provided a fully local, vegan meal. This workshop stressed the many benefits of local food. Lowering your ecological and carbon foot prints doesn’t need to be a sacrifice. In fact it can be fun!

CAPTION Photo: Alexandra Deet 14


Office of Sustainability Sustainability Plan Update |

Kyla McConnell

Benchmark 8

Survey Says…

92.1% were familiar

Improve sustainability literacy of students, faculty and staff

with what a carbon footprint is!

Mission: Increase sustainability literacy at least 5% every year

Not so good news:

How you can help:    

Learn what sustainability is Request information on sustainability at orientation and in your classes Volunteer to be a sustainability liaison for your department or student group Spread the word. Have great suggestions? We want to hear them—sustainability@ohio.edu

Increases in sustainability literacy lead to greater environmental awareness. Once I became familiar with facts and statistics about the local environment, I became more conscientious about my daily actions which have had a great impact on my life. For example, when I started to monitor my waste more often, I began to notice that I was also spending less money. In a struggling economy, it is important that people become aware and implement sustainability in their lifestyles so that they will be able to maintain a comfortable lifestyle. In 2011, Elaine Goetz, the research and reporting coordinator graduate assistant at the Ohio University Office of Sustainability, created sustainability literacy surveys that six volunteers distributed to 228 students, faculty, and staff in classrooms and at campus events in efforts to meet goals of benchmark 8 of the sustainability plan. The assessment consisted of three multiple choice questions concerning the definition of sustainability, knowledge of personal carbon footprint, and behaviors related to sustainability. Results from the survey show that social justice and living simply are areas of sustainability literacy that can be improved at Ohio University.

Good news!

Only 17.6% calculated their own carbon footprints.

39.1% knew If you read this

a general definition of sustainability. you’ll know one too.

“Meeting present needs without compromising the ability “Meeting presentof future generations to meet their needs.” needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs” WECD 1987

The Office of Sustainability will continue to work towards achieving benchmark 8 by increasing of sustainability literacy in the Ohio University community.

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OU BEST IN MAC

note. Todd McCullough, a graduate student at OUL Adapted from writings contributed by Ed Newman noted that he’s worked with This spring 28 colleges and universities across Ohio the custodial staff and has competed in RecycleMania. The results are in for this gone through a lot of what 8 week national recycling and waste reduction was coming off of the campus completion. OU dominated the MAC in 5 of 6 to beef up what was going in competitions. Go bobcats! recycling instead of trash disposal. Strong contributions from Alden Library, OIT, and stepped up performances from many departments Regional campuses from OU, and students in residence halls boosted Ohio’s KSU and BGSU competed recycling rate 4% this year over last and took OU to against each other and OU Zanesville had the highest the top of the MAC with a total of 58,508 pounds of recycling amount at 14,262 lbs. OU Eastern also material recycled in 8 weeks! posted very competitive per capita scores for paper Some of OHIO’s regional campuses also turned in impressive recycling performances this year. OU Southern’s Adam Riehl and student assistant, Joe O’Leary stated at the onset of RecycleMania that they were going to emphasize waste minimization this year that is, compete hard in reducing overall consumption. They did this with gusto and actually ranked 8th in the country in this effort. OU Lancaster also excelled, ranking 9th in the nation in per capita recycling. These are impressive achievements by two or our regional campuses to

New to the program this year was a pilot e-waste recycling program. 67 schools, reported the weight of all the e-waste recovered in one month.

Think about it.

at 2.09 lbs. per person and for beverage containers at 4.35 lbs. See www.recyclemania.com for complete results. Stay tuned for Game Day Challenge next fall when OHIO competes for the greatest recycling, waste minimization and composting at a football game. It will take a real team effort to beat the 82% recycling rate we reached last fall at the OU vs. Temple game.

E-waste Institution recycled Purdue University - West Lafayette69,965 Ohio University-Main Campus 58,508 Michigan State University 58,000 University of California-Davis 51,440 Oregon State University 49,025 Rutgers University 46,381 Duke University 45,752 Stony Brook University 35,404 Cornell University 33,569 University of Michigan-Ann Arbor 32,179 Total 480,223

480,223 pounds of e-waste from only 10 institutions. That’s approximately 16,000 desktop computers 16


Opportunities

Katie Lasco & Jessica Bilecki

Summer Courses

Omega Institute Permaculture Design Certification June 22-29 & Aug 19-26 Summer Course with Dave Jacke, Kay Cafasso, Connor Stedman and Ethan Roland in Rhinebeck, NY. Gain your design certification with Kay Cafasso of Sowing Solutions and Dave Jacke, award winning author of Edible Forest Gardens. Practice permaculture design while conducting design work at the Omega site! Register and learn about all retreat facilities and free classes (yoga, meditation, etc) offered during this course at the Omega Institute! Permaculture Design Certification Course with Living Routes at the Sirius EcoVillage

In Athens for the summer? Consider taking a class related to environmental issues: Water and Pollution (GEOL 231), Conservation and Biodiversity (BIOS 220), Ecology in the 21st Century (BIOS 275), Intro to Environmental Health (EH 260), and Americans & Forests: Conservation/Policy (PBIO 109) are all offered online and in the classroom. First day of summer session is June 18, and the last day to register for classes is June 25.

Conferences EcoSummit 2012 September 30 – October 5, 2012

Now is the time to register for the 4th annual EcoSummit on ecological sustainability in Columbus, July 13-Aug 2 OH. This conference will bring together the world's most respected minds in ecological science (E.O. Join teachersKay Cafasso, Jono Neiger, Llani Davidson Wilson, Jared Diamondto discuss restoring the and guests Dave Jacke, Ryan Harb, Eric Toensmeier planet's ecosystems. The symposia, general sessions, and Jonathan Bates at Sirius EcoVillage near Amherst, posters, and workshops cover a wide variety of ecological topics over the week, including ecological MA. Option to gain 4 college credits with UMass Amherst. Meet with some of the best permaculture restoration and engineering, ecosystem services, global climate change, and sustainable business. designers in the northeast~ Gain experience in the gardens~ Be surrounded by a wonderful and supportive community at Sirius EcoVillage~ Practice ecological design from client interviews to detailed designs ~ Visit local permaculture farms, urban sites, and homesteads ~ and much more! I

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Volunteer If you’re looking to get some community service hours, check out a nonprofit environmental organization right here in Athens. Community Food Initiatives (CFI) supports the local food movement by maintaining community gardens, collecting and donating fresh food, and providing educational programs for children in the county. Interested? Contact: cfi@communityfoodinitiatives.org or call: 740.593.5971

Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association is hosting a 2012 Ohio Sustainable Farm Tour and Workshop Series June—September. OEFFA needs help facilitating tours and photographing events. If interested in facilitating contact: Michelle Gregg If interested in photographing contact: Lauren Ketcham

The Office of Sustainability offers volunteer and internship positions to students in a variety of disciplines. Develop valuable skills for your future career and help the Office of Sustainability achieve its mission. To learn more, send an email describing your area(s) of interest to: sustainability@ohio.edu

Speak Up! Climate Action Plan (CAP) OU has committed to becoming Climate neutral (0 carbon emissions) by 2075. Want to know how we propose to do this? Have more effective strategies in mind, more aggressive timelines? We want to hear from you! Review OU’s Climate Action Plan online and tell us what you think. Send comments to sustainability@ohio.edu or send anonymous comments through surveymonkey at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/ OUCAPFeedback. Hurry you only have until the end of May!

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Expressions

Spotlight on Abby Chew

Every Issue of Routes features the creative work of an artist whose work expresses some form of sustainability. This Issue features poems of OU Eastern Adjunct faculty member Abby Chew. Abby lives near Captina Creek in Barnesville, Ohio, where she teaches poetry and English courses at OU Eastern, teaches at Olney Friends School, raises goats, and hangs out with a dog named Alice and some farmers named Don and Sandy. Chew earned her MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and is the recipient of a 2012 Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award. Her first book of poems, Discontinued Township Roads, is forthcoming from WordTech Communications in 2013.

If you are a student, faculty or staff member and are interested in having your work featured, send a biography, and jpgs or word documents featuring your work to sustainability@ohio.edu 19


Back Two Jog down this road and you won’t see the culvert once spattered with blood where our dog killed a ground hog. You might, if you jog in late fall or winter when the blackberry brambles and cinnamon fern die back, see the skeletons of three deer— big bucks, not much antlered—poached and left to rot. Now their bones lie bare in the dirt. I stepped knee-deep into the belly of one when I jumped down the hillside in search of morels. Granted, I wasn’t moving with any care. I did not have an eye out for elm and ash. I wasn’t kneeling. But the rain had brought out the green and I wanted it. So I jumped. The stink and the slap of flesh, the sudden buzz of flies tapping my half-closed eyes. That kind of landing can ruin a girl.

Photo: Jessica Bilecki 20


Chicken Coop When building a chicken coop, you need to know, while your hens are stupid, unbelievably so, they have a hunger for land and light. Sister has a nanny goat whose legs she ties for milking. But the chickens don’t peck her small hands pressing beneath their feathers for eggs. The hens let her do the thing quietly. Of course their brains are peanuts. Of course. But you need to know how to build the frame of their house. Make it warm. Make it tight. Maybe paint it yellow. Heat the water in January, when you think your own fingers may shatter from wind. Don’t tell them where you’re going when you leave. Feed on a schedule. Don’t kick at the rooster where he waits in the bare yard, aiming his nail of a beak at your knees. Talk to them like you do your good dog. Tell them you are sorry. Tell them everything you know you should.

Photo: Don Guindon 21


Storm No one asks for silence this morning but we give it without question. The dawn, long past, brought a haze of heat, laid it down over us heavy, not at all like your body over mine. Not at all like that. Last night, a brutal storm struck us down. I watched lightning crick the side of the building, wind snap the bean trellis, toss it up, spinning. We salvage what we can. The sky doesn’t ask if we want our arms slick with sweat as we pick beans, row on row, does not ask if we want to kneel in the shade panting like old house cats, to vomit into the weeds. July doesn’t ask what we desire. It only creeps up over the hill each morning, brings us what we deserve.

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Yoke The dirt wasn’t like this in Indiana, where my brother and I dug holes for night-crawlers, holes in red clay that needed all the help it could get to make all that corn. Now, living in Iowa, even the soil I kick back from the edges of my driveway blacks my boots. It’s rich out here. My brother helped birth twin Oxen calves last spring. Their black noses pressed to my palms like I could offer them anything but grain from an old coffee can. They were leggy and light for the one time in their lives. My brother named them Poncho and Lefty, raised them up to the yoke. More than 25 million days to plough the farmland here. Still— their noses. The thin hide above their ankles. It’s work we learn, more than anything, and work we teach. It’s the changing of calves into ploughshares, prairie into furrows. It’s a soil so fertile we can’t help but bend it. And my brother, working at the forge with a broken calabash hook, will tell you oxen aren’t built to pull. They haven’t the shoulders, the muscled legs. But they’re built to keep walking, keep working with a yoke strapped to their horns, keep edging that plough through God knows how much prairie, until we let them stop.

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“I Want To Change The World... But I Don’t Know How.” Join the Ohio University Office of Sustainability! Visit Our Website

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Routes, Issue 2  

An electronic publication from the Office of Sustainability at Ohio University featuring stories, artwork, recipes, internships, jobs and mo...

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