Page 1

Issue 1

March 2012

In This Issue: Focus On Energy Tech Tips ................................................................... 03 Ecohouse ................................................................... 04 Faculty Research ...................................................... 05 Living Tips .................................................................. 07 Sustainability Plan ..................................................... 08 Perspectives: Edinburgh ......................................... 09 Get Involved ...............................................................12 Expressions: Jon Sabraw ..........................................16




On The Cover

Cover Photo: Ohio University Lausche Heating Plant Š Shannon Wise

Ohio University’s leadership made a strong commitment to sustainability by guaranteeing the transition away from a coal fired power plant on campus and toward more sustainable choices for energy production. Lausche Coal Plant, pictured on the cover of this issue, is slated to be out of commission as a coal plant by 2015. A Feasibility Study is being conducted by RMF Engineering and select members of the OU faculty, staff and student body. The Routes staff will keep a close eye on new developments and offer future articles on the topic. Minutes from the Lausche Coal Plant Progress meetings can be found online at:

From Our Director Countless opportunities for the promotion of sustainability at Ohio University have presented themselves in my short time as the Director of Sustainability. I am delighted to have already had many engaging discussions with OU representatives. I have been struck by the incredible passion of OU students, faculty and staff as well as the care expressed by members of our surrounding communities. This newsletter is just one of the many exciting changes that we have been nurturing in the Office of Sustainability this year. Upon the formal adoption of the Sustainability Plan in Summer 2011, it was decided that the mission, vision and offerings of the Office of Sustainability needed to be reexamined so as to better align with the benchmarks identified in that plan. Change is, in my opinion, one of the most exciting aspects of sustainability. As we work to provide consistency and health to our environment, economy and selves, it is essential that we take great care in adapting to the many changes occurring around us. The Office of Sustainability is fortunate to have a team of extraordinary student staff and volunteers working diligently to meet the demands of our growing institution and community. They are charged with the difficult tasks of measuring institutional impacts on the environment, nurturing personal well-being and inspiring others to contribute their time and efforts to our local economy. I encourage (and challenge) you to use this newsletter and the many resources provided within it to explore this topic of “sustainability� so that you, too, can begin to infuse it into the work you do at Ohio University and beyond. Sincerely,

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 Jaymie Tighe

Photographers Shannon Wise

Layout Neal Patten

*Indicates editors Produced by the Ohio University Office of Sustainability

Annie Laurie Cadmus Director of Sustainability, Ohio University Twitter @SustainableOU 2

Green Tech

Alex Snyder

I love my car and I’m not ashamed to say it. Taking care of your vehicle can go a long way in helping the environment and Earth Garage is there to take you to the next step! From the start I was amazed with all of the website’s products that have sustainability in mind. From oil filters to break pads, Earth Garage seems to have it all. They understand that not everyone wants to buy the latest hybrid or electric car but they still want to do their part — with this site you can! Be sure to check out their Money Saver fuel cost calculator as well! Track energy use at Ohio University! The Ohio University Building Dashboard displays electricity consumed by the University in real time. The Dashboard breaks energy usage down by kilowatthours, carbon emissions and dollars spent every hour, week, month or year.

One of my favorite news organizations is quickly branching out! Yes, at times they can be a bit too radical for my taste but the Huffington Post is always consistent on providing up to date and newsworthy information. They occasionally throw in a cute animal picture here and there… but that makes me love them all the more! Huff Post Green has been around for awhile but now the organization has expanded to Facebook — giving each of their website sections its own page. This lets you tailor what information you want to see on your news feed! Be sure to “Like” them to receive up to date news and tips on sustainability! Being a conservation photographer, I have to give credit when credit is due. The International League of Conservation Photographers deserves such credit. These amazingly talented photographers travel the world and document conservation-related issues. Their mission is to “further environmental and cultural conservation through ethical photography.” 3


By Katie Lasco Photography by Shannon Wise

Take a moment to stop and think about your house. What type of fuel is used to generate your electricity? How about to heat water for your faucets and shower? Do you know if your power comes from coal, natural gas, or some other source?

A solar hot water heater uses the sun’s energy to warm a water and glycol solution which in turn provides hot water to Ecohouse residents. This is an especially good For many of us, energy is an ordinary investment; its cost of $4,000 comfort that is never in short supply: we flick on the can be returned in as little as five years. lights as we walk in the door, expect steaming hot water when we take a bath, and use kitchen A biomass furnace burns wood and corn appliances every day to make coffee or cook food. pellets to generate heat for chilly winters. This No matter where it comes from or how it was system is even carbon neutral, as the carbon produced, a monthly payment to an electricity sequestered by the trees and corn is roughly equal company is all that is required of us to obtain to the amount emitted by the furnace. seemingly endless light. However, fossil fuels are not In addition to generating energy sustainably, an endless resource, and sooner or later (preferably residents of the Ecohouse also save energy through sooner!), households will have to make a switch to various practices. By maintaining an organic garden, using less energy and using alternative sources of less food is purchased from the industrial agriculture energy. system, which is extremely energy intensive. The Many homeowners don’t know where to start. To remedy this, in 2004 Ohio University made the decision to design and fund an Ecohouse to provide a model for how a typical house can be made sustainable. Today, the Ecohouse is home to three students, and features a variety of devices that provide sustainable energy for living:.

kitchen of the Ecohouse contains all Energy Star Appliances that conserve electricity, such as an energy efficient refrigerator, dishwasher, washing machine, and dryer. A 2.4 kw solar array provides And residents decrease their waste by composting food scraps and a large percentage of the recycling. With these practices, the Ecohouse home’s electricity. These residents help demonstrate how energy use can be panels cost $23,000, an decreased. So the next time you turn on the TV or investment that will take a shower, think again about the energy being eventually be returned by used. What changes can you make? savings in energy bills.

Live at the OHIO Ecohouse! If you are an undergraduate or graduate student interested in this unique living experience for the 2012-2013 academic year, there is still one spot left. For more information follow the link above. 4


Maddie Edminister

carbon intensive your lifestyle is, are you willing to commit to reducing that?” While compressing an extensive report like this can be Ohio is currently ranked as the seventh highest energy a very difficult thing to do, Dr. Miller insists that there are consuming state in the country1, and therefore will be three key points to take away from the project. heavily impacted by Federal climate change or carbon 1. This is “the most comprehensive assessment emissions policies. Recently a groundbreaking new report of Ohio’s carbon profile, potential policy examining the effects of climate change and carbon recommendations and the economic emissions on Ohio’s environment and economy was assessment of those potential policy published by experts from both Ohio University and The recommendations that has ever been Ohio State University. done.” Most previous assessments of the climate Dr. Scott Miller, the Director of Energy and have been done on the national level, which fails to Environmental Programs at OU’s Voinovich School of analyze specifically what needs to be done in Ohio Leadership and Public Affairs, recently collaborated with to best suit our environment and economy. representatives from The Ohio State University to produce this comprehensive report, Assuring Competitiveness in a Carbon-Constrained World. 2. We must be realistic about taking on new legislation and the potential impacts of that Ohio is heavily reliant on coal, which is a large legislation, both positive and negative. Dr. Miller contributing factor to our placement as third highest says, “Those tradeoffs that are going to come as a polluter of carbon dioxide (CO2) due to electricity 2 result of that climate change legislation are generation in the nation. This report takes an in-depth important to note, they will be costly, but that’s look at the effects greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) have not necessarily bad.” on our environment and economy, and works towards realistic, policy-oriented solutions for these issues. While the actual work is over seven hundred pages long, the 3. We must be committed to preserving our interactive website and executive summary make it easy to quality of life and therefore, aware of the navigate key areas and take away components. The entire harmful pollutants that come with burning fossil study can be broken down into four major areas of focus fuels such as coal. “There are social, health and which are summarized on the following page. quality of life impacts that come from a more After reading through these broken down segments of sustainable, lower carbon lifestyle.” the report, we college students might still find ourselves In summary, Assuring Competitiveness in a Carbonasking, “How can I make a difference?” It turns out, you do Constrained World is the most comprehensive report to be not have to be an engineer nor a political lobbyist to start published yet on climate change and potential policy reducing your carbon footprint. Dr. Miller understands making in the state of Ohio. It has set forth goals and that completely eliminating your carbon footprint is objectives to aide in actualizing a more sustainable, clean unrealistic, yet he makes active choices to limit his and efficient environment, economy and society. While pollution, such as driving a Prius and supporting local there are many higher, governmental forces at work with farmer’s markets. this plan, we must not fail to apply its core concepts to “You have to look at your personal behavior patterns, really seriously take a step back and look at our own lives. As Dr. Miller says, “Even though this is a very large and overarching, complex report – at the end of the amount of electricity you use, the amount of vehicle miles you travel, the amount of hot water that the day it all comes down to personal behaviors.” you use – there’s a carbon cost to things that we don’t even think about. Then, once you understand how

Ohio, Carbon Emissions and Implications

Sources from Assuring Ohio’s Competitiveness: Executive Summary 1 U.S. Energy Information Administration. State Energy Data System (SEDS). (2011, June 30). Table C10. Energy Consumption by End-Use Sector, Ranked by State, 2009. Retrieved from 2 U.S. Energy Information Administration. State Electricity Profiles: Ohio. (2011, April). Table 1. 2009 Summary Statistics (Ohio). Retrieved from


Maddie Edminister

Illustration from:


Before we can work towards enacting environmental statutes that address greenhouse gas emissions, we must first identify the major sources. The report focuses on three main sources of pollution, “Stationary,” “Mobile,” and “Area,” each of which emits gasses in their own unique ways. To get a better handle on the distribution of these emissions, an interactive map that breaks down the sources and main hotspots can be found at

In order for Ohio to best respond to Federal policies, regulations and legislation, lawmakers, businesspeople and citizens alike, need to fully understand them. The report thoroughly reviews U.S. climate change policies that affect Ohio. Then, based on these policies the report details potential resulting risks and opportunities in Ohio related to the following; Ohio’s large manufacturing sector, carbon offsets, carbon capture and sequestration, current and potential renewable energy resources and business growth.

New legislation is not something that should be enacted frivolously. To ensure the best possible laws are enacted, ones that seize carbon related opportunities while reducing economic, environmental and overall health risks, this report reviews policies and legislation in other states. From these outside examples assessments for Ohio are made. This section provides Ohio’s lawmakers with a variety of options and viewpoints on environmental legislation to help them make the most informed decisions possible.

The report developed the “dynamic energyeconomy policy simulation” (DEEPS) tool. This tool provides models that demonstrate the potential impacts of Greenhouse Gas legislation on the environment, economy and society as a whole. This is a key instrument for the report because it provides a realistic view of life after energy and climate change restrictions, with both its positive and negative impacts.

What is your carbon footprint? Find out at


Living Tips

Photography by Shannon Wise

1. When not in use, unplug any appliances, such as your TV, cell phone and laptop chargers, etc. Turn off your, heater, A/C, and lights when you leave a room. Vampires: The U.S. Department of Energy says that in the average home nearly 75% of all electricity used by electronics is when they are powered off or in sleep modes! 2. Use Smart Strips which stop energy consumption of appliances that are left plugged in. Money Wasted: Lawrence Berkley National Labs estimate the average home has 40 electronics in a consistent sleep mode. Turning all these off when not in use would save you an average of $100 a year! 3. Turn off the water while brushing your teeth! You can save approximately 3 gallons of water every time you brush if you do. Wet The Heck: To produce a single barrel of crude oil it takes 1,851 gallons of water!

4. Study in public spaces - the library, a coffee shop, dorm lounge - that way you are not creating a need for more energy. Switcheroo: Buy blinds that have one dark side, one light. That way the dark will soak in sun and heat during winter but the light side will keep the sun out and cool in summer. 5. Use cold water when you do your laundry. Not only does this save energy, but you can also wash any color of clothing together in cold water without colors bleeding. Sizzler: Washing clothes in hot water wastes more electricity than leaving the refrigerator door open 24 hours a day for a year!

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


Sustainability Plan

Elaine Geotz

Update on Implementation After the Ohio University Sustainability Plan (SP) was approved by President McDavis and the Board of Trustees in June, 2011, the plan moved into the implementation phase. The Ecology and Energy Conservation Committee (EECC), a committee of faculty and students, serves as the Plan’s monitoring agent with support from Ohio University’s Office of Sustainability (OoS). The SP identifies 35 benchmarks for striving towards sustainability at OU. Have you ever tried to measure ecological literacy, carbon emissions from commuters or food waste and then compiled all this into an overall sustainability measure? It is not an easy task but that is exactly what EECC and the Office of Sustainability are working on. Teams of faculty, students, staff and community members have suggested strategies for achieving these benchmarks and now EECC and OoS are figuring out how to measure, track and report the outcomes of implemented strategies. Some major challenges in this process (heads up future sustainability professionals, you’ll want to know this!) include: deciding on appropriate metrics, coordinating who is responsible for working towards benchmarks when they may involve multiple departments or operational units, and ensuring that the workload of faculty/staff is not added to without appropriate compensation. With great challenges come great opportunities. Many benchmarks can be achieved through simple behavioral changes and small efforts (This is where you come in. Yes, you.) due to their commonsense and economical nature.

Be a winner, review the plan. OK, maybe just the benchmarks, and decide what you will do to help OU on its path. Also, be on the lookout for the first Sustainability Report this June, 2012.! Top 9 Benchmarks 1.Reduce institutional greenhouse gas emissions across all campuses. 2.Reduce campus and building energy intensity. 3.Increase renewable energy generation and sourcing. 4.LEED certify new buildings and major renovations on all campuses. 5.Reduce solid waste 6.Institue annual sustainability profile tracking and assessment process. 7.Increas recycling rates 8.Improve sustainability literacy of students, faculty and staff. 9.Increase enrollment in sustainability-themed courses, majors, and programs

Special Thanks to individuals, departments and operating units who proactively began implementation of the benchmarks immediately.


Perspectives Abroad

Travel to Edinburgh, Scotland

Photo: Alex Snyder Every issue of Routes will feature a different article commenting on the current issue’s topic from an international perspective. Articles may be written about how the topic applies to another place, or can communicate perspectives about the U.S. from an international student’s perspective. Issue 2 will focus on Sustainability and Food. To submit an article email 9

Study Abroad

Jaymie Tighe Photography by Alex Snyder

retrofit our old ones, so that they are more efficient, just and livable places.” Edinburgh has a reputation as a leader in the worldwide effort to transform cities into “green” cities. With this reputation, I made observations of the polarity between Edinburgh and Athens, Ohio. What I noticed most were the city’s achievements in transportation, importance of green space, energy consumption, and recycling amenities. The first thing I found remarkable about Edinburgh was the city’s public transportation system which everyone uses because of its Last summer I seized the opportunity of a lifetime to study abroad in Edinburgh, the capitol of affordability and efficiency. Bus routes that extend into the surrounding suburbs help decrease urban Scotland and one of it’s most progressive cities. Balancing all things traditional and contemporary, the congestion. In addition, Edinburgh is currently city is a blend of rich history and current sustainable installing an electric tram system that mimics those in some of Europe’s other progressive cities such as practices. Amsterdam. With gasoline rising to almost £4.50 or I lived and attended school at the University $9 a gallon, Edinburgh’s efforts to minimize cars on of Edinburgh for five weeks with 14 fellow Ohio roadways relieves financial burden’s at the pump, and University students. The program, Edinburgh: City has a positive effect on the environment. and Environment, touches on urban ecology, When I wasn’t taking the bus every where, I environmental history, and sustainable urban planning. According to program director Dr. Geoff was walking. The importance of parks and other recreational green space is apparent in Scotland. Buckley, “With more than half the world’s population living “urban” already, and the movement When I say “green space”, I really mean everything was lush and green! Not only does urban ecology from rural to urban accelerating rapidly, it is add aesthetics to a bustling city, but it creates a imperative that we design our new cities, and

Photo courtesy of Jaymie Tighe

Photo: Alex Snyder 10

Photo: Alex Snyder

yearning for physical activity, and appreciation for the beautiful geography the country has to offer. Some of my favorite “green spaces” were Arthur’s Seat in Holyrood Park, which overlooked my dorm, and the Botanical Gardens. Another concept that differs from U.S. mind set is energy consumption. Some of the daily appliances we use in our houses, such as washers, dryers, dishwashers, etc., are considered a luxury in the UK. Electrical outlets have the option of being turned on and off with a switch to help conserve energy. Living in a different country for a few weeks definitely shed light on what I take for granted in the U.S. when it comes to energy. It was amazing to learn how such a formerly industrious city has revolutionized itself into a sustainable city.

My experience studying abroad enlightened me in many ways. It showed me how other’s live their lives culturally. I also learned how an extremely old city could transform itself into one that will be there for many years to come because of their progressive sustainability efforts. I got a very unique perspective on international sustainability that I can use to my advantage in my future. My time in Scotland sparked a curiosity in me that I will continue to pursue.

For more information about studying abroad in Edinburgh, Scotland see page 12.

Recycling is big in Scotland. The city believes everyone should have the access and opportunity to recycle, so they have created facilities where the public can take their items, big or small. Large itemized metal bins hold refrigerators, TVs, and whatever else you could possibly think of. The facility also has created a warehouse to hold gently used items to donate to various organizations. Photo: Alex Snyder 11

Get Involved

Katie Lasco

Student Organizations Emily Kuzmick


Conscious Ohio is a student group that works towards raising social and environmental awareness of our actions. A large part of the organization is promoting sustainability by emphasizing the benefits of buying local and organic. Their weekly event, Vegan Cooking Workshop, is a fun opportunity for members to work together to cook good food. Food that is good for our environment, our health and our taste buds!

Environmental and Science Journalism Class

Contact: Halie Cousineau—President Sierra Student Coalition is a collaboration of students educating the OU and Athens community about today’s environmental issues such as mountaintop removal coal mining, fracking, sustainability, and local food. They participate in Power Vote, a nationwide campaign to engage one million young voters to use their voices to support polices that will help build a sustainable future.

Professor: Dr. Bernhard Debatin This spring quarter course provides students with skills of environmental and science journalism through writing assignments both conceptual (book chapter responses) and practical (journal articles), as well as field trips that will provide first-hand knowledge of regional power plants, abandoned coal mines, hydraulic fracturing sites, and other environmental issues. Environmental and Science journalism is an increasingly important discipline that requires a high level of technical and scientific understanding and the ability to translate complex issues into everyday language without oversimplifying. This special course is not offered on a regular basis. When: Tu,es. Thur. from 1:10 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. What: Call Number: Jour 492 / Jour 792 (graduate) Requirements: The course is open to students in the MSES program and students who want to obtain the Environmental Studies Certificate.

Contact: Camille Scott—President OU Students Against Fracking is a coalition of students from various political, social, and economic backgrounds. They work with the University to create the safest possible environment for both students and community members by integrating themselves in political activities and educating the public about the least harmful and most sufficient ways in which we can preserve our surroundings.

Photo: Alex Snyder

Contact: Camille Scott—President

Study Abroad in Edinburgh

OU Fracking Forums are being held at each of our six

Study cities and the environment in Edinburgh, Scotland, a progressive city whose history and cultural scene provides the perfect location for students to spend five weeks studying environmental history, urban ecology, and sustainability planning. Along with class instruction and lectures, field trips and guest speakers will introduce students to key concepts relating to forest and park management, social and environmental justice issues, and urban provisioning. The deadline to apply was March 9th so contact Geoff Buckley immediately if you are interested.

campuses to gather input from members of the Ohio University community • Chillicothe Campus: March 12 – 2 p.m. – Bennett Hall 145 • Southern Campus: March 13 – 2 p.m. – Bowman Auditorium • Eastern Campus: March 14 – 2 p.m. – Shannon Hall 219 • Lancaster Campus: March 15 – 2 p.m. – Brasee Hall 414 • Zanesville Campus: March 26 – 2 p.m. – Elson Hall 176 • Athens Campus: March 27 – 7 p.m. – Baker University Center, Baker Theater, Second Floor


Get Involved cont. Office of Sustainability Graduate Assistant Opening Ohio University’s Office of Sustainability provides services and support to the campus community; advocates for innovation and research; and ensures fulfillment of institutional commitments to environmental, social and economic wellbeing. The Graduate Assistant in Sustainability will assist the Director of Sustainability with communication, education and outreach programs targeting the campus community and will coordinate with the campus community to assist with annual sustainability reporting.

Residence Challenge Participate in this annual residence hall competition throughout April to reduce energy use. Attend weekly programs to learn what you can do. Every week a different energy related topic will be highlighted. April 1—7: Energy Basics April 8—14: Water & Energy April 15—21: Materials & Energy April 22– 28: OU & Athens Energy Use

When: 2012 –2013 academic year Reimbursement: Full tuition waiver, monthly stipend Contact: Intern or Volunteer The Office of Sustainability offers volunteer and internship positions to students in a variety of disciplines, including communications, marketing, environmental studies, business, and social media. Develop valuable skills for your future career and help the Office of Sustainability achieve its mission. To Ecohouse Community Garden Pilot Program learn more send an email describing your area(s) of interest to Want to grow food with methods that are chemical-free and environmentally sound? The Ecohouse Community Garden initiative is part of a large movement at Ohio University. In alignment with the Sustainability Plan, a garden open to the RecycleMania campus community fosters citizenship, stewardship, and justice. OU is currently in the lead (but Gardeners will engage in a healthy lifestyle change, forming not by much!) for this annual harmonious relationships with the natural world and other intercollegiate recycling community members. A community garden plot may be competition. Last year OU adopted by a student group, a department, or an individual. If recycled an average of 39.53% of you would like to adopt a plot, fill out the survey at: total waste, an average of 18.26 pounds per person during Permaculture Basics for Small Spaces RecycleMania. Help us win the MAC and beat our old record by Think you can’t grow much in small green spaces? Think again. recycling even more these last few Learn basic permaculture principles to help you begin designing productive, low-maintenance and ecologically sound small weeks of March! spaces. Combining lecture and plenty of hands–on activities, this is sure to be an engaging learning experience. Space is limited so register early. When: April 14th, 15th and 22nd from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Where: The Ridges and OU Ecohouse Contact: 13

Get Involved cont. Locally

Conferences Shagbark Seed & Mill Intern

Grains and beans are a big part of a healthy diet but they are the smallest part of the local food movement. For now. We are looking for student and community volunteers to work on public relations and marketing, sampling, cooking, doing outreach, and planning events and fund raising spring quarter, summer and the 2012-13 school year. We are looking for all sorts of skills from press/blog writing to design to event planning, as well as those who are ready to jump in with helping out at farmers markets and at the mill. So if you have a big smile and friendly demeanor, come to our info meeting on Friday April 6 from 2:30-4 pm at Shagbark Seed & Mill on Columbus Road in Athens (88 Columbus Circle). For more information write

Online Webinar – Help Your Students and Their Employers Understand How to Grow Green Jobs Education for green jobs and careers often requires going beyond the teaching of technological skills and knowledge. A successful green business employee also needs an understanding of how to effectively communicate about the green product and how to help the employer understand and utilize the successful green business models. This webinar shares concepts, learning outcomes, and learning activities that can easily be incorporated into sales, marketing, and business courses. When: March 22nd from1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Cost: Free! Register at:

Northeast Ohio Small Farm Conference: Living Your Small Farm Dream Enthusiastic to learn about small farming? Developing productive small farms that source and sell products locally is very important to transitioning away from industrial agriculture to a more sustainable system. This intensive conference will give you the opportunity to choose from 24 different seminars on topics including organic production, farm management, livestock, natural resources, horticulture, aquaculture, and more! When: Saturday, March 31st beginning at 8:30 a.m. Where: R.G. Drage Career Center in Massillon, OH Cost: $50.00 Registration: Deadline to register is March 22, 2012.

International Conference on Materials, Energy and Environment This conference includes plenary speakers and presentations on current research topics such as electronic materials, nanomaterials, zero band-gap materials, and composites. Breakthroughs in nano-science and technology have to potential to change aspects of human life such as energy, biomedicine, and the environment. Additionally, this forum provides a place for students to engage in discussion with scientists, engineers, and other professionals. When: Wednesday, May 9 to Friday, May 11, 2012 Where: Toledo, OH Cost: Students $150.00 before March 15 and $250.00 after

2012 Behavior Change for a Sustainable World Be a part of this gathering to learn how basic principles of behavior change can help in the fight to preserve our environment. This program will feature prominent figures in behavior analysis, environmental organizations, business, and government. Unique interactive brainstorming sessions will also give conference attendees a unique opportunity to interact with people with diverse backgrounds interested in environmental change. When: Friday, August 3 to Sunday August 5, 2012 Where: Ohio State University, Columbus OH Cost: Student cost is $175 before June 18 14


Spotlight on John Sabraw

Every issue of Routes will feature the works of an artist or writer whose work is dedicated to incorporating sustainability. In this inaugural issue we chose to feature artist John Sabraw. Sabraw is an Assistant Professor in the Studio Foundations department at Ohio University. In the following article Sabraw explains how he beautifully integrates sustainability into his personal and professional life.

Issue 2 will focus on ‘Sustainability and Food’. To submit your creative work and short artist profile email 15


Spotlight on John Sabraw

In my efforts to understand environmental responsibility, it became clear that the first step was to examine my own art practice as well as my personal habits. As it turns out, there was and still is a lot of work to be done in this regard. In order to promote this green consciousness within the arts community, as well as to the public at large, I have engaged in an ongoing effort to make my work, and other beloved works of art, carbon neutral. I started in small ways: reducing usage, recycling more, being aware of purchasing from fair trade organizations, etc. Gradually it became clear to me that my own practice as an artist had to be examined within the framework of sustainability to at least begin to clear my conscience before I ask this of others. This resulted in the project, where I examine methodologies and materials used to create older works of art as well as my own works of art. This art making is processed through energy and resource usage filters and formulas. Eventually, in consultation with carbon, I created an equation whereby artists can reasonably purchase carbon-offset credits for production of carbon resulting from of aspects their practice that are not ameliorated by sustainable efforts.

About “chroma”

The work I do now is always in reference to how sustainable the practice is. The following images are of my latest body of work “chroma,” which relates to natural processes in the Earth's ecosystem as well as an awareness of sustainability and my efforts towards it. The list of processes also tells you something about a few of the practices that I currently engage in my studio to try to better the sustainability of my own art artistic practice.

In this body of work, painstaking painting methods are coaxed into interacting and amalgamating over durations of up to several months. The result is complex, luminous, mysterious paintings that strike a beautiful balance between controlled and organic processes.

I have a deep and long-standing captivation with metaphysical and pragmatic concerns regarding our universe. My current research focuses on natural phenomena, the earth’s ecosystem as a whole, and our role within that. This in turn has driven me to incorporate ever more sustainable practices in my studio, in my life, and when possible actively engaging the public on the matter.


“It strikes me that the single global issue that I can have the most impact on is sustainability. Personally, my ultimate goal is to develop completely sustainable art product, practice and process.�


How John Reduces Consumption:  Uses lightweight Aluminum Composites to cut down on shipping fuel and decrease need for additional support materials.  Reduced electricity, natural gas, and water consumption by more than 50% in the past 2 years.  Shifted to far more locally produced and/or sold materials.  Preserves paints etc. instead of disposing unused portions.  Recycles solvents and other VOCs.  Offsets what can’t be eliminated.

Ways John Uses Sustainable Sources  90% of all wood used is from local sustainable sources.  Website is powered by wind 100% of water is from sustainable supply.  Uses water-based, non-toxic materials whenever possible and appropriate.  Aluminum Composite: John has several sources for this material and nearly always obtains slightly damaged or otherwise imperfect pieces, which he trims to size. This repurposes material that would otherwise go to landfill. 18

“I Want To Change The World... But I Don’t Know How.” Join the Ohio University Office of Sustainability! Twitter: @SustainableOU


Routes, Volume 1, Issue 1: Energy  

e-magazine from Ohio University's Office of Sustainability featuring campus-wide sustainability efforts.

Routes, Volume 1, Issue 1: Energy  

e-magazine from Ohio University's Office of Sustainability featuring campus-wide sustainability efforts.