Volume 7 Issue 1
Energy Campaign September 11thâ€“November
Farmersâ€™ Market Thursdays 11am-2pm
Green Dorm Demos Wednesday, September 11th
Student Sustainability Conference Saturday, September 21
Harvest Fest Saturday, October 26th
Campus Sustainability Week November 11th-15th
4 From the Editor 6 Academic Spotlight 8 Composting Arrives at UAlbany 10 Alternative Transportation 16 Green Workspace Challenge 18 Around Town 20 Opportunities 22 Announcements Oops... Correction from our May bulletin: The name of the CBS6 meteorologist who spoke at our department's Family Earth Day is Nick Johnston, not Mark Johnson.
The Sustainability Bulletin– renamed Green Scene- has gotten its summer makeover and emerged with a renewed vision. Our aim is to capture the advancements and opportunities occurring throughout UAlbany’s burgeoning sustainability movement that branch into academics, operations, co-curriculums, and research. In a rapidly evolving field, we hope our bulletin will help you stay up to date with progress on campus. Our inaugural issue of Green Scene highlights transportation options. The summer season welcomes us to step outside our single occupancy vehicles. Greener methods of transport, such as walking, biking, carpooling, car sharing, riding the bus, can get us from point A to point B and from fossil-fuel dependency to a healthier planet. Browse through the issue to learn about changes you can integrate into your lifestyle.
At its core, sustainability involves collaboration, and people often engage in collaborative sustainable practices that deserve a wider audience than they receive. So we’d like to welcome you to share your successes as well as challenges with the rest of the UAlbany community. If you’d like to submit written content or pictures of sustainability happenings (or even just alert us to an upcoming event or new program!) email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Enjoy the issue and join the conversation.
Mary Alexis Leciejewski Program Assistant Office of Environmental Sustainability
Sustainability incorporates environmental stewardship, economic and resource equity, and social and community well-being. At UAlbany, we believe sustainability is inherently rooted in local place, where unique solutions will be designed by those who intimately know a community. At the Office of Environmental Sustainability, we strive to build partnerships across the University at Albany and the region to shape a healthy, balanced future for all.
First Year Experience in Sustainability UAlbany offers a variety of First Year Experience courses that introduce freshman to the concept of sustainability. If you are advising students or are a freshman yourself, do not overlook the following onecredit classes that touch on a variety of disciples. The breadth of the classes demonstrate the relevance of sustainability for every student.
Studio Visit: Developing a Sustainable Artistic Practice Professor Daniel Goodwin FA 217 #9759 M 1:40-2:35
Myths and stereotypes about what it means to be a contemporary artist are pervasive in our culture. Discover what it really means to be a socially-engaged studio artist today by visiting the studios of artists at a wide range of points in their careers, from undergraduate students in classes to MFA students in seminars, to established artists preparing to install their work in a museum or gallery. Together we will discover the diverse range of influences and approaches that guide these artists. You will experiment with techniques and processes through hands-on workshops as you explore the work of some of these practitioners in depth through writing exercises.
The World Ain't Feelin' Too Good: Politics, Power, and Health Professor Bruce Coles ED 123 #9874 TH 2:15-3:10
Everywhere you lookâ€”on TV, the internet, in newspapersâ€”you see evidence that the world ain't feelin' too good. Even in a wealthy country such as the United States, a number of folks are not well. Now think about that for a minute or two, and then ask yourself the following questions: What do you do to keep yourself healthy? What do you think makes people healthy in the larger community? Does having access to good healthcare produce good health? Why does where you are born, who you are, and where you live affect your health? Do justice and fairness impact health and, if so, what can you do about it? Come explore these questions and more. Together, we will challenge our personal and society's ideas and beliefs about what makes us sick and what makes us healthy as a people. We'll critically assess the evidence that tells a story about the world in which we live and the impact it has on our health. We'll chip away fiction from fact, weed out the dogma, and make some inferences regarding the truth. And we'll apply what we learn and collectively create some practical solutions for the future.
Choices for a Healthy Planet Professor Mary Ellen Mallia ED 121 #7836 T 1:15-2:10 How do choices in everyday life affect the environment? Most people are disconnected from the process by which goods and services are produced and disposed of, making it easier to develop unhealthy habits for the environment. This course will explore the meaning of sustainability, consider the link between lifestyle choices and their impact on the Earth and learn about steps that can be taken to create a healthier planet. Students will engage in reflective discussions based on assigned readings and hands on activities designed to promote environmental sustainability at the university.
Food and Our Future: Understanding Sustainability through Science Literacy Professor Irina Holden LI 48 #7880 TH 4:15-5:10 We often read and hear about scientific studies in popular media, but how do we understand and use them? In this class, students will study basic concepts of science literacy - civic, practical, and cultural - while learning about issues related to food sustainability, such as food supply, production, and consumption. Course activities will include examining case studies and learning basic principles of online research. On completing the course, students will have gained a better understanding of food sustainability, as well as of the importance of science literacy in their academic and personal pursuits.
Globalization and the Environment Professor Robert Keesee ES 232 #7830 F 1:40-2:35 You’ve probably heard the phrase “The world is getting smaller”. Advances in technology, including communication and transportation, have made resources, goods, labor, and services more accessible from far ranging places across the globe. A challenge in a globalizing society is how do people respond to their local situation and at the same time maintain a global perspective. In other words, how do we “act locally, think globally”. What we will do in this seminar is explore how this process of globalization provides both problems and opportunities in dealing with the environment from the local to global scale. After a little groundwork is laid down, the specific topics will depend on the interests of the class. Students will be responsible for presentation and discussion of these topics.
Multiculturalism in Today's U.S. Society Professor Blanca Ramos BA 224 #7882 M 2:45-3:40 How do your heritage, background, race and ethnicity influence your view of the world? Your day-to-day interactions? This course helps students expand their awareness and understanding of how culture shapes and influences daily life, enhance your appreciation of different cultural groups within and outside of the U.S., and prepare you to function successfully in cross-racial, cross-ethnic, and cross-cultural contexts. Topics covered include immigration and the immigrant’s experience, racial and ethnic identity, and western and non-western values. You will be encouraged to analyze concepts, issues, and themes from a social justice perspective. The course offers you an opportunity to heighten awareness of your own immigrant background, racial and ethnic heritage, and cultural values and beliefs, particularly as this will strengthen your ability to grapple effectively with issues of multiculturalism in today’s U.S. society.
Start Something that Matters Professor Linda Krzykowski ED 121 #9761 T 11:45-12:40 “Start Something that Matters” to YOU: Be a Social Entrepreneur! Can you make money and do something meaningful? Can you be passionate about your career or is making money separate from doing what makes you happy? Social entrepreneurs are doing both and we’ll explore how in this class. Using the story of TOMS shoes, we’ll explore our interests and discover our passion.
Composting Arrives at UAlbany Reports from the EPA have found that food waste comprises roughly 18% of municipal waste that is landfilled in the U.S., where the greenhouse gas emissions produced are 23 times more harmful than if composted. In January 2013, UAlbany began a composting pilot project at the Indian Quad dining facility to begin working on this issue. On Tuesday, June 4th, the UAlbany Sustainability Coordinators followed the path that Indian Quad’s food waste takes every day. The trip began with a stop at Indian Quad, where the knowledgeable Tyler Holloway of Empire Zero Waste, a food waste hauling company based in Castleton, NY spoke to the group which included representatives from UAS, the Office of Environmental Sustainability, the Library, and more. He told them about how his company collects and processes compost materials and gave a basic description of the regional composting business. The coordinators then boarded a bus that followed the same 19-mile trip to Schenectady that the 32-gallon green totes travel everyday while most of us are still asleep. At the Schenectady County Yard Waste Composting Facility and Resident Recycling Center, the coordinators were greeted by the facility director who informed the group about how the facility worked, and the science behind composting. He introduced us to the “black gold,” or the nutrient-rich soil left over from composted waste. The director showed the group three different piles of compost, that had each been “cooking” for different periods of time. In the newest pile you could still see the waste, but in the oldest pile, the compost had broken down into dark, black dirt. Once the food waste is usable dirt, the Schenectady County Conservation District sells the compost product at a
“Compost recycling is the first and most important step to changing how we think about waste.”
reasonable price to residents.
A number of U.S. campuses have already successfully diverted their food waste from landfills using different methods including anaerobic digesters and vermicomposting. Utilizing Empire Zero and the Schenectady County Conservation District allows UAlbany to avoid building large and expensive infrastructure improvements involved with on-site composting. For example, some universities have invested over 4 million dollars to compost all food waste from their campus. The UAlbany composting project supports local businesses. This topic will be a discussion at the Student Sustainability Conference on September 21, 2013. The Empire Zero Waste website emphasizes the value in taking small steps towards composting: “Compost Recycling is the first and most important step to changing how we think about waste.” The Indian Quad compost pilot will run through May 2014, which is the date of expected expansion into other dining halls.
1. Reduce methane production.
Conserve water by form- Participate in a food cycle Return that supports local food nutrients to ing soil that improves moisture retention. growers. the soil.
About sixty percent of students regularly utilize alternative transportation, while only ten percent of employee commuters travel by a mode other than their car. All UAlbany staff and students can ride the CDTA for free simply by swiping their SUNY Card Of course, some live too far from campus to use alternative transportation during the entire commute. For these travelers, Albany offers seven park-and-ride lots that are easily accessible from NYS Thruway interchanges. One often cited obstacle for shying from alternative modes of transportation is the fear of being stranded. But if you use alternative transportation three or more times a week, you are eligible for the Guaranteed Ride Home program. This program provides a free taxi ride home in case an emergency arises or if you unexpectedly work late. Not convinced? Challenge yourself to leave your vehicle in the driveway one day a week for the month of August, then keep track of any felt benefits and hindrances your experience. You may be surprised to learn that you can reshape your trip to and from work without much effort. If you canâ€™t change up your commute, reconsider the cumulative effect of your regular errands. According to Urban Cycling, forty percent of trips taken by Americans are under two miles, ninety percent of which are travelled by car. Reduce the time in your car by planning ahead and consolidating your errands to a single trip. Or if you are feeling up for it, put your legs to work by biking or walking those shorter distances.
Shrink costs The average commuter spends over $7500/year on commuting expenses: gas, the wear and tear on your vehicle, maintenance on your vehicle, and insurance. To pinpoint exactly how much you spend yearly on your commute, check out the commute cost calculator.
Trim Your Waistline
Decrease your carbon footprint
If you opt to bike or walk, you can count on improved health benefits. Biking at a moderate pace burns on average 400 calories per hour for women and 450 calories per hour for men.
A quarter of the American carbon footprint comes from motor vehicles. Each gallon of gas burned releases twenty pounds of carbon dioxide pollution into the atmosphere
Electric Vehicles It looks like electric vehicles may be here to stay. Sales of plug-in vehicles tripled from 2011-2012, and Americans have already purchased over 40,000 this year. UAlbany is making the switch from gasoline to electric easier with investment in an electric vehicle charging station. The Thurlow Terrace lot at the downtown campus boasts a spot for you to fill up by plugging in. Consumers swapping out conventional gas guzzlers for EVs can expect to save at least $2.31 per gallon. The new electric vehicle charging station is now open for business!
Double Up! Become a carpool convert. UAlbany is partnered up with iPool2, a ride-share and carpool matching service, available to anyone who lives in the Capital Region. The company makes it simpler for commuters to buddy up with colleagues who regularly travel a shared route.
Tracking Transit This Fall, the UAlbany bus service is making it more convenient for riders to arrive at their destination. Each campus bus is getting outfitted with a GPS tracker, so you can anticipate if your ride is running ahead of time or behind schedule. The information will be available using your smart phone, in addition to the five screens that will be located in high traffic areas across campus.
The bike share program continues to grow. We are working to improve the quality of the service, the number of bikes in the program and their availability. If you bring your own bike to campus, be sure to register it (for free!) at Parking and Mass Transit and then get it tagged by UPD to prevent theft. Next year, the Planning Department and SA are spearheading an initiative to develop a bike co-op. Campus bikers will have access to tools and guides to tune up their bikes.
residential a the 2012-13 year.
surveyed said they use the
â€“ (US EPA)
pedaled rather than driven, nearly
1 pound of COÂ˛
bikes instead of driving.
8 more bikes will be added to the campus bike flee for the upcoming 2013-14 school year!
areas during 3 school
Over 450 students took advantage of the program during the
2012-13 school year.
A Look Back at the Purple Path by Jeremy Grunstra
The Purple Path began as the vision of graduate students in the Urban and Regional Planning Studio. The concept was to create a pedestrian and bicycle friendly pathway surrounding the approximately 500-acre uptown campus. When complete, the Purple Path will be a full five kilometers in length. These students, studying for their Masterâ€™s degrees, drafted a proposal to implement this multi-use pathway on campus. The University accepted the plan and began construction on a small section near the athletic fields in 2007. The Office of Campus Planning has adapted the Purple Path plan and it is currently in phased implementation plan. Phase Two was completed in the Fall 2012 in conjunction with the construction of Liberty Terrace and the rehabilitation of the Washington and Western Avenue campus entrances. This section of the Purple Path covers approximately half of the eastern side of the campus near Liberty Terrace, State Quad, and Collins Circle. The recent construction, particularly at Liberty Terrace, included a massive overhaul of the Indian Pond area, including new trails and pathways, a bridge, viewing decks and platforms, and seating areas. Phase Three will complete the Purple Path on the east side, and Phase Four will cover the entire western side of the campus. There is currently no set date for the completion of the Purple Path project, but it is a part of the current Facilities Master Plan. Go out for a walk or a bike ride and enjoy the campus! Consider your walking routine: according to the Federal Transit Administration, the average American walks about six minutes per day, against the CDC*-recommended 22 minutes. A good walk everyday reduces risks of heart disease, high blood pressure, or even back and chest pain. Campus Rec has detailed 1-mile, 2-mile, and 5k routes.
Tips for Safe Biking Ride on the right Ride in the right lane, except when passing another vehicle, preparing for a left turn, or avoiding hazards.
Never ride against traffic Always ride with the flow of traffic.
Obey traffic signs and signals Use hand signals to advise motorists you plan to turn, change lanes or stop.
Make eye contact with motorists Never assume a motorist sees you or that you have the right-of-way. Expect the unexpected such as: parked vehicles pulling into traffic; vehicle doors opening into your path; and debris on the road.
At night use headlights, taillights, and reflectors Always wear a helmet
The Challenge 1. Turn off lights and use natural lighting whenever possible. 2. Enable sleep mode on all copiers, printers, and fax machines. 3. Print smarter and save paper by printing double-sided and using wider margins. 4. Do not use screen
savers Instead turn off your computer monitor when you are away for 20 minutes or more. 5. Host paperless
meetings by sending out electronic copies of relevant documents.
This fall, the Office of Environmental Sustainability is unveiling its newest program, the Green Workspace Challenge. It is a self-reporting system designed to encourage faculty and staff to make their workplace more sustainable and to recognize their achievements and progress. UAlbany has made several commitments to significantly cut carbon emissions and to weave sustainability throughout our operations. These pledges include the Talloires Declaration, the American College and University Presidentsâ€™ Climate Commitment, and the United Nations Higher Education Sustainability Initiative. SUNY has also established a target of reducing our fossil fuel consumption by 30% by 2020. Small changes in our behavior have a substantial impact in ensuring UAlbany will achieve these goals. By joining the Green Workspace Challenge, you will gain recognition for you current sustainable efforts and learn about ways to improve the ecological footprint of your workspace. You will play a large role in shaping the Universityâ€™s Green Workspace Challenge. Because each workspace will have different constraints, we are trying to design a certification program that objectively recognizes the sustainability efforts across campus.
How to Participate Contact the Office of Environmental Sustainability to express your interest in being a pilot office for Fall 2013. Define your workplace. You are able to define your own workspace that makes sense for your office. For example, if you share communal areas and resources with a department near you, invite that department to join you. When reporting for your workspace, please include part-time and full-time staff, as well as students and interns. Additionally, when you are filling out the self-assessment, remember to include spaces that your office uses, including storage areas, kitchens, and other shared spaces.
Assign one or more representatives to serve as the Green Office Ambassador(s). Fill out and submit self-assessment.
Certificate to display in workplace
An electronic logo to displace on your workplace’s website
Recognition on the Office of Environmental Sustainability’s website
Ongoing support provided by the Office of Environmental Sustainability to earn, maintain, and improve certification
Photo Courtesy of The Gid
Albany Pine Bush Listen to Dr. Paul Roundy, Associate Professor of Atmospheric Science at UAlbany, discuss a basic overview of climate change and weather at the Albany Pine Bush Discovery Center on August 15th at 7pm.
Mayoral Forum The first-ever Albany Mayoral Forum on Sustainability was held at The Linda on July 2. See where your candidate stands on sustainability issues by streaming the hour-long program from WAMCâ€™s website.
Saratoga Springs Food Tour Experience the tastes of Saratoga while learning about what makes our area so special. Start at the famous Saratoga Farmers Market and taste some of the mouthwatering cheeses, tapinades and home-made jams creatively produced by local food artisans. At the same time our experienced guides will tell you the inside history of Saratoga and the areaâ€™s farm community - Tour runs on August 3rd from noon to 2pm. Click Here for more information and to book tickets.
ddy Up Facebook Page
Honest Weight Food Co-Op
The Giddy Up
Honest Weight Food Co-op moved to their new location at 100 Watervliet Ave. in Albany. Honest Weight is a member owned and consumer cooperative committed to providing the community with high quality natural foods and products. Browse the Co-opâ€™s robust event calendar for classes, workshops, and lectures that highlight nutrition and healthy lifestyles. Be sure to stop by August 8th for their official Grand Opening!
Book tickets (only $20 Roundtrip) now from Albany to Saratoga to spend a day at the track or enjoy a night on the town. Either way, save gas and stay safe by letting The Giddy Up do the driving! The Giddy runs when the track open.
Star Gazing Come star gaze for one of the biggest meteor showers this summer on the night of August 9th! Bring lawn chairs, blankets, and binoculars if you have them. Some might consider packing bug spray as well. Meet at Dyken Pond Environmental Education Center at 475 Dyken Pond Rd., Cropseyville, NY at 8:30pm.
Alliance for Climate Education ACE educates and inspires young people to break through the challenge of climate change. ACE believes that achieving a safe and stable climate in our lifetime requires the ideas, action and influence of young people. Our goal by 2020 is to educate, inspire and activate 12 million teens and young adults as part of a multigenerational force for carbon reduction and healthy communities. We are well on our way to achieving that goal, having reached 1.6 million students since 2009 through dynamic, award winning multimedia school assemblies, student action campaigns and leadership opportunities reaching well beyond campus grounds. ACE has staff in 15 metro areas across the United States, made up of a passionate team of coworkers who believe youth have the power to change the world for the better. As Presenter, you will be on the frontlines of ACE’s award-winning multimedia education program. We need a dynamic, science-minded, education-driven performer to deliver our multimedia assemblies on climate change to high school students in the NYC metropolitan area. You’ll do phone and email outreach to schools to schedule assemblies and will be in the field with high school students, communicating the essential science of climate change in a lively, fun and unforgettable way. You’ll also work with the rest of the NYC team to connect youth to other leadership and engagement opportunities with ACE and the wider climate movement. You’ll work from home, meet regularly with other NYC-based ACE staff in person and online, and attend weekly national meetings with colleagues online. Click here for more information
Green Drinks Albany 4th Tuesday of Every Month This happy hour event welcomes all who have any interest in connecting with other local “greenies” be they actively working for sustainable options in their day job, concerned about buying healthier foods and products, interested in understanding alternative energy, curious about local business opportunities, or simply interested in meeting some of the coolest people in the area. Begins at 5:30.
Internships Student Energy & Sustainability Reporter Interested in energy and sustainability? Share your thoughts, concerns, ideas and goals, while developing your writing, reporting, and analysis skills. Our Energy Independence Community of the Capital Region is seeking three student reporters to inform the community about their perspective of environmental issues.
Report and comment on school and local events – on what happens or what doesn’t.
Discuss energy and sustainability issues and the implications.
Share your thoughts, observations and dreams.
Promote, motivate and educate in energy and sustainability concepts and skills.
Deliver one or two 600+ word blogs every month or two on Energy and Sustainability topics, typically per school district. Incorporate pictures, video, and charts & graphs.
Work to your schedule - No Deadlines.
If you are interested contact DanG@OEIC.us. Office of Environmental Sustainability Fall Communications Interns The Office of Environmental Sustainability is seeking three motivated and energetic interns to assist with the publication of monthly sustainability bulletin, developing flier templates for a variety of sustainability engagement initiatives, assisting with social media management and completing other assignments as requested. The interns are expected work a minimum of 10-12 hours weekly. Internships are unpaid though students may obtain academic credit through the Communications Department. Qualifications:
Excellent writing and communication skills Working knowledge of Microsoft Office Suite applications, especially Publisher Background or strong interest in environmental issues/sustainability Project-oriented with strong self-initiative Adaptable to organizational changes and new projects Positive attitude, commitment and follow-through Photography skills a plus
Deadline: Applications for the fall internship will be reviewed on a rolling basis. If interested, send a resume and letter of intent to Mary Alexis Leciejewski at email@example.com. Questions about the internship can be addressed to Mary Alexis at 518-442-2861
Upcycle on Campus The Department of Theatre is looking to rebuild its costume and properties stock. If you have any clothing that you wish to donate, we would be happy to reuse and recycle the items in our productions for many years to come. Period-related clothing would be most useful, but all is welcome. Also, shoes, hats, gloves, costume jewelry, etc., are needed. If you are wondering what to do with your Louis XIV sofa that is in need of re-upholstery, the 1950s dining room set you are finally replacing, Grandmaâ€™s old-fashioned Tiffany lamp, or an incomplete tea set, consider donating these items or similar items to the Theatre Department. Props in our current stock
have been used by theatres in productio northeast; some have been in our posse but we are always in need of a few mor quite short-staffed currently, we would the items to us in the Performing Arts C campus, but arrangements can be made John Knapp at firstname.lastname@example.org to m for more information. All donations are
The Office of Environmental Sustainability will be moving from University Hall to Seneca B009 in India beginning of Fall semester. Stop by and say hello!
ons across the ession since the 1960s; re items. As we are prefer you to deliver Center on the uptown e for pick-up. Contact make arrangements or e tax deductible.
Want to print this edition of Green Scene? Click here for our eco-friendly version. Be sure to print in grayscale and doublesided.
an Quad by this
Editor Mary Alexis Leciejewski
Creative Director Krista Bentson
Cover Photo Dave Tieman
Writer/Photographer Jeremy Grunstra
Writer Mylene Assi
UAlbany's Office of Sustainability Bulletin; Cover Photo Dave Tieman