Greening Princeton Monthly NewsletterBelow are Greening Princeton's monthly newsletters to our alumni list, http://groups.google.com/group/greeningalum, where we post monthly updates, and you can give us feedback, ask questions, share information, or whatever.
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3/11/07 12/7/06 11/11/06 10/10/06 9/10/06 7/17/06 6/21/06
- Biggest news: we have new leadership… actually, 3.
It’s gotten to be too big of a job for just 1 person, especially someone writing a JP. So, Katy Andersen has turned over the reigns to Kelsey Stallings, Mark Smith and Posey Harwood, who will be sharing the presidency through at least the coming year. They’re already doing a great job, and they can all be reached through the greening email: greening-at-princeton.edu
- Are you Turned On? Pull the Plug on Global Warming:
In the weeks leading up to Princeton’s 23-day winter break, Water Watch and Greening Princeton helped SURGE (Students United for a Responsible Global Environment) with a massive campaign to get students to turn off lights, unplug phantom-load chargers & appliances, turn back the heat & shut windows before leaving for break. We are in the process of judging the effectiveness of this campaign—comparing energy use data with previous years, as well as the results of room inspections, so expect a report
- CFLs for Eating Clubs.
Kelsey has been working with the Princeton Prospect Foundation, who offered to pay for $5,000 worth of light bulbs for the clubs, up to $500 per club. She performed a light bulb inventory of the clubs and got them to go in together for the order. The bulbs will be delivered eminently, possibly with some fanfare.
We’re at it again--the inter-college recycling competition. It runs 10 weeks: January 28-April 7. This year 200 schools are competing, more than twice last year. Categories are most recyclables & least trash per person, and per capita breakdowns of paper, cans & bottles and food. Last year we came in 16th for most recyclables & least waste, ahead of Yale & Harvard. For complete, up-to-the-minute results check out www.recyclemania.org or http://www.princeton.edu/greening/recyclemania.html.
Our 3rd Annual Reunions weekend panel will be held Friday, June 1, 2007 at 3:00pm in Robertson Hall, Bowl 001. Reception to follow, courtesy of PEI. The speaker list is still being finalized, but the panel will focus on our ongoing campus sustainability initiatives.
-Earth Day: Big Plans
GP is reinstating the Run for the Tiger and helping Ruthie Schwab plant Princeton’s first campus garden. (Yes—Ruthie’s doing it! It will be beside Forbes College, who is funding it as a special project.) In conjunction with Water Watch & SURGE, Frist Campus Center will host a “Get Your Green On” festival the Friday before Earth Day. A panel, a b-y-o-mug party, a screening of “Who Killed the Electric Car”, free canvas grocery bags, and SURGE hosting a ‘Step it Up’ rally may also be in the works. In addition to the Run and garden planting, GP will have tables at Frist with free organic food samples.
Dining Services is introducing an E2 cuisine on Earth Day— specific dishes, served regularly across campus dining halls, that are sustainable, local, organic and/or fair trade. They will also be featuring grassfed beef burgers on their menu weekly, starting soon.
-Shana’s Office of Sustainability hired 4 student interns:
John Bradshaw, investigating Geothermal potential for the campus, Rebecca Nyquist, who is working on the environmental radio project, Jeff Domanski (WWS) an associate manager and Connor Cobean, working on transportation and purchasing policies
-UStore will sell Greening Dining Mugs in the fall.
Too many people were contacting us to find out how to buy them.
The UStore also put out a blurb in a recent “Health and Well-Being Newsletter” that is widely distributed across campus about its greening inventory (7th Generation products, CFLs, organic packaged food in the convenience store) and about its partnership with Greening Princeton on the recycled notebooks.
Stay green, everyone!!
Yet another busy month for the records:
(1) Food and Ethics Conference
Princeton hosted the first Bert G. Kerstetter '66 Environmental Lecture Series entitled "Food, Ethics, and the Environment" on November 16th and 17th: two days dedicated to an ethical and environmentally responsible food system. The conference was an unmitigated success. All told there were 950 attendees, from 40 schools across the country. The speakers were a huge hit (Eric Schlosser, Marian Nestle, Michael Pollan, Peter Singer and Gary Nabhan to name a few), and the conference was followed up by a productive meeting organized by Jeff Domanski with some “Greening Dining” members and members of The Food Project.
This conference was sponsored by the PEI, the University for Human Values, and the Program in Science, Technology, and Environmental Policy.
Greening Princeton members Kathryn Andersen and Nathan Gregory (among others) chipped in as planners and executers, and we all had a tremendous time postering.
(2) Fast Food Nation Exclusive Screening
Princeton students were treated to a free preview screening of the movie Fast Food Nation (based on the book Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser '81) on Wednesday, November 15th, the eve of the Food & Ethics Conference, at the James M. Stewart '32 Theater at the University Center for the Creative and Performing Arts. The captivated audience then stayed for a question and answer session conducted by Professor Peter Singer with Eric Schlosser '81 and Film Director, Rick Linklater. Greening Princeton members again chipped in on plans and execution -- down to taking tickets at the show.
(3) Food Course
Following on to the Food & Ethics Conference (and student interest in food issues and an on-campus garden), GP Prez. Kathryn Andersen has organized a student-initiated seminar for this coming spring taught by Prof. Deborah Popper and entitled “Farm to Fork: The State of America’s Food System Today.”
From the course announcement:
“The process by which food travels from farm to fork no longer seems as simple and safe as it used to be. This course will examine the state of America’s food system today, following food as it travels from its origins as a crop or an animal to its processing, transportation, and eventual consumption. Topics will include the local/organic movement, conventional farming, governmental involvement and regulation, nutrition, and food’s impact on culture, including meals themselves.”
SURGE [Students United for a Responsible Global Environment], the Eco Reps, Greening Princeton and Water Watch are combining forces for a “Pull the Plug on Global Warming” campaign to encourage students leaving for Winter Break to turn down their heat, close windows and unplug electronics that pull phantom power (stereos, tvs, microwaves, cordless phones, alarm clocks, etc.) The campaign is happening right now – as you read this!
Students are signing pledges and getting stickers that say "Are you turned on? Pulling the Plug on Global Warming" as well as a check-list of things to do as they leave for break.
SURGE member Rebecca Lutzy is organizing this massive undertaking, and we are postering, tabling, handing out stickers, collecting signatures and hoping, come December 15th, to see a dramatic dip in the electricity bills (not to mention CO2 emissions).
(5) CFL’s in Eating Clubs
Kelsey Stallings gave a presentation on Compact Fluorescent Lights to the Princeton Prospect Foundation last month. The Foundation offered to pay for $5,000 worth of light bulbs for the eating clubs, up to $500 per club. Kelsey is working on getting a light bulb inventory for each club, with the goal of negotiating a bulk-purchase discount with Billings Lighting. We’re hoping to also plan a big, well-publicized celebration when they are delivered.
If anyone is wondering about CFLs in student’s rooms: Many campuses have done a light bulb exchange program, handing out CFLs to students in exchange for an incandescent. We’ve floated this idea in the past, but been met with the (very practical) concern that it would be a bad investment given the likelihood that students would discard the bulbs during spring move-out. We are also looking in to asking student agencies to rent lamps with CFLs, or a way to give them out & collect them at the end of the year.
(6) Al Gore to Campus!?!
It hasn't been easy, but Josh Loehrer has gotten an offical (and highly professional) invitation in the mail.
From Josh's update, 11/22/06: "..the final invitation has been sent and delivered by FedEx. Also, Professor Oppenheimer with PEI is going to contact Mr. V-P Gore personally to alert him of the invitation. Now we simply have to wait for a response.
For those interested, the invitation package included:
- A student invitation letter signed by three students
- A letter of support from President Tilghman
- Information on PEI
- Information on Richardson Auditorium
- Information on the Woodrow Wilson School"
(7) Restaurant Associates (Prospect House, Genomics & EQuad Cafes)
We had a meeting with them last week, Nov. 29th. It was good—they fed us delicious sustainable food.
Biggest news: in line with Compass Group’s partnering Monterey Bay Seafood Watch program, RA has switched all of its salmon to wild-caught, all of its shrimp to gulf-raised and largely removed Red Snapper from its menu. RA is also selling Stoney Field yogurts exclusively, looked in to PLA (corn-based) plastic packaging (waiting for its vendor to get a reliably-available supply) and generally incorporated more local and organic seasonal menu items, specifically noting these on menus. I can supply more detailed notes from the meeting upon request.
(8) PEN Meeting
The Princeton Environmental Network also met on Nov. 29th. We talked about the Pull the Plug campaign as well as the possibility of signing on to the Campus Climate Challenge and participating in a state-wide push to ask Gov. Corzine to adopt an aggressive global warming policy.
1. Radio: We’re famous!
Shana’s Student Environmental Communication Network hit the airwaves on Octboer 30th. Listen at: http://www.airamerica.com/ecotalk/node/314
Her team of students is doing awesome work, and will keep it up, doing regular pieces.
The notebooks now available to order online: http://www.pustore.com/MerchDetail.aspx?CategoryName=5038&CatalogLink=Merchandise.aspx%3fmc_id%3d298&CatalogName=SCHOOL+SUPPLIES++++++++++&MerchID=442414&Name=3%20SUBJECT%20NOTEBOOKS
They are also carrying CFL bulbs, 7th Generation cleaning products, lots of varieties of packaged organic foods and a few organic cosmetic/personal care items. Hooray for the UStore!
Their October newsletter even highlighted these changes: http://www.pustore.com/SiteText.aspx?id=2590%20
Restaurant Associates: (EQuad & Genomics Cafes and Prospect House)
After meeting in
August, we had a meeting on October 10th.
But the best, best part of the meeting was the plan for the next one: they’re going to feed us! This is a good sign gastronomically AND politically—I take this as a sign that they are beginning to like us.
I will happily supply more info to anyone interested.
5. Al Gore?!?
We have an awesome member, Josh Loehrer who’s super-committed to bringing Al Gore to campus. He’s finding that it’s not terribly easy, but is totally sticking with it and doing a great job. If you or anyone you know has an inside track with Mr. Gore, please let us know. We’d like to get an invitation to him personally.
6. Food, Ethics & The Environment Conference:
It’s coming! http://www.princeton.edu/~eating/
GP helped poster (in a big way) and Katy Andersen, Ruthie Schwab, Nathan Gregory and Jeff Domanski, among others, chipped in to help organize this conference and a follow-on meeting with representatives from The Food Project. They and Posie Harwood and several others tabled at the Flu Fest and will be helping with a private screening of Fast Food Nation—all coming this week, and more than I can keep track of. It’s awesome.
7. CFL’s and Eating Clubs
Kelsey Stallings made a presentation to the Princeton Prospect Foundation last week about Compact Flourescent Light Bulbs. She went armed with tons of information, including pricing, styles and energy savings. More on how that went next time...
8. PEN (Princeton Environmental Network) is being revived!
There’s been such an increase in student environmental activity that we actually need to start getting organized. We’re having quasi-monthly meetings of all the eco-club heads, organized after PEOC (now PSC: Princeton Sustainability Committee) meetings.
9. Cold Turkey: sh! It’s a secret!
Over Thanksgiving SURGE and the Eco-Reps are going to take a thermostat & electricity inventory: how often is heat turned back and lights, etc. tunred off without encouraging people to do so? Then, before Christmas break we’re going to do a huge education campaign, organized largely by Rebecca Lutzy of SURGE, and then re-do the inventory at the beginning of break to see how effective the campaign was. (This is cool: data!) We also will be turning back heat for Christmas, so regardless of education, $$ and energy will be saved. I am coordinating with facilities to try and track how much energy this actually saves.
Again, I am utterly amazed that another month has gone by.
I'm also uptterly amazed by the energy of Greening Princeton. We had 138 new members sign up at the activities fair this fall.
Updates for September and the early part of October:
(1) Recycling Education in local schools:
Ali Kelley, Peter Ryan, and Katy Andersen went to Riverside Elementary School on September 25th & gave an interactive 20-minute presentation to 350 k-5 students about recycling. Pete dressed up in a trash bag replete with trash glued all over it and the message got across. We will be going to different classrooms there in the near future for some more in depth recycling/environmental discussions.
(2) Student Environmental Communication Network - Our Sustainability Manager, Shana Weber, is working on an awesome program for the University, training students to write media pieces based on their experiences dealing with sustainability issues for the nationally-syndicated commercial radio show EcoTalk - 2-6 minute pieces & interviews. She ran two training sessions during the first weeks of school to teach those involved how to translate their experiences into media for a national audience. They are now partnering with WPRB for technical support, and working on a group collaboration for their first assignment: field interviews, collecting sound bytes from a wide range of people on "Do you believe that global warming is happening?", "How quickly do you think it will impact your life?"
and "What are you doing about it?" EcoTalk airs out of NYC on weeknights (1600 AM) - look for SECN on Mondays at about 9.45 pm.
(3) Garden Project - Ruthie Schwab '09 is working on getting a garden started on campus. First steps include a demonstration plot on campus - very exciting! She's well-organized, passionate and has a lot of interested students behind her.
(4) Greening the Street - Peter Ryan is heading this project this year and working on some AWESOME projects, including
a. A giant cup pile (outside of Campus or Cannon?) to demonstrate how many cups are thrown out on a given weekend.
b. Attending ICC meetings to look into getting a buying consortium of recyclable cups for weekend use, which would lower the cost and make it easier to buy cups. (Feedback from his first ICC meeting was positive, especially on the end of recycling and purchasing biodegradable flatware.)
c. Getting better recycling programs established at the clubs.
(5) Styrofoam Recycling Program: Brian Duncan from the Mol Bio building came to our meeting to discuss the immense amount of Styrofoam that is thrown out in the science buildings from the packaging of new computers, supplies, etc. A couple of our new members looked into how other schools deal with this issue. Thanks to their research, we now know that apparently no schools in the U.S. recycle Styrofoam, although several in Canada do. The UPS will recycle shipping peanuts if they are brought to a store. However, it seems that actually recycling (which involves re-processing) styrofoam is actually not a high-yield proposition for the environment. Brian is looking in to a shredder-type piece of equipment that could better compact the material for shipping.
(6) Fume Hoods: In the meantime, we've gotten Brian hooked on variable-flow fume hoods, and he's doing a lot of good with his connections throughout the mol bio labs, where most of those are located. Each open fume hood consumes ~3 houses worth of energy a year b/c they expel air that must be replaced with fresh heated/ac'd air.
But, variable-flow hoods suck up less air when the sash is closed. We have many on campus, so his 'close-the-sash' campaign (started a couple of years ago by some of our distinguished alumni) could really pay off -- thousands of $$ per year, per hood.
(7) AASHE Conference Update: Shana Weber and Scott Moore went to the AASHE Conference in Arizona last week - National Conference (650 people going - largest campus sustainability conference to date). Shana organized two sessions: How to better utilize the media? As well as a meeting with all the sustainability directors attending (over 40). Scott gathered information for the CO2 class.
(8) More next time about a great meeting we had with Restaurant Associates today...
3.5th Monthly Newsletter: This newsletter will cover the end of July, August and beginning of September 2006.
We're doing another order of T-shirts soon, so send orders to Greening@princeton.edu. The sizes run quite small.
A link to the
'Green Living' Table at Move-In
New and returning students were greated this year with a 'Living Green at Princeton' table (in between Student Agencies and Public Safety) along their path to get keys and parking permits. Shana Weber's new Office of Sustainability secured the table and for 4 days we manned it, handing out an updated Guide to Living Green at Princeton, fish cards and green (yes, green) candy. Dining Services also handed out the reusable mugs to freshmen, which we stuffed with 'Living Green' fliers and fish cards. These fishcards are the snazzy new Monterey Bay 2006 Northeast Princeton Logo fish cards, by the way, since we're official partners with them.
Jeff Domanski has been making tremendous strides with greening the Springdale Golf Course. From his recent update: he has brokered a meeting between the Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association and Charles Dey, the golf course's superintendent. The Watershed Association has a program called River-Friendly Golf Courses under which a course can be certified as having undergone a review and improvement process to reduce water, fuel and pesticide use and encourage wildlife.
There's only one course in the Watershed that has gone through the process, and a few in extended process, so he's tentatively hopeful that Springdale will be willing to go further with this. He's also advised both Springdale and the Watershed Association that there's an enthusiastic bunch of students (us) willing to assist in the process and given Mr. Dey a bit of the back-story of how environmental-focus is ramping up at Princeton among the alumni as well as the administration.
In mid-August we had a great meeting with Restaurant Associates, which is the organization that runs Prospect House, Palmer House and EQuad & Genomics Cafes. We discussed their seafood choices (their parent organization has endorsed Monterey Bay, so we're hoping they'll start moving away from the red list items soon). We also asked about various ways they could reduce disposable packaging, particularly for hot food. They can only use a handful of recorded tare weights at the cashier's scale, but we suggested the sell a reusable (regulation weight) plate and maybe offer a discount to those who wash & reuse. Also discussed were free-range eggs, local & organic food (some of it is organic already!) and the thickness of disposable plates they use at catered events. Thick plates denote "high quality", but I tried to steer them towards high-end compostable plastics or recycled-content paper. We'll see. In general they were receptive and wanted time to think. We'll be meeting again in mid-October.
We've had lots & lots of meetings with Kathy Hackett (Administrative Director of PEI) and one with her, Steve Pacala (EEB Prof & Academic Director of PEI) and Denise Mauzerall (WWS Prof) to strategize how to get the school to committ to a meaningful reduction in its CO2 emissions. Discussed were ways to bring attention to Tom Kreutz's student-inititated CO2 seminar, do meaningful work with its results, demonstrate student interest to the powers that be (trustees, administration), and figure out the actual nitty-gritty of how Princeton might reach a goal it sets. Denise Mauzerall will be holding a workshop course in the spring that she would like to tie in with Tom Kreutz's. GP will be inviting Tom's various speakers to have lunch with students, members of facilities, faculty and administrators to begin discussing how-to ideas as well as bring more stakeholders (people whose jobs will really be affected) into the discussion. February we hope to have a mini-conference with representatives from schools that have done similar things, and maybe next year we'll have a big conference (similar to the food ethics conference this November).
Shana Weber (our new Sustainability Manager) is well on her way to building an Office of Sustainability on campus, which will have staff, student employees, a budget, etc. It will begin with an awesome-sounding environmental clearinghouse website, because (as you may have noticed) it's really hard to do an 'environment AND ___' search on the Princeton webpage and find anything helpful. Another AWESOME project is to train students here to be involved in EcoTalk, a nationally syndicated commercial radio program. EcoTalk just went from weekly to daily shows and is anxious for student-produced material. Shana has tons of experience training students to produce radio material and will be starting that project with the new school year.
SURGE: Students United for a Responsible Global Environment
They've just started a campus chapter. Right now its mostly Woodrow Wilson MPA students. They've got a lot of great energy and interest in CO2, so we're hoping to work with them on the issue.
Have a good month!
And keep in touch.
School is out, but that just means more time for Greening Princeton. It's been a busy month.
This will be a brief summary of our meetings, followed by very detailed minutes below. Questions? email me: barclay(at)princeton.edu
**Things we’ve been working on in our weekly meetings.
** Meeting with George Leonard of Monterey Bay Seafood watch. Friday, July 7th
** UStore Meeting with James Mailander. Talked about more recycled products, energy star fridges, environmentally-friendly personal & cleaning products in the convenience store. Wednesday, July 5th
**Grounds Meeting with Jim Consolloy, Grounds Manager and Suzanne Burchfield, Crew Leader, Landscape Grounds Shop to discuss pesticide use, reclaimed water use, native plants and electric (rather than smelly two-stroke combustion) carts. Lots of minutes & follow-up info. Friday, June 23rd
** On Thursday, June 22nd we welcomed our new Sustainability Manager Shana Weber to the neighborhood. We arrived at her new digs with Tiger Noodle take-out & organic Bent Spoon gelato and had a fun little picnic on the front lawn. Their furniture came the next day. (no minutes from that!) Shana has since jumped in with both feet.
**Things from our weekly meetings:
We’re trying to research projects at schools that have done energy efficiency projects with quantified results. We’re looking for effective, researchable projects for the CO2 course.
Jim Aldeman has a list of schools. We’ll send out that list (and a few others) and people can take 2 or 3, email out so we don’t duplicate, and report back.
If you’re interested in this, email Jeff Domanski: jdomanski(at)princeton.edu. Anyone can help!!
Assorted other thoughts:
Fume hoods… general lab stuff? Email Robin Izzo (EHS)- what equipment do people use. (she gave me a great list)
Look at Tom Nyquist’s recommissioning study.
Shana is involved with Eco-Talk (http://www.ecotalkblog.com/), an environmental media show that airs on Air America. They are in the process of switching from a weekly show to a daily show so they are in need of more content. Shana would love to see more student voices on the show and is looking for students who are interested in getting involved and producing pieces. Shana is planning to hold a couple of training sessions in the first few weeks of the semester (i.e. late September) to get students trained for doing radio stuff. See http://www.scu.edu/envs/radio/index.html to see what students did (under Shana’s guidance) at her previous institution. Marissa suggested that, in future years, it might be possible to put together a freshman writing seminar focused on writing for radio.
*Carbon neutral survey
Ford (new member) suggested surveying staff to see how much support there is for the University go to carbon neutral (i.e. how much are people willing to pay per month). Ford is willing to do this and will draft the survey. He suggested starting with PEI, maybe publicizing those results, before extending to other departments. Could also survey students in the fall.
We discussed some ideas for improving heating efficiency in Butler. Some apartments have been re-done with double paned windows, but most are still single-paned; lots of heat lost through windows and doors. Improving insulation around windows/doors is probably most cost-effective. Suggested that Butler Committee could collect orders from residents and buy the stuff (whatever we recommend) in bulk. We may be able to defray the cost with some NJ state incentives. Also, we should research whether or not space heaters would be more efficient (i.e. have a space heater in the bedroom rather than over-heating the whole apartment to get the bedroom to be comfortable). Jim is going to start looking into this. Jeff Domanski will see if anyone in Architecture is interested in doing a more detailed analysis of Butler.
Based on his Butler utility bills, Jim estimates that using space heaters in the Butler bedrooms to cut down on some of the wasteful overheating from the inefficient central heating systems would cost residents more money. So it’s probably most effective to pursue energy efficiency measures instead. Shana suggested attaching additional duct work to the heat vent to divert the air flow away from the door. Water heater blankets and door snakes were also suggested.
We've added two new pages to the Greening Princeton website:
Carbon offsets: http://www.princeton.edu/~greening/carbonOffsets.html
Sustainable seafood: http://www.princeton.edu/~greening/fisheries.html
and we would love feedback. Send suggestions to Alex (barrona(at)princeton.edu) for the carbon page or Marissa (mbaskett(at)princeton.edu) for the seafood page. Thanks!
Cathy has started looking into how much could be saved if students used fluorescent instead of incandescent bulbs in the lights they use on campus. A rough calculation indicates that ~$36,000/year could be saved. It was suggested that we could use this information to try to get Student Agencies to rent lamps with fluorescent bulbs to students (currently they rent fridges, microwaves, etc). Cathy is drafting a letter to Student Agencies and asking Ted Borer in Facilities if he’d like to sign it also. If you have a better idea, let her know. (ckunkle(at)princeton.edu)
**July 7th Seafood Meeting
Sarah Salati-Bavuso, Shana Weber, Cathy Kunkle, Heather Leslie, and Marissa Baskett met with George Leonard, a scientist with Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch program (http://www.mbayaq.org/cr/cr_seafoodwatch/sfw_partner.asp).
We got a lot of great info on where the Seafood Watch program is headed and chatted a bit about possible next steps for Princeton's new partnership with Seafood Watch.
About Seafood Watch (SW): SW has been around for ~6 years and is at a transition point, with a shift in focus from consumers to businesses as they develop more detailed information on sustainable seafood. SW has been working with businesses and is beginning to talk to food purveyors like Compass Corporation (which owns Bon Appetite and Restaurant Associates) and Sysco (Princeton Dining Services' main seafood source). They're still working out the best way to go about implementing sustainable seafood programs, such as doing seafood audits. Some exciting new projects are strong standards for sustainable shrimp farming (which is going well) and salmon farming (which has proven controversial - this is in collaboration with Environmental Defense), and broadening the health information from warning about high contaminant levels to making recommendations based on low contaminant levels plus high omega-3's. Also, the Marine Stewardship Council, which certifies sustainable seafood, is always looking for new venues.
The next steps:
- The new wallet cards should arrive July 7th or 8th, and Dining Services will start distributing them.
- Sarah will try to help connect SW with our Rutgers Aquaculture Program contact, from whom Dining Services is hoping to buy tilapia, and with Princeton's seafood purveyor, which has recently started including the SW sustainable seafood information on their order sheet.
- Dining Services will try to do a seafood audit, comparing five years ago (when they first started making seafood changes) to now to what could still be done.
- As part of new residential dining hall and dining hall renovations, Dining Services is putting in a digital media network, which could include educational seafood information. SW is hoping to develop more digital media at the aquarium, so this could present a great opportunity to work together.
- Sarah will give George information on the sushi at Frist to see how to make that more sustainable; George said that sushi distribution in the US is fairly centralized, which may make sourcing easier.
Also, with respect to our upcoming (August?) meeting with the university overseer of Prospect/Genomics Cafe/E-quad Cafe (all run by Restaurant Associates), we discussed two very interesting points.
First, Compass Corp owns Restaurant Associates, and Compass Corp is working out an agreement with SW, which they haven't yet decided how to implement. Second, Restaurant Associates is concerned about profits, which has the potential to conflict with the university's goal of providing a service to faculty and staff. Therefore, when we meet with them, we may want to keep in mind the following ideas:
(1) present the sustainable seafood issue as something that Compass Corp will be implementing soon, so this is their chance to take the lead among Restaurant Associates vendors
(2) focus on cost-neutral and cost-saving projects, including the point that Dining Services' changes in 20 menu items when implementing their sustainable seafood program was basically cost- neutral.
Questions or comments? Send an email to Marissa: mbaskett(at)princeton.edu
**U-Store meeting 7/5/06
Attendees: Jimmy Mailander (U-Store), Liz Jobson, Jeff Dwoskin, Barclay Satterfield, Cathy Kunkel
1. Online store and Frist store
Jimmy didn’t realize that the recycled notebooks weren’t available online. He’ll fix that and also send some to be sold at the store in Frist. (these still aren’t up on the website…)
2. Other recycled products
They’re selling Office Depot recycled copy paper for the same price as virgin but sales of the recycled are much lower, possibly because it’s hard to find in the store. (Office Depot is only their vendor for copy paper; Douglas Stewart (?) is their main vendor for other office supplies). They also sell some recycled filler paper. For some products, such as filler paper, it doesn’t make sense to carry 2 types of the same thing – i.e. they want to move to selling only the recycled option. Jimmy will talk to their vendor to see what other recycled products are available; he will also look into Princeton-brand recycled folders.
3. Convenience store items
Their main vendor for organic/natural foods is Haddon House Food Products. They also have some 7th Generation products, which we suggested that they sell, esp. for laundry detergent which is popular. Jimmy is also looking into a vendor called Tree of Life, which supplies personal care products similar to what’s sold at Whole Foods. Basically they are looking to move in the organic / environmentally friendly direction for cleaning products & personal care products.
They don’t sell enough batteries to make it worthwhile to sell rechargeable ones. And they also sell so few fridges and micro-fridges that they have trouble finding a vendor for it; Jimmy will look into EnergyStar models, but he’s not sure if their vendor will be able to do it.
**Grounds Meeting Minutes: Friday, June 23
In attendance: Anita Adhitya, Barclay Satterfield, Cathy Kunkel, Marissa Baskett, Sandy Moskovitz
Guests: Jim Consolloy, Grounds Manager, Grounds and Building Maintenance and Suzanne Burchfield, Crew Leader, Landscape Grounds Shop
*Turf Issues: Jim mentioned that the biggest problem they have with the lawns here is compaction and also dead turf because of general traffic & reunions. Sandy wondered if there was a way to rotate lawns, roping some off (the way that is done in Central Park) to give some especially sensitive areas a chance to rest.
*IPM Management: Jim and Suzanne talked about how pest management has changed here over the years. Jim started at Princeton applying DDT to trees with a paintbrush. Now, if they have particularly tough problems with certain plants, they remove them and try to plant more native species that are more drought and pest resistant. Jim talked about how they use a product in water that doesn't kill mosquitoes, but renders them wingless. So, they stay in the aquatic food chain, but can't fly around. Jim mentioned that they had used TerraCycle for lawn starting and soil biology and that they are interested in experimenting more with worm castings. He said that this was the first time in five years that they had done pesticide treatments for dandelions, but they have a notification system in place and contact students who they know to have chemical sensitivities. Suzanne mentioned that they hire students over the summer to hand weed which is the best way to control weeds. He did mention that they use Roundup to kill weeds growing between paving stones, however. Suzanne talked about using horticultural oil for insects on plants, as well as something called Merit to make plant leaves bitter so that bugs won't feed on them. Horticultural oil works by smothering overwintering pests such as scale insect and other insect egg masses. This is a highly refined oil that is usually mixed with water for application. This is an approved product for pest control in Canada, which has a very stringent Pesticide ByLaw on the books.
*Water Issues: Jim talked about how they have water storage tanks to hold storm run-off; these tanks help dole out the rain water to Lake Carnegie in a carefully modulated way so that the lake doesn't flood. We asked about installing a system to use rain water run-off for irrigation, but Jim says that they don't actually do much irrigation here. He is also concerned that leaves and sediment would get stuck in the collection barrels and would then get stuck in the sprinklers. Barclay asked about using gray water, and Jim said that the Athletics department is against using that for the fields because they think that gray water is basically untreated sewage.
*Native Plants: Jim talked about how they are using more native plants, but that they do have a %5 rule when planting new trees--they allow only 5% of trees to be of a certain genus, and of that 5% of a certain species to ensure diversity on campus, and to abide by that rule they cannot just plant natives. He mentioned how there are new types of trees, like the seedless Norway Maple, so that the University's planting doesn't add to the invasiveness of these species. Someone pointed out that not having seeds isn't beneficial to birds and animals, and Suzanne thought that was an interesting point.
*Miscellaneous: Barclay asked about whether they would be interested in using electric GEM cars to replace 2-stroke combustion engine carts. There is concern that these cars aren't strong enough to use when the Grounds staff have to haul heavy equipment around. Jim also mentioned concerns about maintaining these cars.
**Follow-up needed: Jim would like to attend another meeting in the Fall with his turf staff, Mark and Glenn. Anita and Sandy have been investigating the hazards and environmental fate of Round-up (see links and info below). Barclay will investigate the maintenance bills are like for GEM cars. Cathy will investigate horticultural oil and whether there are any concerns with Merit, the substance they put into tree roots to make the leaves bitter. It'd be nice if someone would volunteer to investigate the effect of spraying gray water on fields, how to deal with sediment/leaves in pumps & spigots for irrigation with storm water.
*Grounds Follow-up Completed: (everything save a second meeting to talk about natives)
*Liz did some research on greywater / stormwater irrigation for fields. Greywater irrigation is probably not cost-effective since we don’t have that much irrigation on campus, but there is plenty of filtration technology available that would make stormwater irrigation feasible (and other schools do it).
*Katy Anderson’s aunt sent us a LOT of great information about native plants for parking-lot plantings. We’ll have to look into that info more to find a suitable native shade tree (not Norway maple, seedless or otherwise).
*Cathy looked into Horticultural oil & Merit:
“Beyond Pesticides” rates it as “Least Toxic” if it is vegetable-oil based, not petroleum based. http://www.beyondpesticides.org/infoservices/pesticidefactsheets/leasttoxic/horticulturaloils_vegetable_base.htm Specifically, horticulture oils have not been found to lead to insect resistance and they have relatively low mammalian toxicity. Horticulture oils that are vegetable based are equally as effective in killing certain insects as oils that are petroleum based. Vegetable based oils are similar in mode of action, application method, and phytotoxicity. Vegetable based horticulture oils do not leave residues behind like petroleum based oils.
Merit is more toxic and is opposed by Pesticide Action Network and Beyond Pesticides, which rates it “Toxic”: http://www.beyondpesticides.org/pesticides/factsheets/Imidacloprid.pdf
The main ingredient, Imidacloprid, is classified by the Environmental Protection Agency as both a toxicity class II and class III pesticide (on a scale of I to IV, I being the highest toxicity class), and must be labeled with the signal word “Warning” or “Caution.” It is also considered toxic to upland game and birds. However, not surprisingly, spot application (which is what Grounds does) is preferable to spraying. Unfortunately there do not appear to be any good alternatives that kill all of the same things as Merit. If anyone remembers what specific pests Grounds is trying to control using Merit, I can see if there are any better alternatives specific to those pests.
*Barclay asked Chuck Gash (who works on the carts on campus) and Jon Baer (who owns one) about GEM car maintenance. It seems they have had no real problems with the handful of carts that have been here for 1-3 years, aside from some dead batteries in the winter. These carts do not require tune-ups or oil changes, so theoretically are a no-maintenance item. The crew here has not been trained in servicing them. Mr. Consolloy expressed concern about lack of training, both for service and that people using them will drive them across the grass.
*Roundup Info: compiled by Barclay from info Anita and Sandy sent her
Eye irritant. Not harmful to rats, mice, bees or hens. Few teratogenic effects and little to no organ damage. Slightly toxic to waterfowl & fish, but does not appear to bio-accumulate. Quite toxic to plants, but not really absorbed by animals. Binds strongly to soils, so little (~2%) leaching occurs, and it doesn't evaporate. Microbes in soil break it down to CO2, ammonia, amino acids, formaldehyde and phosphate. Formaldehyde is yicky, but...
Some reproductive studies that I didn't understand, but I *think* they used fairly high concentrations.
I have, however, come across a number of sites carrying the information in this story (in Environmental Science & Technology, an American Chemical Society publication).
An additive in Roundup, POEA (polyethoxylated tallow amine), makes glyphosate (the active ingredient) worse, or is a bad actor on its own.
It may be worth it to ask grounds if they can get glyphosate without the surfactant additive? I don't even know if this exists. Maybe just ask them to be super-careful about not getting it in water?
Greening Princeton is a student group, composed of undergraduate and graduate students, that works at all levels of the university, engaging administration, faculty, students, and staff in efforts to improve the relationship between the Princeton campus and the environment. Our biggest accomplishments of the 2005-2006 school year include:
(1) Helping hire a Sustainability Manager: Throughout the 2004-2005 school year Greening Princeton met with administrators including Shirley Tilghman, Executive Vice President Mark Burstein, Mike McKay (Vice President for Facilities) and Janet Dickerson (Vice President for Campus Life) to advocate for the creation of this position. In the spring of 2005 we made a presentation to the Princeton Environmental Oversight Committee (PEOC) (available at http://www.princeton.edu/~greening/downloads/PEOC_Presentation.ppt) and presented a report detailing aspects of similar positions at other schools (http://www.princeton.edu/~greening/downloads/SustainabilityCoordinator.doc).
During the summer of 2005 alumni sponsorship for the position appeared, and Julie Newman, director of Yale's Office of Sustainability, visited the campus to give the PEOC a presentation on her work at Yale. The position was advertised in the fall and during reading period and exams in January two Greening Princeton members joined the campus interview team, helping evaluate the final seven candidates. Shana Weber, who has a Ph.D. in Environmental Science from Indiana University and comes to us from Santa Clara University will be starting June 26th. Learn more about Shana at her website: http://www.shanaweber.com.
(2) Dining & Sustainable Seafood: Since 2003 we have been working with Princeton's Dining Services to find low- and no-cost ways to green the dining halls. Stu Orefice, Director of Dining Services, is very receptive to our concerns and collectively we have instituted bi-weekly meetings. Early changes included switching to unbleached flour, using recycled content paper napkins, and offering a fair-trade coffee and two organic cereal options. More recently, Dining Services has switched all of its spring salad mix to organic, sourced more local produce and worked with its vendor to substantially reduce antibiotic use in the chicken served. For more information, see:
One of our most successful efforts has been with Sustainable Seafood, purchasing seafood that is not over-fished, is low in pollution content and is harvested in ways that do not endanger other species. This is a cost-neutral effort, but involves lots of research into the source of the fish we buy. Sarah Bavuso of Dining Services put in a great deal of effort, virtually removing all of the unsustainable seafood from dining hall menus. Princeton has coordinated its efforts with the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program, and this spring was the first college to sign onto the Seafood Watch Partnership, committing to serve sustainable seafood and educate our customers. http://www.mbayaq.org/cr/cr_seafoodwatch/sfw_partner.asp
(3) Recyclemania! is an inter-collegiate recycling competition that runs for 10 weeks in the spring. The point is to raise awareness of recycling on campus through a healthy competition. This year it involved 93 schools, who competed in categories including least trash per capita, most recycling per capita and highest recycling percentage. Princeton participated for the first time and placed 19th in recycling percentage, beating Yale and Harvard. Complete results are available at http://www.recyclemaniacs.org/results-2006-gc.asp.
(4) CO2 Class: We are interested in ways to reduce Princeton's greenhouse gas emissions. In the past we have worked with Tom Nyquist, Director of Engineering at the Physical Plant on both energy conservation and purchasing renewable energy, which remains out of reach, especially when the University is already millions short on its energy budget. But, last fall Tom asked us for "a big goal"-something beyond a few solar panels or kWh's of wind. We organized a meeting with Prof. Steve Pacala and Dr. Tom Kreutz of the Princeton Environmental Institute, and the two of them offered us a goal: 50% reduction in Princeton's GHG emissions in 50 years. We have NOT proposed this to the administration yet. We're not even sure if it is possible! But, we have organized a student-initiated seminar for this fall that will examine that very question. Roughly 16 students, lead by Tom Kreutz, will look at various aspects of the school for ways that GHG emissions could be reduced and at roughly what cost. The outcome of this class will hopefully help us formulate a plan to take to the administration. Watch for more information on this...
(5) Outreach: We manned a table at the annual Communiversity fair this April, distributing wallet-sized sustainable seafood selectors, information on reducing energy use, and guides to local farmers markets. We also had a stellar alumni panel at reunions, with Darcy Copeland '06, Greening Princeton member, Bill Anderson '81, an organic farmer located near Philadelphia, Marty Johnson '81, founder of Trenton Isles and Prof. Steve Pacala of PEI. This February, we organized a panel discussion on Environmental Justice Issues in conjunction with the Pace Center and Princeton Environmental Institute. PEI carried a story about the panel in its spring newsletter:
(6) Recycled paper notebooks at the UStore. We've had three meetings with the UStore, asking them to carry more 'green' products. Although they are limited by contracts with their vendors, they really impressed us by starting to carry a line of 30% PCW notebooks, emblazoned with our name and a beautiful logo: the Mercer Oak. Also, a great deal of food at the U2 convenience store is organic or natural.
(7) T-Shirts. After 5 years of existence and so many accomplishments we felt like we needed a T-shirt. (Organic cotton, too) At reunions many people asked me how to get one, but our first set was 'limited addition' - we pre-ordered. However, if you're interested we might just do another round.
A link to the design:
Color: Unbleached. The sizes run small.