March 2, 2011
PSC Members Present: Shana Weber , Stu Orefice, Don Weston, Tom Nyquist, Pablo Debenedetti, Robin Izzo, Miyuki Miyagi, Malavika Balachandran, Kathy Hackett, Jenna Losh, Tom Kreutz
Other Attendees: Justine Hausheer, Kristi L. Wiedemann , Leila Shahbender, Rick Curtis, Jon Baer, Holley Welles, Andrea DeRose
PSC Members Not Present : Mike McKay , Patrick Caddeau, Paul Lewis, Denise Mauzerall, Flavia Brancusi
• AASHE Conference 2011: Oct 9-12 in Pittsburgh
AASHE has put out a request for abstracts due on March 15th. The O of S encourages the working group members to think about participating in the conference, as it is so close to home. http://conf2010.aashe.org/register/schedule
• SECN 2011 Summer Program
Applications are now being accepted for the Summer 2011 Student Environmental Communications Network (SECN) training program. New this summer, the O of S will be collaborating with the PACE center to expand the program from five weeks to eight weeks. Students will also have the opportunity to work with local sustainability advocates, like the D&R Greenway.
• Transportation Subsidies for Graduate Students
Newly announced, graduate students will now be eligible for the same transportation subsidies available to faculty and staff. The Transportation office will pay half of their commuting –associated fees (bus or rail costs). Graduate students in the program will not be issued a parking pass, so this will hopefully help reduce the number of cars on campus.
• Revisiting the role of the PSC: Roundtable
The O of S feels that it is time to revisit the role of the 2008 Sustainability Plan and the PSC. Looking ahead, some of the goals in the 2008 Plan will expire within the next year or two. These deadlines have prompted the O of S to ask several questions: How can we ensure that the PSC can help address the Sustainability Plan as it continues to evolve? What is the most effective way for the PSC to advance sustainability on campus? What aren’t we reporting? What new working groups are needed?
* It was suggested that it would be useful to devote each PSC meeting to one or two of the working groups, with a presentation about their goals, strategies, etc.
* It was suggested that unifying individual working groups around a goal, like a presentation or communications piece, would be useful.
* This could dovetail with discussions on an O of S newsletter & other communications outlets.
* A question to ask through this process is: Who do we want to tell about what we are doing?
* Inclusion of the Princeton township community was discussed, asking what might be the best venue for a larger conversation with the sustainable community in the township.
*Possible gaps in the current PSC representation include:
* Presentations by faculty involved in campus sustainability were also suggested.
* Shana Weber noted that the Office is current brainstorming a way to fulfill the presentations part of the PSC in another venue, like a lunchtime speaker series, panel, etc. This would be a way of advertising the High Meadows program, as grant recipients would be required to present.
- Food waste disposal alternatives: The O of S is continuing to research a variety of sustainable food waste disposal systems. Most recently, representatives from the O of S, Dining Services, and Building Services heard a presentation on Somat’s eCorect system. Unlike composting systems, the eCorect is a food waste dehydrator. The next steps in this research process include investigating open pile and windrow technologies, with a potential visit to a current operating facility in Pennsylvania.
- Campus-wide paper reduction strategy: Next steps for this policy include the formation of a working group. Suggestions by PSC members as to who should be included in the discussion included: Leila Shahbender, Printing & Mailing, Treasurer’s Office, Human Resources, a departmental office manager, Dean of the Faculty, and the new records management person.
Topics of discussion related to this working group are:
- Increasing the use of the Uniprint system as a means of monitoring heavy-printers across departments.
- Exploring the use of Adobe & other software to facilitate the use of electronic PDFs to replace student PDF printing or use of Pequod packets.
- FSC certification of university paper products
- Drink Local: Princeton-labeled departmental bottled water initiative. As of now, we are going to pursue this as an educational recommendation, versus a policy. A previous objective was to identify how Princeton bottled water compares to other brands, perhaps as a motivator for departments to use Princeton instead of an alternative. Stu Orefice reported that Princeton water is about three times more expensive than buying bottled water in bulk from a large-scale retailer.
Stu suggested out next step should be to assess large-scale retailers (Poland springs, Deer Park, Wegmans, etc) and to assess their locality. For example, he believes that Wegmans bottled water is from New York State, and would thus be a more sustainable choice for departments who could not afford to use Princeton water. For current and future retrofits, Rick Curtis noted that the O of S should consider the cleaning of the fountains (scale buildup) as a psychological piece of water-fountain use.
Next meeting : April 6, 2011