Ugly Mug project

Coordinated by G. Garcia (Sustainability practicum)


This project’s goal, is reducing and curving the overall use of disposable coffee cups provided by dining services. Use of mugs will reduce landfill input, as well as make some issues of sustainability more personal to individuals. Mugs will be and should be cheap, “ceramic” or any mug material non-toxic, and not produced specifically for donation. Only used mugs should be donated.

The goal of this project is to curb use of single use paper and plastics that are found in disposable coffee cups around campus. With that goal in mind, planning of this project should take into account possible problems that will arise. While not many, some problems seen have been

  • Lack of understanding with the general concept among campus members.
  • Promotional materials that are sustainable, yet eye-catching.
  • Accessibility of Mug-drop off and pick up locations.



Goodwill of Delaware, AVI Foodsystems™

AVI ; provides space for mug drop-off and pick-up. Provide washing of mugs for re-use.

Goodwill; donations of mugs as well as T-shirts for promotional tie in.

Personal donations of mugs from faculty/staff and students.


Similar campaigns 
Mug Project // Princeton
Portland // Grassroots campaign


Campus Habitat Projects (Delaware Run & Chimney Swift Tower)

Delaware Run

Originally we considered funding a campus Delaware Run restoration project by latching onto a grant being undertaken by Caroline Cicerchi and the Olentangy Watershed Association (OWA). Their nine element plan is part of the process for applying for an EPA grant and requires a restoration project and monitoring. It was decided that a project on campus might be too large of a project to include initially in the grant, so the current goal is a project with high impact and less work. Caroline and OWA could still use some help on the nine element plan, so for the remaining weeks of the semester students will attempt to assist in pushing that forward.

As far as the on campus Delaware Run restoration project, we subsequently met with Laura Fay to discuss other funding opportunities. One of her ideas with serious potential was FEMA’s BRIC program (Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities). Further, considering the Delaware Run’s tendency to overflow and block traffic during flood events, creating a map showing 100 and 500 year flood maps (as well as some more recent events if possible) would make a grant application much more competitive. Another possibility is going through the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) for restoration mitigation they need. They prefer to fund tangible projects with established monitoring programs (many grants would like to see established e coli monitoring efforts) and small to medium price tags (looking for high impact, low price tag) and could be considered for funding projects further upstream to assist with flooding downtown. Several other options discussed have already been researched by other students (here, and here).

Chimney Swift Tower Project

Before COVID-19 swept in, this project was moving forward and simply requiring city approval. The construction of this project can likely continue to move forward despite the quarantine due to construction services being deemed essential and the work taking place outside with just one or a small handful of people. If the city approval comes promptly and the contractor can move forward with construction, the work can likely be finished before the start of fall semester 2020.

May Move Out 2020 Status

Progress Before Spring Break (Late March 2020)

  • Contact was made with people at the Marion Goodwill
    • Carlia Meehan (District Manager)
    • Evan Geyer (Operations Director)

Dates for Mini May Move out as well as the larger end of the year May Move out  were decided on with the two of them in mid March.

Mini May Move Out– March 26 and 28,

  • March 26 – truck outside Chappelear Drama center from 8am-2pm
  • March 28 – student vollunteers help sort  donations at Marion Goodwill 10am-2pm

May Move Out-April 15/16-May 13/14

  • April 16 – Pods dropped off
  • Saturday April 18 – Friday April 24, 7am -7pm, collected by Goodwill on Friday April 24
  • Saturday April 25 – Friday May 1, 7am – 7pm, collected by Goodwill Monday, Wednesday and Friday
  • Saturday May 2 – Sunday May 10, 7am – 8pm, with students helping at each pod.  Goodwill will check and clear out each pod daily during that week, especially Sunday around 4
  • Monday May 11 – Wednesday May 13,  building and grounds employees will be emptying the hallways and corridors of any final items for the pods.  Goodwill will need to be available for multiple pick-ups each day, especially Monday at 9am.
  • May 15th pods are picked up

Locations for the pods has not been modified but with construction on campus the Smith Location will need to be at least for this year. Historically they have been…

  • Smith – North side of building by Service and Delivery Parking
  • Welch & Thomson – Loading dock area of parking lot
  • Stuy – West side of building near Student Observatory
  • Chappelear – Front of building
  • Hayes – North side of building in the parking lot

Since COVID-19

With most students rushed off campus  after an extended Spring Break, Meg Edwards spear-headed Manic Moveout in place of Mini May Moveout since Goodwill was still willing to bring a truck to campus. Unfortunately the turn out was a little less than we were hoping but I think that had more to do with the Pandemic than planning or advertising.

It seems that May Moveout might be paused for now but I am working on compiling the information of the google drive onto the May Moveout website

Solar Array Project Status as of 03/25/2020


-A solar variablility study may still be needed in order to establish how much energy can be produced on any given day. 

-Assess the feasibility of a larger solar array somewhere on campus (7-8 Acres =1 Megawatt)

-Implementing Educational Purposes: Dr. Rowley’s GEOG 235 (energy Resources), GEOG 245 (Weather and Climate)

Which company should be utilized: The Solar Network- group that works with Universities to implement solar (midWest Renewable Energy Association) Nonprofit coalition- Alden

Working with Alden Shepherd at Invenergy- Has an Excel sheet of others’ completed projects. Noted these places- Tennesee Knoxville larger parking lot use. Eaton (has charger ports- only an electric lot)

Funding:Looking into different grants outside of OWU, such as EPA, OWU resources are TPG, alumni (through Advancement’s fundraising and in encouraging Board of Trustees)

Parking lot between Beeghly and Corns

Other Projects researched

Toledo Museum of Art 

  • Partial parking lot canopy with plug-in availability for electric vehicles
  • With canopy and array- were able to go completely off of the city’s energy grid within a year.
  • State and federal grants from the Ohio Department of Development’s Office of Energy Efficiency and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act
  • Company: Solscient Energy 

Denison Garden/Solar Hybrid

  • Pollinator-friendly project (1st of its’ kind- presents research questions)
  • Sustainability Coordinator (Carbon neutral campus by 2030)
  • Dashboard to see energy production
  • Difficulties- neighbors sued because of zoning
  • Company: Third Sun Solar

Potential ways to Implement

  •  Advancement may be able to have electric shuttles or what have you for assisting. Prefers residential side of campus.
  • A smaller, feasible project that Advancement can ‘sell’ as a package to donors, such as a solar panel picnic table.

Other Notes

Potential space for an array in parking lot between Beeghly and Corns is approximately 1,510 sqft, according to an analysis done utilizing the Delaware County Auditor’s GIS website

Zoom notes 3/23/20: Welcome back from covidcation

3.23.2020 1:10-2pm
Updated by John K (Mar 25, 10 am)

ENVS Zoom Call: summary: A lot can be done off-campus to prepare for the future. 

Priorities for the rest of the semester:

  • Meg: Update Sustainability Plan to include cost estimates for certain items and current ENVS projects.

    • Cost estimates will be brief and included in the second part of the plan, with more details in a separate proposal.

    • For example: use Google maps to determine measurements for a small solar array and contact Alden Shepherd for help estimating a cost.

  • Everyone: For projects that can’t be done remotely (like AVI) document what has been done so far and upload to ENVS blog so it can be picked up easily in a more normal future.

    • Everyone have a summary post on this blog by Friday, March 27
  • Everyone: Start using the hashtag #owuenvs to keep our community together and bring environmental issues back into people’s conversations (memo to come)

    • Meg: Reach out to Eco Floor and Trouse for help spreading #owuenvs tag. Also: STF, other groups. 

    • Sustainable people & networks: Dr. Krygier is part of the higher education sustainability professionals network (or a similar name) now. Those are good contacts and so are the contacts in ROAR (Regional Ohio Alliance for Resilience) which Dr. Anderson is a part of.

  • John: Chimney Tower will probably continue as planned! Need to contact B&G for final go-ahead, but construction is an essential service. Won’t need much effort.

  • Celeste: Review, revise and synthesize May Move Out info on blog: Roll ideas for recylcing on campus into the May Move Out project. Contact Ed Pullen (ABM) about what is happening with the waste and recycling contract.
  • Dustin: Help Caroline Cicerchi (Delaware Watershed Coordinator) with developing 9 Point Plan for watershed, It’s a crazy time but many people actually have extra hours on their hands, and that can work to our advantage. Include Delaware Run project. Delaware Run information:
  • Kayla:  Solar projects: Contact Alden. Small, show project and larger solar array project.
  • Genaro:
  • Ayla: