Projects 2020

Updates: 1/10/2023

I’ve included the projects we worked on in the ill-fated Spring of 2020. A good review to see what we were up to last time in this course.


Update 1/20/2020

I’ve selected projects I believe we should focus on for ENVS 399, in large part because all are underway and need moving forward or completing. I am not opposed to starting new efforts but strongly urge us to consider the importance of focusing our efforts on projects that can have a real impact sooner rather than later.

I’ve put Meg Edwards (STAP Student Sustainability Coordinator) in charge of the sustainability plan (project 1) and I’ll take on the entrepreneurial sustainability course and workshop (Project 7), That leaves 5 projects for ENVS 399 students.

  1. Revise Sustainability Plan
  2. Campus Habitats: Chimney Swift Tower
  3. Sustainable Food on Campus
  4. Rethinking Recycling on Campus
  5. Sustainable People and Networks
  6. Campus Environment & Sustainability Developments
  7. Entrepreneurial Sustainability: Fall ’29 Workshop/Course

All projects are described below with key resources. But first…

Pearls of Wisdom for Working on Real Projects

Be prepared before you contact and meet with people.

Don’t waste their time.

Draft a brief memo outlining key details about your meeting, including what you want from the person or persons you are meeting with. Things to include:

  • specific dates and deadlines.
  • details from your review of previous related efforts.
  • ideas/solutions from efforts at other campuses, or places.
  • Check with Krygier before you set up a meeting and have him review your plans
  • CC Krygier on emails about meetings.

I revised assignments to projects a bit. ¬†In part, this is to make sure the work is evenly distributed, with each one of you in charge of one major project and officially assisting with at least one more. Part 5 is really big, so I’ve divided that into different parts.

1. Revise Sustainability Plan
Coordinated by: Meg Edwards (STAP Student Sustainability Coordinator)

2. Campus Habitats: Chimney Swift Tower
Coordinated by: Dustin Braden (with Celeste Wallick)

3. Sustainable Food on Campus
Coordinated by: Genaro Garcia (with Shay Scheitler)

4. Rethinking Recycling on Campus
Coordinated by: Ayla Macomber (with Kayla Adolph)

5. Sustainable People and Networks
MMO & E&S Floor: Coordinated by Celeste Wallick
The rest: Coordinated by: Shay Scheitler (with Genaro Garcia)

6. Campus Environment & Sustainability Developments
Coordinated by: Kayla Adolph & Dustin Braden (divide up projects) (with Ayla Macomber)

1. Revise Sustainability Plan 

In collaboration with Sustainability Task Force (STF).

Coordinated by: Meg Edwards (STAP Student Sustainability Coordinator)

This is a “big picture” effort that needs to take into account current sustainability efforts and viable future efforts on campus and in the region. Potential to maintain the current four-part format, or recast with a focus on zero waste (or similar unifying concepts).

2. Campus Habitats: Chimney Swift Tower

In collaboration with B&G, Dick Tuttle.

Coordinated by: Dustin Braden (with Celeste Wallick)

An important component of making sustainability and environment more visible on campus. A long-term project that is finally ready to go, with funding and plans. The last step is to make it happen, which is complicated by the work on student housing on campus. Student pressure and engagement to move the project forward is important. Include a review of other campus environmental developments, including bird feeders, nesting, bat houses, bee houses, native habitat, etc.

3. Sustainable Food on Campus

In collaboration with AVI.

Coordinated by: Genaro Garcia (with Shay Scheitler)

AVI took over food provision on campus last year and has made an effort to put in practice sustainable food efforts (which they promised to do in their pitch to OWU). Many ideas have been discussed, some progress has been made, but more can happen. Focus on moving current efforts forward, identifying viable new efforts, and sustaining food efforts on campus.

  • 1st steps: review the large body of ideas and proposals about food on campus and assess the current situation. AVI at Kenyon has implemented many sustainable food efforts but has a larger budget. Potential to visit AVI Kenyon for ideas. Meet with Aleks Ilic (working part-time at AVI) to get his perspective on viable ideas for sustainable food on campus. Meet with Jim Pearce, head of AVI at OWU. Possibly meet both together. Focus on a few smaller projects and a few larger projects. Issues of implementation and promotion
  • Smaller projects
    • Meatless Monday:¬†Beyond Meat burger tested Fall ’19; popular but higher costs may be prohibitive. Potential to use the meat substitute for recipes other than big burgers to make it more economically viable. Some vegan/vegetarians complained the burgers were too big and scary and like real meat for them. Potential to work with meat substitute providers and explore promotional options
    • Ugly Mug: effort to make “recycled” mugs available for coffee and other drinks on campus. They can be returned (and washed and reused), but don’t have to. The goal is to reuse the huge number of ceramic mugs around, and try to get carrying a somewhat inconvenient mug around to be a “thing.” Work with a campus group to help keep the mugs stocked, possibly in collaboration with Goodwill.
    • More ideas?
  • Larger projects
    • Food Recovery: Aleks has focused on food recovery and using OWU food to support at least two free lunches at the Common Ground store in Delaware. Efforts are also underway to get left-over food to the Grace Clinic just north of HWCC by student¬†Lena Ison. Interview Aleks and Lena and Jim Pearce and assess the current efforts as well as the potential for more efforts and long-term sustainability of the effort. Tied to composting.
    • Composting: Aleks was also involved in a .25 credit worm composting activity course and students are currently maintaining a small worm bed. Assess the problems and potential for composting on campus. Three key sources: grounds (leaves, etc. possibly being composted), post-consumer food waste (food and compostable plates, cutlery, etc. currently not being composted), pre-consumer vegetable food waste (some being used for worm composting).
    • Regional Food Network: AVI OWU has linked to efforts by AVI Kenyon to access food from regional farms and sources. Meet with Jim and also Kenyon employees involved in this effort. Document and help promote current practices on campus (to students, staff) and assess future development options.

4. Rethinking Recycling on Campus

In collaboration with ABM.

Coordinated by: Ayla Macomber (with Kayla Adolph)

ABM took over campus housekeeping from Aramark last fall and is currently seeking quotes for campus recycling and trash from outside vendors. It is, thus, a good moment to reassess recycling and waste disposal on campus and, if possible, include a request that the bidding firms include resources and efforts to improve recycling and waste disposal on campus.

The biggest issue is that recycling in the US has been in trouble for some time. The cost to recycle is growing, and many materials (plastics, paper) are being dumped in landfills due to the lack of economical recycling options. Review the sources below (and others if you wish) as part of this effort

With an understanding of the larger context in mind:

  • 1st steps: review the sampling and assessment of campus recyclables undertaken last semester by Ash Moen and Meg Edwards. This assessment provides insights into current problems with recycling on campus. Meet with Ash, Meg and Edward Pullen to strategize on improving recycling on campus, and how to get our future recycling vendor to work with us on improvements.
  • Consider more radical ideas:¬†Read the articles above. What about ending recycling on campus? If it is costing OWU money to recycle, and much of the material is ending up in landfills anyway, well, that’s just stupid. If we formally end recycling, people will, possibly, focus on reducing waste(rather than throwing stuff away and pretending it is being recycled).
  • OWU Waste Audit: Consider the potential for a broad waste audit of campus and what that would entail (cost, outcomes, etc.)

5. Sustainable People and Networks

MMO & E&S Floor: Coordinated by Celeste Wallick
The rest: Coordinated by: Shay Scheitler (with Genaro Garcia)

A related group of efforts that include students, staff, faculty and community members. What makes sustainability work is groups of people working together. An effort is needed to tie together and coordinate. Key foci include:

1) Coordination & Integration: Partners & Collaborators in Sustainability

How can we strengthen communication and collaboration with our regional partners?

  • Sustainability Task Force
  • OWU Citizens Climate Lobby
  • Sustainability STAP: Meg Edwards
  • B&G
  • AVI:
  • ABM:
  • Alumni/Development: grants, alumni contacts
  • City of Delaware: Caroline Cicherchi, Janelle Valdinger, etc.
  • DEC
  • MTSO
  • Other regional colleges: Denison, Kenyon, Wooster, Otterbein…

2) E&S Themed Floor: A good idea that needs work. The idea with this themed floor is to integrate freshmen into campus sustainability and environmental efforts. There are current efforts at modest programming, but a few larger developments might have a bigger impact:

  • May Move Out: this student-initiated effort has deferred up to 10 tons of material from the dumpsters when students move off-campus in May in collaboration with B&G and Goodwill. It has varied in success, depending on the students in charge. It has been suggested that students on the E&S Themed Floor get involved with running the May Move Out, along with the Tree House and E&W. For Spring 2020: manage and promote the May Move Out and integrate the E&S Themed Floor and the Tree House and E&W and develop a plan for a long-term sustainable plan for the effort. Also need to work on a digital resource for this effort (update and expand the May Move Out web pages)
  • Living/Learning Experience: The initial idea is to tie the new ENVS 100.1 and 100.2 courses (and possibly BOMI 233) to the floor; in other words, students are living together and taking a course together. Work with Res Life and their plans for living/learning experiences, Krygier, and review instances of these kinds of experiences at other campuses. Detail costs, logistics, faculty engagement, etc.

3) Outreach and Connections: to prospective students as well as alumni and external sources for funds (grants)

  • Admissions: Work with Admissions (and faculty) to develop materials for and student-led initiatives aimed at prospective students. The number of prospective students indicating an interest in the environment is growing. This includes both environmental majors, but also a desire to go to a college where sustainability is important and participate in sustainable and environmental activities.
  • OWU Alumni Network: Wisr Discussion Site: help reach out to and recruit alumni and students to sign up for and participate in this formal resource for networking. Include details about how to maintain discussions and engagement on the discussion lists (for example, regular faculty or campus group postings).
  • OWU Advancement: Meet with campus advancement ($$$) staff to get a better understanding of how we can get external funds (grants or donations) for campus sustainability efforts. Consider how OWU and WCSA can co-fund such efforts (matching funds).
  • OWU Communications: Krygier has worked with Communications to promote sustainability projects on campus. Continue this effort, including video, social media, etc. Consider a communication plan for the E&S program and sustainability efforts on campus.

4) Green Week and Earth Day 50

  • Green Week:¬†?
  • Earth Day 50 year anniversary: collaborate?
  • Climate Riot: Organize a march/gathering of Delaware area younger people (OWU, Hayes HS, etc) that marches down Sandusky and gathers in the intersection of Sandusky & William St. We wouldn’t want this to get media attention or accidentally stop traffic for awhile. Here is a maybe related event organized by Bard College.
  • Student Research Symposium (end of spring semester): this course, STF, etc.

6. Campus Environment & Sustainability Developments

Coordinated by: Kayla Adolph & Dustin Braden (divide up projects) (with Ayla Macomber)

  • The 46 Sustainability Center: Stalled project largely because of lack of funds and OWU support. Decide if this is worth pursuing at some scale and how to fund and staff it long-term.
  • OWU Green Roof: A proposal developed by¬†Mahnoor Ansari, Kayla Adolph, and Janelle Valdinger. Potential for the project on the roof of the Delaware Entrepreneurial Center (DEC) in collaboration with outside organizations.
  • Rainworks Challenge & BioRetention Cells: A student-led effort to coordinate water runoff and related issues on campus. Video.
  • Solar Array (small or large): Before the head of B&G Peter S. ¬†left, he put together a proposal for a large solar array to be located around B&G and south of the Meek Aquatic Center. This project is on hold but might be goaded along by organized student and alumni interest. We can also consider a smaller array to be located more centrally on campus, the residential halls or potentially near or on Corns (such as in the south end of the lot between Corns and Beeghly).
  • Green Fee or related student funds
  • Dustin: Geog 360: Delaware Run Restoration: An oldie, but still potentially viable.

7. Entrepreneurial Sustainability: Fall ’20 Workshop/Course

Coordinated by: John Krygier

In collaboration with the DEC and MTSO and …


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