Earth Week Workshop

On Monday, February 25th, we hosted an Earth
Week Brainstorm workshop.  The goal of this event was to gather people
from different organizations in order to learn what fresh minds could
contribute to our cause.  We hosted not only members from the American Marketing Association(AMA) and Creative Marketing Unlimited (CMU), but
members from S.A.G.E., Water Council, EPO, Safety Org, PEACE, CEO, and
ResLife.  The event was a spectacular success with 46 people coming to
share their ideas!

 

The evening began with CMU board members greeting participants in the
workshop.  Qdoba came, and kindly served free chips and queso to all who
came.  Wes Enterline then delivered an  excellent presentation on the
history of Earth Week efforts on campus, which also served to help give
people an idea of the kind of events we were looking for.

Finally, the creative portion of the workshop began.  Groups were formed with
members from each organization present being teamed with CMU board
members familiar with the Earth Initiative.  The groups were given a prompt to
spur creativity, and everybody did a fantastic job coming up with new
and creative ideas. Tons of new event ideas were created that can engage
students in Earth Week activities and show them how to become more
sustainable.

In addition to creating ideas for events, the event also served to bring
together students from various campus orgs and get them motivated to
live more sustainable lives. It is certainly exciting to think about all
of  the organizations that attended  and how many potential members of
those organizations can be reached through  the cooperation and outreach
that began at Monday’s workshop!

Dylan Waldhuetter from water council said “Not only would I like to see the Water Council get more involved on campus but a large part of our campaign is focused on increased sustainability efforts on campus.”

After the event planning commenced, participants in the workshop volunteered
to be filmed for short videos.  Many talked about things that  they do to be sustainable,
while others talked about all the things they  have seen CMU accomplish
with the UW-Whitewater Earth Initiative around campus.  Keep an  eye
out in the coming days for another great  Sustainability video from
that the clips that were collected in this workshop!

A special thanks to all attendees, we truly accomplished something for the greater good of our campus by coming together!

 

Until next time, thank you for joining the Conservation Conversation!

 

 

UW-W Earth Initiative Has Been Busy Planning Events!

While creating events and programming to actively engage students is an important aspect of the UW-W Earth Initiative, it is also important to educate individuals about the main purpose and components of our Sustainability Campaign. In order to accomplish this, we have created a sustainability video to increase awareness about this campus and community wide campaign.

Key ideas highlighted within this video include the explanation of the UW-W Earth Initiative brand name and the campaign slogan, “Social. Sensible. Sustainable.”

Please watch this video to learn more about this campaign and see how you can increase sustainable practices in your daily lives:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=11NWiY5kCyM

 

Thank you for joining the Conservation Conversation, until next time…

 

JW

Earth Initiative Outreach: Men’s Basketball

Welcome to the Conservation Conversation,

On Saturday, February 9, the UW–Whitewater men’s basketball team hosted UW–Superior and took home an 84 to 53 win. During the warm-up period, we worked hard to promote the UW-Whitewater Earth Initiative by performing some gorilla marketing tactics to increase awareness about sustainability efforts occurring across the campus.

The main draw was our water bottle give-away. Patrons attending the game could earn a reusable water bottle made of recycled materials by performing any of the following: liking the UW- Whitewater sustainability page on Facebook, Following UW – Whitewater sustainability on Twitter, or simply being part of a recycling video. Most participants opted for the “Likes” and “Follows,” but a few individuals aided in the creation of video clips.

Most of the video clips involved giving a short snippet giving the person’s name along with what they do to promote sustainability. One clip had people stating they recycle on a regular basis. Another turned off the lights every time they left their dorm room. We also had two guys state they recycled large amounts of aluminum cans.

The UW-Whitewater Cheerleaders even volunteered to be in our video! The cheerleaders remain sustainable by reusing water bottles at cheer practice. Seeing as there was a volleyball tournament occurring at the Williams Center concurrent with the basketball game, we decided to get volleyball teams involved with the video. Unfortunately, the initial team asked turned the video down.

Nonetheless, volleyball teams will be present again in the future allowing us future opportunities for additional videos. The UW-Whitewater dance team also expressed interest in filming a clip which may be done this coming Saturday, February 16th when the Warhawks battle UW–Oshkosh to extend their 5-game winning streak. We look forward to seeing everyone at the game, remember to stop at our booth for a water bottle.

GO WARHAWKS!

Let’s Ask Around Campus

Last week our very own Zack Watton went around campus searching for answers to a few simple questions about sustainability here on the gorgeous UW-Whitewater campus. This week we would like to start by thanking Michael Flanagan, the Director of Crossman Gallery for his valuable time in answering a few of our interview questions.

This week we learned that Flanagan incorporates images from a tour of an ethanol production facility into course material. Flanagan really likes to get students thinking about how their choices can impact the environment post graduation by talking about different living arrangements and building materials among other topics. He hopes that getting students to critically think about applicable sustainability through coursework will be incorporated in decision making later in life.

When we interviewed Flanagan he expressed that he would like students to become more engaged in some of the activities hosted on campus such as Earth Day. Flanagan is huge advocate of campus beautification projects that incorporate sustainability such as native prairie seed plantings and hopes that more students get involved with projects like this on campus.

When we asked Flanagan where there is the most room for improvement around campus he expressed that we need more transit options around campus. There are far too many commuters that could easily benefit from mass transit in the area.
What do you think Whitewater? Would it make sense to have shuttle buses run in town for those distant neighborhoods? Would it make sense to have shuttle buses from park and rides in towns outside of Whitewater?

Let us know what you think and stay tuned for more interviews coming soon!

Let us know if you would like to have your voice be heard on anything to do with sustainability around Whitewater.

Valentine’s Day, the green way

Hello UW-Whitewater!

Well, Valentine’s Day is in a few days and I certainly do not claim any advanced romantic insights.  However, I find some inspiration in trying to craft the perfect evening that will not only show your significant other how much you care, but also will keep your celebrations lean and green.

Let’s think about the “typical” romantic evening… you make dinner reservations at the typical restaurant and deal with the traffic, crowds and potentially even a wait… even with a reservation.  The staff at the restaurant is probably working hard and might not be overly considerate or receptive to yet another loving couple… trust me, I worked in customer service for many years!  Perhaps following that, you go to a local movie theater where you run into more apathetic staff and large crowds of people.  After all of that money, time and stress of being out and about, you’ve managed to accomplish what is the stereotypical Valentine’s Day.  Tack on a gift, flowers and a card and it’s also looking to break your budget.

Now let’s paint a picture of your Green Valentine’s Day:  Let Your romantic evening begins at home.  Not only will this give you the intimacy and privacy on this special night, it will also avoid fuel consumption and the potential negativity introduced through the stress of your dinner/movie night.  Otherwise, think of an off-beat date idea… walk to Fiskum Art Gallery or take your date up to Bald Bluff Scenic Overlook or out on the Ice Age Trail if the weather is looking somewhat appropriate for a winter hike.  The Greenhouse Coffee Company has a great selection of drinks beyond coffee and is very environmentally friendly and local for a nice chat over a delicious beverage.

Let’s say you decided to stay at home… now it’s time to set the mood.  Turn off the lights and light some soy-based or bees’ wax candles that are scented with essential oils and do not have artificial ingredients.  This avoids the synthetic, petroleum-based paraffin candles that release toxic chemicals that can cause cancer.  You can turn off the lights and save yourself some money and avoid some of those carbon emissions while looking like a smooth operator!

For the guys out there, nothing impresses your lady like a home-cooked meal.  As a vegetarian, I have to suggest planning a great vegetarian meal, which can be found anywhere online to suit your lover’s taste.  If you’re a vegetarian, you’ll quickly realize how important having quality produce is and how difficult it can be in the middle of February.  While Sentry here in town usually has good leafy greens and a nice selection of produce, if you want to make a trip to Basics Cooperative in Janesville you won’t be sorry with their excellent selection of organic produce.  All produce is 15% off on Mondays and yes, a trip to Basics can even be a fun date idea if you’re interested in exploring the interesting variety of very healthy foods they offer.  And yes, even Woodman’s has a respectable organic produce section, although we’ve found the prices to be comparable to Basics but without the added benefit of supporting such a great cooperative (we are members).  Otherwise, if meat is still on the diet plan, you can find Basics has a great selection of organic and humanely raised animal products that are sourced locally as much as possible.  Check out Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch for information on sustainable seafood options, which is what Chartwells also uses in their sustainable seafood purchasing.

Of course, let’s not forget the goodies… my favorite chocolate bars are the Endangered Species Chocolate brand, but there are other great brands out there that are organic and sustainable.  Remember, the higher the cacao count, the darker and more bitter your chocolate will be but the more antioxidants it will contain.  I’ve actually grown to prefer the darkest chocolate I can get my hands on!  You can find organic wine or champagne in some liquor stores now as well… wine seems to be a little more prevalent from my experiences.   Getting organic wine is very important as grapes often have heavy pesticide use in their production.  The Greenhouse Coffee Company in Whitewater carries some organic wine choices as well.

Sustainable means something that will last, and traditional cut flowers hardly fit the bill.  Ordering online flowers is risky because they can come from a variety of distant sources and often require heavy pesticide and preservatives to stay in pristine condition.  Unfortunately, getting fresh cut local flowers in Wisconsin in the middle of February can be much more challenging (but not impossible), but there are some alternatives to consider.  Of course, a great idea is to get a wood rose that are sold on campus in the UC before Valentine’s Day.  Another option is to get a flowering potted plant that won’t wilt after a week and will be a constant reminder of your blossoming love!  Otherwise, consider a bulb perennial plant and set a date to plant a flower patch of tulips, daffodils, or lillies.  You can save the bulbs to replant somewhere in the fall.

Still need a gift?  Well, there’s no good specific recommendation I can offer…use your imagination or a Google search!  My girlfriend and I are trying to move to a completely natural, organic lifestyle so for Valentine’s Day we aren’t doing any gifts.  Instead, we are making some purchases on Lucky Vitamin to explore some of the great natural products they offer.   I am into raw foods right now, so I’m checking out a wide variety of raw food nutritional bars and supplements (along with a new exercise mat) and my girlfriend is checking out a variety of natural beauty and skin care products.  Going on this natural health and wellness journey together has been a good bonding experience for us to share, which strikes me as more romantic than buying her a piece of jewelry.  Explore a hobby together and buy each other presents for the hobby and you have the gift that keeps on giving!

Last but not least… the card.  Nothing says romantic and personal like making your own card.  So get to work… Monday is right around the corner and those weekends always fly by!  Have a good time!

Your friendly neighborhood Sustainability Coordinator

RecycleMania 2011

Hello everyone!

Been awhile… lots of exciting things in the works in the Sustainability Office, but first and foremost…

ARE YOU READY TO RECYCLE????

RecycleMania 2011 is about to kick off and UW-Whitewater enters our third year of participation.  In 2009 we saw a recycling rate of 28.7%, which scored us third among Wisconsin schools competing in the Competition Division (more strict measurement requirements than the Benchmark Division).  Last year we managed to improve to 29.14%, but our state competition heated up and we finished in sixth place among Competition Division schools.  It’s time to step up our game too!

Let’s not forget, we also have a great competition going in the residence halls!  In 2009, Clem/Bigelow won the competition with an easy margin over second place Arey/Benson and third place Wellers/Knilans.  In 2010, Arey/Benson struck back and stole the crown from second place Clem/Bigelow with Tutt/Fischer/Goodhue coming in a strong third.  It’s not only what you recycle, but also what you manage to not throw away, so remember to donate used clothing or unused non-perishable food items.  The Whitewater Clothes Closet and Whitewater Food Pantry are always looking for donations!

RecycleMania kicks off February 6th.  Just do your part and toss your Accepted Recyclable Materials in the proper receptacles.  If you have any questions, just contact your friendly neighborhood Sustainability Coordinator at sustainability (at) uww.edu or hit me up on Facebook.  Go forth and RECYCLE Warhawks!

Sustainability Coordinator

Hello UW-Whitewater Community!

My name is Wesley Enterline and I am the first Sustainability Coordinator for our campus.  I have been a UW-W student for seven years total and for the last two years as the part-time Sustainability Coordinator.  I am pleased to announce that the Sustainability Coordinator position has been established as a full-time, permanent position!  I look forward to continuing my work with the campus to advance our sustainability goals!  Check back to this blog regularly to get articles pertinent to campus sustainability.

Please visit the UW-Whitewater Sustainability site for more information on sustainability in academics, operations and individual involvement and participation.    You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter to keep up to date with sustainability developments on campus.  We also want to hear from you!  Visit our Sustainability Wiki to add your information on sustainability efforts or research and sign up for our Sustainability Listserv by sending the subscription command for sustainability-l@listmanager.uww.edu.  Finally, you can contact me via email at sustainability@uww.edu or call my office at 472-6709 to discuss anything directly!