The S.E.E.D. Initiative

UT to Host Community Electronics Recycling Drive Saturday, February 6th from 10am-1pm

It is no surprise that many houses have more than a few electronics that are no longer in use. Whether it is an out-of-date laptop, an obsolete VCR, or your college speaker system (good at house parties, but little practical application in the real world), electronics around the house can start to pile up. Today, technology develops so rapidly that it can be difficult to properly dispose of electronics before purchasing the newest model. Luckily, the University of Toledo and AIMecycling are here to help.

SEED will host a community electronics recycling drive on Saturday, February 6th from 10am-1pm. Located in Parking Area 25 near Rocket Hall, this event will collect personal electronic items such as printers, VCRs, and speakers- all for free! Additionally, this event kicks off our eight-week Recyclemania initiative, where campuses across the nation will work to increase the amount of materials diverted from the landfill.

Electronic Recycling Drive

So I know what you’re probably thinking- why waste time recycling my old electronics, when I could just throw them away? There are many reasons to consider this method of disposal during your spring cleaning:

  1. Electronic waste contains a variety of valuable resources, such as aluminum, copper, or gold. Instead of producing all new equipment from brand new resources, utilizing these recoverable parts can save significant amounts of money, energy, and resources.
  2. Electronic waste also contains toxic materials, such as lead and chemical flame retardants. If these materials sit in a landfill, they have the potential to seep into our soil and water supply.
  3. We save energy, lower pollution, and reduce emissions by reusing resources instead of mining new ones.
  4. By recycling electronics, you are helping others. The community benefits by the transfer of these materials to those in need- “one person’s trash is another person’s treasure.”
  5. Finally, e-cycling preserves landfill space, and increases the area for items that actually need to be there.

Overall, there is a very low risk and a very high reward for taking the time to recycle your unused electronics. Help the environment and reduce your carbon footprint by joining us on February 6th!

Contrary to the blurb below, this post is produced by SEED PR & Communications Intern Jessica Mysyk

The SEED Initiative Welcomes Jessica Mysyk!

Hi everyone! My name is Jessica, and I am so excited to begin my time as a PR & Communications Intern for the SEED Initiative here on campus. As a student studying economics and marketing, I love analyzing how the choices we make every day affect the world around us- and that may be why I take such an interest in sustainability. Especially as an urban university, there are many opportunities to reduce our environmental footprint and make our campus more sustainable. From encouraging recycling in dorms on campus to efficiently tracking our total energy usage, the SEED Initative does an amazing job of keeping the University of Toledo relevant in the push toward a greener world.

According to a 2008 Princeton Review survey, nearly 2/3 of potential college students have stated that they want to know information about a college’s commitment to the environment when deciding on which institution to attend, and almost ¼ state that this information strongly plays into their final college decision. Even to an administrator who takes no interest in environmental issues, these statistics are very telling. Obviously, a university’s investment in sustainability can directly correlate with high school students’ interest in pursuing a degree at that institution. Investing in greener strategies across campus is a win-win situation- students appreciate the effort to pursue sustainability, and the campus reduces its waste and footprint on the Earth. There has never been a better time for our SEED Department on campus to become a part of the conversation.

Again, I am so excited for the opportunity to be reaching out and connecting through this internship opportunity. I look forward to learning a lot and tuning up my marketing and communication skills. My challenge to you for the day is this- try to go a day without using any plastic water bottles or coffee cups! Utilize reusable thermoses and bottles to ensure less unnecessary trash! Stay Green!

Contrary to the blurb below, this post is produced by SEED PR & Communications Intern Jessica Mysyk

UT Leads MAC in Game Day Challenge Waste Minimization

The results are in and UT showed up strong, winning the Waste Minimization category of the Game Day Challenge recycling competition for their efforts to reduce materials used on the October 10th Homecoming football game against Kent State. The Game Day Challenge is a recycling, composting and waste reduction competition between higher education institution across the US. Categories of participation include recycling rate, pounds of recycling, diversion rate, composting and greenhouse gas reductions. This was UT’s first year participating in the competition. Gameday_Recycling_Challenge

Waste Minimization results were based on the sum of trash and recycling totals divided by the number of fans in attendance, with the University of Toledo edging out Central Michigan University with 0.240/lbs per attendee and 0.296/lbs per attendee respectively. While this is a great start, there far more room to advance as UT looks to improve its standing in other categories and challenge for the greenest game day in the MAC and nationwide. View more about the competition and UT’s success at gamedaychallenge.org.

Looking to help green another UT game day? Email SEED@utoledo.edu about joining the UT Basketball Green Teams. More details to come soon.

Questions? Email SEED@utoledo.edu

MacKinnon/Scott/Tucker and Delta Delta Delta win BlackoUT 2015

The results are in and the conglomeration of MacKinnon, Scott and Tucker Halls, and Delta Delta Delta have taken home the 2015 titles as BlackoUT Champions for the Residence Hall and Greek House designations respectively. Through smart conservation practices, active engagement and favorable weather MacKinnon, Scott, Tucker were able to achieve a 30.9% reduction in electricity their November electricity consumption compared to last year. Delta Delta Delta went even further, realizing a 31.5% reduction from 2014 values.

As can be seen in the results, almost every competitor made significant leaps from last year, with 11 of 14 Greek Houses seeing reductions from last year and five of six Residence Halls doing the same. Again, while warmer temperatures this year versus last had effects on lowering electricity consumption, these savings are still a great indication of all of the effort put in by students and Residence Life Staff to making this a successful competition and learning experience for participants. As students transition into professional careers, or just move off campus, energy saving behaviors can be excellent traits to build upon not just for going green, but also saving some money in the process.

2015 Greek House Results2015 Greek House Results

Want to learn more about energy savings? Check out this great list of 100 ways to save more.

We hope you’ve all enjoyed this year’s competition and look forward to more fierce competition next November. Until then be sure to get ready for Recyclemania this spring as UT competes nationwide to flex its recycling might.

Questions? Email SEED@UToledo.edu

 

 

 

 

 

SEED Initiative Now Hiring

Want to join the SEED team? We’re always willing to take on interns, but right now we have a few special opportunities to share.

The SEED Initiative is looking for a strong writer passionate about sustainability to fill a position as SEED Communications & PR Intern. This person will work with the sustainability specialist and other SEED team members to produce newsletters, other content and handle SEED social media to further communication of sustainability at UT. If interested please look for the position on Rocket Jobs ID #23518.Rocket Recycling

Rocket Recycling is looking to hire a few more students for 5-8 hours a week. Students looking for an active job in a teamwork based setting can apply at Rocket Jobs. Look for ID #23509. Applicants must be registered for at least 6 credit hours and be in good academic standing to be considered.

Have a great weekend everyone, and as always, stay green!

Neil

BlackoUT Energy Competition Up and Running

For the fourth consecutive year, UT residence halls will be competing against one another to see who can reduce their electricity use the most through the month of November. BlackoUT pits residence hall against residence hall, and for the first time Greek House against Greek House to see who can lower their overall electricity use compared to a previous performance period.

Saving energy through simple choices can be just as easy as other green actions, but measuring the impacts of your actions can be more difficult. With BlackoUT, residents will see the efforts of their building quantified week to week to determine their overall impact and encourage them to strive further.

Residence Life is coordinating the following programming to encourage students to more carefully consider their energy usage in a fun and educational manner.black bulb

A-House: “Friday Night Lights”. On November 13th at 8:00 pm, residents will turn off their room lights, unplug their electronics and come down for a game of flashlight tag in The Flatlands.

I-House: “A Night at the Planetarium”. On November 20th at 7:30pm, IH residents will be able to participate in a live interactive program at the on-campus planetarium. This program takes a look at the stars, constellations and planets visible from UT. This will also include an update from the New Horizon’s mission to Pluto. The cost is $5 per resident (with Rocket ID), and will be covered by IH funds. Meet at the IH front desk at 7:00pm on the day of to attend this event.

McComas Village: “Greeks Go Green”. On November 19th at 5:00pm, the McComas Village staff will promote this day as a “blackout” day, where residents will be highly encouraged to turn off lights and electricity, unless absolutely necessary. The MV staff and Village Council will put on a Field Day program where residents can come outside to utilize their energy on something active and fun. Kickball will be included! In addition, MV staff will be chalking to educate residents on energy conservation tips throughout McComas Village.

MKST: “Unplug and Unwind”. On November 11th at 9:00 pm, residents will come out of their rooms and go to Dr. A’s Room as well as the MK 2nd floor lounge to either watch “The Lorax”, study or play the X Box. When students come down they will turn off all their lights and unplug their electronics.

Ottawa House: “East vs. West Glowdown”. On November 19th at 7:30pm, residents will be asked to turn out their lights, unplug their electronics, and come play short games (e.g. charades). The teams will be split up East vs. West. We will be providing glow sticks and a prize for the winning team.

Parks Tower: “Movie Madness”. On November 19th at 8:00pm, residents will be encourages to “power down” in their rooms and come to various floors throughout PT to watch an array of movies with themes of Disney, action, horror, and romance. Snacks will be provided at each movie location.

President’s Hall: “BlackOut Bowling”. On November 24th at 8:00pm, residents will bowl in the dark with glow and the dark pins, on the 3rd floor MPR. Those who participate are encouraged to “power down” in their rooms before they begin. There will also be a centralized movie night in one setting, versus watching TV/movies on multiple TVs.

 

Look for weekly updates to keep up with the progress in the action!

 

UT Boo Ride Tomorrow!

Grab a costume, Grab a bike!

What are you doing for luGhost Bikench next tomorrow? Is your answer dressing up as a spooky ghost and joining a Halloween bike stroll down University Parks Trail? It should be!

Tuesday, October 27th marks the first UT Boo Ride, sponsored by the UT Student Green Fund and UT SEED initiative. This howling good time will give you a chance to test out the stitching on your costume early as you take a leisurely pedal down University Parks Trail with other spooky creatures of the lunch hour. Students, Faculty, Staff and Community members are all welcome to attend.

All will meet at parking lot 8 (just north of Carter Hall and the University Parks Trailhead) around 12pm. UT Student Green Fund Water Bottles will be given out to the first 150 riders and SEED t-shirts will go to the 10 best costumes. The ride will last until return by 1:30pm, but turnaround points will be announced for those who need to be back sooner. More details are available on the Facebook Event, or email SEED@utoledo.edu with any questions.

Game Day Challenge Recycling Competition October 10th

As the Rockets take on Kent State next weekend fans can take part in a competition of their own. October 10th marks UT’s first entry into the Game Day Challenge, a recycling completion to strive for success off the field on football game days. To date, 82 universities and colleges are participating, with five more joining UT from the Mid-American Conference. UT will be competing in the categories of Recycling Rate, Waste Minimization, Greenhouse Gas Reduction and Diversion Rate.

To succeed UT needs your help! Any bottle or can adds up as we try to keep as we try to collect as much recycling as possible, while minimizing what is send to the landfill. Just look for conveniently stationed blue receptacles in tailgating areas and around the stadium.

DSC01660

Volunteers are also needed to help in the setup, education and collection around the game, starting Saturday at 12pm. Please email SEED@utoledo.edu to confirm your interest and receive further details.

As a quick reminder please like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to keep up to date with all the green goings on at UT.

Have a great weekend!

Neil

Rocket Wheels: Coming Soon to a Building Near You

With the last rays of summer raining down UT first ever bike share program is almost ready to roll. Resident and commuter students alike will now have the option of checking out a bicycle to assist them in getting around campus quicker.

Similar to what you may have encountered in Chicago or on another university campus, a bike share allows for the temporary use out of a bicycle for a set period of time. Bike shares have grown in popularity in recent years in both a city and campus setting as a means to accomplish both mobility and sustainability goals by reducing vehicle congestion and making errands and trips that may be impractical by foot feasible without a car. Getting more people out of their vehicles also encourages wellness, reduces emissions and produces a friendlier environment for pedestrians.

rocky

UT’s one of a kind system is a four year project in the making, originating within the Complete Streets Committee. The system allows students to check out a bike from one of three convenient locations around main campus. Students simply need to register, swipe their Rocket Card at the nearby kiosk and check out the key assigned to a specific UT branded gold and blue rocket bike. From there students are allowed up to four hours to return their bike and key to the same kiosk. This custom system, aided by Grainger, is the first of its kind and looks to impress as a UT Creation.

This project could not be completed without the dedicated efforts of Diana Watts, Doug Collins, former sustainability specialist Brooke Mason and other key contributors. To learn more and see updates about Rocket Wheels visit www.utoledo.edu/rocket-wheels.

Introduction

Hi Everybody!

As everyone starts to settle into their routine this semester I wanted to introduce myself as the new Sustainability Specialist here at UT. In this role I’ll be carrying forward the great work my predecessor Brook Mason started, while strengthening all elements of sustainability across the university through new initiatives.

Briefly about myself, I hail from the far off land of Nebraska. There I did my schooling at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. For fun I oversaw recycling for the university, worked with the City of Lincoln’s senior policy aide for sustainability and interned at a fantastic sustainability consulting firm in my hometown of Omaha. But enough about me.

At this point you may be asking, “So what is sustainability again, and what do you do you actually do…?” I see sustainability as a core necessity of human society, embedded in how we have lived for millennia and how we must if we are to prosper into the future. For UT, that’s where I come in. While none of us is perfect we are all making sustainable choices day in and day out, whether we realize it or not. My job is to make these choices easier, more visible and plentiful. That’s why I need all of your eyes and ideas looking for opportunities and coming up with solutions to green UT.

I can’t wait to start working with you and hearing the great ideas you already have. If you have an idea or observation that involves recycling, energy efficiency, solar powered fair-trade bicycles that plant native trees, or just want to say hello shoot me an email neil.tabor@utoledo.edu or give me a call 419.530.1042.

Stay Green,

Neil

About SEED

The University of Toledo’s SEED Initiative, housed within but not limited to Facilities & Construction, focuses on Sustainability, Energy Efficiency, and Design to ensure the University is operating in a manner that betters our neighbors, economy, and planet. Through environmental sustainability projects, energy conservation measures, innovative building renovation and design, and a comprehensive educational campaign, SEED commits itself to leaving behind a better planet than when we started.

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