It’s official. We all know that Haverford has a beautiful campus, but it’s nice to know that others do too. Just in time for Arbor Day, the Haverford College Arboretum has been named a Tree Campus USA by the Arbor Day Foundation. This program recognizes college and university campuses that effectively manage their campus trees, connect with the community to foster healthy urban landscapes and involve the student population with learning opportunities centered on campus, community and forestry efforts.
This national award, however, goes beyond beauty to the ecological benefits of trees. Planting and maintaining trees reduces carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Trees also significantly reduce the amount of energy a campus and community need to generate. Finally, green spaces give students, faculty and staff a setting to relax with others or on their own, ultimately providing a better environment for learning.
Speaking of Arbor Day, mark your calendars for Friday, April 27 at noon and come to Chase Hall where Haverford will mark its 112th annual celebration of this national event by planting the yellow-blooming magnolia, ‘Elizabeth.’
For those who did not read the earlier post about Recyclemania, it is a nationwide competition for recycling between colleges and universities. Haverford is participating for the 3rd straight year.
As of week 7 of the 8-week competition, we have recycled 16.24 tons that otherwise would have been thrown into a landfill. For those of you who are not math wiz’s, thats roughly 32,000 lbs of recycling.
As of week 5, Haverford is 1st in the Centennial Conference in per capita recycling at 18.98 lbs per person, and 1st in Pennsylvania out of 27 schools.
We are 22nd in the entire per capita competition out of 320 schools!
Stay tuned for the final rankings.
Keep on recycling Haverford!
Over the last few years nothing has generated more discussion in Committee for Environmental Responsibility (CER) meetings than how to dispose of our food waste.
Let me give you a brief history…
In 2008 CER hired a consultant, Niche Recycling, to do a waste audit to determine how much we were really sending to the landfill. Turns out quite a bit. Food waste alone was running over 4,500 lbs. That’s almost two tons folks!!
To help offset this, CER agreed to compost pre-consumer waste. For 18 months, three times a week, the front end loader picked up pre-consumer waste and composted it.
During this time, CER was working with Niche Recycling to bring in-vessel composting to campus. In-vessel composting officially defined is: “The aerobic decomposition of shredded and mixed organic waste within an enclosed container, where the control systems for material degradation are fully automated”. Sound expensive?? Yup!
CER was not deterred by this fact, we figured where there’s a will, there’s a way. Vendors were brought in to look at the dining center to find out what was feasible. Turns out that the dining center is “old” and would not support a lot of the technology.
So, where are we now?
A year or so ago we went trayless. Studies suggest that going trayless reduces food waste up to 30%. It’s always better to reduce before you recycle.
And, we’re still tracking. Better Together, a Quaker Interfaith Group, collected food waste as part of an awareness initiative. Their findings were astounding. Over 600 lbs per day!
The latest endeavor brings Bryn Mawr College into the mix. Because of consumers demanding greener alternatives to landfills, waste companies are starting to offer programs where they will pick up food waste and take it to composting facilities. On March 19th, 2012 Bryn Mawr and Haverford Colleges will be working with Republic Waste Services on another trial to see how the two colleges can work together to help solve this issue.
It is with great enthusiasm that I introduce the newest Fund available on Haverford’s campus – The Greening Haverford Fund. Designed as a carbon offset initiative of the Center for Peace and Global Citizenship (CPGC) in partnership with the Committee of Environmental Responsibility (CER), the Fund will allow Haverford to further engross itself in environmental integration, learning and activism. Support is available to all Haverford College students upon acceptance of their proposal and the scope of Fund is intentionally broad, including (but not limited to) the financing of on- or off-campus initiatives, conferences, workshops, speakers and events related to environmental sustainability.
For more details about the application, please visit our website at: www.haverford.edu/greening_haverford/greening_haverford_fund/. Also, do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or ideas you might have. We look forward to receiving our first applications!
If the possibility of seeing an actual silver squirrel was your reason for viewing this post, I advise you to look elsewhere. For everyone else, I have great news about the progress of the Green Office Program at Haverford.
CONGRATULATIONS to the Center for Peace and Global Citizenship, the Chemistry Department and the KINSC Administrative Office for becoming the first 3 offices to become Silver Squirrel certified as part of Haverford’s Green Office Program.
Established at the beginning of last semester, the Green Office Program seeks to make departments and administrative offices on campus more green. The program provides a checklist of sustainable actions. Examples of these actions include:
“We recycle our small printer cartridges in the green 5 gallon trash can in the Dining Center Lobby.”
“As incandescent light bulbs burn out we request CFL’s (Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs) from either Facilities Management at email@example.com or Claudia Kent, Sustainability Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.”
Departments and offices become certified to either a silver, gold or green squirrel (the highest level within the program) by completing all of the actions within a certain category. The document covers five sustainability categories: Waste Prevention and Purchasing, Energy Conservation, Transportation, Recycling, and Participation.
Congrats to our first 3 offices, and to learn more, click HERE!
I work in Alumni Relations & Annual Giving and meet with alumni regularly. I recently met with Seth Heald ’75 in Washington, D.C. He is passionate about climate change. He forwarded me the following information and links that may be interesting for you.
Here are some links to news about Washington and Lee’s solar project, the largest in Virginia.
This has gotten a lot of press because of Dominion Virginia Power’s attempt to block the project. The press may be more valuable to the climate movement than the reduction in greenhouse gases directly attributable to installing the solar panels. A good example of how a college showing some leadership on an issue can have an impact on the larger community.
Today Haverford is beginning its participation in a 2-month long competition called Recyclemania. The aim is simple: to recycle as much as possible. Last year Haverford came in 1st in the per capita division in the PA and in the Centennial Conference.
At Haverford, the competition is upcampus vs. downcampus. Students up campus can recycle in an bin labeled for recycling, while HCA residents should recycle in the large rectangular dumpster in front of apt. 38. The competition goes until March 5th.
Check back here for regular updates on our national standing and upcampus vs. downcampus.
Phrase of the day: “Reduce, Reuse, then Recycle”…in other words, don’t buy something disposable unless necessary, if you do buy something then reuse it, and then when you are done with it, please recycle!
by Jonathan Wilson, assistant professor of biology
Editor’s Note: Last semester Jon joined program Chairman Helen White, chemistry professor, and Nikhil Anand, anthropology professor, in the college’s new environmental studies interdisciplinary program which aims to bring students and faculty together to explore the interactions among earth systems, human societies, and local and global environments. This article is taken from the arboretum newsletter.
I’m a new tenure-track faculty member in the Biology Department, and I’d like to take this opportunity to introduce myself. I came to Haverford last summer as part of the new Tri-Co (Haverford, Bryn Mawr, Swarthmore) Environmental Studies program after two years as a geobiology postdoc at the California Institute of Technology. I did my undergraduate work at Johns Hopkins University in computer science and Earth and planetary sciences, and at Harvard University wrote my dissertation on the physiology of extinct plants.
My primary area of interest is using mathematical modeling to quantify the trade-offs plants make to maximize carbon dioxide uptake and minimize water loss.
Four Haverford biology majors are working on their senior thesis projects in the lab: Kelsey Capron, Emily Dutrow, Anna Rayne, and Rebecca Tobet. Our current lab projects include: the comparative physiology of leafless ferns, investigating whether leaf fossils faithfully record deep-time environmental change, vascular plant response to simulated herbivory, and the biomechanics and cell wall chemistry of sphenopsid fossils
We will be working closely with the Arboretum staff, which has provided crucial support for plant science in the biology curriculum. As projects develop, you’ll hear more. Stay tuned to this space!
Yesterday student gardeners helped gather the final harvest of the season! We pulled up two full boxes of radishes, some beets, kale, lettuce and chives. We have so many radishes that we are donating some to Haverford’s Dining Services, so look out for the local pink veggie in the DC!
This harvest represents the end of another very successful season in which we produced a variety of crops, increased student involvement in the garden, and provided food for students living in the apartments, including community housing such as Ehaus and Quaker House. In order to celebrate this feat Ehaus will be using the veggies harvested in the weekly Thursday community dinner. Community dinner is open to anyone and takes place at 6:30 in Apartment 15.
With the end of this season the Student Garden is beginning to look forward to many exciting things in the spring. We are planning to build a cold frame over one of the raised beds to extend the growing season and to expand the garden by planting an orchard and building a few more raised beds. We are also exploring options to get honeybees on Haverford’s campus! And as always we are looking for new ideas from anyone and everyone!
Isaac Ellman and Ruben Land pick lettuce.