Mar 7, 2012
Monica Chapman and Tessa Dufresne
Next Monday, Ohio University's Office of Sustainability will streamline environmental communications on campus through the launch of its new online newsletter, Routes.
Routes will collapse all of OHIO's existing sustainability communications – including The Green Network, Ecohouse Digest and Planet OHIO – into one central publication. The newsletter will highlight eco-friendly people and practices across campus, with sections dedicated to environmental research, sustainable living, and creative work that relates to sustainability, among other topics.
An overarching theme will guide the content of each issue. First up is energy. Next on the agenda is food.
"It's a really great way to engage the community on a whole different level," said Routes editor Jessica Bilecki, a graduate assistant in the Office of Sustainability. "Because there are so many different sections, we hope to really draw in people with different talents and different stories to share."
With its mission of education and outreach, Routes supports the aims of the University's Sustainability Plan, which was approved by Ohio University President Roderick J. McDavis last year. The plan guides the activities of the Office of Sustainability, with an emphasis on ecological citizenship, stewardship and justice.
Since the appointment of Sustainability Director Annie Laurie Cadmus in July, the plan has sparked a number of major changes in the Office of Sustainability, including a refocusing of Energy Days, modifications to Residence Challenge, and a restructuring of Earth Month. Cadmus said the new newsletter contributes to the growth of the Sustainability Plan by unifying the voice of campus sustainability and relating sustainability concepts to all contexts.
"There are so many different ways to approach sustainability. And I think that's the heart of what our office talks about, let alone what Routes does," Cadmus said. "It doesn't matter who you are or what you are interested in, there is a way for us to have a conversation about sustainability."
Routes also supports the University's Print Responsibly Campaign, a University-wide initiative that aims to saves paper, time and resources. According to Cadmus, the Office of Sustainability will serve as a case study in the campaign, which will be used to educate units across campus on how to reduce their print practices.
Bilecki said she came up with the idea for the publication's name while toying with the words "roots" and "routes".
"'Roots' is the whole idea of one having a strong foundation and sustainability adding to that foundation. 'Routes' in terms of there are so many different pathways to sustainability and no one answer," she said. "Hopefully, there are people in every field that can work toward sustainability in their own context."
Routes will be distributed to the campus community via the former sustainability listserv, the Office of Sustainability's Facebook site, and OHIO's sustainability website, in addition to Compass. To join the listserv, visit http://listserv.ohio.edu/mailman/listinfo/greennetwork.
Let the Office of Sustainability know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Article submissions are currently being accepted. Internships and opportunities for academic credit may be arranged.