Friday, Aug 23, 2019

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Office of Sustainability provides tips for making a positive impact on campus efforts

With the new academic year now in full swing, students, faculty and staff are encouraged to contribute to the sustainability profile of campus by engaging in sustainable behaviors. Tips for making a positive impact on campus have been provided by the staff of the Office of Sustainability:

  • Sustainable water management: As part of the Storm Water Management Program (SWMP), members of the campus community will be seeing educational messaging about best storm water management practices around campus.  
    • Ohio University, the City of Athens, and the Athens Soil and Water Conservation District will celebrate Pollution Prevention Week on campus for the first time from September 18-24, 2017.
  • Sustainable transportation: All those who are able are encouraged to consider active, public or alternative transportation when getting to and around campus. To aid in this goal, the University has a number of opportunities available to members of the campus community: 
    • Public Transit: The University renewed its Bobcat Pass contract for FY18 with Athens Public Transit, so that all those with an Ohio University ID card can travel for free on the public bus system.  
    • Walk, Bike, Run or Board: The active transit corridors of the University are the Hockhocking Adena Bikeway, which follows the Hocking River along the southern edge of lower campus and the Sweep, which currently runs from the Front 4 on South Green to Baker Center (see p. 25-26 of the Comprehensive Master Plan 2016). Fun Fact: Thanks to efforts led by the Athens City-County Health Department, the Hockhocking Adena Bikeway installed new signage on non-University portions of the bikeway as of this summer. The University has developed Wayfinding & Signage Guidelines, which may allow for additional signage along the University’s portion of the Bikeway in the future.
    • Electric Vehicles: If you have an electric vehicle, don’t forget about the charging stations located around campus. 
  • Sustainable waste management: Please waste responsibly! Many items you believe to be waste can actually be reused or recycled, either in the single-stream recycling bins on campus or by OHIO’s award-winning Office of Recycling and Zero Waste and grant-funded Zero Waste teams. Ohio University is also home to the largest in-vessel composter at any college or university in the nation, and nearly 100 percent of pre-consumer dining waste is composted.  
  • Sustainable energy: The University is making monumental efforts to track and reduce energy usage, and therefore energy costs – please do your part when possible by using electricity, heating and air conditioning only as needed. Turn off and unplug appliances when not in use. 
  • Sustainable foods: Did you know that Ohio University’s Culinary Services purchases more than $1.3 million of food items from local vendors? Look for signage about the sustainability-attributes of food items in the dining facilities and campus markets when picking out your next meal. 
  • Sustainability courses: If you need a few more courses to fill your schedule (or an idea for a new course to teach), check out the listing of selected fall 2017 Sustainability Courses.
  • Sustainability events and activities (in addition to Pollution Prevention Week):
    • The Office of Sustainability is once again partnering with groups around campus to create “Earth Day Every Day” programming.
    • The Sustainability Living Floor, this year in Tanaka Hall, will have events each month during the school year, many of which are open to all students.
    • The Sustainability Film Series, sponsored by the Common Experience Project on Sustainability, will once again showcase new films about sustainability topics.
    • Students interested in learning more about sustainability and teaching other students about the concept are encouraged to join the OHIO EcoReps, a peer-education organization. Students can join or request more information about EcoReps through OrgSync, the University’s database of student organizations.
  • This year will mark the conclusion of the Sustainability and Climate Action Plan revision processes. After more than a year of gathering public input, the Ecology and Energy Conservation Committee will consult with departments on campus to produce drafts of revised Sustainability and Climate Action Plans. After further vetting, these drafts will be sent to the Board of Trustees for approval in summer 2018. Those individuals who are current reporting liaisons for either plan will be spending time throughout the year to update their departments’ goals. If a department is currently not included in the Sustainability Plan, representatives from that department are encouraged to email sustainability@ohio.edu to determine if new benchmarks need to be created to better accommodate a campus-wide implementation effort.

Get Involved: 
The Ohio University Office of Sustainability is dedicated to supporting sustainable behaviors, programs and policies within Ohio University by ensuring the University’s actions are inclusive of the triple bottom line: people, planet and prosperity. More information about the Office of Sustainability can be found at www.ohio.edu/sustainability or by calling (740) 593-0460.

This information was provided by OHIO's Office of Sustainability.