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Sustainability News

Tom Redfern receives the OEFFA’s 2024 Service Award

Tuesday, February 20

Last Thursday, Feb. 15, 2024, at the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA) conference in Newark, Ohio, Tom Redfern, the Senior Director of Sustainable Agriculture and Forestry at Rural Action, received the OEFFA’s 2024 Service Award.

This award is granted to individuals who made significant and meaningful contributions of service that improve the adoption of ecological, profitable or socially just agricultural practices or systems.

In the ceremony, Redfern was introduced by John Stock, Sustainable Agriculture Educator at the OEFFA, who remembered Redfern’s beginnings in agriculture, recognizing how his dedication and passion contributed to generating a beneficial impact in local communities. One example of this is the Chesterhill Produce Auction.

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SOPEC AND Rural Action’s partnership aims to assist small businesses and local producers

Tuesday, February 20

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) awarded the Rural Energy for America Program Technical Assistance Grant (REAP TAG) to the Sustainable Ohio Public Energy Council (SOPEC), which will be partnering with Rural Action for its execution. This grant will leverage Rural Action’s Sustainable Agriculture Whole Farm Project and Rural Action’s Sustainable Energy Pledge program, benefiting rural small businesses and agricultural producer REAP applicants.

The REAP TAG will provide technical assistance and grant support to help interested applicants who qualify to submit a strong grant application for funding assistance.

Luke Sulfridge, Executive Director at SOPEC, and Debbie Phillips, Chief Executive Officer at Rural Action, highlighted the importance of this grant and its positive impact on local communities.

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Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine among first in the nation to achieve WELL Certification for medical education building

Wednesday, February 14

The Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine has been awarded a WELL Certification at the Silver level for Heritage Hall, the college’s new, state-of-the-art medical training facility on the Athens campus. This is one of the first medical education facilities in the nation to earn this achievement from the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI).

“By designing with the WELL Building Standard, the Heritage College has imbued our wellness philosophy into our learning, teaching and working environment. It gives me great pride to know that we are ‘walking the walk’ of wellbeing through a facility that fosters the very type of healthy lifestyle that osteopathic medicine promotes,” said Ken Johnson, D.O., executive dean of the Heritage College and chief medical affairs officer for Ohio University. “I would like to personally thank all who contributed to our design and construction efforts. Because of your dedication, Heritage Hall is a wonderful testament to the values of the osteopathic medical profession.” 

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Appalachian Understories hosts bike repair workshop

Tuesday, February 13

The general rule of thumb when cycling is commonly referred to as the ABCs of biking: air, brakes and chain. The idea is to ensure before every ride these three bike components are working properly to not cause issues while riding. Although these rules are important, some may want to dig deeper into the mechanics of the bicycle.

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Conference addresses funds to assist farmers, small businesses

Thursday, February 8

Sustainable Ohio Public Energy Council, or SOPEC, held a press conference Thursday to formally announce it is receiving a technical assistance grant, which is part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Energy for America Program, or REAP.

The conference was held at the Ohio University Innovation Center and included short presentations from Jonathan McCracken, rural development state director for Ohio, U.S. Department of Agriculture; Luke Sulfridge, executive director of SOPEC; and Debbie Phillips, CEO of Rural Action. 

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Electric car infrastructure coming to Athens

Wednesday, February 7

Athens city officials are planning to bring electric vehicle, or EV, charging infrastructure to the city to mitigate carbon emissions as part of the project to renovate the Athens Armory at the end of Court Street.

“The City of Athens participated in a charging infrastructure collaborative learning program where we learned about the Charging and Fueling Infrastructure Grant program,” Deputy Service-Safety Director, Andrew Chiki, wrote in an email.

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Businesses comply with plastic bag ban

Wednesday, January 24

An Athens city ordinance to restrict the use of plastic bags in restaurants and businesses went into effect Jan. 1. 

Athens City Council passed the ordinance April 3, 2023 according to a previous Post report. 

Councilmember Alan Swank, D-4th Ward, said every establishment he has visited since the ordinance went into effect has been using alternatives to plastic bags. 

“CVS, Seaman’s, Kroger, Walmart, Aldi, Kindred Market, College Book Store, Ace Hardware; Those are all places that are using regular old paper bags,” he said. 

Swank said before the ordinance passed, there were some objections to switching from single-use plastic bags, and he said he expected there to be pushback. With the ordinance in effect, he said he thinks people are already starting to acclimate to the new rule.

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Eco-friendly future: Celebrating benefits of Athens’ plastic bag ban

Tuesday, January 16

With the new year came a new wave of sustainability in Athens. Residents and students can be spotted walking out of grocery stores and retail shops holding reusable tote bags or brown paper bags, but no single-use plastic bags are in sight. 

The city of Athens officially implemented a single-use plastic bag ban Jan. 1. An ordinance to reduce single-use plastic was introduced by council member Alan Swank and passed unanimously May 1, 2023. 

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Ohio University competes in GameDay Recycling Challenge

Wednesday, November 15

The Ohio University community came together once again this year to successfully compete in the GameDay Recycling Challenge.

Each year, colleges and universities across the U.S. and Canada compete in the GameDay Football Challenge, a recycling and waste reduction competition to minimize waste generated during a designated football game.

This challenge is a part of Campus Race to Zero Waste, an organization that encourages colleges to reduce their waste through various competitions. 

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Green Games creates more sustainable athletic games

Friday, October 27

Ohio University Athletics has welcomed a new and creative way to create a more sustainable campus through Green Games.

Campus Recycling & Zero Waste, the Office of Sustainability, the Appalachia Ohio Zero Waste Initiative and the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Service have partnered with OU Athletics to increase sustainability during athletic games with the Green Games initiative. 

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