Sustainability initiatives are plentiful on campus

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September 11, 2014

9:20 PM

In 2008, then-interim College President Taylor Reveley released a statement on the College of William and Mary’s sustainability policy which committed the College to setting “an example for present and future generations in the use of natural resources.” Six years later, this fall semester is shaping up to be filled with examples of this commitment.

Auxiliary Services controls much of the infrastructure on campus, from dining halls to parking and transportation. Many sustainability initiatives are currently at work, some more noticeably than others.

The Copy Center recycles scrap paper into notepads and sells two for $0.25 or ten for $1. Scrap paper that isn’t used is donated to Williamsburg Campus Child Care for children’s art projects.

The Office of Parking and Transportation Services is currently collaborating with the Student Assembly on a bike initiative. Director of Auxiliary Services Cindy Glavas said the initiative will promote “the installation of bike fix-it stations, organized rides and marketing efforts.” A new class, Kinesiology 196: introduction to cycling, has also been added to the course listing. It focuses on biking basics, safety and repair.

Additionally, Glavas said that Tribe Card Services is partnering with the Williamsburg Farmer’s Market “to accept William and Mary Express as a form of payment and encourage students to buy locally.” The farmer’s market is open every Saturday, weather permitting, during the spring, summer and fall in Merchants Square.

New sustainability initiatives from Dining Services include planning a third annual “Farm to Fork Dinner” in the coming weeks (last year’s was held on the Sunken Garden with a small admission fee) and an upcoming $25,000 study. This Kitchen Energy Study aims to analyze the efficiency of residential facility kitchens.

The Keck Lab has maintained a record of water quality in Lake Matoaka, College Creek and the campus stream for the past 10 years. It has  also gathered meteorological data at 10-minute intervals for all of them over the same period. Students have used this data in the past for projects such as the establishment of beehives on campus, and the data is available for other future projects.

“[We] plan to conduct intensive studies on the storm-water ponds located behind the [Marshall-Wythe School of Law] and behind the [McCormack-Nagelsen] Tennis Center [this semester],” Keck Lab Director Randolph Chambers said.

Director of Sustainability Calandra Waters Lake is planning new sustainability events on campus this semester. “Meet the Greens,” which took place during the first week of classes, was a gathering of campus clubs and organizations focused on environmentalism and sustainability.

Many fall semester events were unveiled at the event. “Sustainable Soccer” will be held Sept. 27 and Sept. 28. Two soccer games will be “greened” through a partnership between COS, the Athletic Department, Dining Services and Facilities under the activity “Local Sustainable William and Mary.”

“The goal is to make those games as sustainable as possible,” Lake said.

Volunteers will be available to direct spectators to recycle and compost their game-day waste. There will also be sustainability groups tabling at the games. The Football Club approached the College to help organize the event and has also helped facilitate ‘greening’ sports games nationally.

Planned for every month this semester beginning Oct. 7, Sustainability Seminars on different subjects will take place at the Williamsburg Community Building. The topic for October is “Natural Landscape.” There will be speakers on native plants, campus landscaping and home gardening information for interested students and community members.

Additionally, the second annual “Sustainability Summit” will be taking place Oct. 25. The event will gather students, faculty and staff together to discuss sustainability projects and development on campus. There will be a panel of professors and break-out groups in this day-long event. “The goal is to have as much communication between people and groups on campus as possible,” Lake said.

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  • Amanda Sikirica

Staff writer Amanda Sikirica ’16 Economics and Environmental Policy major from Chicago.