Category Archives: Sustainability News

The Great Backyard Bird Count!

The Sustainable Life Club is going to go bird watching this Saturday! As a part of the Great Backyard Bird Count, we will be spending about an hour outside counting how many birds we see. The purpose of the Great Backyard Bird Count is to create and record an annual estimation of the abundance and distribution of birds across the country. Each participant, or group of participants, will count the birds and then report the amount of birds they saw. The Great Backyard Bird Count is a simple and easy way for people across the country to get outside, see nature, and help contribute to a study.

We will be leading a bird count of our own on campus this Saturday 2/15 at 11:00 am. We will be meeting in the dining hall, then walking around campus counting birds until about 12:00. All are invited! By participating in the bird count, we hope to give students the opportunity to appreciate nature and be scientists, recording their observations in a natural setting.

Ort Report Week 4!

This week's results from the Ort Report!
This week’s results from the Ort Report!

This week’s Ort leftovers set a new record since we started this winter! On Monday the total food waste added up to be 58.8 pounds! When this project first started, we had about 98 pounds of waste, so students and faculty are making a difference and reducing less. The weekly trend is still continuing on a downward slope. Hopefully people continue not wasting and reducing, and making new records lower than 58 pounds.

Overall, these numbers may be a good example and initiative to waste less, but is not the goal of The Sustainable Life Club. We hope to help create good habits and inform others about their impact on the environment. Ort report is not taken daily, but every Monday. This trend in the graph shows great work, but the real challenge is to continue this habit throughout the week. Overall, keep up the good work reducing!


Sweater Day!

Today is Sweater Day!

In celebration of the end of the Green Cup Challenge, we have asked Physical Plant to reduce the heat to 65 degrees in the Classroom buildings.

By reducing the temperature, we hope to reduce energy while celebrating the last day of the Green Cup Challenge. This temperature is warm enough so that it will not distract from the classroom atmosphere, but will be a good incentive for students to throw on a sweater in the morning for energy conservation!

We thought that the Green Cup Challenge mainly targets boarders, and does not affect day students or faculty as much. The Sustainable Life Club thought that Sweater Day is a good way to allow students in the community to come together on the idea of reducing energy. We hope that day students and teachers – not just boarding students – will find some awareness of the environment through putting on a sweater or fleece to conserve energy on Sweater Day!

Green Cup Challenge Final Week!

194 Main Street Sunrise
This week's measurements - the last week of the Green Cup Challenge!
This week’s measurements – the last week of the Green Cup Challenge!

This week, Conant and Sawyer stay in the lead while Clare and Hathaway follow closely behind.

Now, at the completion of this week, we are officially finished with the Green Cup Challenge! We hope, though, that these methods of conservation that you have been practicing for the last few weeks stay with you.

The Sustainable Life Club wants to help students gain a greater understanding and mindfulness of the environment, and we hope that by participating in this challenge, we have come closer to this goal.

Since the Green Cup Challenge is also a national competition, we will post our final rankings within the participating schools as soon as possible, as well as announce the winning dorm soon.

Green Cup Challenge Week 3!

Green Cup Challenge results per dorm
Green Cup Challenge results per dorm

As Green Cup Challenge continues on these weeks, a noticeable amount of energy has been saved, and still continues to be saved for the joint effort of Conant and Sawyer. So far, they are roughly using 30% less energy compared to their three week baseline based off of the last three years, here’s why.

They are trying! Lights off, heat low, no useless plugs lying around! But, as Sustainable Life Club members have recently found out, there is also a new heating system that uses gas instead of electricity in Sawyer. This nifty new device has helped out a ton this cold season by saving on heat and electricity! Also, because Sawyer has not been opened for students in the past 5 years, the baseline for the buildings of Sawyer and Conant are a bit low (of course, Sawyer still used a minimum amount of electricity in the past years to keep the pipes from freezing). But, as every building has their perks, Conant and Sawyer now have there’s as well. The readings this year will help create a baseline that is more realistic for next year, as they do for all the dorms. One thing to keep in mind: this is an international school competition, and hopefully this new heater along with everyone saving electricity, Williston can try to earn its way up the ladder for the competition. So keep up the good work! Especially as these weeks start to come to a close, with about one more meter reading left, since it ends on the 12th. Stay Green!