Great tips about being green during Finals from Syracuse University Sustainability!

Check out these great tips from a blogger at Syracuse University. They are easy ways to be green during finals week, a time when we all know school comes first. These are easy and also help you be productive during this stressful time!

Staying Sustainable During Finals Week

Well it’s that time of the semester again. Finals week! Hope y’all have been studying hard – and if not get to it! And of course, for those of you who need that much-appreciated distraction, here’s something for you:

When finals roll around, it seems like almost everything else becomes less important, and even seemingly less feasible. However, you can still live asustainable lifestyle on two hours of sleep and four cups of coffee – and here’s how:

  1. Sustainable Snacks. Of course, everyone loves the college staples – ramen, pizza, chips, cookies – but why not make your snack better for you and better for your environment? Try replacing that junk food with an apple, or carrots and celery – they’re healthier, they make less noise, and there’s no wrappers to add to a landfill.
  2. Use Your Own Mug. Everyone needs a little pick-me-up when a physics equation keeps them up until 3 am or while pulling an all-nighter to finish that paper due at 10 am. Heck, the library here at SU even has its own coffee-shop right inside! But do the sustainable thing – make your own coffee and put it in a reusable mug to bring with you. It holds more, and costs less. You’ll save money, time, and won’t have to throw out cup after cup. (Same things applies to water bottles – get a reusable one!)
  3. Use Eco-Friendly Bulbs. Studying in your dorm, your apartment, or at home? Make sure you’re using eco-friendly bulbs. They’re easy to find – part of the packaging is usually green or has plant-shapes on it. They’re more than just good for the environment too – they’re more energy-efficient, so they save you money too!
  4. Save Paper. Rewriting your notes? Making notecards or outlines? Don’t use new paper if you can avoid it. Type your notes instead of writing them again – it will still serve the same purpose. Need to make notecards? Look online for sites like Quizlet to make online notecards. No computer access? Reuse your old papers (i.e. old worksheets, early drafts of papers, etc) and write on the back of them, or cut them up to make your flashcards.
  5. Smile. It takes more energy to frown than to smile, so as always, choose to conserve energy. Besides, studies show that you’re more likely to be productive when you’re in a good mood, so relax and stay positive!

Be SUBstainable!

Next time your in the Wheelock Student Center (The campus knows it as the SUB) check out our new SUB sustainability board.

As a group, we felt we are educated about easy ways to be sustainable when in the SUB, making green choices with our money, our food choices and what we store our food in (plates, cups, eco2go containers). So, for the last couple months we have been working with Dining and Conference services and the Wheelock Staff to get a SUB sustainability board outside the turnstiles (The entrance to The Diner) so that everyone has access to easy tips and tricks to being green in the SUB. The plan is the switch up these tips at least once a month, and our first set went up on Friday!

They cover everything from saving green to be green, to the right way to recycle your to go coffee cup in Diversions, to quick tips on how to make healthier and more sustainable food choices! The board is directly underneath one of the Menu Boards directly outside the turnstiles. But don’t take my word for it, check it out for yourself! The pages are listed below for a closer look at each tip and this months board will be up until the last day of finals (december 14). Also keep your eyes out for new tips in the Spring semester, and please let us know if you have any you want to include. 

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Sustainable Food Tips

Traypool to save water!

Make your Caffeine Green

Save Green to Be Green

How is the UN approaching Global Warming right now?

The following article is about talks the UN are having RIGHT now in Qatar discussing global climate change at the 18th UN climate change conference. Right now, there most important priority is making aid for environmental projects available for poorer countries. This is a small, but important taste on a such an important issue, we will have to see what comes of these talks in the next couple weeks.

From the Huffington Post:

DOHA, Qatar — As nearly 200 countries meet in oil-and-gas-rich Qatar for annual talks starting Monday on slowing global warming, one of the main challenges will be raising climate aid for poor countries at a time when budgets are strained by financial turmoil.

Rich countries have delivered nearly $30 b

illion in grants and loans promised in 2009, but those commitments expire this year. And a Green Climate Fund designed to channel up to $100 billion annually to poor countries has yet to begin operating.

Borrowing a buzzword from the U.S. budget debate, Tim Gore of the British charity Oxfam said developing countries, including island nations for whom rising sea levels pose a threat to their existence, stand before a “climate fiscal cliff.”

“So what we need for those countries in the next two weeks are firm commitments from rich countries to keep giving money to help them to adapt to climate change,” he t

old The Associated Press on Sunday.

Creating a structure for climate financing has so far been one of the few tangible outcomes of the two-decade-old U.N. climate talks, which have failed in their main purpose: reducing emissions of heat-trapping gases that scientists say are warming the planet, melting ice caps, glaciers and permafrost, shifting weather patterns and raising sea levels.

The only binding treaty to limit such emissions, the Kyoto Protocol, expires this year, so agreeing on an extension is seen as the most urgent task by environment ministers an
However, only the European Union and a few other countries are willing to join a second commitment period with new emissions targets. And the EU’s chief negotiator, Artur Runge-Metzger, admitted that such a small group is not going to make a big difference in the fight against climate change.d climate officials meeting in the Qatari capital.

“I think we cover at most 14 percent of global emissions,” he said.

The U.S. rejected Kyoto because it didn’t cover rapidly growing economies such as China and India. Some hope for stronger commitments from U.S. delegates in Doha as work begins on drafting a new global treaty that would also apply to developing countries including China, the world’s top carbon emitter. That treaty is supposed to be adopted in 2015 and take effect five years later.

Climate financing is a side issue but a controversial one that often deepens the rich-poor divide that has hampered the U.N. climate talks since their launch in 1992. Critics of the U.N. process see the climate negotiations as a cover for attempts to redistribute wealth.

Runge-Metzger said the EU is prepared to continue supporting poorer nations in converting to cleaner energy sources and in adapting to a shifting climate, despite the debt crisis roiling Europe. But he couldn’t promise that the EU would present any new pledges in Doha and said developing countries must present detailed “bankable programs” before they can expect any money.

Sometimes, developing countries seem to be saying, “OK give us a blank check,” he told AP.

Climate aid activists bristled at that statement, saying many developing countries have already indicated what type of programs and projects need funding.

“They need the financial and technical support from the EU and others. Yet they continue to promise `jam tomorrow’ whilst millions suffer today,” said Meena Raman of the Third World Network, a nonprofit group.

Countries agreed in Copenhagen in 2009 to set up the Green Climate Fund with the aim of raising $100 billion annually by 2020. They also pledged to raise $30 billion in “fast-start” climate financing by 2012.

While that short-term goal has nearly been met by countries including the EU, Japan, Australia and the U.S., Oxfam estimates that only one-third of it was new money; the rest was previously pledged aid money repackaged as climate financing. Oxfam also found that more than half of the financing was in the form of loans rather than grants, and that financing levels are set to fall in 2013 as rich countries rein in aid budgets amid debt problems and financial instability.

Meanwhile, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere keeps going up. It has jumped 20 percent since 2000, primarily from the burning of fossil fuels such as coal and oil, according to a U.N. report released last week.

A recent projection by the World Bank showed temperatures are on track to increase by up to 4 degrees C (7.2 F) this century, compared with pre-industrial times, overshooting the 2-degree target on which the U.N. talks are based.

Check out more information about this important conference here

Why go green for Thanksgiving Dinner? The options you have in Tacoma!

Thanksgiving is a day of thanks, a day to remember how lucky we are to have such delicious food to eat, and the opportunities we have every day. One of these opportunities which is often overlooked on a holiday all about eating, is the way to make your meal as sustainable as possible. This doesn’t just mean attempting to not waste food (which is important of course) but also when making your meal, being aware of the local, organic and fresh choices you have around you. Thanksgiving is a perfect opportunity to really learn about those options because you are buying so many more ingredients for your meal than usual, and so you can get a taste of the variety of sustainable food choices in your local grocery store!

No matter where you live, you can still find easy ways to make your thanksgiving more sustainable! Find 5 easy ways to feast on a sustainable thanksgiving meal here! 

If your staying in Tacoma, the Food Co-Op has got’cha covered! While yes, it is a little more pricey than Safeway, their options not only make your conscious a little cleaner by purchasing from green businesses, but the co-op provides a great learning opportunity for getting to know the local farmers and producers in Washington, and the variety of organic options available. Below is a new post from the Food Co-op’s monthly newsletter:

 

Make this Thanksgiving fresh and local

Brussels sprouts trees now available at the Tacoma Food Co-op

There are still plenty of turkeys left for your Thanksgiving table. Get a free range turkey raised right here in Tacoma from Calendula Farms, or a free range, organic, or heritage turkey from Mary’s Turkeys. We also have a Hazelnut Cranberry Roast, a real vegan treat made by the great people at Field Roast in Seattle.

And the produce! We have cranberries, brussels sprouts, green beans, giant parsnips, a great selection of winter squash, red nugget, gold nugget and fingerling potatoes, ornamental gourds, red savoy cabbage, romanesco, purple cauliflower, and satsumas are coming this week! Bring fresh and friendly to your Thanksgiving table.

We are open on Thanksgiving from 8am-5pm!

When we created the schedule for November, we left Thanksgiving open so that our staff could decide who wanted to work, and several people volunteered to take shifts. We are all happily there for you, Tacoma. People who work and volunteer for the co-op do it first because they love what they do. And on special days like these, it’s amazing how many customers say “Thank you for being open.” We’re so thankful for our dedicated staff and crew of volunteers!

Leek Mushroom Torte Recipe

It’s been a rough year for mushrooms, but the co-op has crimini, white, and portabella mushrooms for this delicious recipe, and we have awesome-looking leeks right now! And if you’re lucky enough to wildcraft some mushrooms for this recipe, even better. This makes a great Thanksgiving side dish!

Chanterelles in the wild

Ingredients:

  • 1 prepared tart crust
  • 1/2 cup goat cheese, crumbled
  • ½ cup feta for topping
  • 4 cups sliced leeks (about 4-5 large leeks)
  • 2 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 3/4 cup cream
  • 4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions: Melt butter in large skillet. Add sliced leeks. Saute for about 10 minutes or so until leeks are soft. Add vinegar, mushrooms and cream, mixing well. Reduce heat and cover. Cook about 5 minutes or until cream is absorbed. Meanwhile, spread crumbled goat cheese evenly over tart crust. Pour leek and mushroom mixture into tart, spreading evenly. Sprinkle feta and breadcrumbs over the top and bake at 350 for 25 minutes or until it looks a little crispy.

Enjoy, and Happy Thanksgiving from the Tacoma Food Co-op, and Puget Sound Sustainability! 

The Road to Banning the Bottle on Campus – How far have we come? What still needs to get done?

Big News Loggers!

This past Thursday, we took a HUGE step in the banning the bottle process. This past semester, our members have been working tirelessly to gain student support for eliminating University Labeled bottles from the Dining Hall. We decided early in the semester that this should be one of our primary goals because we felt this bottles misrepresented not only our goals as a club, but as a university. This campus is dedicated to sustainability, and we felt that selling water bottles with our name on it was ridiculous and misleading.

Most of you readers may have heard this much, seeing us table in the SUB to get signatures for our petition. What you may not know however, is our recent BIG step forward in the process. This past Thursday, after collecting 390 SIGNATURES from STUDENTS, FACULTY and STAFF, we presented those signatures along with a carefully written resolution to ASUPS, in the hopes that as representatives of the student body they would sign our resolution, therefore giving us SERIOUS SUPPORT for banning the bottle.

GUESS WHAT? THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT THEY DID!! A little before 8 oclock, after about a half an hour of questions, discussion and debate, ALL BUT ONE senate member voted for banning the bottle on campus! This means that we the vote from the student body to move forward, which is a HUGE help in moving forward.

We still have work to do such as meeting with Dining and Conference Services to work out an elimination plan, and continue educating students on green and free alternatives to bottled water, however we want to thank all who helped us accomplish this really important step.

Below are links to the resolution that ASUPS signed and several pages of the petition too look through. Check them out and stay tuned for more exciting ban the bottle news!

Ban the bottle resolution

 

Restoration opportunity with PSO!

Join us, Phi Sigma and PSO for a free hang out and restoration project in Discovery Park this weekend!

 

Spend your Sunday hanging out with Mother Nature. A mother’s love is unconditional, but sometimes she needs a backrub – so think of this service project as giving Mother Nature a nice backrub. We will be hanging out in the beautiful Discovery Park in Seattle and contributing to forest and meadow restoration efforts. Over 5000 native plants have been planted since 1997, and who knows what birds, mammals, reptiles or amphibians you will be able to spot in all that new habitat! This trip is hosted by Phi Sigma Biological Honors Society and the project is lead by the Green Seattle Partnership. Bring shovels and other gardening tools if you have them but leave your favorite outfit at home because we’re gonna GET DIRTY and NERDY! Meet in Thompson Parking Lot at 11:45am on Sunday

 

Sign up in the Expy!

or email phisigma@pugetsound.edu

Whose afraid of the big bad wolf? Learn about Wolf Management from the EPDM department

On Wednesday, November 14th the EPDM program will host an environmental policy lecture and discussion.

WOLF MANAGEMENT IN THE WESTERN U.S.
Abigail Nelson, Wolf Management Specialist, Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks
Scott Becker, Wolf Biologist, Washington Fish and Wildlife Department

Thompson 175, 5-6pm
Refreshments will be served.

The lecture and discussion will provide a unique opportunity to learn about predator management from the managers themselves. Abby and Scott are both trained as wildlife biologists, and in their current positions spend much of their time in the field working directly with stakeholders, and monitoring wolf populations.
In the meantime, if you are interested in learning more about each state’s wolf management program;
http://wdfw.wa.gov/conservation/gray_wolf/
http://fwp.mt.gov/fishAndWildlife/management/wolf/

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