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Conscious Consumption!

March 16, 2010

Conscious Consumption: Personal Care Products

Shampoo, soap, shaving cream, deoderant, make up, lotions, etc.

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS

  • Many ingredients in personal care products come from developing parts of the world, where the locals have lost their land rights to large companies which degrade the environment significantly.
  • Ingredients are shipped from all over the world, which contributes lots of CO2 to the atmosphere!
  • Most personal care products containers are made of types of plastic can’t be recycled and take hundreds of years to decompose.
  • The industrial process to create synthetic ingredients such as cyclopentasiloxane, stearyl alcohol and phenyl trimethicone, is extremely intense, requiring lots of energy, water raw materials, and nonrenewable resources.
  • Products like deodorant and make-up soak right through your skin and into your bloodstream.
  • Just because it says “Natural” does not mean that it is!

WHAT CAN I DO?

  • Look into organic personal care products, which are better for you and the environment, more information can be found at http://www.terressentials.com/ingredientguide.html or http://safecosmetics.org/!
  • Buy large bottles of shampoo and conditioner to reduce the amount of packaging, money, and your time!
  • Minimize the products you buy by considering which products you will actually use.
  • Buying organic products are the best way to go.  It’s even better if they’re made locally, which reduces transportation and saves energy. (Check out Burt’s Bees, on sale in the Colby Bookstore, or the options available at Barrels?)

(Information thanks to Lizzy and Michelle, West Quad EcoReps!)

Recyclemania Week 7

March 16, 2010

So before I lied about it being week 10. Oops. The data before was for week 6, I think.

February 28, 2010 ~ March 6, 2010 was week 7, and put us into 47th place; Bowdoin is 49th.

LETS GET RECYCLING!!!!!

http://www.recyclemaniacs.org/viewresult.aspx?CompId=2&isSubsection=False

Recyclemania Week 10: We’re #31!

March 6, 2010

Hey Colby,

Have you heard about Recyclemania, the nation-wide competition that Colby is currently participating in?

RecycleMania is a friendly competition and benchmarking tool for college and university recycling programs to promote waste reduction activities to their campus communities.

Over a 10-week period, campuses compete in different contests to see which institution can collect the largest amount of recyclables per capita, the largest amount of total recyclables, the least amount of trash per capita, or have the highest recycling rate.

The main goal of this event is to increase student awareness of campus recycling and waste minimization.

Here’s how Colby is currently ranked in the variety of competition categories:

Per capita Classic: #31, (ahead of Bowdoin at #44 and Middlebury at #58!)

Targeted: Paper: #13 (Bowdoin can’t compete in the targeted categories because they have single stream recycling, but Middlebury is #36)

Targeted: Corrugated Cardboard: #23 (Middlebury is #48)

Targeted: Bottles and cans: #95 (Middlebury is #30)

Targeted: Food Service Organic Waste: #11 (Middlebury is #7)

Keep up the good work and KEEP RECYCLING! Our best-ever finish was 20th place, the first year we did recyclemania in 2007. Since then, Bowdoin and Middlebury have beaten us every year. Let’s change that!

Colby recycles redeemable bottles and cans, paper, and cardboard. JUST DO IT!

More info at http://www.recyclemania.org.

Green Poetry

March 3, 2010

Green Tips of the week, by Keith Love (Johnson’s EcoRep)

But soft, what gusts through yonder window blows?
It is the wind, and the cold is entering the room.
Arise, fair resident, and kill thy bitter air,
Who is already causing the radiators to stir
That thou, its wasted energy, art far less efficient.
than closing thy glass, and calling PPD.

[Call the PPD hot/cold line at 207-859-5000 if your room is too hot.]

Meet Your EcoRep Week!

February 28, 2010

This week (and the next couple of weeks) are Meet Your EcoRep week! All of the EcoReps are hosting some sort of event or something to meet their residents and start conversations about sustainability in their dorm.

We’ve had a lot of food-related events, which have gotten a lot of positive feedback :-)

East Quad held a sustainable dessert night! As the pictures show, it was a delicious success. http://www.flickr.com/x/t/0095009/photos/smorris2013/sets/72157623392933219/

Seeking EcoReps

January 26, 2010

The EcoRep program will be back in Februrary for our second semester, and we’re looking for people to join our team!

One of the things we learned from last semester is that the program works best when the EcoReps actually live IN the dorm they’re EcoReps for. As such, we need some more EcoReps.

As an EcoRep, you’ll be a dorm resource for sustainability, planning events, holding office hours, and spreading information about ways that we can all reduce our impact on the environment. You’ll work with your CAs, Dorm Presidents, and neighbors to raise awareness about environmental issues, sustainable living, and Colby’s green initiatives.

As an EcoRep, you’ll meet with the rest of the EcoReps for an hour each week and usually spend about 1-2 more hours talking to people, making posters, planning events, or working on other EcoRep projects. You’ll also take a leadership role in other events like EcoRep training programs, dorm sustainability competitions (maybe even a competition against Bowdoin!), Earth Week, and more!

You don’t need to be an ES major, a member of EnviroCo, or have any background experience with working with sustainability. To be an EcoRep, you just need to be friendly, enthusiastic, and passionate about the environment, in whatever way that works for you.

We specifically need EcoReps for Mary Low, Coburn, Dana, Heights, Marriner, Sturty, Taylor, Williams, Averill, and Drummond. All other dorms have EcoReps for this semester. If you’re interested in being your dorm’s EcoRep for this spring, e-mail Coordinator Emma Gildesgame at ergildes@colby.edu.

EcoReps have a blog!

January 7, 2010

Hello!

Welcome to the Colby EcoRep blog! Colby’s EcoRep program was started in the fall of 2009, modeled after similar programs at other colleges and universities nation-wide. The program was started after a summer research project in the Environmental Studies Program. Eventually, the program will most likely become a joint venture between the Office of Campus Life and the ES program, and will fit in with the existing Residential Life programming.

In our first semester, we had 24 EcoReps, with a presence in every dorm on campus. In their first semester, EcoReps got a lot done:

  • Had a visible presence in their dorms as a resource for sustainability. They answered questions, had discussions with residents, and were positive environmental role models.
  • Created and posted signs encouraging sustainable habits in bathrooms, laundry rooms, and other places in the dorms. Created signs clarifying the recycling program and with “green energy tips”
  • Collaborated with hall staff to plan dorm events in which residents of various residence halls decorated their own recycling bins.
  • Created a Greensgiving pledge which asked students to pledge to take various actions to reduce their environmental impact. Over 300 students signed this pledge.
  • Worked with Colby ITS to reduce wasted paper from public printers.
  • Planned trips to the Waterville Farmers’ Market.
  • Created collection boxes for reusable travel mugs provided by Dining Services and returned mugs to the dining hall.
  • Got the Colby Bookstore to stop stocking imported Fiji bottled water and to start stocking drying racks for laundry so students have easy access to an energy-efficient alternative to using dryers.
  • Provided “loaner” drying racks to their residents.
  • Hosted EcoRep week in Pulver Pavilion, which was visited by hundreds of students and included:
    • A free raffle for students who correctly answered questions about sustainable living, Colby’s environmental programs, or global environmental issues. Prizes were donated by the Colby Bookstore.
    • Free stickers from consequence09.com.
    • Sign-ups to receive the EcoReps newsletter to be launched Spring 2010.
    • EcoReps available to answer student questions about sustainability.
    • Water bottle date-labeling to encourage long-term use of reusable water bottles rather than disposables.
  • Promoted the Student Environmental Awareness Survey of the Environmental Studies program. Almost 400 students completed the survey.
  • Started a pilot composting program in the senior apartments.
  • Created a “Green Living Guide.”
  • [Almost] Daily Green Tips posted in the General Announcements.
  • LOTS more!

We’re taking JanPlan slow to do look carefully at our first semester and do some behind-the-scenes planning for next semester and beyond!

Check this blog often to see what we’re up to.

Ideas for things we could be doing? E-mail Coordinator Emma Gildesgame at ergildes@colby.edu or post comments to this blog!

Live Green!
~Emma

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