By Natalia Asis, Staff Reporter
The Sustainable Campus Coalition (SCC) is working in different projects and events this semester; being related to working in a green guide, continuing with the Terracycle project and sponsoring a climate change forum.
Inspired by Dalhousie University, a Canadian university, the SCC has been writing a book called “The Green Guide” on how to live green on and off campus. “We’re in the editing stage at the moment, we’re hoping to have them for incoming students [next year],” said Liz Dunn, the SCC co-coordinator.
One example from “The Green Guide” about Living Green in the Residence Halls is about considering buying a coffee maker or not. “You have to spend money for the coffee maker and coffee and time cleaning it,” said Dunn, “it may not be worth it, considering there are other options.” Some of the options mentioned include getting coffee from the cafeteria (especially, if you have a meal plan) or local coffee shops such as Java Joe’s, Dunkin’ Donuts and Soup for You.
As for the students that live off campus, the guide will provide them with different recipes to prepare green products and many ideas for recreation, such as biking and walking nature trails. “We’ve got recipes to make products like shampoo, perfume, deodorant, chapstick, laundry detergent, toothpaste and lotion yourself. They are made of things like coconut oil, salt, brown sugar, lots of things you can usually find in the cupboard,” said Dunn. “It will have information on buying locally; we’ve got info on GMOs and buying organic and, plus, we have a list of local businesses, farms, and farmer’s markets with phone numbers, opening hours, etc.”
Terracycle is a fairly new recycling program at UMF. It is quite different from traditional recycling because much more uncommon materials are accepted and they don’t need to be cleaned or rinsed before being dropped off in the blue bins. “The materials you think there is no way that can be recycled,” said Luke Kellett, the Sustainable Coordinator, “can be used for a good cause.” Some of these materials are Solo® #6 plastic cups, shampoo bottles and some less common materials may range from used toothbrushes to cheese packaging or cereal bar wrappers.
“If you have a granola bar wrapper, stick it in your pocket and when you go to the student center, you just put it in there,” said Kellett. Other blue bins can be found at Mantor Library, the Fitness & Recreation Center, the Education Building, the Computer Center, Lincoln Auditorium and the Sweatt-Winter Childcare Center.
The funds that are made by “upcycling” these recyclables to Terracycle are given as charity to the local United Way. “The good thing about United Way is that they give a lot of money to other organizations like the domestic violence, free heating oil, etc.” said Kellett.
During this semester, the SCC is sponsoring the “State of the Planet, Intergenerational Justice, and Our Collective Future” forum. “There are lots of good talks,” said Kellett. “Dr. Charles Langmuir from Harvard is going to talk about the state of the planet [on Apr. 10]. That is kind of the biggest event, the second to last event. He will hopefully provide a big perspective and also we can do in the future,” said Kellett.
“Economic and Political Hurdles: Global Politics [on Mar. 27] with Wendy Harper and Linda Beck should be interesting too because so much of the ability to change what is going to happen is in politics,” said Kellett. “Colin Woodard [also on Mar. 27], who is an author who lives in Maine, spent a lot of time recording climate change.”
Anyone can get more information about Terracycle, the Forum and the Guide at the SCC website http://sustainablecampus.umf.maine.edu/.