AORE Association News June 2017 - Page 15

Vendor Spotlight

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combine recycling, compost, and trash. The large area for recycling and the smaller compost area are up front. This forces you to reach across both of these areas before you can throw something away, making you think before you toss away items that could be recycled or composted. This little change is inexpensive and can start to get everyone in your department thinking about sustainability. The ORC program went smoothly for a couple of years, so the entire department decided to switch to these new waste bins.

The LNT waste disposal plan can be extended even farther, into non-common wastes like old batteries and fuel canisters. At WSU, they invite patrons to recycle their old batteries and fuel canisters at the ORC. They partner with Waste Management to ensure that these items are recycled properly. Recycling is the third step of Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. In order to prevent equipment from hitting the landfill or even being recycled, WSU hosted an annual Ski and Gear Swap Event. This way the gear can have a new life, with a new owner, which delays it from getting into the waste stream.

Being mindful of the waste stream, WSU’s University Recreation purchases staff apparel and incentive items that are produced sustainably. Their Patagonia staff jackets are made out of recycled soda bottles. They also purchase Nalgene water bottles, limiting the number of plastic bottles being recycled or landfilled. As an added bonus, Nalgene bottles are made in the USA, reducing the supply chain footprint.

Transportation is another major facet of sustainability, so WSU created a Green Bike program in 2008. Although a bike share program can take a lot of work and bring a lot of surprising challenges, it decreases traffic, carbon emissions, and increases student health by lowering the number for trips taken in motorized vehicles. Today, their bike program boasts 20,000 uses every year.

No matter where your program falls along the sustainability spectrum, there is always more to do. Looking to other programs that are taking environmentally conscious steps can inspire and encourage us to do the same. We all have something to learn from one another and together we can have a profound impact on our local and global environment.

The Environmental Stewardship Committee will be contributing quarterly to this newsletter. Each article will focus on something different, such as sustainable vendors, programs, products, and initiatives. If you have anything you would like to see or if your program has a sustainability practice in place that you feel is worth sharing, please contact Dylan Blaskey at dblaskey@tulane.edu.

By Dylan Blaskey