The Raised Beds at Gould’s garden have been constructed and are ready to be used next spring. The raised beds will help with organization and weeds. They will be utilized by community members and campus community members. This was a CSF proposal last Fall 2016 for $900 and they were constructed by our Farm to Table Assistant, Andrew.
The Solar Kiln is being utilized by the forestry students and students in SAF. This solar kiln will reduce the schools need for an oil powered dry kiln, which has been used before now. It will also use less electricity, which reduces the cost of utilization. This was a CSF proposal last Fall 2016 for $22,650. To make this project more energy efficient, Associate Professor of Forestry, Patrick Hiesl would like to also add a solar panel and a wood boiler to make it usable longer.
The beekeeping club now has two more hives and equipment to maintain all of them. They also now have kits for most of the members that have suits, gloves, a bee brush, and a hive tool. This was the result of a CSF proposal last Spring 2017 for $475, and this Fall 2017 for $1,837.70. The club has had great success thus far.
All of the lamps across campus have been updated to LED light bulbs. The LED bulbs have an extended life of 50,000 hours, which will save the college about 25,288.80 kWh annually. This will offset about .63% of the colleges overall electricity consumption. Each bulb will save $52.38 annually and the entire system will save $5,028.48 annually. This was from a CSF proposal last Fall 2016 for $15,384.
The Waste Reduction Team has been sorting garbage out of the recycling for almost two semesters now. There are currently five students on the team, and at least one member is sorting garbage out of the recycling every day. We have had a good volume of recycling from the campus community, but we can always handle more, so don’t be afraid to wash out those plastic food containers and add those to your recycling.
Over the course of the past semester, we have found some very strange things in some of the recycling bags we have received from both resident halls and other buildings on campus. One of our most recent discoveries was a dead squirrel in a pizza box, which is most definitely not recyclable. Other than this very unique find, we have also been coming across many half full coffee cups in the recycling. These coffee cups are not recyclable with coffee still in them, and the coffee is also soaking all of the paper in these bags. Throwing your half full coffee cups in these zero-sort bags makes it so we cannot recycle most of the contents within these bags. Also, plastic water bottles that still contain water should be poured out before placing them in the recycling bin.
Now that the Waste Reduction Team is enduring colder temperatures, it would make our job much more efficient if you could only use blue bags to put your recycling in from your resident hall. We have been sorting through all bags that are put in dorm recycling bins due to the fact that some people are not using only blue bags for recycling. As you could imagine we have found some pretty repulsive stuff searching through bags that appear to be recycling but are actually trash. We would like to kindly ask you to please make sure that what you are putting in the recycling bin is actually recyclable and will not ruin the ability to recycle whatever else may be in the recycling. Thank you!
From Waste Reduction Team Member, Tom Szabo
This Fall, the Campus Sustainability Fund had two over $500 proposals that went to campus wide student vote. The first proposal was for the Paul Smith’s College Beekeeping Association for $1837.70, and the second was for a Capstone project for next semester for $1297, and both were passed! We had 186 students that voted, which is only about 24% of the student body. Two under $500 proposals were also passed this semester. The first proposal was for a guitar making apprenticeship for $500, and the second was for a GIS class to make maps to show the benefits of installing a solar farm for $344.75. Since Fall 2013, the Campus Sustainability Fund has funded 35 projects that have helped our campus community. Thank you to all voted. If you would like more information on these proposals, or any previous proposals, please visit our website http://www.paulsmiths.edu/sustainability/campus-sustainability-fund/