Your Green Internet

03.25.2013 · Posted in Uncategorized

ECOREPSHostgator-logo

 

 

Can you be green while surfing the web? You can by reading this blog! This is website is hosted by hostgater.com, which uses green power by buying Renewable Energy Credits or RECs. These can be used to pay wind farms to generate renewable energy on the behalf of Host Gater. Host Gater can then claim credit for the wind power that is put onto the grid by the farm. Every REC purchased generates 1 megawatt of wind power and Host Gater has purchased RECs for, according to the website, “130% of the electricity used to power and cool its shared and reseller servers”.  This has a huge impact for the environment. The energy saved has the power the equivalent of taking 444 cars off the road for a year, conserving 5, 654 barrels of oils, powering 321 homes for a year, or saving 551 acres of forest for a year. The positive action that is coming out of this is quite amazing considering that Host Gater is hosting 4 million websites! So next time you plan on procrastinating tomorrow’s assignment, visit the sustainability blog so you can be green while doing so.

 

 

 

For more information visit: http://www.hostgator.com/

 

By: Chanel Mazzone

Sustainability Across the Pond

03.14.2013 · Posted in Uncategorized

I recently spent my spring break in Ireland with the Ireland Learning Community. When we were not visiting historical political and literary sites we had time to ourselves to explore and see things that interest us. Of course I noticed everything with my environmentally friendly sustainable eye, and I was happily surprised. I noticed a couple cool little things that we could even easily implement around our campus.

First off I did not see one paper towel dispenser the entire time I was in the country. Every public facility had air dryers for hands. Paper towels result in 254 million tons of trash every year. Once used, paper towels cannot be recycled. As many as 51,000 trees per day are required to replace the number of paper towels that are discarded every day.

Another interesting feature I noticed was to turn on the lights in your hotel room the key card must be inserted and left. No on leaves the room without their key card, so once it is removed the lights automatically turn off. I thought this was a cool little energy saving feature.

These were only a few small things I noticed. These are small compared to the environmental committees and laws that Ireland is putting in place. It was nice to see that this little country is striving for a sustainable lifestyle and changes.

Kayleigh McDonnell

Forward on climate, forward on the streets

03.12.2013 · Posted in Uncategorized

climate picture  On February 17th, 2013, approximately 40,000 people gathered on the mall in Washington D.C., coming from over 30 states, in order to protest the pending keystone XL pipeline. The pipeline is proposed to be 1,179-miles long, running from Southwestern Canada to Texas refineries. The KXL would be run by TransCanada, a leading North American energy infrastructure company, through the Athabasca oil sands region. It would carry tar sands extracted from the ground. Tar sands are the least efficient form of oil extraction. This is because the method requires a large amount of technological use but only produces a small amount of oil in return. Therefore, it does not sound like a economically feasible plan to begin with.

In a time of hard economic times, some say the pipeline is exactly what we need. The project would create approximately 40,000 temporary jobs while the construction is underway. Yet, once the pipeline is done, it will only need about 20 people to manage it. The project would secure oil deposits in American refineries, allowing the US a reliable source of oil. Oil independence is a topic that has been discussed time and time again, yet never seems to make progress.

Recently, the path of the pipeline through Nebraska’s environmentally sensitive area, Sandhills, was detoured in order to increase public support. Yet, there are still a lot of environmental problems with the project. One of the main and forefront issues is oil spills. As seen through past historical events, the process to obtain oil is not always the safest or cleanest. These types of events do happen. Yet, there is a fear that if there are spills, it could be detrimental to the ecosystem, wildlife, and humans around it. Water, air, and land pollution is not something to be taken lightly as it would be counterproductive to economic growth and future human survival.

The date of the final decision from President Obama is still unknown. Yet, according to 350 and journalists on Politico.com, the situation is going to be reevaluated after the 45 day comment period after the supplemental environmental impact statement on the pipeline came out on March 1st.

Sara Boukdad

Recycling: A No Brainer That Can Save the Earth

02.26.2013 · Posted in Uncategorized

Slide-cover

As a part of the “Stonehill Goes Green” program, 93.85 tons of materials have been recycled so far this fiscal year, amounting to a savings of 1,595 trees.

Why Recycle?:  Recycling saves  space in our landfills (90% of the items going in a landfill could be recycled) and helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions. And when we recycle, we also have to use fewer resources like water and energy to turn that item into another usable item.

 

What You Can Do:  Recycling everyday items such as cans, plastic & glass bottles is a simple and effective way to contribute to the growing environmental problem; there are recycling containers located at various locations across campus, as well as Paper & Co-mingled Containers (tin food cans from the Dining Commons & non-redeemable plastic bottles) located at the entrance of the Roche Dining Commons. Since 2005,  Stonehill has been collecting batteries, glass, cell phones, computer/electronic equipment, fluorescent tubes (light bulbs), inkjet & laserjet ink cartridges, , waste oil, old college furniture, and mattresses, which can be disposed of at drop-off sites at Duffy (East Elevator Landing), Roche Dining Commons (Front Main Entrance),  the Clock Farm (Main Office Lobby), and Merkert-Tracy Hall (Break Rooms).

Interesting Recycling Facts:

1. Recycling 1 aluminum can saves enough electricity to power a TV or a 100-watt light bulb for three hours.

2. Paper alone accounts for approximately 40% of the municipal waste stream.

3. Every ton of paper recycled saves 17 trees, 3 cubic yards of landfill space, 4,100 kilowatts of energy, 380 gallons of oil, and 7,000 gallons of water.

4. Recycling paper reduces air pollution by 74% and water pollution by 35%.

5. Americans use more than 67 million tons of paper per year, or about 580 pounds per person.

6. Making recycled paper instead of new paper uses 64% less energy and uses 58% less water.

7. Every day American businesses generate enough paper to circle the earth 20 times.

8. One tree can filter up to 60 pounds of pollutants from the air each year.

9. More than 1/3 of all fiber used to make paper comes from recycled paper.

10. If Stonehill College recycles just one 64 gallon barrel of office paper monthly, you and your co-workers will be saving 17 trees a year.

 

Stonehill has made several changes over the last decade to ensure that our environment is not being over-looked in the hectic life of a college student.  However, it will be difficult to make any significant change without support from the student body, which can be as simple as throwing an empty bottle into the recycling bin instead of the trash. By choosing to recycle, you will be making a bigger impact than you may think.

 

Sources:

http://www.moneycrashers.com/what-to-recycle-list-recyclable-items-materials/#ixzz2M2mh0yUz

http://www.stonehill.edu/x12209.xml

http://www.stonehill.edu/Documents/Facilities%20Management/Recycling_Facts.pdf

http://www.stonehill.edu/x12250.xml

 

Megan Rebeschi

New Water Fixtures

02.26.2013 · Posted in Uncategorized

Next time your suite-mates are complaining about the change in shower heads let them know a few facts about this new sustainable change Stonehill has made.

The majority of res halls and athletic facilities had institutional style shower heads which had the same flow rate as the new ones. The main difference is the spray pattern.

The old shower heads had a poor, inconsistent pattern, allowing some water to come out as a cold mist, while the remaining water would be released at a very uncomfortable velocity. The new, higher end, low flow, heads have an even pattern, but the same amount of water is being released in comparison to the old heads.

These new shower heads are pressure compensated to provide higher flow rate at lower pressures. They are reducing overall water and energy consumption in every dorm building on campus!

How Does Being A Vegetarian Help the Environment?

12.09.2012 · Posted in Uncategorized

Being a vegetarian doesn’t just protect animals. It also helps the environment. A tremendous amount of grain and water is needed in order to fuel the meat industry. If these resources were used in order to grow crops for direct human consumption, world hunger would decrease significantly.

Dr. David Brubaker, PhD, at Johns Hopkins University’s Center for a Livable Future says, “The way that we breed animals for food is a threat to the planet. It pollutes our environment while consuming huge amounts of water, grain, petroleum, pesticides and drugs. The results are disastrous.” It takes 14 gallons of water to produce a pound of wheat, whereas it takes 441 gallons of water to produce a single pound of beef. Clearly the meat industry is an inefficient waste of limited resources. Our fresh, drinkable water supply is quickly dwindling. Only 1% of Earth’s water is drinkable. Wells are drying up in countries all around the world. By eating a vegetarian diet, or even simply reducing the amount of meat we consume, we can decrease the amount of limited resources we use. Even small changes, like eating vegetarian just once or twice a week, can help our environment.

Here’s a link to a good website with more information:
http://www.chooseveg.com/environment.asp

 

Sparking the Environmental Movement

12.09.2012 · Posted in Uncategorized

Over the past thirty years, the Environmental movement has been making headlines and in the last ten years has begun to take a front seat in the issues facing mankind. Although the knowledge of the public about environmental issues facing us is not where it needs to be, environmental awareness and the knowledge people know about it continues to grow. On September 27, 1962, a scientist by the name of Rachel Carson published her book “Silent Spring” , which opens peoples eyes to the negative effects of pesticides on the environment. The book sold over two millin copies. Although her intent was not to start an environmental movement, many believe that this book sparked the environmental movement. Her work was over many years and contained data collected from many sources. The book was greeted with negative remarks from pesticide companies who tried to make her work look unreliable and false. In 1963, while losing a battle with breast cancer, she testified in front of a Senate subcommittee on pesticides. Rachel Carson was a pioneer in environmental science field and believed in sustainable practices. Her story shows how much one person can truly accomplish and how in only takes one to spark a movement that continues to grow. Her ideas and research continues to stand strong today. There are many ways for people to get involved in the environmental movementand it starts with them self. By living more sustainable, together, we can lower our carbon footprint and end the destructive actions of mankind on the environment.

Below is a link to 10 ways to be sustainable and save money:

http://www.worldwatch.org/node/3915

-Andrew Morahan

Blue Gold: World Water Wars

11.12.2012 · Posted in Uncategorized

On November 5th, the Eco-reps got together and organized a school-wide merit point event involving the screening of one of the most important films of the decade: Blue Gold. This video speaks to a larger, wider audience about the importance of water. It also does a fantastic job of displaying the importance of water sustainability. This film displays the growing concerns of dwindling water supplies through non-conservative methods and privatization all over the world, including cities in the United States. Blue Gold lays the controversy surrounding privatization versus having the government control the water supply. The essential question the movie tries to answer is how will the human race survive the struggle? There was a brief discussion following the end of the movie. Most viewers were astonished at how important the issue was and how much is being done to provide fresh drinking water that has become the norm in many parts of first world countries. This topic is becoming as relevant as the current struggle for fossil fuels, if not more important.

-Sara Boukdad

Green Rooms: How to Make Your Dorm Room More Sustainable

11.05.2012 · Posted in Uncategorized

Many people feel concerned about the environmental issues our world faces today, but simply do not know what they can do to make an impact. One group in particular is college students. Being in college can be a strain on your wallet and on your time, but here are a few simple steps you can take to make your room greener:

1. The less your buy the better!- when furnishing/decorating your dorm room, think used! Taking furniture/decorations from home or buying them used will not only save you money but will be a form of recycling, which is good for the environment.

2. Sharing is caring!- instead of bringing your own minifridge onto campus, use the community fridge in your dorm. This will not only save you money but will reduce the amount of electricity that you use drastically. If you must bring your own minifrige, consider investing in one that is energy star certified, as these brands consume significantly less energy.

3. Go for green light!- when choosing lightbulbs for your room reach for CFL (compact fluorescent lamp) lightbulbs, which are much more energy efficient than older lightbulb models. CFL lightbulbs do tend to be a bit more expensive than traditional lightbulbs, but over time they will save you money because they last longer.

4. Do-it-yourself decorations- instead of buying decorations for your dorm, make them yourself! Making  your own decorations can be a fun thing to do with your friends, will save you money, and will save the environment. Also, when you’re done with your paper decorations, be sure to recycle them.

For more ideas on how to make your dorm room a green room visit http://www.treehugger.com/htgg/how-to-go-green-dorm-rooms.html.

-Danielle Garceau