New Recyclable Containers in The Hill by Anthony Ardizzone

11.29.2011 · Posted in Uncategorized

Beginning today, The Hill has started a new project that uses black reusable containers for food as opposed to the wasteful paper containers. The to-go containers are still being used.

Instead of having the previous paper containers, The Hill has started using new black plastic containers. The containers are lined with a disposable film that protects the containers from food residue. The black plastic containers are then placed in a bin so they can be reused without the need for a dishwasher.

Not only is this program environmentally-friendly, but it is also cost-effective. The Hill will no longer need to spend x number of dollars restocking its supply of disposable sit-in containers. Another step in the right direction for Stonehill!

"For here" reusable containers

A Bright Idea

11.29.2011 · Posted in Uncategorized

In the developing world, many families are not as fortunate to have unlimited electricity at their fingertips. An abundance of cities have slums where the homes are consistently dark. An innovative project named A Liter of Light is bringing free, clean light, equivalent to 50 watts, into the homes of those families in need throughout the developing world.

What is most impressive about this project is the simplicity. Taking  recycled, plastic bottles, filling them with water and a little bleach and suspending them from the ceiling is all that is necessary to emit light. While these bottles are not perfect and do not give off light during cloudy days or during the night, they still give families free light, allowing them to save on their electricity bill, if they have one. The A Liter of Light program exemplifies the movement towards a green, sustainable way of life.

 

Here is a video to demonstrate how A liter of Light works:

 

The Problem with Consumerism

11.28.2011 · Posted in Uncategorized

Now that Thanksgiving has come and gone, we can get into the spirit of Christmas and decorate our homes, put up Christmas trees, and buy tons of presents for all of our family and friends. I know Christmas is about the spirit of giving, but have you ever thought giving too much could be harmful? Over the years Americans have bought so many goods, and many of the items we buy are either neglected or thrown away in a matter of months! That means many of the gifts we buy each other for Christmas just end up sitting in a corner of our room as we continue to contribute to the increasing problem of waste and municipal waste management. So this Christmas before you go out and buy that perfect gift, try to find a gift that you know the receiver will really enjoy and want to use for years to come. Not only will you be doing the earth a favor, but you will also be remembered as “the one who buys the best Christmas gifts”.

Also when shopping for gifts this Christmas, try to find so eco-friendly Christmas presents. Many stores now have small sections specifically for eco-friendly gifts, where the products they are selling were either made from recycled materials or they can help you decrease your impact on the environment. Some great environmentally friendly gift ideas include trendy notebooks made from 100% recycled paper, purses and bags made from recycled materials, jewelry made from soda tabs or scrabble board pieces, or to-go coffee mugs or reusable plastic cups. Not only could you buy a gift that your friend or family member will love, but you will also be giving back to the earth by buying a gift that had a much smaller impact than the latest ipod or a four-wheeler.

Here’s a link to the Green Rainbow Shop website, where you can find eco-friendly gifts for everyone on your Christmas list:

http://www.greenrainbowshop.com/

Today the possibilities are endless for eco-friendly gifts, so have fun shopping around and trying to find the perfect environmentall friendly gift for your loved one! Maybe you could even buy yourself a little treat! Have fun Christmas shopping and remember each gift you give has some impact on the earth, but you can control whether that impact is positve or negative based on the gift you buy!

-Aimee Morrison

A Sustainable Thanksgiving

11.16.2011 · Posted in Uncategorized

Thanksgiving is a great holiday and it is enjoyed by many an American. It’s a day for football, family, and a day that we remember how our ancestors came together to celebrate the harvest they had received that summer and to thank the earth for the plentiful crops it provided. Since Thanksgiving is all about giving thanks, isn’t it also appropriate to thank the earth for all of the food it has provided us with. What better day could we choose to try and take a step towards more sustainable living and eating habits than on Thanksgiving?

There are some simple steps you and your family can take this Thanksgiving to enjoy a more sustainable Thanksgiving dinner. First, try to buy a turkey that was produced organically or that is free range. The processes used to produce these turkeys are less harmful to the environment and they have a smaller impact on the environment in terms of agricultural land degradation and pollutant emissions. Also you can have peace of mind in the fact that your Thanksgiving turkey was allowed to live a pleasant and enjoyable life before it was returned to us as food in the circle of life!

Other ways you can have a more sustainable Thanksgiving are by buying and using organic fruits and vegetables in your side dishes, and by eating fruits and vegetables that are seasonally appropriate this time of year. Many tasty dishes can be made from pumpkins, squash, and cranberries, all of which are locally grown at this time of year and are very festive for Thanksgiving.

There are several different, tasty, and interesting recipes online for many main dishes and side dishes that are both delicious and sustainable for a Thanksgiving meal!

http://www.asapconnections.org/thanksgivingrecipes.html

http://www.treehugger.com/slideshows/green-food/8-better-than-turkey-thanksgiving-entrees-plus-two-guilt-free-birds/page/6/

Happy Cooking!

-Aimee Morrison

Tragedy of the Commons by Anthony Ardizzone

11.15.2011 · Posted in Uncategorized

Overfishing

New England fisheries are a prime example of how the tragedy of the commons affects the lives of ordinary people

 

Let’s be real here. This is a pressing issue that requires action. The tragedy of the commons states that common land will deplete and disappear if people continue to overuse the Earth’s natural resources. Below are a couple of brief videos that illustrate this phenomenon.

 

Hardin

Tragedy of the Commons Hardin

 

Mulholland

Tragedy of the Commons Mulholland

 

Click on the pictures of the videos will take you the video.

Easy Ways to Limit Your Paper Consumption

11.15.2011 · Posted in Uncategorized

Let’s face it, with college comes heaps and heaps of paper consumption. Essays, handouts, and slides come from every direction bombarding you with more and more paper. Although some of our paper comsumption is nearly unavoidable, here are a few simple ways that you can decrease yours:

1. Print Double-Sided: To print double sided go to Print, then to Advanced Options, and select Flip Long Edge on the first option.

2. Expand Your Margins: When you’re just printing out something that’s not being turned in, you can save paper by expanding your margins. This can be done by going to the Format option and then changing the Margins to as little as 0.5″.

3. Limit your Printing: Sometimes it is uneccessary to print things like entire PDF files. Did you know that when reading a document on Adobe Reader you can highlight and add notes?

By reducing your paper consumption, you are saving trees that take in carbon dioxide from the enviornment and let out clean oxygen for us to breathe. With the current issue of global warming, trees are important becuase they take in excessive carbon dioxide in the atmosphere which traps heat from the sun, warming the plantet. But even the smallest effort like reducing paper use can help, becuase  every tree counts!

-Danielle Garceau

A Miniature Ecosystem

11.13.2011 · Posted in Uncategorized

 

Did you know that you can create your own mini ecosystem for any room in your house or dormroom? All you need is a pet fish, preferably a beta, a large vase, a green plant (try a peace lily plant), and of course water! When you put all of these elements together you have a lovely decorative piece for any room and you have a happy and healthy pet beta. These mini ecosystems tend to work very well and they are very successful because they serve as a complete ecosystem, providing necessary services and nutrients to each other and removing each other’s wastes. An ecosystem is a complete biological system that works in cycles to produce the proper nutrients and remove the wastes of each living thing. The organisms in an ecosystem depend on each other and work together to ensure each other’s survival.

The fishbowl ecosystem is very interesting and easy to learn from if you are interested in seeing how an ecosystem works. This simplified version of an ecosystem can serve as a model for how more complex and biologically diverse ecosystems operate in the natural world, with several different organisms interacting with one another and serving a specific role in their environment which prevents the ecosystem from collapsing. 

So here’s how the fishbowl ecosystem works. When the water, plant, and fish are all in the vase the fish gets its oxygen from the water and is able to survive in the water. Then the fish excretes some nutrients and minerals that the plant can use for its own growth and sustenance. The plant in turn takes up CO2 and converts it to oxygen, which enters the water and can be used by the fish, and also the some fungus grows on the plant’s roots, providing food for the fish. This cycle of dependency and recycling nutrients occurs continuously and all organisms are able to live in harmony in this mini ecosystem.

These mini ecosystems are not only fun to look at and watch, but they also are a great solution to having a pet in your dormroom too!

-Aimee Morrison

New Filter in Duffy!

11.09.2011 · Posted in Uncategorized

As an initiative to become more a environmentally sustainable campus, Stonehill has installed a filter in the main hallway of the Duffy Academic Center. It is a great alternative to bottled water and most certainly 100% cheaper. With just an empty water bottle, you can have satisfyingly cold  water at no expense and taking the first step in living sustainably. During the course of a month, if you filled your bottle up with filtered water instead of purchasing a plastic water bottle, you would save roughly $25. That could add up during the course of the semester, so you’ll have more money remaining for candy and delicious pastries from the dining hall.

 

 

 

Fun facts:  “2,480,000 tons of plastic bottles and jars were thrown away in just one year. Ten percent of the plastic produced every year worldwide winds up in the ocean. 70% of which finds its way to the ocean floor, where it will likely never degrade.”

Source

 

 Next time you are thirsty and in Duffy, what will be your choice?

-Sara Boukdad

7 Billion people!

11.09.2011 · Posted in Uncategorized

As of Halloween, 10/31/2011, the population increased to 7 billion. This may not seem like a huge change but think about how only 12 years ago, the population was 6 billion people! Since 1927, the population has been increasing by 1 billion in a shorter amount of time than the preceding landmark. Yet, according to population growth websites such as Census. Gov., it is predicted that this increased population growth in a decreasing amount of time is going to change. The population is not going to increase to 8 billion till about 2027 which is 16 years from now, as apposed to 12 years of the last population change.

So what does that mean for the world and the Stonehill community?
Other than a change in population, it does not mean much. After the first few billion people were on the Earth, environmentalist predicted that the Earth would not be able to support and withstand the weight of 4 billion people. Clearly, we have already withstood that predicament and are moving forward. Once population is forced to decrease due to shortage of resources such as jobs and food, ecology will also bounce back and continue to flourish.
Yet, the amount of food available could be decreasing. This is especially true for countries who are less fortunate than the US.
As the amount of people continue to increase and resources decrease, it is becoming more vital for communities to be conscious of the amount of resources they consume and to give to those less fortunate.

-Sara Boukdad

Thank the Environment this Thanksgiving!

11.08.2011 · Posted in Uncategorized

Thanksgiving is a time to give thanks, so why not thank the enviornment this year?

Instead of going out and buying festive decorations, why not make your own, eco-friendly decorations? Not only is it helpful to the enviornment, it is also fun and affordable! Decorations can be an essential part of feeling holiday cheer, and by making your own eco-friendly decorations you can reduce waste that would otherwise harm the environment. If you want to thank the environment this year and make adorable paper turkey decorations, here’s what you’ll need!

-scissors           -a black marker             -a pencil         -glue     -brown, red, yellow, white, and orange construction paper       -your hands and feet!

Step One: Trace both your feet (with your shoes on) on the brown construction paper. Trace both yours hands on the red and orange construction paper and one of your hands on the yellow construction paper.

Step Two: Cut all the peices out.

Step Three: Glue the two brown foot tracings at the heel to make the body.

Step Four: Glue the colorful hand cut outs together to form the bright tail feathers, and then glue them to the body.

Step Five: Cut out the feet and beak from the orange construction paper, the goblet from the red construction paper, and the eyes from the white construction paper. Then dot the eyes with a black marker and glue the parts onto your turkey.

Step Six: Enjoy the holiday! Don’t forget to either recycle your paper turkey or store it away for next year!

-Danielle Garceau