Friday, March 26, 2010

Memorial Chapel "Off" for Earth Hour

Earth Hour 2010 @ Colgate
by Kelsey Harbord '13

Maybe you didn’t notice. Maybe you did. But the cupola lights on the top of the Chapel were turned off this weekend. In fact, on Saturday March 27, hundreds of millions of people across the globe shut out their lights in support of the World Wildlife Fund’s Earth Hour. And with a simple flick of a switch at 8:30 pm local time, our very own Colgate University Chapel became a part of the world’s largest mass participation event in history.

In an effort to raise awareness of global climate change, buildings in more than 4,000 cities across more than 125 countries disappeared in darkness. Colgate’s iconic cupola was among national landmarks such as Mount Rushmore, Niagara Falls, and the Las Vegas Strip as the lights were turned off Saturday.

Maybe you wonder what all of this means, this one hour of darkness out of 8, 765—yes, that is how many hours are in a year. Maybe you wonder what difference this darkness could have actually made. Maybe one Colgate student decided that rather than throwing his or her plastic bottle in the trash on Saturday, they would throw it in the recycling bin instead. Maybe one government official realized that people really do want a change. It is the small things that will add up. Hundreds of millions of people would not exist without a hundred million individuals, after all. And one hour turns into 24.

Whether or not you did witness the absence of bright light above the chapel on Saturday, I hope that this bold yet subtle statement will be enough to at least evoke a curiosity that will lead to something more. Earth Hour has already enlightened billions of people across the world. This year, the movement made its mark on the Colgate Campus. So turn off the lights when you leave a room, turn off the tap when you brush your teeth. Continue the fight until next year when again we can watch as lights go out around the world.

Click here to see article about Colgate in Syracuse Post-Standard.
Click here to see article about Colgate in Radio-Free Hamilton.

Colgate students Kelsey Harbord '13 and Kathryn Homan '13, helped to promote Earth Hour as an activist project for their Modernity class. Other Colgate students approached the Sustainability Office with the same request. In 2007, The World Wildlife Fund created Earth Hour to draw awareness to the changing global climate.

Saturday March 27, 2010
8:30 - 9:30 pm

Last year, 80 million Americans and 318 U.S. cities officially voted for action with their light switch, joining iconic landmarks from around the world that went dark for Earth Hour, including:

* Empire State Building
* Brooklyn Bridge
* Broadway Theater Marquees
* Las Vegas Strip
* United Nations Headquarters
* Golden Gate Bridge
* Seattle’s Space Needle
* Church of Latter-Day Saints Temple
* Gateway Arch in St. Louis
* Great Pyramids of Giza
* Acropolis and Parthenon in Athens
* Christ the Redeemer Statue in Rio de Janeiro
* St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City
* Big Ben and Houses of Parliament in London
* Elysee Palace and Eiffel Tower in Paris
* Beijing’s Birds Nest and Water Cube
* Symphony of Lights in Hong Kong
* Sydney’s Opera House

Friday, March 12, 2010

Theta Chi Fraternity Supports Local Farms

As part of Theta Chi's ongoing effort to promote "green" living, the fraternity recently began purchasing locally grown food through CNY Bounty.

Below is an article written by Becca Jablonski (Agricultural Economic Development Specialist) who interviewed Chef Jerry Nash of Colgate University's Theta Chi Fraternity House. The article was originally published in the Madison County Courier on March 5.

(Hamilton, NY) Chef Jerry Nash believes in providing high quality food to the young men of Colgate University’s Theta Chi Fraternity House. To Nash, “it is nicer when you can attach a place or a face to a product. It tends to be a better product…people take more pride and appreciation in what they’re doing when they know it will be consumed within their own community. [He has] always found better quality from the smaller producers.”

Before CNY Bounty, though Nash wanted to support local farmers and processors it was difficult.

“It is inconvenient to call all of the purveyors,” Nash said. “My time is better spent preparing the food. But CNY Bounty makes it easy. The beauty of the Bounty is that they do all of the leg work.”

CNY Bounty supports local farmers and producers by creating new markets for locally produced foods, thereby strengthening the local economy and providing healthy food to all citizens of Central New York in an environmentally responsible way. Each week, Bounty staff coordinates weekly product availability with farmers and producers and upload the products, prices, photos and descriptions on the website.

Consumers can go online to before Monday at noon to place an order. Orders are collected from the farm on Wednesday morning by Bounty staff, taken to the shared distribution center, and distributed by Bounty staff to customers’ doorsteps or strategically located drop off points on Wednesday or Thursday afternoon. Delivery is free for orders over $35 or for orders of any size to drop off points. CNY Bounty operates year-round and currently works with over 90 farmers and producers.

This week, Nash ordered meats, breads, produce, and some dairy. He is using herbs he purchased from Finger Lakes Fresh and Heritage Farms in tonight’s sauerbraten dinner. (Sauerbraten is a German pot roast marinated before cooking in a mixture of vinegar, water, spices, and seasonings). Tomorrow for lunch he will use the whole wheat pasta he got from The Pasta Shoppe in an alfredo dish.

Nash said that he is going to encourage other fraternities to buy through CNY Bounty.

“You have a bigger effect on the local economy and environment when you are buying local and that is a priority for me,” Nash said. “The young men of the house are aware of high quality products and they have really encouraged this buying process.”

Becca Jablonski is the Agricultural Economic Development Specialist for Madison County.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Light Bulb Exchange Results in BIG Savings!

Over the past few years there has been a big nationwide push to replace traditional incandescent light bulbs with the curly-looking compact fluorescents (CFLs). Is changing light bulbs really worth it? Absolutely! CFL's are 75 percent more energy efficient than incandescent bulbs and can last 10 times longer. This can result in big energy and cost savings.

Last year, at Colgate, we began replacing 1,400 incandescent bulbs with 20-watt CFLs. Considering the upfront cost of purchasing the CFLs coupled with the energy savings over time, we determined that Colgate will save over $36,000 over the life of the project. Moreover, removing incandescent bulbs will reduce our campus carbon footprint by 101,400 lbs. Any project that can save the university money and reduce our carbon footprint is a good project.

Do you still have an incandescent bulb in your home or office? Then switch it now!
Saving energy and reducing our carbon footprint begins the moment you replace a CFL with an incandescent. This outweighs the energy and emissions associated with keeping an incandescent in place until it burns out.

Where can I get a CFL?
You have a few choices. Call B&G and have your incandescent replaced. CFLs can also be found in any store that sells incandescent bulbs. Finally, both OfficeMax and Staples have CFLs in stock - so order them with your next purchase.

How do I dispose of my spent CFL?
Do not break or throw it in the trash. CFLs contain a tiny amount of mercury (the size of a tip of a ball point pen) and must be disposed of properly. Wrap your spent bulb in newspaper and give to your custodian. It is important to note that a new CFL can last up to 10 years, so you may need to wait awhile!

What if my CFL breaks?
  • Sweep the pieces together with a damp paper towel
  • Place the towel (with glass pieces) in a sealed plastic bag
  • Contact the Environmental Health and Safety Office for pick-up (SB4 McGregory, 315.228.7994)

Colgate Saves Water and Energy with Energy Star Washing Machines

Colgate recently replaced the last 21 top-loading washing machines with high-efficiency, Energy Star front-loading washers.

All washers on campus are now water and energy efficient saving the university money and reducing our ecological footprint.

Colgate's old top-loading units used 30 gallons of water per cycle while the new front-loading machines use only 14.8 gallons per cycle.

Besides saving water we are also saving energy. A lot of energy is used by a washing machines just to heat the water. Having a front-loading machine, which uses much less water than a top-loader, will significantly reduce our energy consumption. In addition, front-loading washers squeeze more of the water out of your clothes, so you will spend less time and energy drying your clothes.

On average, front-loading washers use between 40 - 75% less water and 30 - 85 % less energy than typical top-loaders.

Thank you to Colgate's Purchasing Manager, Art Punsoni, for bringing the energy efficient appliances to campus!

Ready for a new washer at home?
Take advantage of the "New York's Great Appliance Swap Out."

Program Overview:
The State of New York launched a new rebate program to help residents replace older, inefficient appliances with ENERGY STAR® qualified models. The program began February 12, 2010, and will continue until funds are depleted.

Eligible products include:
* Refrigerators
* Freezers
* Clothes washers
* High-efficiency appliance package

Consumers can obtain higher rebate amounts by purchasing a package including a refrigerator, clothes washer, and dishwasher that are more efficient than ENERGY STAR. Consumers are also eligible for a higher rebate with proof of recycling.

Click here to learn more.

Contact: New York State Energy Research and Development Authority

Total Funding: $18,700,000

Here are a few additional ways to reduce your energy use in the laundry room:
  • Wash in Cold Water: The best way to save money when you are doing the laundry is to wash clothes in cold water. When used with cold-water detergent, washing in cold water is actually better for your clothes.
  • Dry multiple loads back-to-back. You’ll save energy by using an already heated dryer that doesn’t have to be brought up to temperature each time it is used.
  • Dry similar types of clothes together. Lightweight synthetics, for example, dry much more quickly than bath towels and jeans.
  • Clean the dryer lint filter after every use. Check the outside dryer exhaust frequently to make sure it’s clean and that the flapper opens and closes freely.
  • Use a drying rack! Avoiding the dryer altogether is the most energy-efficient alternative of all. Place the dryer rack near a space-heater (in winter) or by an open, sunny window (in summer).