Summer 2017

Students Commit to a Sustainable Future

During the 2016-2017 academic year, the student body was hard at work identifying meaningful steps to secure a sustainable future for BGSU. One major contributor to this progress is the Student Green Initiatives Fund. An optional $5 fee, created by students in 2010, allows students to submit proposals to fund sustainability solutions across campus to overcome common hindrances to sustainability projects, such as larger upfront capital investments, to realize massive benefits over an extended period of time.

The committee responsible for managing the Student Green Initiatives Fund, comprised of students, faculty, and staff, made two groundbreaking decisions during the Spring 2017 semester:

· A pledge of $500,000 for the future development of large-scale, on-campus solar energy  

· A grant of $254,150 to upgrade outdoor lighting throughout the core of BGSU’s campus to energy-efficient LED lighting  

These two awards are the largest in the history of the Student Green Initiatives Fund and reflect the desire of the student body to address the impacts of global climate change in a meaningful way. These two projects directly address the greatest challenge BGSU faces towards achieving carbon neutrality by 2040, which is the combustion of fossil fuels to meet energy needs.

A one MW solar array as referenced by the Committee will significantly reduce dependence on polluting energy sources such as coal and natural gas. The LED lighting upgrade throughout campus will also greatly reduce BGSU’s energy needs through the installation of this energy-efficient technology. These savings allow for further investment in energy-efficiency measures and renewable energy technology into the future. To read more about BGSU’s energy efficiency investments and policies, check out the webpage here.

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Orange Bikes Are Back!

The Orange Bike Program, which originally began as a community bike share program, is transitioning into a student bike rental program starting this Fall. Fifty bikes are available for students to rent to use as their primary form of transportation throughout the academic school year. Students will go through an application process and have the option to rent the bikes for either a semester or full year. One of the perks of this program is the readily available bike maintenance which is included with the rental fee. Maintenance will be provided by student mechanic Maxwell McCray during various weekly open garage hours. Maxwell is a student in his junior year here at BGSU, studying Environmental Science. He has worked for the Office of Campus Sustainability for 6 months now, but has been fixing bikes with his father since he was a kid.

This program is an important catalyst in pushing students to think about sustainability and giving them the power to make an immediate difference. Bowling Green State University and the city of Bowling Green have both shown interest and support in becoming more bike-friendly, a step which will aid in the university's goal to reach carbon neutrality by the year 2040. If one student alone rode their bike 2 miles round trip 5 days a week for a year instead of driving a vehicle, they could save anywhere between 280 to 760 lbs of CO2 every year depending on the size of the vehicle. Bicycling not only reduces transportation emissions, it also reduces traffic congestion, and the waste and polluted air created during the manufacturing of a vehicle.

If you’re interested in making an immediate positive and personal impact on your campus and community, then check out our website for more information and start filling out an application today!

Black Swamp Staying Sustainable  

September is quickly approaching, and for Bowling Green, Ohio that means it’s time for the Black Swamp Arts Festival, an event where more than 150 artist booths and 3 music stages come to downtown BG, attracting more than 60,000 people to come together for art, music, and community atmosphere. This event also boasts a plethora of yummy concession vendors, which means there will be 60,000 people generating recycling and waste!  As with any festival of this magnitude, planning measures and volunteer power is needed to maintain a clean, environmentally-friendly and sustainable event.

Bowling Green State University is partnering with the Black Swamp Arts Festival and the Wood County Solid Waste District for the fourth year in a row to provide recycling for this event. The public will be able to recycle using the provided Clear Stream containers located throughout downtown Bowling Green. These containers will make it possible to recycle items such as but not limited to plastic and glass bottles, aluminum cans, and cardboard!

There are currently 50 volunteer spots that need filled for the festival. Volunteer tasks consist of constructing and placing the waste boxes and Clear Stream recycling containers, collecting the waste and recycling throughout the event, and cleaning up downtown after the festival has ended. Shifts are offered throughout the day and last for around 3 hours. If you’re interested in keeping downtown clean and green this September, visit the Black Swamp Arts Festival website and sign up to volunteer!

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Big News In Reuse

It has been and continues to be a busy time for reuse initiatives at Bowling Green State University. With the end of the Spring 2017 semester we saw another successful When You Move Out Don’t Throw It Out collection, which diverted in excess of 9 tons of waste from the landfill this year. The items from this collection drive were made available for purchase during the annual two day sale. Not only this did sale event attract students, faculty, staff, and community members with its affordable prices on new and gently used items, it also benefited local charities and food pantries. This year WYMO contributed to the efforts of 7 charities, non-profits, and food pantries including BGSU Food Recovery Network, St. Vincent DePaul Food Pantry, St. Aloysius, The Cocoon Shelter, St. Mark’s Furniture Bank, Go-Green Ohio, and Easter Seals. The remaining items sold to the campus and local community raised nearly $5,000 which will be used to fund other sustainable programs and initiatives on campus.

Another exciting reuse initiative we have to look forward to is the Fall Welcome ReStore Event which will be held Tuesday, August 22nd from 11am to 2pm. The ReStore, located in Kreischer Sundial, is a program that holds monthly events during the academic school year to provide new or gently used office supplies, books, and various household goods to students, faculty, and staff. The Fall Welcome ReStore Event will be held specifically for students; however events held in the following months will be expanded to include faculty and staff. This program is a great way to divert still usable items from the landfill, effectively reducing waste, while also providing the campus community with supplies that would otherwise have to be purchased. For more information about the ReStore and future events please visit our webpage here, or for more information on Fall Welcome Week visit the universities webpage here.

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