March 2019

Earth Week 2019 Comes to BGSU 

Earth Week is a time for the entire University community (as well as the whole nation) to become more aware of the critical importance of the environment to life itself, both now and in the future. Earth Week 2019 at BGSU includes something for everyone and takes place April 22 (which is Earth Day nationally) through April 28 and includes a diverse offering of presentations, service projects, celebrations of the Earth and other activities.

The kickoff event for Earth Week 2019 is a presentation by Chris Vickers, Meteorologist for WTOL in Toledo who will speak on “Climate Change: Today and Our Future” on Monday, April 22 at 6pm in the BTSU Theater. The presentation is very geared to our own region here in northwest Ohio and how the many extreme weather conditions we are experiencing are related to climate change, as well as what we can expect here in the future.

Also taking place on April 22 is a campus tree planting of six native species (location to be announced) at 1:30pm. Tools and gloves provided. Come help us out! USG is co-sponsor of this event along with Campus Operations.

Don’t miss the annual Eco-Fair taking place from 11am to 2pm outside in front of the BTSU on Wednesday, April 24. Over two dozen tables with environmental presentations by student organizations, classes and departments as well as non-profits and government agencies. We’ll have free plants/seedlings, live animals/rehabilitated birds of prey brought to us by Back to Wild from Castalia, Ohio, marine animal sculptures made from discarded plastic, as well as several electric vehicles. Never seen a Tesla before? We’ll have two of them! Involvement opportunities galore also! BTSU Multipurpose room is the rain location.

Get trashy with the trash audit taking place on Thursday, April 25 at 12:30pm outside in front of the BTSU. Stop by and see what’s in BGSU’s trash that could be recycled and/or reduced. It’s an eye opening experience you don’t want to miss!

An opportunity to travel to and tour BG’s solar field (largest in Ohio) just outside Bowling Green on Carter Road takes place Friday, April 26, departing the Union lot behind the Pub entrance at 1:40pm. Pre-registration is required for this event; go to the Campus Sustainability website to sign up.

One of BGSU’s biggest service projects of the year begins on April 24 also: When You Move Out, Don’t Throw It Out! Entering its 18th year of waste reduction and providing to those in need as well as supporting sustainability programs. Collection boxes for everything from non-perishable food to clothing, personal items, toiletries, household goods, furniture, books/school supplies and anything else that is still usable will be placed in residence hall lobbies, Outtakes stores, Greek Townhouses and the Bowen-Thompson Student Union until Sunday, May 19th. It’s a great way to clean out your room, office or home and be sustainable in the process. Volunteers are needed for this project! Contact greenbg@bgsu.edu with your contact info to sign up as a volunteer!

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Sibs and Kids "Paint with Mud"


    “Is it real mud?!” squealed many excited children as they ran into the room for the Campus Sustainability Sibs and Kids “Paint with Mud” event on March 2nd. To answer their question, yes, it was real mud that had been dyed different colors to paint with! Over the first weekend of March close to 100 students, siblings, and parents stopped in to enjoy painting with this “earthy” activity. Those in attendance witnessed the creativity of all the participants, including “masterpieces” of abstract art, boats, pets, and nature.

    If a room full of happy and creative “future Falcons” is not reason enough to sponsor this event then the benefits of mud play and soil education certainly made it all worthwhile. This “Paint with Mud” event provided BGSU sustainability educators with the perfect platform to create a dialogue around the importance of soil. The world population is growing and it is vital to keep soil healthy for food growth, proper water filtration, and ecosystem biodiversity. A healthy soil will filter water, sequester more carbon, and increase microorganism production. In addition, research shows that playing in mud is good for human health. It has been proven to stimulate exercise, idea formation, critical thinking, and fine motor skill development.

    If you are interested in “Painting with Mud” or need other ideas for activities that are creative, encourage active participation, and are educational please contact the BGSU Office of Campus Sustainability and we will help guide you in the right direction!



 The Oaks New Hydroponic System


    This past winter, BGSU Dining Services finalized its very own hydroponic system within the Oaks Dining facility. However, there was a large preparation time to reach this unveiling. This past October Dining Services started to research various systems used across the world. They found that this type of gardening uses a fraction of the water and soil that tradition gardening does. In addition, practicing hydroponics comes with many benefits like the ability to grow produce year round without the use of pesticides or herbicides. The team then decided to go with a five-tower system. Each of the five towers houses a different type of produce that are used in the “Shoots” vegan section of the dining hall.

    Currently, the system is being overseen by Paige Wagner, BGSU Campus Dietitian, as it produces food items for students across campus. It is her responsibility to make sure that every step of the process is done correctly and as sustainably as possible. Wagner expects there to be around 30 to 40 harvests each year because of how quickly the plants grow in this efficient environment. This project has the capability of spreading across campus if it is successful but also has the potential for more student involvement. Other prospects arise, too, as Dining Services explores the possibility of other ways to grow food sustainably on our campus.


   

Aquaman

    Calling all DC comic fans, movie enthusiasts, and environmentalists to the BTSU movie theater on April 4th!  The Office of Campus Sustainability and University Activities Organization (UAO) are co-sponsoring Aquaman! Not only is this brand new, $200 million dollar, film thrilling it also introduces audience members to the problems of ocean pollution!

    Pollution is destroying the Earth’s waterways. There is an estimated “14 billion pounds of garbage being dumped into the oceans every year. The pollution enters by being deliberately dumped, through inefficient waste structures, and you every day littering.   That's more than 1.5 million pounds per hour” (Kimberly Amaral). Fish, birds, and mammals consume toxins produced by this garbage which humans and other animals later ingest through the food chain. Not only is this pollution hurting human health, it is damaging biodiversity. Harmful to aquatic ecosystems, this pollution is creating hypoxic zones which kills the flora and fauna living there. These are just a few of hundreds of negative impacts pollution has on waterways.

    There is hope and you can help end this tragedy! Consume less, stop buying products that will only last a week or will be out of style in a year. By consuming less there will be a significant reduction in the amount of garbage/pollution that ends up in the waterways. Recycle too! Many communities, including BGSU and the City of Bowling Green, offer recycling services. This action increases material reuse and keeps products off the beach and out of the water. To have fun and make an impact, organize a beach and river edge clean up. Doing so means that you and your friends stop water pollution hours to even minutes before it occurs. Lastly, educate yourself. Research on the internet or contact the BGSU Office of Campus Sustainability to learn more about water pollution and what you can do to help solve this problem. 

Sustainability Hero of the Month


This month, student, Dominique Scripter has been awarded Bowling Green State University’s “Sustainability Hero of the Month” by the Office of Campus Sustainability. As a senior, Human Development and Family Studies major, Dominque has spent her four years at BGSU devoted to sustainability and environmental initiatives.

Dominique is extremely involved in campus sustainability. She serves as a member of the Student Green Initiatives Fund committee, is President of the Environmental Action Group (EAG), and facilitates BGSU’s Friday Night Lights energy savings program. You can also thank Dominique for her research and input on the new Hydroponic System in the Oaks Dining Facility. Through Dominique’s leadership and passion for sustainability, BGSU has become a more sustainable campus.

In the years to come, Dominique hopes that BGSU continues to strive for sustainable operations. She expressed that falcons need to be better educated on the individual choices they can make to be sustainable. When asked about the future of BGSU Dominique said, “I hope that they continue to make sustainability a priority, making dining more sustainably sound by using better products for silverware/straws, and continue working with EAG to phase out plastic bags”.

Dominique has worn many hats across campus that have positively impacted the university’s sustainability goals. We thank Dominique for her dedication and drive to make this world a better place through sustainable change.



    

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RecycleMania

     Bowling Green State University has promoted recycling for many years because it reduces waste, conserves natural resources, prevents pollution, and saves energy. To further support recycling the university participates in RecycleMania. RecycleMania is a friendly competition among college and university recycling programs in the United States & Canada that has been going on since 2001. BGSU has participated in this competition for that entire time. The program was administered by the Sierra Club but starting this year, for the first time, it was sponsored by the National Wildlife Foundation with the goal of reducing all waste entirely, including recycling. This means that each campus must track the amount of recycling it produces and compare it to the waste stream that cannot go to recycling. Each year, BGSU competes on a national level, while also hosting an on-campus competition to see which residence hall can recycle the most waste. Our goal for this year is break into the top 100 college campuses in North America.

    To help us reach this goal, we have reached out to various organizations across the university to spread the word and participate. Also, we have hosted an array of events to promote recycling and educate students on how to properly recycle. Some of the events that the Office of Campus Sustainability has hosted are Pizza for Recycling, the Recycle-Cycle, Know before You Throw, and Caught Green Handed. Pizza for Recycling allows students to trade their room recyclables for slices of pizza. Students can also win campus gift cards if they are caught recycling by Campus Sustainability staff; this is known as the “Caught Green Handed” initiative. The Recycle-Cycle is a trivia game that test students’ knowledge on proper recycling. These events typically happen within residence halls or in the Bowen-Thompson Student Union. The most successful residence halls, though, are those that carry out their own recycling programs outside of the programming provided by Campus Sustainability. While RecycleMania officially ends on March 30th we always encourage our community to educate and participate in recycling, year-round, since waste reduction and resource conservation is a major sustainability goal of BGSU.

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