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Sustainability Events

Friday Economicology Forum Events
All Forum events take place from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.
November Events: >Download the Flyer
  • November 7th: Krista Badiane. "Climate Change." Location: AB 231
    • The climate has changed and scientists warn that we are approaching a climate crisis, yet action to address the issue is lagging. Why are we slow to take action? This talk explores this paradox, as well as what one sector, business, is doing to address climate change in the absence of coordinated societal action.
  • November 14: Deb Steketee & Bruce Thompson (Rockford Construction), “Sustainability and Innovation Part 1." Location: Donnelly
  • November 21: Deb Steketee & Bruce Thompson (Rockford Construction), “Sustainability and Innovation Part 2." Location: Donnelly
    • What will it take to move us toward sustainability? Innovation! And luckily, innovation is something all humans can learn to do very well. This two-part workshop will help you tap into your natural abilities for design and problem-solving through the process of innovation. Got a “wicked” problem that needs taming? Wish you were more of an “idea person”? Come and experience some of the techniques and tools behind one of the most powerful forces on (and for) the Planet. Part 1 of Sustainability and Innovation will introduce you to the collaborative innovation process. You will get a chance to learn about and practice innovation by focusing on a few proven tools and techniques. Part 2 of the workshop will have us tackle a few our "design for sustainability" challenges together, using what you've learned in Part 1.
December Events:
  • December 5: Facutly Sustainability Fellows. Location: AB 231
  • December 12: Dave Weinandy, Rebecca Coogan, Dan Brooks, Duane Ambrose, and Jessica Eimer. "New and Fresh Sustainability Ideas." Location: Loutit Room
    • Please join us for a report from the faculty and staff who attended the AASHE Conference in Portland this fall. AASHE (The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education) has a mission of empowering higher education to lead the sustainability transformation, so this is a great opportunity to learn more about new initiatives from our institutional peers in the area of sustainability.
 

Women and the Environment Conference

Date: February 25, 2015, 3:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Location: Loosemore Auditorium, GVSU Downtown Campus

Women and the Environment is a one-day symposium that explores the intersection between women’s issues and environmental concerns. This year the focus of the event is environmental justice, with presentations on localizing food, healthy homes and family health, trust, inclusion and the environment and climate resiliency. The event is a valuable opportunity for professionals and students alike to learn about the issues, their history and current success stories, the symposium is the first large-scale meeting between local leaders and stakeholders in the academic, business and activism communities focused on women and the environment.

The symposium will again honor women for their accomplishments on behalf of West Michigan’s natural resources. Women environmental leader nominees will be announced in mid-January. Other activities will include a citizen action panel encompassing both citizen and elected official perspectives and networking opportunities for professionals and students alike.
 

Catholic Social Tradition Conference

Date: March 22 - 24, 2015

Location: University of Notre Dame, Indiana

The core purpose of the 50th Anniversary of Gaudium et Spes conference is to explore thematic peace and justice issues that have been addressed by modern Catholic social thought, especially those within the pastoral constitution such as human dignity, political structures, economic development and internationalization.

 

Sustainability News

Make Your Own Terracycle Box
Want to help AQ reach zero waste by 2014? Start by making a personal Terracycle collection box! Download and print out the label, and start collecting everyday waste such as snack bags and candy wrappers. When your box is full, simply empty it at your nearest Terracycle station!
 
Results of the Community Garden vote at Homecoming
At Aquinas' homecoming, you were asked to vote on the next crop to incorporate into our community garden. The options were: Strawberries, Potatoes, and Squash and the voting results from Homecoming are in! The winner was Strawberries by a long shot, with 301 votes. Potatoes came in second with 87 votes and squash in third with 38 votes. Spring can't be here soon enough.
 
Zero Waste Success at Homecoming
The zero waste team was busy at Homecoming 2014 (September 27) to help alums properly sort waste during campus activities. Because of their hard work, we achieved a 90% diversion rate (by weight). Congrats AQ and a big thank you to all volunteers!
 
RecycleMania 2014: AQ is Best in the State

Over the last two months RecycleMania has been taking place at Aquinas as well as on college campuses across the country. During this year’s 14th annual national tournament, 461 schools participated in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Canada. That represents more than 5.3 million students and over 1.2 million faculty and staff!

 

Schools competed in 11 categories to see which institution can:

  1. Recycle the most paper, cardboard, cans/bottles, and food waste on a per capita basis;
  2. Produce the least amount of waste; and
  3. Recycle the largest percentage of their overall waste stream.

 

The top category, Grand Champion, combines trash and each of the core recyclable materials to determine a school’s recycling rate as a percentage of its overall waste generation.

The results for this year are in:

  • National Grand Champion Ranking: Aquinas took seventh place. (In 2013, Aquinas took 78th place.)
  • State of Michigan Grand Champion Ranking: Aquinas took first place. (In 2013, Aquinas took second place.) We competed against Grand Valley State University, Michigan State University, University of Michigan, Albion College, Central Michigan University, Eastern Michigan University, Kalamazoo College, Kendall College of Art and Design, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, Western Michigan University, and Washtenaw Community College.

Great job Aquinas faculty, staff and students! We applaud your effort in working to recycle, compost and use the special collections on campus. Continue to be selective about your waste stream and help us reach our goal of Zero Waste by 2014. To view AQ’s performance in other RecycleMania categories, visit recyclemaniacs.org.

 
Greener Grads: Donate Your Gown
Join Greener Grads in our goal to recover, repurpose and reuse one million graduation gowns this year. Together we can reduce the mass production and breathe new life into old gowns. Donate your gown after graduation, and we will make sure it gets a new life, stays out of the landfill and keeps our planet healthy and green. It may seem like a small contribution to you, but every gown counts.

A collection bin will be in place at Aquinas’ graduation ceremony, but you can also drop off your gown anytime to the Center for Sustainability (AB 255). Learn more here.

 
AQ Featured in Princeton Review
We are pleased to report that Aquinas College was selected for inclusion in the 2014 edition of “The Princeton Review’s Guide to 322 Green Colleges.” This one-of-a-kind resource -- published in partnership with the U.S. Green Building Council - is the only free, comprehensive guide that focuses solely on colleges that have demonstrated a notable commitment to sustainability. Check it out!
 
AQ Community Garden

There is a new location for the community garden! It is now located east of the AMC. The goal is to have two, 4x8 ft raised beds managed in square foot gardening style.  A Square Foot Garden does not use any fertilizer or have any weeds because one type of plant is grown within a square foot, and the soil mixture used does not contain weed seed. Also the raised beds allow people who have difficulties tending a regular garden, an opportunity to garden easier.

Gardens are a great use of land area. They filter rainwater, restore oxygen to the air, and provide a place to put your compost. Community gardens provide an opportunity to meet new people and build relationships in a relaxed environment, because gardening is a form of stress relief!

We are looking for committed garden volunteers, who are able to spend one day a week (Monday – Friday) to help water and weed the garden throughout the summer. Ideally, we will have two volunteers scheduled for each week day (i.e. 2 every Monday, 2 every Tuesday, etc…). You can complete your garden work anytime during the day, and it should not take more than 30 minutes to an hour. If you have any interest in being a “serious” garden volunteer and committing to at least 30 minutes each week, please send a confirmation email to Jessica Eimer at eimerjes@aquinas.edu indicating: How many hours per week you plan to volunteer, as well as possible days and times of the week that you are able to work in the garden.

Important Volunteer Notes: 1. Volunteers must gain approval from their supervisors, if they are volunteering during their shifts. 2. Staff/Faculty members can work on the garden during normal business hours, but they cannot be officially on college time. Hourly employees must punch out, and all employees are still expected to complete their weekly hours.

 
AQ Bike Auction
Do you have a bike that you no longer want? Here is your chance to get rid of it. The Aquinas College Campus Safety online bike auction will once again be open to all staff, faculty and students. However, this year you have the opportunity to bring your old or unused bike in and have it auctioned off. There will be a $5 entry fee for every bike you wan tin the auction, but all money made on the bike will go directly to you. This is your chance to clean out the garage, she or porch and finally get rid of that bike no one rides. Bike condition is not important, all bikes will be sold "as is" and may be inspected by potential buyers. For more info or to sign up you rbike, please e-mail Ryan at aqbikes@aquinas.edu or call (616) 632-2449. This year's online auction will take place from April 21 - May 2 on the Campus Safety website. All bikes must be entered into the auction by Friday, April 11 at 4 p.m. Don't miss out on this wonderful opportunity.
 
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