Sustainability Initiative at Aquinas College

Sustainability News & Events

Sustainability Events (on-campus)

Tip the Scale: A Waste Diversion Competition
Dates: August 26 to September 29, 2019
St. Joe and Regina compete to have the highest total diversion rate at the end of the competition, and the competition is cumulative.  Resident Assistants across campus are also competing in the Eduction Challenge. The RA with the best program to engage their residents wins a Rocketbook Notebook and solar charger.

Saint Swap
Date: October 23, 2019 from 11am to 3pm
Location: Wege Ballroom
This campus wide clothing swap event will help refine your closet and lessen the environmental harm of the fashion industry. Is your closet filled with too many clothes and too many options? Donate the clothes you never wear to Saint Swap and receive credits to swap for clothes that you love. You can participate in the event by donating gently used clothing and accessories. We are accepting apparel including: adult clothing, shoes, jewelry, sunglasses, hats, scarfs, gloves, jackets, and purses. For every two items that are donated, you will receive one credit. A single credit is exchangeable for a single item of clothing/accessory at the Clothing Swap event.

Race to Zero Waste
Dates: February 3- March 1, 2020
The Race to Zero Waste (formerly known as the Great Guru Garbage Games) is a friendly competition of zero waste advocates fighting to prove that their building is THE zero waste champion to beat! There is both a student category and a faculty/staff category, with the champion in each category winning the traveling sustainability trophy.

"We All Live Here" Service Day
April 22, 2020 (Tentative)
The clean up day brings together students, staff and faculty in celebration of Earth Day and Arbor Day. Crews of Aquinas community members will complete projects to honor our beautiful campus and take care of our earth. All Aquinas students, staff, faculty, and alumni are encouraged to participate during morning shifts, afternoon shifts, or both.

Off-Campus Events:

Grand River Cleanup
Date: September 14, 2019
WMEAC is proud to host the 16th Annual Mayors' Grand River Cleanup on September 14, 2019 from 8:30am-1:00pm at 6th Street Park in Grand Rapids, MI. There will be a light refreshments before the event and a light lunch after with a refreshments area (must be 21+, ID required) supplied by Founders Brewery and Cascade Blonde. Small Acts make Grand Impact! >Website

Global Climate Strike Day
Dates: September 20-27, 2019
"This September, millions of us will walk out of our workplaces and homes to join young climate strikers on the streets and demand an end to the age of fossil fuels...Going on climate strike means people everywhere walking out of their homes, their offices, their farms, their factories. Everyone is needed to disrupt business as usual: from sports stars, actors and teachers to food industry workers, psychologists, delivery drivers and everything in between. We can all take part, whatever our circumstances, by refusing to accept the status quo." >Website

2019 AASHE Conference and Expo
Dates: October 27 - 30, 2019
Location: Spokan, WA
Expected to draw approximately 2,000 participants, the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education’s (AASHE’s) annual conference is the largest stage in North America to exchange effective models, policies, research, collaborations and transformative actions that advance sustainability in higher education and surrounding communities. We invite you to join us and share your knowledge, achievements and ideas.

With a theme of Co-Creating a Sustainable Economy, AASHE 2019 is tackling the root cause for the continued rise in carbon emissions: our dysfunctional economic system. The conference seeks to showcase and strengthen higher education’s contributions to the movement for a sustainable economy, which we see as inclusive of the exciting work happening under a variety of other names such as the solidarity economy, wellbeing economy, circular economy, post-growth economy, regenerative economy and restorative economy. >More information

Sustainability News

Tip the Scale Waste Competition Winners
The final results of the Tip the Scale Waste Competition are in! Congratulations to Regina Hall on winning the competition this year. Regina won with a 47.56% diversion rate, while St. Joe's finished with 42.57%. Regina will hold the student travelling sustainability trophy until the next competition.  The winner of this fall's RA Eduction Challenge (and a RocketBook Notebook and solar charger) was Kelli Adrian! She completed an informative bulletin board in her residence hall with a creative Halloween theme. Thanks to all who participated.

Homecoming and Move-In Were Zero Waste Events!
Thanks to the help of dozens of volunteers, first year move-in and homecoming at AQ were zero waste events. Move-in wrapped up with 989.8 lbs of recycling, 38.6 lbs of compost, 38.2 lbs of comforter bag donations, and 65.4 lbs of trash. That computes to an impressive 94% diversion rate! Since 2014, that is our second highest move-in diversion rate. The homecoming zero waste effort was also successful, with a 94.12% diversion rate. Thanks again to our volunteers and extraordinary interns for making it happen.

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