Monthly Archives: October 2013

Trick Or Treat…Or Terracycle??


At LIU Post, we recycle candy wrappers by shipping them to a really cool company called Terracycle!

Once you’re done eating all of your Halloween candy, make sure you drop off the wrappers at the Terracycle box located at the Hillwood Info Desk.

They’ll be made into cool products like this:

candy-wrapper-brigadeHave a Happy Halloween!

Professor Pires Protects Planet By Practicing Paperless Principles

For the first time EVER in his many years of teaching, LIU Post Geography Professor Mark Pires graded papers electronically. Opting not to print out the 22 papers submitted by his graduate students in his Topics in Applied Conservation class, Professor Pires traded in his red pen for a keyboard and instead typed out his comments rather than writing them down on printed-out versions.

Noting that this was at first somewhat foreign to him, Professor Pires did admit that grading papers this way was a much more sustainable option as it saves energy, resources, and money.

“I have been teaching sustainability for some time now and I’ve decided to practice what I preach by grading all of my papers electronically from here on out,” said Professor Pires.

He continued by saying, “I teach almost 100 students. That’s a lot of paper to print.” Indeed it is.

Printer Ink BloodIn a day and age where ink costs more than human blood, it has never been more important to conserve these valuable resources. Between the cost of paper, ink, and even the labor time spent on printing, there is a pretty substantial cost savings opportunity to go paperless.

Could you imagine just how much time, energy, and resources could be saved if every professor at LIU Post graded papers this way?

Well, we can come up with a ballpark figure based on some simple assumptions.

For example, LIU Post employs about 300 full-time professors. Let’s say conservatively, that half of them require each one of their students to submit at least one 5-page term paper over the course of a semester. With an overall student/faculty ratio of 12:1, we’re looking at a minimum of 1,800 students writing at least 9,000 pages worth of papers. That’s 18,000 pieces of paper that could potentially be saved over the course of an academic year if every professor were to emulate Professor Pires’ new style of grading papers.

Paper-TreesAccording to some estimates by Conservatree, this would save approximately 2 trees. And certainly the impact would be much larger considering that this is an extremely conservative estimate, which doesn’t even account for other printing needs like class notes, memos, flyers, etc.

Not to mention, the student population in Fall 2012 included 4,429 undergraduate students and 2,697 graduate students. Assuming that half of those students wrote at least 10 pages over the course of the academic year, we are looking at a figure of 35,630 pieces of paper.

And with the actual cost of printing between 6 cents and 13 cents per page, it simply makes sense to grade papers electronically as this would represent a savings of anywhere between $2,137 to $4,632.

As Professor Pires said, “We must practice what we preach.”

If you would like to share your own story of sustainability, please contact us.

Revamp, Recycle, Restore

Interested in Sustainable Art?

Participate in Newman’s Revamp, Recycle, Restore Art Contest.

Adding a creative twist to the 3R’s, the LIU Post Catholic Community will be hosting a Sustainable Art Contest which is sure to bring forth some creative pieces of work.

To enter, you must be an LIU Post student, and pay a $20 entry fee by October 25th (which will be returned back to you upon submission of your artwork).

Participants are limited to one submission per person and the project must be no larger than 18in. x 36 in. with 80% made of recycled materials with string or cord attached to the artwork.

First prize will be $100!!

Second Prize – $50

And Third Prize – $25

After the contest has ended, all submissions will be displayed on November 13th, 2013, from 6:30pm to 8:00pm in the Sculpture Gallery.

For more information, please email


Permaculture Advocate Jan Spencer To Visit LIU Post

Permaculture – Probably not a word many of us are familiar with.

Coined in the 1970s by two Australian ecologists, Bill Mollison and David Holmgren, permaculture aims to design a system that mimics natural systems while simultaneously providing for the wide spectrum of human needs. In other words, it seeks to sustain both people and nature.

Derived from the words “permanent” and “agriculture,” permaculture is more than just a model – it is a comprehensive design process. Each site, whether a household, clinic, business, farm, or village has a unique set of elements and design considerations. But while each site is viewed as unique, permaculture is always based on three foundational ethics (Mollison 1991):

1. Earth care—care for the earth and all of its living systems

2. People care—care for yourself and others (individuals, families,   and communities)

3. Fair share—be fair: take, have, and use only what you need, and when there is surplus, give to others and recycle resources back into the system.

Embedded even deeper in this fairly new principle is Suburban Permaculture. Leading advocate Jan Spencer, from Eugene, Oregon, has made permaculture “a key element to his personal ethos.” His quarter-acre suburban property in Eugene is a permaculture Shangri-La – ultimately reflecting that this is possible for the millions of homes situated in Suburbia.

Jan’s home features grass to garden, edible landscaping, solar design, a 6500 gallon rain water catchment system, reclaimed car space, remarkable biodiversity, increased residential density, home economics, stacked functions, aesthetics, and uplift. Not to mention, the site is the perfect site to educate others about permaculture.

Jan is about to embark on a Northeast Tour where he will be lecturing at various schools across the region and LIU Post is his first stop.

We hope you can join us at one of the two events (or BOTH!) on Thursday, October 24th.

Suburban Permaculture

LIU Post Recycling Goes Country!


By: Lauren Pecoraro, Recycling Program Coordinator, LIU Post

Last week, Billy and I had the opportunity to attend AASHE 2013 in Nashville. Not only was it cool that we were able to attend this conference about everything sustainable but we were also chosen to do a poster presentation.

Our presentation entitled, “Building A Campus Recycling Program: Constantly Evolving, Dealing with Changes, And Sparking An Entire Campus to Think Sustainability” provided colleges and universities with a template in how they could build a campus recycling program from the ground up. Not to mention, it showed other schools just how sustainable our campus has become since 2006.

Originally starting in only 2 residence halls with 2 recycling bins each, recycling is now available in practically every single building on campus and we hope that other schools were able to learn from our model that way they could implement their own successful recycling programs.

Aside from the fun time that we had presenting our poster on Monday evening, both Billy and I were able to attend multiple breakout sessions throughout the 3-day long conference, which covered a variety of aspects in sustainability. Some of the workshops I was able to attend included topics such as increasing recycling in the residence halls, getting Athletics involved with sustainability, and how-to amp up recycling efforts with Greek Life.

These initiatives were not only informative, but gave me a ton of ideas for what we can do at LIU Post to become more sustainable. In addition to bringing about a more sustainable world, Billy and I are also hoping that these ideas will help establish LIU Post as a leader in sustainability in the region as many other schools like Columbia and NYU are already doing many things to become more sustainable.

Overall, AASHE 2013 was a great opportunity for the both of us and we had a blast learning from and about our fellow peers from other universities.Nashville also represented the perfect location for this conference since it is one of the most sustainable cities in the United States and their new convention center, the Music City Center is LEED-Silver certified.

Music City Center

An aerial view of the Music City Center in August 2012.

It was an honor to be selected as a presenter and learn from the several others across the globe that are trying to make their dreams become reality on their campuses.

Already looking forward to AASHE 2014 in Portland, Oregon!

AASHE 2013: What An Incredible Experience!

By: William Achnitz III, Sustainability Coordinator, LIU Post

AASHE 2013 has by far been one of the best experiences of my life.

Not only have I learned a tremendous amount of information in which I can bring back to my college, but I’ve been inspired beyond belief. Never in my life have I been more determined to make this world a better place.

From Raj Patel’s thought-provoking speech to Markese Bryant’s call to action to Unity College President Stephen Mulkey’s declaration that sustainability is the mission of education, AASHE 2013 has not just been an opportunity for sustainability professionals to connect and learn from one another, but rather to serve as a symbol of unity amongst all those working towards a more sustainable world.

For me, it was a sign that we will change this planet for the better. We will be successful in passing on a more sustainable planet for the future. And we will ensure that everybody is treated fairly by breaking down the current silos that exist in our ever-growing global society.

There are just too many people dedicated to this cause that I cannot even fathom the thought of us failing. Just as Markese Bryant pointed out along with many other presenters at AASHE, “we will only fail if we fail to speak up.”

We are the “Make or Break Generation.” We are the ones who will determine what will happen to this Earth. And ultimately, we are the ones who will determine our fate as a species.

Are you up for the challenge? I certainly am.

Thanks to all of the other schools who presented so far at AASHE 2013!

It was certainly an honor joining you.

Poster Presentation

Lauren Pecoraro and William Achnitz of the LIU Post Recycling Program presenting their poster on building a successful campus recycling program

LIU Post Recycling Coordinators Presenting At AASHE 2013

AASHE2013The time has come – LIU Post has officially arrived in Nashville, Tennessee for AASHE 2013.

With more than 2,000 participants, AASHE conferences are the largest stage in North America for higher education sustainability thought leadership. Attendees from around the world share innovations, activities, frameworks, learning outcomes, tools, strategies, research, theory and leadership initiatives that are changing the face of sustainability in higher education.

This year, LIU Post has sent both recycling program coordinators – Billy Achnitz and Lauren Pecoraro – to not just learn but to teach as well.

Using the LIU Post Recycling Program as a case study, Lauren and Billy will be presenting on how schools can successfully build and maintain a student-led campus recycling program. Their presentation titled “Building A Campus Recycling Program: Constantly Evolving, Dealing With Changes, And Sparking An Entire Campus To Think Sustainably” is going to be on Monday, October 7th.

“We are both very excited to represent LIU Post at one of the largest sustainability conferences in the world,” says Billy Achnitz. “Hopefully, our presentation will help inspire others to build their own campus recycling programs or at least help them make their existing model even better.”

“I am honored to be here. I am especially honored to present. However, I am just as much looking forward to learning and bringing back what I can to make LIU Post even more sustainable,” added Achnitz.

Please check back in with us here at The LIU CommPost for daily updates on AASHE 2013 and find us on Twitter @LIUPostGreen where you will be able to interact with Billy and Lauren as they tweet live from #AASHE2013.

Did You Carry In Too Much?

According to this article in the Washington Post, there are some students that go a little overboard on Move-In Day. From hiring their own personal interior decorator to requesting to install custom hardwood floors, there is certainly no shortage of odd and bizarre move-in day stories.

Moving In

Chances are we’ve all witnessed that one student who pulls in to Move-In Day with a moving truck and the rest of us are left to scratch our heads wondering how much stuff one person could possibly squeeze into one dorm room.

Nonetheless, chances are that we probably brought a lot of stuff too. Perhaps not as much as the guy with the moving truck, but definitely a car-load or two. Now, take into account your roommate’s stuff and the two of you could be in for a very long semester living in some very cramp quarters. 

Imagine the poor guy who has to bunk with the moving truck guy. Certainly he is destined for the top bunk.

Some of you, on the other hand, may have brought very little. Perhaps, you envy the guy with the moving truck and you wish that you had more than just your laptop and suitcase full of clothes.

Well, not to worry. Regardless of whether you have too much or too little, LIU Post has a Freecycle group on Facebook. Here you may buy, sell, trade, donate, or simply give away your unwanted belongings.

The LIU Post Freecycle page will allow you to downsize or upsize. Just post what you are looking for or what you are want to get rid of on the Freecycle Facebook page and hopefully you will be able to make a mutually-beneficial deal.

Dont Trash It

First, you must LIKE US though.

So, make sure that you do.

And whatever you do, DON’T TRASH IT!!!