Monthly Archives: November 2014

LIU Post Celebrates Campus Sustainability Day

By: William Achnitz III, Campus Life Coordinator, LIU Post

October 22nd was Campus Sustainability Day, a day established in 2003 to reflect on the success of the sustainability movement in higher education. Sponsored by Second Nature and a number of other organizations, the theme of this year’s Campus Sustainability Day was “Empowering Change on Campus and in the Community.”

CSD2014Colleges and universities from across the country were invited to participate in Campus Sustainability Day by hosting their own events recognizing the successes, challenges, and innovations of sustainability on their campus. A video hosted by Second Nature, which featured many leaders in higher education, was also produced for schools to share with their campus communities.

LIU Post used Campus Sustainability Day as an opportunity to promote two of its newly established sustainability initiatives – Zipcar and I Love New York Water. In fact, both initiatives launched that day and students from the Student Government Association and the Sustainability Committee helped spread the news by distributing sustainable swag, including Zipcar pens, I Love New York Water stickers, and free reusable water bottles.

PostZipCarZipcar, a car sharing service, is a sustainable alternative to traditional car ownership. In fact, every Zipcar takes 10-15 personally owned vehicles off the road. Members also pay only for the time that they use the vehicle and have no responsibility for additional costs associated with car ownership, such as gas, insurance, parking, registration and maintenance.

It’s literally “Wheels When You Want Them,” hence why that’s their slogan.

If you’re interested in reserving one of the Zipcars on campus, you can do so online by visiting here.

I Love NY Water is a campaign promoting the benefits of New York’s #1 resource: our tap water. Their goal is to promote the use of reusable water bottles and raise awareness about the real costs associated with disposable bottled water. “Refills, not Landfills” as their motto suggests. In addition to receiving a free reusable water bottle with an I Love NY Water sticker already on it, students were encouraged to take a picture of them using the bottle and post it to social media using the hashtag #ILoveNYWater.

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To request your own I Love New York Water sticker, fill out the online form here.

I hope you will join me in going green at LIU Post and take part in the much larger campus sustainability movement!

How Wasteful is Your Morning Routine?

By: Melissa Colleary, Sustainability Coordinator, LIU Post

Everyone has a different morning routine. Mine, for example, is wake up, make a cup of coffee, sit on the couch and take some time to actually wake up before going to the gym. My routine is very similar to a lot of other people’s routines.

About a year ago, I splurged and bought a Keurig coffee machine. It ended a lot of arguments about what to brew a pot of and less coffee went to waste – they even sold fair trade organic K-cups! How eco-friendly of me, right?

K-cup

Every night when I would return home though, I would straighten up the kitchen, typically throwing away used K-cups. You can’t recycle the plastic, and unlike regular coffee grinds, it’s extremely difficult to compost. With a bunch of dirty plastic filling up my garbage can, I realized that no matter how organic these cups “claimed” to be, they were decaying in landfills and contributing to a pollution problem that we’ve all become rather familiar with.

This raised the issue of what to do with my beloved Keurig machine. I didn’t want to get rid of the convenience of one-cup brewing; however, I also didn’t want to accumulate any more garbage than I needed to.

SOLOFILL_REFILLThe solution happened to be – a little, red plastic cup. It looks exactly like what goes inside of a regular coffee pot, but smaller to fit inside of the Keurig. You just spoon in one tablespoon of grinds every time you want a new cup, and the device is completely reusable. No more K-cup plastic clogging up my garbage can!

I could also compost the leftover grinds!

My issue with the Keurig led me to think about the rest of my morning routine. How green was it really?

I drove to the gym, often drove home to shower, got back in the car, and made my way to school.

This wastes a lot of gas and causes pollution along the way. Unwilling to abandon any part of that routine, I simply changed it up a little bit. I chose a new gym, one on my way to school where I could take my shower before continuing on my way to class. This small change cut back on a lot of travel time and saved me money in the long run.

Every morning we see people in the middle of their own morning routines, holding paper or even styrofoam coffee cups, driving short distances out of convenience, and littering out of their car windows.

All of these practices could be altered in ways that benefit the environment with little impact on one’s day.

Next time you wake up, take a look at your own routine and see where you can make a change because small steps add up; you just have to take them.

Coffee-Not-Trash

We're Back!

After months of inactivity, I am pleased to announce the revival of the LIU Commpost, the campus sustainability blog that I created last year in 2013 for the LIU Post community.

Prior to launching this blog, like many other entities at LIU Post, whether it be a student organization or an academic department, I was having trouble with informing the campus community about all of the great things that we do in terms of sustainability. Therefore, I started thinking of ways that we could go about promoting sustainability without giving our audience information overload.

As a result, I developed the concept of the LIU Commpost, a repository if you will for everything green at LIU Post; hence, its tagline “giving you the dirt on everything green at LIU Post,” definitely one of my more clever moments. Originally, the Commpost was just going to serve as a source of information where readers could receive the most up-to-date details regarding our sustainability efforts. However, over time, it evolved into a forum where students could also publish their research as well as opinion pieces related to sustainability. Somewhere along the line though the Commpost fell dormant.

Definitely my fault, the Commpost became something that simply took the backseat in my life. It wasn’t that it was too much to handle or because I lost interest, but rather something that I just did not have the time for anymore. My last post came right before my graduation.

May 9, 2014…I walked alongside my fellow sustainability major, Juan Carlos Gutierrez, earning our Master’s degrees in Environmental Sustainability, the first two graduates to graduate from this program, a program that is one-of-a-kind on Long Island. Not only was this the end of one chapter in my life, but it was also the beginning (or a continuation as I would soon find out) of a new one.

Like many other college graduates, I now had to go find a job. Despite adding “M.S. in Environmental Sustainability” to my resume, I wasn’t receiving too many calls back. Application after application, the more worried I got. I became worried that this newly earned degree would not serve me well in still a fairly new field. I feared that I wasn’t moving anywhere in my life, and as my bank account quickly approached zero, I feared this even more.

I was at a crossroads. I was literally questioning every decision that I had ever made in my life. Should I have left my hometown of Tampa to come to LIU Post? Should I have gone into the workforce right after attaining my Bachelor’s degree in lieu of pursuing a Master’s? Should I have taken the CPA Exam instead of indefinitely putting it off? Should I have passed on that job opportunity 2 years ago?

My answer to all of these questions is “I don’t know.” What I do know though is that I’m here, I’m still passionate about sustainability, and I’m in a better place than I have ever been before. And the thing that underpins it all is LIU Post.

For those of you who don’t know already, I am now a full-time employee at Long Island University.

July 7, 2014 was my hire date. I officially accepted the position of Campus Life Coordinator within the LIU Post Office of Campus Life. What this entailed was not only sustainability, but also managing one of the 6 residence halls on campus. So, in addition to overseeing many of the campus sustainability initiatives, I would also be overseeing a building that has over 300 residents. I would be a liaison for 10 student organizations, an on-call administrator responsible for responding to emergency situations, a supervisor for 8 resident assistants, and a supervisor for 6 sustainability coordinators.

That’s a lot of responsibility! But like I always am, I’m up for the challenge!

I’ve been doing it for over 4 months now and I am finally at a point where I can add back Editor-in-Chief of the LIU Commpost. I’m very excited for what’s next not just with the Commpost, but with sustainability in general at LIU Post. We are definitely moving in the right direction and we are more sustainable now than ever before. In my 7 years here, I’ve been able to see the word sustainability transform into so much more than just a buzzword. I, along with the many other champions of sustainability here at LIU Post, have helped bring sustainability to the forefront of discussion and the word sustainability is so close to becoming a linchpin for this institution of higher learning.

It’s my hope that with the support of many others, some of whom have been doing this much longer than me, will come forth an institution that says, “Hey, we are going to become the leader in sustainability on Long Island.”

In my mind, it should be us. We have some of the most passionate people that I have ever seen. We have people here that don’t just want to educate us, but rather take that education and use it to change the world.

Without a doubt, I am going to be one of those people. And I’m lucky enough to start doing that here…at LIU Post!

I hope you enjoy what follows. We will be taking some time to catch up from the last 6 months by providing you with updates on what’s already happened. However, we’ll be giving you regular updates as well. We have a lot of cool stuff going on and much, much more in the pipeline. I sincerely hope you check it out and spread the dirt by telling others about The LIU Commpost.

With gratitude,

William Achnitz III

We’re Back!

After months of inactivity, I am pleased to announce the revival of the LIU Commpost, the campus sustainability blog that I created last year in 2013 for the LIU Post community.

Prior to launching this blog, like many other entities at LIU Post, whether it be a student organization or an academic department, I was having trouble with informing the campus community about all of the great things that we do in terms of sustainability. Therefore, I started thinking of ways that we could go about promoting sustainability without giving our audience information overload.

As a result, I developed the concept of the LIU Commpost, a repository if you will for everything green at LIU Post; hence, its tagline “giving you the dirt on everything green at LIU Post,” definitely one of my more clever moments. Originally, the Commpost was just going to serve as a source of information where readers could receive the most up-to-date details regarding our sustainability efforts. However, over time, it evolved into a forum where students could also publish their research as well as opinion pieces related to sustainability. Somewhere along the line though the Commpost fell dormant.

Definitely my fault, the Commpost became something that simply took the backseat in my life. It wasn’t that it was too much to handle or because I lost interest, but rather something that I just did not have the time for anymore. My last post came right before my graduation.

May 9, 2014…I walked alongside my fellow sustainability major, Juan Carlos Gutierrez, earning our Master’s degrees in Environmental Sustainability, the first two graduates to graduate from this program, a program that is one-of-a-kind on Long Island. Not only was this the end of one chapter in my life, but it was also the beginning (or a continuation as I would soon find out) of a new one.

Like many other college graduates, I now had to go find a job. Despite adding “M.S. in Environmental Sustainability” to my resume, I wasn’t receiving too many calls back. Application after application, the more worried I got. I became worried that this newly earned degree would not serve me well in still a fairly new field. I feared that I wasn’t moving anywhere in my life, and as my bank account quickly approached zero, I feared this even more.

I was at a crossroads. I was literally questioning every decision that I had ever made in my life. Should I have left my hometown of Tampa to come to LIU Post? Should I have gone into the workforce right after attaining my Bachelor’s degree in lieu of pursuing a Master’s? Should I have taken the CPA Exam instead of indefinitely putting it off? Should I have passed on that job opportunity 2 years ago?

My answer to all of these questions is “I don’t know.” What I do know though is that I’m here, I’m still passionate about sustainability, and I’m in a better place than I have ever been before. And the thing that underpins it all is LIU Post.

For those of you who don’t know already, I am now a full-time employee at Long Island University.

July 7, 2014 was my hire date. I officially accepted the position of Campus Life Coordinator within the LIU Post Office of Campus Life. What this entailed was not only sustainability, but also managing one of the 6 residence halls on campus. So, in addition to overseeing many of the campus sustainability initiatives, I would also be overseeing a building that has over 300 residents. I would be a liaison for 10 student organizations, an on-call administrator responsible for responding to emergency situations, a supervisor for 8 resident assistants, and a supervisor for 6 sustainability coordinators.

That’s a lot of responsibility! But like I always am, I’m up for the challenge!

I’ve been doing it for over 4 months now and I am finally at a point where I can add back Editor-in-Chief of the LIU Commpost. I’m very excited for what’s next not just with the Commpost, but with sustainability in general at LIU Post. We are definitely moving in the right direction and we are more sustainable now than ever before. In my 7 years here, I’ve been able to see the word sustainability transform into so much more than just a buzzword. I, along with the many other champions of sustainability here at LIU Post, have helped bring sustainability to the forefront of discussion and the word sustainability is so close to becoming a linchpin for this institution of higher learning.

It’s my hope that with the support of many others, some of whom have been doing this much longer than me, will come forth an institution that says, “Hey, we are going to become the leader in sustainability on Long Island.”

In my mind, it should be us. We have some of the most passionate people that I have ever seen. We have people here that don’t just want to educate us, but rather take that education and use it to change the world.

Without a doubt, I am going to be one of those people. And I’m lucky enough to start doing that here…at LIU Post!

I hope you enjoy what follows. We will be taking some time to catch up from the last 6 months by providing you with updates on what’s already happened. However, we’ll be giving you regular updates as well. We have a lot of cool stuff going on and much, much more in the pipeline. I sincerely hope you check it out and spread the dirt by telling others about The LIU Commpost.

With gratitude,

William Achnitz III