Tag Archives: Waste Reduction

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

From The Desk of A Green Office – Facilities Services

At the beginning of this semester, the Green Office Program at LIU Post hosted a recruitment competition – Who could get the most offices to sign up?

The first office to get 3 other offices to take and submit the Green Office Pledge would win LIU Post Recycling drawstring bags for their entire office. A few offices participated, but no one tried harder to win than Beth Funfgeld from the Department of Facilities Services.

Within a week, Beth had secured the win for her office. Almost immediately after reading the email about the competition, Beth was on the horn recruiting new Green Offices. And by week’s end, Beth had easily reached the target of 3 offices by getting the staffs at Mailing Services, Office Services, and our Central Heating Plant to all sign up for the Green Office Program.

Beth

Beth Funfgeld won her entire office these LIU Post Recycling bags by getting 3 other offices to take and submit the LIU Post Green Office Pledge

It doesn’t really come as a surprise that Beth would win the competition for her office. Not only does Facilities Services have a long history of being green, but Beth also has a knack for competition. She says she loves to enter contests and she believes in the Green Office Program and wants to see every office at LIU Post take the pledge.

Beth says,

“We all [at Facilities Services] want a better future for our children and grandchildren. We also want to reduce costs for the University and when we do things like recycle, we can actually generate funds for the college.”

Facilities Services doesn’t just help the environment by recycling though. In fact, sustainability is embedded in their culture and they all do things like use their reusable coffee mugs, carpool to and from work, and shut off rows of lights when not needed.

The Department of Facilities Services is leading by example when it comes to sustainability and Beth Funfgeld is just one of the shining examples of the many people that are working hard to make Long Island University a more sustainable place.

To sign up and participate in the Green Office Program, please click here.

RecycleMania Is Upon Us!

RecycleMania yet again descends upon the LIU Post campus.

For the 3rd year in a row now, LIU Post will be competing in the largest recycling competition in North America, the RecycleMania Tournament.

RM_logo_2014

Born in 2001, RecycleMania was the end result of two recycling coordinators from Ohio University and Miami University challenging each other to see which one of their schools could recycle the most. The two schools leveraged their existing sports rivalry and decided to apply it to recycling. Ever since, the amount of schools participating in RecycleMania has increased and now there are 461 colleges and universities competing in the 2014 RecycleMania Tournament spanning all 50 states and 4 Canadian provinces.

RM growth

Growth of the RecycleMania Tournament

LIU Post is looking to improve upon last year’s standings and we hope that you will join in the effort of making that happen by minimizing your waste and recycling as much as you can.

The Tournament runs through the end of March. So, make sure you do everything you can to help LIU Post win!

Also, check back often for RecycleMania updates!!!

LIU Post Adds More Hydration Stations

Over the course of the last 2 years, many water bottle filling stations have been installed by the Department of Facilities Services at LIU Post. And after receiving an enormous amount of positive feedback from students as well as the Student Government Association, Facilities Services decided to add a hydration station to the lobby of each residence hall, bringing the total amount of hydration stations on campus to 21.

These water bottle filling stations not only filter the tap water, but they have a Green Counter that visually displays a count of the plastic water bottles saved from landfill. Therefore, students can do their part to reduce plastic pollution by filling up their reusable water bottles while at the same time enjoying the fresh, cold, crisp water that these hydration stations provide.

SGA President Dan Potenzieri, a strong supporter of this initiative said:

Since the beginning of the 2013-14 school year, SGA has been working with Facilities Services and the Sustainability Committee to get more hydration stations on campus, particularly in the residence halls. The push to get these installed not only came from student need, but also to provide a service to resident students that impacted their health, finances, and the environment all in a positive way.

Frank

Frank from Queens Hall refilling his reusable water bottle.

Thus far, students have responded rather enthusiastically to the new hydration stations as seen in the amount of plastic water bottles saved in the Green Counter. In fact, the newly installed hydration stations in the residence halls have already saved over 2,300 plastic water bottles in a period of just 2 weeks.

When asked about why this initiative was important, Bill Kirker, the Director of Facilities Services said:

“The timing was right. There was increasing talk about water bottle filling stations and we saw it as a good direction to go in as far as providing not just filtered water for people, but a way to conveniently fill their own bottle. Everything came together at the same time.”

Jerrome Warden, a resident student from Riggs Hall, said it best: “Hydration station is as fun to say as it is to drink from.”

Do your part and utilize one of our many hydration stations!

Water Refill Station Stats

From The Desk of A Green Office – Continuing Education & The Hutton House Lectures

Officially launching in the spring of 2013, the LIU Post Green Office Program has grown to include 15 offices.

In this new series “From The Desk of A Green Office,” we will be highlighting some of the measures taken by these offices in order to become more sustainable.

This week, we will look at the School of Continuing Education and the Hutton House Lectures.

One of our most recent participants, this office has already made strides in becoming a more sustainable workplace. For example, they have already taken measures to reduce the amount of paper that is printed in their office.

Kay Sato, the Assistant Provost for Continuing Education and Hutton House Lectures, said:

“When we realized that reams of paper were disappearing at an alarming rate, we knew that something had to be done. We then thought of the Green Office Program, which encourages all participating offices to use e-documents whenever possible. And being that we have found that e-documents are becoming more and more accepted we have committed to using them as much as possible rather than printing. Using e-documents whenever possible is certainly the right thing to do for people who really care about the planet!”

In addition to their commitment to use less paper, they are also implementing more sustainable purchasing decisions. For example, instead of serving coffee in Styrofoam cups which are not recyclable, the School of Continuing Education and the Hutton House Lectures will now serve coffee in paper cups that are SFI-certified, which means that the product comes from a company that implements sustainable forestry methods.

Continuing Ed

Staff from the School of Continuing Education and Hutton House Lectures enjoying coffee in their new sustainable cups.

Click here for more information about the Green Office Program.

From The Desk of A Green Office – Continuing Education & The Hutton House Lectures

Officially launching in the spring of 2013, the LIU Post Green Office Program has grown to include 15 offices.

In this new series “From The Desk of A Green Office,” we will be highlighting some of the measures taken by these offices in order to become more sustainable.

This week, we will look at the School of Continuing Education and the Hutton House Lectures.

One of our most recent participants, this office has already made strides in becoming a more sustainable workplace. For example, they have already taken measures to reduce the amount of paper that is printed in their office.

Kay Sato, the Assistant Provost for Continuing Education and Hutton House Lectures, said:

“When we realized that reams of paper were disappearing at an alarming rate, we knew that something had to be done. We then thought of the Green Office Program, which encourages all participating offices to use e-documents whenever possible. And being that we have found that e-documents are becoming more and more accepted we have committed to using them as much as possible rather than printing. Using e-documents whenever possible is certainly the right thing to do for people who really care about the planet!”

In addition to their commitment to use less paper, they are also implementing more sustainable purchasing decisions. For example, instead of serving coffee in Styrofoam cups which are not recyclable, the School of Continuing Education and the Hutton House Lectures will now serve coffee in paper cups that are SFI-certified, which means that the product comes from a company that implements sustainable forestry methods.

Continuing Ed

Staff from the School of Continuing Education and Hutton House Lectures enjoying coffee in their new sustainable cups.

Click here for more information about the Green Office Program.

LIU Post Debuts Waste Snapshot

Long Island is known for many things – beautiful beaches, Fire Island, the Montauk lighthouse, and the glamor of the Hamptons. However, in 1987, Long Island became known for something that wasn’t as glamorous – its garbage.

Arguably one of the trashiest stories to ever hit the media, the journey of the Mobro 4000 and its 3,168 tons of garbage from Long Island to Belize and back to Long Island highlighted America’s growing waste problem and brought the topic to the forefront of national discussion. It also brought a lot of attention to the need for recycling and it is often credited for sparking the higher recycling rates seen in the late 1980s.

Mobro 4000

Originally slated to dispose its waste in North Carolina, the Mobro 4000 was denied and subsequently denied everywhere else as far south as Belize. Ultimately, it was forced to come back to Long Island where it was met with a temporary restraining order. Finally, after spending over 6 months at sea, the trash was incinerated in Brooklyn.

Even to this day, Long Islanders are some of the largest producers of waste. In fact, according to a 2008 report by the Citizens Campaign For The Environment, Long Islanders generate nearly 9 pounds per person per day of waste, which is nearly double the national average of 4.4 pounds.

Being that landfill space is very limited on Long Island, it has never been more important to recycle. In fact, because of the Long Island Landfill Law that was enacted in 1990, many landfills have been closed in order to further safeguard Long Island’s sole source aquifer, the primary source of drinking water for all Long Islanders. That means we must either recycle or haul our remaining trash to upstate or out-of-state landfills, some as far west as Ohio.

Unfortunately, we are still exporting a fairly large portion of this waste off Long Island. In fact, an article in the New York Times estimated that roughly 1.1 million tons or 30 percent of the total waste stream gets hauled off Long Island to out-of-state landfills and waste facilities, which is equivalent to about 50,000 tractor-trailer loads of garbage per year.

Being committed to waste reduction and recycling, LIU Post is always searching for ways to become more sustainable. In terms of waste, we have taken the time to analyze and measure each individual waste stream that gets disposed of on campus and we have compiled that information into a  waste snapshot that details the entire disposal process for each item.

Whether it ended up in a recycling bin or a trash can, users can expect to learn about how the product will be disposed and in some cases what that product will become in its second life.

We hope that this snapshot will educate our campus community about the many recycling initiatives that we have going on at our campus. And ultimately, we hope that it will inspire them to recycle as much as possible being that waste is something that all of us produce on a daily basis.

LIU Post Diverts 17% of Waste At Last Home Football Game

On Saturday, November 9th, 2013, LIU Post participated in the Game Day Recycling Challenge for the second year in a row.

With over 700 fans at the game, the LIU Post Recycling Program managed to recycle 17% of the total waste generated thereby reducing our greenhouse gas emissions by 190 pounds of CO2e.

The LIU Post Recycling Program would like to thank all of the fans that came to support the LIU Post Pioneer Football team and this endeavor in addition to the volunteers from the LIU Post Baseball team.

IMAG0256

LIU Post Baseball Players
Rich Maccarone, Joe Arena, Tom Tolan, Matt Bowers

LIU Post Set To Compete And Recycle On Game Day

Game Day Challenge

This Saturday, November 9th, at 12:00pm, the LIU Post Pioneers will be playing their final home football game of the season against Assumption College.

In addition to contending on the gridiron, LIU Post will also be competing in the 2013 Game Day Recycling Challenge. Run by a partnership of the College and University Recycling Coalition (CURC), RecycleMania, and Keep America Beautiful (KAB), the Game Day Recycling Challenge is a friendly competition for colleges and universities to promote waste reduction at their football games.

So, along with implementing measures to reduce waste, members of the LIU Post Recycling Program will be on hand to encourage fans to recycle as much as possible. If you have any questions about this initiative or recycling, please be sure to find a member of our recycling team at the game and they’d be more than happy to assist you.

Also, all of the money raised from the 5-cent deposits on the bottles and cans recycled at the game will be put towards the LIU Post Recycling Scholarship.

Go Pioneers!

Go Green And Get Crafty

RA AmandaPlease join RA Amanda in Queens Hall for her “Go Green And Get Crafty” event. Attendees will learn about the LIU Post Recycling Program and how they can get involved in making our campus become more sustainable.

Attendees will also get to make rainbow loom bracelets and bracelets out of recycled buttons.