Many people never see me tucked away in my plant-filled office in the Library, but I get out and about on campus as a long-standing member of the Recycling & Sustainability Committee (RSC). We have led campus cleanups on Earth Day, planted trees for each value of the Fisher Creed, built bird houses for the golf course, and hosted the annual Sustainability Fair and recycling drives. Here are a few other things that my sustainability-minded friends on the committee and I have done:
- To keep used books out of landfills, the Library has two carousels full of books (and the occasional video) just inside the vestibule. This give-a-book/take-a-book is completely free; just keep it in mind the next time you’re looking to clean up your bookshelves.
- In the past, hundreds of pounds of wasted food were being thrown out in Ward/Haffey. Volunteers collected the food to clearly show how much food was being wasted. We also encouraged students and faculty to stop using cafeteria trays; they are one more item to be washed (which wastes water and energy), and make it easier to pile up more food than one person can eat.
- The Library staff were part of a pilot project to give up individual trash cans under our desks for more centralized bins, saving on plastic liners and saving the housekeepers’ time.
- Working with the Facilities Department, we created the signs you see at every trash/recycling center, to answer: “Can this be recycled, or is it trash?”
- When the Library installed a Keurig coffee maker for patron-use, at our request, Library Director Melissa Jadlos agreed to pay to recycle the used pods.
- The Sustainability Minor Program directed by Mike Boller, another long-time RSC member, encourages students to learn more about how sustainability can be practiced, within many academic fields, and by schools and businesses worldwide.
- Recycling was made easier by embracing the new Monroe County Recycling Center’s Single-Stream initiative and the additional recycling of plastics labels 3-7.
Information about upcoming green activities on campus and around Monroe County are noted on our Facebook Page. Information about how you can make a difference to your world can be found on our website, Fisher Goes Green. There are many ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle the things we buy!
Everyday you are expanding your brains, either in class or at Lavery Library; don’t forget to also develop a greener mind. Because Sustainability is so closely related to the long-term health and well-being of humanity, this year we are combining our Sustainability Fair with the Healthy Living Fair. This event, which will include electronics recycling, will be held on Thursday, October 6, 11AM – 2PM, on LeChase Commons in front of Lavery Library. Please join your fellow students, professors, and staff to learn more about going green.
Lynn Seavy, Lavery Library Office Manager
“What you do today can improve all your tomorrows” ~Ralph Marston