Friday, November 19, 2010

Green Team Blog 11/19/2010-Contributed by: Dante Del Giudice and Jennifer Giroux

The Green Team conducted a Ĺ’debriefing¹ of the September 25 campus Green Up,
Clean up with the assistance of Patricia Nolin, Special Assistant to the
President, during their October meeting. The Clean Up event was deemed very
successful from many standpoints, but the most interesting information came
from the trash stream data analysis provided by Henry Barnard School (HBS)
students with the assistance of their teacher (and Green Team member) Marty

Cigarette butts and beverage containers accounted for over 80% of trash
collected. HBS students found this surprising and unacceptable and they had
very specific recommendations for the Green Team. The HBS students have
offered to help conduct non-smoking and anti-litter campaigns to educate RIC
students, faculty, and staff. The Green Team response to these suggestions
was positive, and the prospect of school children initiating and leading
campaigns for adult green education was a refreshing, heartening, and truly
original idea.

Each month, the Green Team meetings are well attended by a wide variety of
campus community members. If you haven¹t attended a meeting, I encourage you
to do so in the upcoming months. If you are interested in learning more
about us or would like to join the mailing list, please contact me at Together we are making a difference!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Comments about the Sept. 27th Anchor Article

Did you all see page 11 of the September 27 Anchor? It had articles about the green-up clean=up day event and a letter lamenting the loss of half-price bus discounts for RIC students.

The clean-up day article was quite comprehensive, but was written before we had any tallies about what is in the litter stream. But now that the tally results are available, this gives an opportunity for the Green Team to designate someone to describe the results in a follow-up article. We now know the prevalence of cigarette butts, so this is an opportunity to remind smokers about proper disposal.

As for the bus issue, with the added RIPTA fare increase, RIC student monthly passes went from $27.50 to $62. By providing (expensive!) "free" parking here while eliminating the bus discount, our Board of Governors is adopting a policy that not only encourages pollution and congestion on our roads, it is regressive as students who may not be able to afford a car subsidize, with tuition money, those who drive and park free. It is ironic we have a fee to use the library, but not the parking lots! The next Board meeting is at RIC on Nov 4, perhaps the Green Team should make a presentation asking the Board to re-join the Upass discount system (which URI still has as well as almost all the private colleges.)


Friday, September 17, 2010

Minutes of Green Team Meeting 9/16/2010 and Eileen's Thoughts

Friday, September 17, 2010

This is the first posting for RIC’s Green Team blog. We are a diverse group of students, faculty, staff, and administrators here at Rhode Island College who care about environmental issues and want to make where we work a healthier and more efficient (saving energy and the earth) place.

This blog will be a place where we present our minutes of the meetings for everyone to read and an opportunity to share our thoughts about green issues. I eagerly volunteered to get us stared with this blog and then we will rotate the responsibility to each Green Team Member can have a turn sharing so here goes….

At our meeting today, Thursday September 15th, 2010, the RIC Green Team talked about the Green Team sponsoring the Clean Up Day next Saturday, September 25 from 9-1pm. Come join the fun as we clean and improve our campus.

Jennifer, Barry, and Jim worked the Green Table for Student Activities Day on Wednesday. They had 20 students sign up for the Clean Up Day and many asked them about biking and commuting. The tree walk maps were passed out too, and students loved learning about these walks. We hope to scan and get a tree walk pamphlet scanned and up on our website or on this blog soon!

Recycle a Bike is donating two cruiser bikes that will be housed in the Student Union.

We were presented with a map of where the new campus bike racks were going to be placed and we were all excited about this initiative. There was discussion about the Vehicular Traffic policy that related to bikes and there is a statement that is in the process of being revised that will allow bike riding on the campus mall beginning October 1st. We questioned why there were not any bike racks near the dorms.

The Transportation Sub Committee reported that the new bus routes and the problems in front of Roberts Hall have been resolved. RIPTA (Rhode Island Transit Authority) schedules should be readily accessible and it was noted there is one posted inside at Roberts Hall. We hope to have a permanent place to make these bus schedules available. Issues were raised about why RIC students are not allocated the 50% discount to ride the buses, but the RIPTA printed schedule notes that URI and CCRI students do receive a half off discount.

Finally, we deliberated how to pay for the light switches to place around the campus to remind everyone to turn off lights and power when not in use.

Eileen’s Personal Thoughts (At the end of briefly telling you about our meetings each person will be able to share):
It has been great working with the Green Team at RIC, from the large general first meeting last February, to the monthly meetings since last March. In this short time, we have been productive in setting and completing some initiatives. I really can’t remember how or why I became a green “nut” because my kids would tell you years ago I really didn’t care about recycling or green things. For the past 5 or 6 years I have become a fanatic about green issues. I have become a real recycle advocate as well and try not to have much trash at home or work. My neighbor allows me to use her compost, too. Yes, I even drive a Prius!

This is my second year at RIC and I am truly impressed with the commitment to the campus. The new bright red(or is it moroon?) trash canisters that were placed around this summer and the multi unit bins for recycling are a huge help.

I hope the Transportation Sub Committee explores how we can go back to offering a discount to RIC students (I wonder what the history is here with the discounting) for RIPTA busing, too. My son is in a PhD program at Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburg and he receives free busing and free passes to every museum in the city; this is such a great incentive for students to use public transportation and to soak in the culture.

Yes, we need to help others commute, ride bikes, and recycle. I wish I could ride a bike to work but it would take a little too long to get here (I live over the MA border)!!!! Maybe I will try to do that on ride your bike to work day in the spring!!

Post comments and ideas for the Green Team at RIC here and come join the fun as we make a difference contributing to a low carbon footprint.