Tag Archives: Sustainability

Linfield’s Portland campus promotes sustainability

Just last year, Portland was rated the No. 1 city in the country for sustainability.

Linfield’s Portland campus is right on track with numerous sustainability projects and campaigns that have the whole campus eager to participate.

Similar to the Mac campus, they have composting receptacles and are piloting a composting program in the residential areas.

They also utilize compostable dishes and napkins at large events.

Their ASLC provides reusable silverware to students who commute and bring lunch (which is about 80% of their student body).

Campus events also offer extra raffle tickets at events with prizes to those students who bring their own plates.

Both of these efforts have had a large impact on their waste reduction.

To encourage bike commuting, Student Life bought u-locks that they loan out to students for free (similar to what we do at the Bike Co-Op).

They’re also looking into Bike Lockers to keep residential students’ bikes out of the weather during the winter months or when students are gone for extended periods of time (such as during Jan term).

Along the lines of transportation, they offer discounted or free tickets and passes for students to utilize the public transportation in Portland.

Even better, they have a monthly Commuter Challenge where students and staff who commute via bike, mass transit, and carpool get to log their alternative commuting and earn raffle tickets to win prizes – a successful program that has encouraged alternative transportation.

Moreover, their ResLife and Student Life sponsor trips on mass transit to local farmers markets, encouraging students to connect with local food sources.

And finally, the Mac campus Facilities department has been helping the Portland custodial services switch over to more environmentally responsible cleaning products.

Way to go, Portland campus!

We have a lot we can learn from them – perhaps we will adopt some of their ideas.

What do you think about the Portland campus’ efforts? What would help you participate in a more sustainable Linfield community?

Here’s at least one answer: participate in one (or all!) of the numerous Earth Week events taking place April 18th-26th!

Be on the look out for information regarding all of the events, including the second annual Earth Games (which you can sign up for here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/EarthGames.

We are always looking for new ideas to help improve our sustainability efforts on campus.

Let us know what sustainability efforts or ideas you are interested in seeing on campus.

We really want to make them happen!

Email sustainability@linfield.edu with your suggestions or stop by our office in Cozine.


Katricia Stewart

Office of Sustainability

The Office of Sustainability can be reached at sustainability@linfield.edu

Linfield students volunteer over spring break

For most college students, spring break entails sleeping until noon, eating junk food, and drinking way too much.

However, there are some among us that used their spring break enthusiasm to better our world. The nine Linfield students enrolled in the Green Outreach Alternative Spring Break program did just that.

By threading sustainability into multiple service projects, from land conservation, to farming, to home building for the poor, participants not only contributed to “green” projects in the area, but to also learned about the mindset and practices of sustainability.

All in all, it was a huge success.

To kick things off, they headed out on Saturday March 22 to work at Westwind, a gorgeous 529-acre wilderness area on the Oregon coast.

They divided into groups with fellow stewards to clear brush, rebuild a deck, fix up hiking trails, and construct a paddleboard shed.

These long days were rewarded by beautiful views, good food, and thoughtful discussions.

“Getting the opportunity to contribute to [Westwind’s preservation] was really powerful,” and provided an “energizing start” to the week of service, according to Program Leader Kaleigh Andsell.

After leaving Westwind, students traveled back to McMinnville and spent a few days volunteering on various projects around the community.

Monday March 24 and Tuesday March 25 were spent working at Walnut City Farm and learning about sustainable agriculture and food systems.

On Wednesday March 26, they helped make the foundations for Habitat for Humanity houses and learned about sustainable building practices.

In their last days, the group brought the “susty” effort to campus.

They conducted a waste stream analysis (sorted garbage) to find out how much recyclable or compostable material was ending up in the trash, finding that over 50 percent of it could have been diverted.

During this time, they also worked in the Linfield Garden.

Duncan Reid, Sustainability Coordinator and Faculty Adviser to the program, said that he was pleasantly surprised by how much they got done.

“The Linfield Garden looks better than it ever has,” Reid said.

With the bimonthly garden work parties, it can only improve. If you’re interested in participating, the next work party will be on April 19.

Looking back, both Reid and Andsell are grateful for the diverse backgrounds and opinions of all participants, and are very appreciative of the collective work ethic.

This excellent combination of people made for a productive and stimulating week of learning, working, and general green outreach merry-making.

Alaire Hughey

Office of Sustainability

The office of Sustainability can be reached at sustainability@linfield.edu

Making zero waste strategies achievable

Hey Wildcats. What do you think of when you hear Zero Waste?

What does that mean to you?

When I think of zero waste I think of a system that creates zero waste in resources, zero waste in production activities, zero waste in products, zero emissions, and zero use of toxins.

That may sound unachievable, but I believe it is a good goal to strive for.

Why is a philosophy of zero waste important? Waste causes a great loss of value and resources.

To achieve a sustainable future, extreme efficiency in the use of all resources will be required in order to meet the needs of all of the earth’s inhabitants.

A Zero Waste strategy directly supports this requirement.

Are you wondering how you can contribute? How about hold a zero waste event.

Preserve Dishware is now available for Linfield events. Using this dishware eliminates the need for disposable dishware; therefore, nothing has to be sent to the landfill.

The dishware is made of 100 percent recycled material as well as it is 100 percent reusable.

There are three easy steps to using Preserve dishware: First, email reserve@linfield.edu with your desired quantity of plates, bowls, cups and flatware or select desired quantity on the Activities Event Planning Form.

Then, pick up your Preserve dishware from Dillin Hall the day of your event.

Finally, after the usage, return your used dishware to Dillin Hall.

Of course, don’t forget to make sure your event has a recycling and compost bin.

Currently we have a growing population faced with limits of resources from the environment.

Our society and industrial systems must move from being primarily a linear system to being cyclical.

Cyclical systems reuse everything so no waste is produced.

Materials must be used as efficiently as possible. Hosting events with Preserve dishware provides a great opportunity to make a difference and reduce our impacts.

I see Zero Waste as a solution to our needs and the key to our future. Zero solid waste, zero hazardous waste, zero toxic emissions, zero material waste, zero energy waste and zero waste of human resources will protect the environment and lead to a much more productive, efficient, and sustainable future.

The use of an endpoint goal of “zero” recognizes that making small steps without a goal may not achieve a sustainable future while use of a clear defined goal will lead to more rapid improvements.

Zero Waste promotes not only reuse and recycling, but also, and more importantly, promotes prevention – designs that consider the entire product life cycle.

These new designs will strive for reduced materials use, use of recycled materials, use of more benign materials, longer product lives, and reparability.

Thanks for doing your part in making Linfield a most sustainable place. Email us at sustainability@linfield.edu to tell us about your zero waste event or any ideas you have to forward Linfield on a more Zero Waste system.

Nicole Lewis

Office of Sustainability

The office of sustainability can be reached at sustainability@linfield.edu


Linfield starts composting

This year Linfield took sustainability to a whole new level when it comes to having zero waste and feeding local pigs, with the Zero Waste Project.

The goal of the Zero Waste Project is to keep as much waste out of the Riverbend Landfill and make our campus waste go to zero.

Ducan Reid, Linfield’s sustainability coordinator, has been a major influence in helping Linfield start composting. Not only does Linfield compost, but the compost from our school is picked up on a weekly basis and sent to a local pig farm.

The pig farm processes the compost by heating it up to kill potentially harmful bacteria and run under a magnet to make sure there is no metal that could harm the pigs.

Once the pigs are past adolescence they are sent to Karlton Farms, located in Yamhill Valley, where they are prepared for grocery stores.

At the moment, there are only compost bins in dorm rooms where there are Green Chair students. Green Chair representatives take the compost to the bins located behind Dillin Hall.

Currently students on the Zero Waste Project are working on documenting how much our school composts.

They take a volume measurement, but that doesn’t mean everything in the compost belongs in it.

“It is going really well,” Reid said. “Success isn’t based on the amount, but the contamination of the compost.”

Green Chair position holders will look at the compost before it is put in the larger bins, but everyone is still learning what belongs in the compost and what doesn’t.

“We aren’t at the forefront, but I think we are doing very well,” said Reid. “In order to keep up we need to keep expanding.”

Reid would like to see Sodexo purchase all of its meat from local farms, like Karlton Farms. This would allow Linfield to not only feed the local pigs from our waste, but then purchase the pigs we are helping feed. But in order for Sodexo to purchase 100 percent of its meat from local farms they would need more money from students.

If your dorm doesn’t have a Green Chair representative, you can still participate in the Zero Waste Project.

There are compost bins located around campus, including one in Riley on the first floor, that are available for anyone to use.

Contact Duncan Reid, or the office of sustainability sustainability@linfield.edu, to receive a pamphlet on what is compostable and most importantly, what is appropriate for pigs to eat.

Rachael Gernhart / Staff writer

Rachael        Gernhart      can                 be                   reached        at


Wildstock 2014 going to be a waste free event

On March 15, the Associated Students of Linfield College office will be announcing this year’s Wildstock performer.

While Wildstock offers students a chance to wind down, relax, and blow off some steam before cramming for their finals, this year Linfield College welcomes several new additions to the event in collaboration with the Office of Sustainability.

Partnering with Prosource Bag L.L.C and Recology, Linfield College will be supplying the Wildstock event with compostable silverware, plates, and cups.

By purchasing compostable products for Linfield students to use when enjoying Thai Country, Rib Slayer, or any of the other local restaurants which cater the event, Linfield College plans to educate the student body on the importance of minimizing their waste stream while moving forward towards a more sustainable zero waste campus.

Roughly three and a half miles south of Linfield College, the Riverbend Landfill run by Waste Management gathers trash from surrounding cities in the Pacific Northwest.

With the Riverbend Landfill in such close proximity to Linfield College, students are given the rare opportunity to see directly where their waste goes and the impact that it has on a community with a rich agricultural history.

Back in May of 2013, The Department of Environmental Quality announced its approval of the Riverbend Landfill’s controversial plan to increase its capacity by building a mechanically-stabilized earthen berm to rise 40-feet along the highway side of the landfill.

With many farmers and community members in opposition of the growth, McMinnville’s best option now seems to be how can we minimize our waste stream.

Also, what steps are we willing to take to do so?

For those interested, The Riverbend Landfill, offers daily tours of the site for individuals to stop by and learn more about the landfill itself and ways in which Waste Management is working to slow its growth.

Along with the procurement of compostable product ware for Wildstock, McMinnville Water & Light will be providing water fill stations for the event.

With the implementation of these stations, students are encouraged to bring their own reusable water bottles as there will be a limited number of compostable cups.

For more information surrounding Wildstock 2014 and its collaboration with The Office of Sustainability, check out www.linfield.edu/sustainability.

Duncan Reid / Office of Sustainability

The Office of Sustainability can be reached at sustainability@Linfield.edu