Tag Archives: Sustainability


As the cold days of winter approach, it gets easier to convince oneself that an extra five minutes in a hot shower or cranking up the heater a couple more degrees won’t hurt. And despite recent sunny weather, soon the days will shorten and we’ll use more electricity by turning on the lights more often. And if you’re anything like me and become gloomy from dark days along with the stress of midterms, you might begin to get caught up in these excuses to keep yourself from going crazy! But there is hope!

This past Monday the 14th, Dr. Gary Machlis, Science Advisor to the Director of the National Park Service and Professor of Conservation at the University of Idaho, gave an inspiring speech about the Ecology of Hope and Devastation in terms of the effects of warfare on ecology, which he began by describing the ambivalence of human interactions with the environment. How does this relate to sustainability, you ask? Well, one goal of sustainability is to preserve the natural resources of Earth for future use, therefore, human interactions with the environment is a huge factor in this.

In this discussion, he explained what he called “the ecology of hope”, and touched on key aspects related to sustainable practices, such as urban agriculture. How exactly is this a symbol of hope? In terms of sustainability, participating in activities such as urban gardening gives communities a healthy way to fresh food that reduces negative environmental impacts by reducing the carbon footprint of transporting foods across the country or reducing chemicals used in the mass-production of foods by not consuming it. However, in terms of this “ecology of hope”, investing in sustainable practices today is investing in a better future. Dr. Machlis continued to mention the importance of time, meaning most major problems won’t be solved right away, but through smaller everyday practices and goals.

So, cutting that hot shower down to 10 min instead of 15, or adding an extra blanket instead of cranking up the heat really does make a difference in the long run. Of course it takes more than this to reach the overall goal, but this isn’t to deter you from doing these little things, it’s to encourage. Together, these little things will add up to big things and before you know it, sustainability becomes second nature. Find tips on how to be more sustainable on fliers around campus or talk to someone from the Sustainability Office. Together we can make a difference.

-Sustainability Board

Linfield recognized at international conference

Hello again Wildcats! I am writing to you from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education in Nashville, Tenn.

This is an international gathering of sustainability professionals in higher education.

The conference has been exceedingly rich to say the least; hundreds of sessions focusing on different aspects of sustainability from zero waste and community gardens to divestment plans and conversations about sustainable purchasing policies.

I have met folks from colleges and universities all across the country and even some from as far away as Mexico, South Africa and Denmark.

The keynote speakers at the conference have been inspiring to say the least.

Raj Patel, author of “Stuffed and Starved and The Value of Nothing,” challenged the audience to question the context of our current food system and explore more sustainable alternatives in our campus communities.

There were also a diverse array of vendors who were offering products such as water bottle refill stations, recycled bike shelters and sustainable paper products.

Needless to say, the vast amount of resources both physical and intellectual was somewhat overwhelming.

Besides the amazing learning opportunities at the conference, we were lucky enough to have been accepted to present about our Sustainable Agriculture Internship summer program.

Last summer’s pilot program provided inspiration and information for the broader sustainability in higher education community.

Several other schools were presenting about their campus garden and sustainable agriculture programs as well.

It was gratifying to see that Linfield can be a leader in sustainability in the international sustainability community.

If you would like to see a video about the program, please visit our Linfield Sustainability Facebook page.

The AASHE conference was an amazing experience and an incredible resource for sustainability in higher education.

Next year the conference will be hosted in Portland, Ore. and the Office of Sustainability will provide opportunities for Linfield students to attend the conference.

If students are working on a sustainability project and would like to present a poster presentation, submissions will be due to AASHE in March 2014.

Who knows?

You might be presenting at AASHE next year.

Duncan Reid / Sustainability Coordinator

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

Recycling program, resources revamped

As many students and staff may have noticed, there are several new easy-to-use recycling and compost bins placed around campus for all to use.

After an environmental sociology class on campus found a high percentage of recyclable material in trash bins, Linfield’s Sustainability Office, Greenfield and facilities came together to find a way to make the campus more sustainable.

The new bins are placed in Riley Hall, T.J. Day Hall, Elkinton, Frerichs and in the Health and in the Human Performance and Athletics building.

There are also plans to place larger, more durable bins outside of Dillin Hall.

Two sets of four bins are also in storage that students can use for any club or organization events.

“With three parties focused on similar issues, I saw and opportunity for a campus wide project,” Duncan Reid, sustainability coordinator in the Office of Sustainability, said in an email. “And the zero waste campaign was born.”

The bins are 90 percent recycled material, and were purchased during the 2013 summer and put around campus during the first week of classes.

Students and staff that were involved spent a great deal of time on the graphics and design of the new bins.

The goal was to make the bins noticeable and easy to use for everyone, even those not as passionate about zero waste as

students and staff involved in Greenfield or the sustainability office.

“We were seeing a need for a different system on campus,” said junior Katricia Stewart, president of Greenfield. “I love how [the new bins] look. They stand out without being obnoxious.”

Tim Stewart, environmental services superintendent in facilities, played a large role in helping place the new bins around campus.

“I like the message that they’re sending,”  Stewart said. “I’m pretty excited about the whole process. It’s the right thing to do.”

Creating noticeable and appealing signage was a large part of the new recycling and composting system this year as well.

Each bin has a specific sticker on it with the title of waste that should be placed in it, as well as pictures of waste examples.

While there have been complaints of fruit flies in composting bins in residence halls, facilities is doing its best to maintain clean bins.

“[The bins] will give the campus clearer options for comprehensive recycling and composting,” Reid said. “With these bins in place, students have an opportunity to move toward a zero waste lifestyle.”

Future plans include installing more bins around campus and documenting the progress of Linfield’s “waste stream,” according to Reid.

“I ask the Linfield community to please take the 10 [to] 15 minutes it takes to learn how to properly participate in the new systems,” Reid said. “Only together can we achieve zero waste.”

Samantha Sigler can be reached at

New bins in Riley Hall showcase the variety of recycling options available to students, including compost, landfill, glass only and comingle.

Spencer Beck/Freelance photographer

Composting on campus helps local pigs, farms

Guess what?

Composting on campus continues with the residence halls!

There are currently 13 halls with brand new compost buckets.

We’re making strides with composting at the football games, the garden and Dillin Hall as well.

If you didn’t already know, Dillin Hall’s pre-consumer and post-consumer food waste is picked up by a pig farmer and fed to pigs on a local farm.

Since the food is sent to a pig farm, all types of food scraps are acceptable, but compostable containers and napkins are not.

Just think, what could I feed a pig? And compost accordingly.

At the Linfield Community Garden, composting is a little different.

The compost is made in a large tumbler and is used directly in the garden.

The garden compost can take fruits, vegetables and some fibrous materials such as paper or yard debris, but cannot take meat or dairy products.

The new compost bins around campus and the bins in the residence halls follow the same rules as Dillin Hall and all food is acceptable.

Grover Hall is off to a great start according to freshman Alaire Hughey, Grover Hall’s green chair.

“It’s been less than a week since we set up the bins and there is already a substantial amount of food scraps just waiting to be eaten by some adorable

pigs,” Hughey said.

This is an exciting time for Linfield because sustainable efforts are becoming increasingly more visible on campus.

This year is also a fresh start for the green chair positions in each hall.

They play an active role on campus this year by having bi-monthly meetings to focus on goals and projects for the upcoming months.

This week will mark the first week that each green chair has a compost bin to care for.

Every week, they are responsible for emptying the compost.

Knowledge about composting varies among people and awareness is growing.

Now that you have a little more information, you can take advantage of all the composting opportunities because it is all around us.

Let’s work together as a campus and continue towards Zero Waste.

This weekend at the homecoming football games, please use the recycling and composting facilities available and say hi to the Green Team volunteers.

Last, but not least, don’t forget to check out Linfield Sustainability on Facebook for weekly updates!

Nicole Lewis / Office of Sustainability

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

‘Recycled’ admins introduced at faculty lecture

Several of the new faculty additions to Linfield’s administration, who were formally introduced with their new titles on Sept. 16, are not actually as new to Linfield as we might have thought.

One “new” admin, Josh Merrick, holds a degree from Linfield, and has worked here in the past.

He introduced himself as a “recycled Linfield administrator” at last Monday’s admin assembly. Merrick graduated from Linfield in 2007.

“After graduation, I worked for [Linfield] in the facilities department for a year,” Merrick said in an email.

“In 2008, [I] began working as an area director for residence life. In the fall of 2011, I transitioned to the Portland Campus for a year where I worked primarily with [the] student government and student life programs.”

Merrick left Linfield at the end of the 2011-2012 school year to work at a brewery, a lifelong dream.

After a short time as a brewer, Merrick realized that Linfield had been a “much better fit” and has since returned to the Portland campus.

Merrick is now working with residence life and housing and is the assistant director of student life for the student government.

“My main responsibilities are to manage the residence hall, advise student government and of course, support students in any way I can,” Merrick said in an email. “My favorite part of my job is [building] relationships with students.”

Two other “new” additions to Linfield’s administration have degrees from Linfield.

Jenny Morgan, a 2013 graduate, is an intern at the Office of Community Engagement and Service.

She works with students involved in Change Corps and alternative spring break.

She was featured in the Sept. 16 edition of the Linfield Review in “Linfield helps grads find work in higher education.”

Another “new” admin, Joni Tonn, graduated from Linfield in 2006 and is now the interim director for the Office of Community Engagement and Service.

“I truly care about community,” Tonn said in an email. “[I] am both humbled and excited to be in this position.”

One admin has changed departments.

Bruce Wyatt is now the assistant to the president.

Only three of the new admins introduced on Monday are entirely new to Linfield.

Jennifer Gossett is the coordinator of Linfield’s Learning Support Services.

“I am very excited to be at Linfield,” Gossett said. “I’ve had a very warm welcome from students, faculty and staff here.”

Betty Henninger has been hired as the associate director of Human Resources and Administration.

David Ostrander is the new vice president for Institutional Advancement.

Ryan Morgan can be reached at