Sponsored by the Macalester Sustainability Office

March 4th, 2013
Highlights of this Issue
Waste Land Screening
Logo Competition
YERT Screening
Zero Waste Guide
Patagonia Speaker Vicent Stanley
Simran Sethi to speak on Women in Sust.
Campus Ecology Fellowships
Hello everyone! 


This month we are thinking about WASTE. This is not a U.N. Critical issue but the Sustainability Office has deemed it a VERY critical issue here at Macalester. Exactly how much do we throw away? Where does it go? How can we waste less?


The Truth About Garbage Patches

Many of you may have heard of giant garbage patches collected by ocean currents in our oceans.

The name is a misnomer: There are no patches of garbage collecting in the Pacific Ocean that can be seen from satellites. The truth may be even more disturbing. 


Their is little data on the exact size of the garbage patches reported in media articles and glimpsed from ships or how they got there. This may be due to the fact the main type of debris is small plastic particulates that are difficult to see. 


Garbage is certainly collecting around ocean currents on a large scale.


The fact that trash is collecting in our oceans on such a scale regardless of the exact size, mass, and location of the "garbage patch," is troubling. Manmade debris does not belong in our oceans and waterways. 


Just some food for thought! Stay warm and remember that spring is on the way!


Emily Sylvestre
Macalester News and Events

Recyclemania is a competition Macalester is participating in, between colleges and universities across the United States that compares recycling rates and waste reduction . National recognition and awards are given to the schools that perform the best in various categories.
So recycle those pizza boxes and those old textbooks! 
Make sure you know what you don't need to throw away! 

What is recyclable at Mac?
  • Newspapers and Inserts
  • Envelopes and Junk Mail
  • Paper of all colors (including Post-it Notes)
  • Corrugated Cardboard
  • File Folders, Magazines, Catalogs, and Flyers
  • Aluminum/Tim Beverage Cans
  • Plastics #1 through #7, Shrink Wrap and Plastic Bags MUST be bagged or bailed (no PVC piping is accepted)
  • Glass Bottles and Jars
  • Clean Wood
  • Steel
  • Pizza Boxes (if not too soiled)
NO disposable dishware, napkins, paper towels

Also, check out the awesome video from the sustainability office in which our mascot demonstrates sustainability!
Screening of "Waste Land"
Tuesday, March 12th, 2013, 4:30-6:30pm
Dewitt Library - Harmon Room
Free Pizza will be provided!
Wasteland, awarded best documentary and best editing at the prestigious Grande Premio Do Cinema Brasileiro, documents Viz Muniz efforts to inspire the catadores"-self-designated pickers of recyclable materials of the biggest garbage dump  in the world , Jardim Gramacho on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro through art.  Muniz's  collaboration with the inspiring catadores  to create photographic images of themselves reveals the dignity and despair of the catadores as they begin to re-imagine their lives. The project is evidence of the transformative power of art and the alchemy of the human spirit.
Sustainability Office Social Justice Coordinator
Anna-Kay Brown 
Macalester is Composting!
 Starting January 1st, composting bins are now available in Olin Rice, Carnegie, and Campus Center! 
Composting can be done in the backyard, but backyard composting is not practical for Macalester due to our confined space and urban location.  At Macalester, we will contract with a hauler to take our compostable material to the Mulch Store in Empire Township. There, our compostable material will be mixed with food waste and other compostable material from locations around the Twin Cities.

What is Compostable at Mac?
  • All FOOD scraps
  • All non-recyclable PAPER products
    • Napkins, paper towels, tissues
    • Paper plates, cups & food containers
    • Paper milk & juice cartons
    • Paper bags & waxed paper (fast food wraps, etc.)
    • Coffee grounds, filters & tea bags
    • Pizza boxes
    • COMPOSTABLE silverware and cups with the Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI) logo
    • All compostable products as certified by BPI
DO NOT include PLASTICS of any kind, styrofoam, foil, condiment packets, chip bags & candy wrappers. 
Also, check out the awesome video from the sustainability office in which our mascot demonstrates sustainability! 
Sustainability Logo Competition

Sustainability according to popular belief has always been viewed as a practice/ phenomena /ideology that prioritizes environmental issues and negates economic and social struggles. However, the goal of sustainability is to increase and preserve our social and economic capabilities. Indeed, poverty increases and cultures change due to our degradation of environment, which results in scarcity and the erasure of certain cultural elements that are connected to the land.
The Sustainability Office recognizes the need to emphasize equally the four sustainability pillars: the economy, the environment, and society. In particular, we want to explicitly show the connection amongst environmental, economic and social justice through discussion and practice.  
It is tragic that the food justice movement is viewed as separate from the sustainable food movement. This semester we intend to address critical arguments that view sustainability as a privilege and peripheral goal. One such initiative is our Sustainability logo Competition which begins on March 1, 2012 at 9:00am and end on March 29 at 12pm.
The logo competition will culminate into an event that explores the question: Why be Sustainable?  At the event we will announce the winner of our logo competition, who will receive a prize and have the privilege of seeing the Sustainability Office utilize their logo.  At the event we will also discuss briefly Sustainability at Mac and examine the work of two students who have done work related to sustainability.
If you are interested go to the "Macalester Sustainability Office Logo Competition" 
Facebook page and clic
Sustainability Office Social Justice Coordinator,
Anna-Kay Brown 
Screening of "YERT: Your Environmental Road Trip"
Tuesday, March 12th, 2013, 4:30-6:30pm
Dewitt Library - Harmon Room
Free Pizza will be provided!

3 friends. 50 States. One wild year! Called to action by a planet in peril, three friends hit the road - traveling America with hope, humor . . . and all of their garbage for the year - to explore the good, the bad, and the weird across every state in search of the extraordinary innovators and courageous citizens who are tackling humanity's greatest environmental crises. As the YERT team layers outlandish eco-challenges onto their year-long quest, an unexpected turn of events throws the project for a loop in this award-winning docu-comedy. Featuring Bill McKibben, Wes Jackson, Will Allen, Janine Benyus, Joel Salatin, David Orr, and music by Ben Sollee, Mark Geary and more.

Sustainability Office Social Justice Coordinator
Anna-Kay Brown 

Olin Rice 250 at noon, refreshments provided


"Macalester's EcoHouse"
Speakers: EcoHouse Residents 
Thursday, March 7th
What is the EcoHouse?  Find out about our own Eco-Living/Learning Laboratory.  EcoHouse students will talk about the house and their projects.  This is an excellent opportunity for EcoHouse applicants to learn more about living in the house from current residents. 

"The Roots of the Real Christmas Tree: The Production of Space and Meaning in Twentieth Century America"
Speaker: Neil Prendergast, University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point
Thursday, March 14th

For many Americans, the choice to buy a real Christmas tree is also a decision to select authenticity over artificiality. A 'real' Christmas tree, in the minds of many, is a biological tree, a tree grown from a seed, a tree that smells like the woods. It is the opposite of an 'artificial' tree made from plastic and aluminum. You know this. This framework is the most common for thinking about how Christmas trees might be connected to nature or even be nature. This lens of authenticity, though, is a relatively recent development, dating back only to the mid-twentieth century, a time when another lens for thinking about nature's place at Christmas was waning. That lens was conservation. In the early twentieth century, prominent conservationists such as J. Sterling Morton, the founder of Arbor Day, decried the cutting of trees for Christmas, arguing that cutting wasted future timber supplies. For decades, conservation-minded Americans attempted a variety of solutions to this perceived problem. Not until the success of tree farms in the 1950s did they find their answer. As this talk aims to show, tree farming as both an idea and a practice helped shift the public conversation about Christmas trees from conservation to authenticity. In exploring this shift, the talk unearths connections between how Americans produce space and cultivate meaning-connections long buried, but that nonetheless lie at the roots of the 'real' Christmas tree.


No Envirothursday

Thursday, March 21st

Sponsored by Environmental Studies
Mac Free Swap!
Feel free to stop by the Mac Free Swap, located next to the Sustainability Office in Kagin, to check out all the awesome and FREE stuff, including WATER BOTTLES from the lost and found washed by the Information Desk! Also, we are always looking for donations- so if you have extra things sitting around, that someone else may find useful, feel free to drop them off!
For a list of available items or to advertise items you want to give away - check out the free swap list on 1600 grand under the "campus resources" tab (right side).

P.S. Right now there is a laundry cart and a TV that need a home!
Check it Out!
Do you live off-campus and is Xcel Energy as your energy provider?
Check out their website and register (all you need is your account number) to track your energy use online. 
-Lower your bill with helpful tips and make a plan to save.
-Get smart insights into your usage and find out when you use the most.
-Learn how Xcel Energy compares your home and update your home info
"State to phase out use of harmful chemical"
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency just released a statement saying:
 "All state agencies will eliminate purchasing of hand soaps and dish and laundry cleaning products that contain triclosan by June of this year. Through Executive Order by Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton, state agencies are required to implement sustainability action plans to reduce pollution and toxics, increase energy efficiency, and conserve resources."
-March 4th, Alexis Donath
Triclosan, an endocrine-disrupting compound, is antibiotic resistant and causes other health and environmental problems. It is an antimicrobial ingredient in products like hand soap, toothpaste, cleaning products, fabric, toys, kitchenware and industrial pesticides. Recent University of Minnesota studies have found triclosan in lake sediment. 

So exciting that our state is taking the lead on this environmental issue!
Guide to Being a Zero-Waste Macalester Student:

Believe it or not - It is possible to be close to zero-waste
 on the Macalester campus with a little effort. 
Follow these 5 easy steps:
1.Use a reusable water bottle and ditch those plastic water bottles, disposable cups, etc.
2. Invest in an ecoclam shell and re-usable coffee mug for the 
3. Donate unwanted items to the free swap in Kagin Commons near the Sustainability Office -this includes old binders, clothes etc.

4. Macalester's recycling and composting programs are improving all the time! Make sure you know what and where you can recycle and compost you trash. There are actually only a few things you need to throw away. Weird things like used pizza boxes and balled plastic wrap DO NOT need to tossed in the trash!
5. Shorten your showers! The average shower head spews 2.5 to 4 gallons per minute depending on when it was made.

Sustainability News: Check out what is going on outside the Macalester bubble!
We have a new feature this year, a bi-weekly news update in which we will be summarizing news items happening in the wider world.  

The following page is updated periodically to keep the Macalester community up-to-date with global sustainability happenings:

Feel free to send any news articles, feedback and comments to Zhe Yu Lee at 
Interesting website to browse:

Water Footprint Calculator
What Is Your Water Footprint?

Take a water tour with us through your home, yard, diet, energy, and consumer choices! Then, pledge to cut your water footprint and help return more water to rivers, lakes, wetlands, underground aquifers, and freshwater species

Off-Campus Happenings
The Responsible Company: What we've learned from Patagonia's first 40 years
Presentation and Book Signing with Vincent Stanley
Monday, March 11th, 7 pm (doors open at 6:30pm)
Patagonia Store, St. Paul

In The Responsible Company, Yvon Chouinard, founder and owner of Patagonia, and Vincent Stanley, the company's long-time chief storyteller, draw on their 40 years' experience - and knowledge of current efforts by other companies - to articulate the elements of responsible business for our time. Join us at Patagonia St. Paul as co-author Vincent Stanley recounts how Patagonia has made its work progressively more responsible, and shares what it has learned with companies as large as Wal-Mart and as small as the corner microbrewery. Ample time will be allowed for questions and dialogue. Copies of the book will be available for purchase.

Free and open to the public
FOOD from French Meadow Bakery & Cafe
"Women's Work: The Role of Women in Sustainability"
Speaker: Simran Sethi
Wednesday, March 13th, 7 pm
O'Shaughnessy Auditorium, St. Catherine University, St. Paul

Throughout her career as a television producer and correspondent, freelance journalist, communications advisor and educator, Sethi has addressed environmental journalism and justice, teaching climate change communication with interdisciplinary approaches and the role of faith in environmentalism. She lectures worldwide on corporate social responsibility, environmentalism and sustainability in media.

Free and open to the public
"Forest Carbon Offsets: A Multiple Methods Assessment of Potential Supply from Lake States Family Forest Landowners."
Speaker: Kristell Miller, Graduate Student, Department of Forest Resources
Wednesday, March 6th, 11am
Room 203 Green Hall, University of Minnesota (St. Paul Campus)

Free and open to the public
"Unleashing Minnesota's Solar Power Potential"
Speaker: Michael Noble, Executive Director of Fresh Energy
Wednesday, March 6th, 12pm 
Room R38 Learning & Environmental Studies Building, University of Minnesota (St. Paul Campus)

Free and open to the public
"A Mangrove Lagoon in the Time of Climate Change: The Politics, Science and Culture of an Intertidal Environment in Papua New Guinea"
Wednesday, March 13th, 12-1pm
Speaker: David Lipset, Professor of Anthropology, University of Minnesota
Institute on the Environment, 325 Learning & Environmental Sciences
IonE Seminar Room R380, University of Minnesota (St. Paul Campus)

From the Frontiers in the Environment Speaker Series:
Tropical mangrove forests occupy bays, estuaries and river inlets. Their adaptation to waterlogged soil, ecology, reproductive cycles and native fauna have been studied by biologists. Their regional distribution has been thoroughly mapped. Most recently, they were afforded global value as the United Nations associated them with climate change mitigation. Lipset will present data from ongoing research in which he brings cosmopolitan views of mangrove environments into dialogue with local views of the Murik Lakes, a mangrove lagoon in the estuary of the Sepik River in Papua New Guinea.

Free and open to the public
Internship and Grant Opportunities!
Sustainability Small Project Fund
Rolling Deadline
The Sustainability Office has designated a portion of
its funding to support small on-campus projects 
that promote sustainability through creative and 
innovative action.  If possible, projects should encourage
collaboration between faculty, staff, and students.  An individual or a group can apply for up to $1,000 in funding. 
Applications are rolling but funding is limited.  
Click  HERE  for the application. Questions should be 
directed to or X8138.   

Announcing the 2013 Community POWER Grant Round 
Deadline: April 1st, 2013

The Community POWER team is looking for applicants to propose new and innovative ways to educate and actively engage residents in changing their purchasing, reusing, and hazardous waste disposal behaviors to reduce garbage. Non-profit organizations and schools are eligible to apply. $5,000 and $12,000 grants are available.

Click HERE for the application. 
Questions should be directed to Laurie Gustafson at or (651) 252-1487   

Campus Ecology Fellowships
Deadline: March, 31st, 2013
Calling all young environmental leaders - current college students and post-grad young professionals!

Are you looking to take your environmental leadership to the next level?


National Wildlife Federation is currently accepting applications for both ourCampus Ecology Fellowships (open to current undergrad and graduate students) as well as our NEW Emerging Leader Fellowships (open to young professionals age 21-35).


Since 2000, National Wildlife Federation has awarded over 150 Campus Ecology Fellowships to undergrad and graduate students across the country working on climate action projects on their campuses and in their communities. This year we are expanding our Fellowship offering by not only supporting student Fellows but also opening the opportunity to young professional, emerging leaders looking to further develop their career and leadership opportunities in the conservation movement.


Fellows will have the unique opportunity to work with one of four of NWF's crucial "Keep the Wild Alive" campaigns:

  • Stopping Expansion of Dirty Energy
  • Safeguarding Wildlife and Habitat in the Appalachian Forests
  • Protecting Wildlife in Urban and Suburban Habitats
  • Clean Energy Solutions
Click HERE for more information and the application. 

Contact the Sustainability Office!


We are located on the first floor of Kagin Commons, on the right-hand side as you enter the main area. The student-worker desk is located underneath the Sustainability Office sign, and Suzanne's office (our lovely Sustainability Manager) is located nearby in room 124.

Email us!
To contact...
A student worker:
Sustainability Manager, Suzanne Savanick Hansen:

Send one of your student workers to the Sustainability Student Worker Network!
Assign one of your students to work on sustainability issues for your department and send the Sustainability Office their contact information. We will assist with project planning and connect them with a twice-a-month sustainability network meeting.  


To submit something or make a correction to the Sustainable Scots
Newsletter please contact:

Emily Sylvestre-

This Newsletter is sponsored by the Macalester Sustainability Office.

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Macalester Sustainability Office | 1600 Grand Ave. | St. Paul | MN | 55105