Sponsored by the Macalester Sustainability Office

March 18th, 2013
Highlights of this Issue
Campus Conservation Nationals Results
Sustainability Progress Report
YERT Screening
"The 11th Hour" Screening
Logo Competition
Article on the Mac Grounds Crew
Zero Waste Guide
CERT Event
Forever Saint Paul Challenge
Ensia Live
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?


Move-Out Waste: Thinking Ahead


A tremendous amount of stuff gets thrown away during move-out week in the spring. Students are moving to quickly to recycle, compost, give away, or re-use all of the things accumulated throughout the year.


 It will be less work for you in the long run, and you might just pay more attention to what you are throwing away. 



Take advantage of the Spring Cleaning Clothing Swap happening Saturday, March 30th in the Campus Center (description below).


Zero-waste starts with you!


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


Emily Sylvestre
Macalester News and Events

Campus Conservation Nationals: The Results are in!


In February, the Macalester dorms competed to reduce energy as a part of the month's energy theme. All on-campus dorms competed over a period of three weeks. 


The results are in, and the winner is the Veggie Co-op! 


The Co-op reduced energy consumption by more than 77%. In second place is Turck hall, with an energy reduction of 50%. Third place goes to Wallace Hall, where the residents reduced energy use by 49%. Great job to all participants! Every dorm reduced energy use by at least 40%. Keep up the good work, Macalester!

Improve Your Home with Macalester's Help

Would you like a more comfortable and healthy home? Are you concerned about maintaining your home's value? Have you ever considered investing in insulation, new windows or other energy efficiency measures but don't know where to get started? The Sustainability Office has partnered with local non-profits to make it easy and affordable for Macalester staff, faculty, alumni and local community members to improve their homes. 


Please join us on Monday, April 1st in the Weyerhauser Boardroom (62 Macalester Street) from 12-1pm or from 7:00-8:30pm for an interesting and fun presentation on saving energy. At this presentation you will:

-        Get tips on how to save energy at home and at work

-        Learn about ways to improve your homes comfort, value and efficiency

-        Learn about available financing options, some of which offer 0% interest loans


At the end of the presentation you have the option to sign up for a discounted home energy visit.  This visit will help you decide what improvements are right for you, connect you to reliable contractors and rebate programs, and install lots of great energy saving products, like door weather stripping and water heater blankets.


Please RSVP to  Food will be provided at both events.


Check out the following links for more information:

Check out Mac's new Sustainability Progress Report!

Curious to see how well Mac is doing on sustainability goals? Check out the new Social, Economic, and Environmental Sustainability at Macalester College Progress
Report:  We've reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 12% and are half-way to our zero waste goal. This January, we also started rolling out composting on campus:

Screening of "YERT: Your Environmental Road Trip"
Thursday, March 28th, 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 
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 "The 11th Hour"
Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013, 11:30am-1:00pm
Dewitt Library - Harmon Room
Free Pizza will be provided!

Narrated by Leonardo DiCaprio, this captivating documentary explores the perilous state of our planet, and the means by which we can change our course. Contributing to this crucial film are noted politicians, scientists and other ambassadors for the importance of a universal ecological
consciousness. The 11th Hour is directed by Nadia Connors and Leila Conners Peterson and features narration from Academy AwardŽ Nominee Leonardo DiCaprio (The Departed, Blood Diamond). The environmentally friendly DVD packaging is produced with 100% certified renewable resources. A portion of the profits will be donated to Global Green. 

Sustainability Office Social Justice Coordinator
Anna-Kay Brown 
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 
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! 
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!

Olin Rice 250 at noon, refreshments provided


No Envirothursday

Thursday, March 21st, 2013


"Linking Community Structure and Material Transport"

Speaker: Daniel Allen (Postdoctoral Research Fellow, School of Natural Resources & Environment, University of Michigan)
Thursday, March 28th, 2013
Because of the complexity of the environmental challenges facing us today, interdisciplinary approaches are often required to obtain a better understanding the consequences of global change.  In his research, Daniel merges ecosystem ecology, community ecology, and the earth sciences to understand the how changes in biological community structure affect the transport of materials through ecosystems and landscapes.  In this talk, he will present three vignettes that present research on this theme.  The first will describe the how a single species plays a keystone role in delivering groundwater from aquifers to above-ground food webs in dryland floodplains.  The second and third will discuss how multiple species can interact to affect the flow of energy between aquatic and terrestrial habitats, as well as sediment erosion in streams.  In sum these research projects highlight the complex interactions that link habitats with their communities and have strong implications for the consequences of global environmental change.

"Can We Feed a Growing World and Sustain a Global Environment"
Speaker:  Jonathan Foley (Director, Institute on the Environment, University of MN)
Thursday, April 4th, 2013

Sponsored by the Institute for Global Citizenship, Geography and Environmental Studies Departments. Lunch will be served.  All are welcome to attend. More information soon! 

Sponsored by Environmental Studies
Check it Out!
Spring Cleaning Clothing Swap!

Start the end of your spring semester off right! Rather than spend hundreds of dollars on a new spring wardrobe, come check out the Spring Cleaning Clothing Swap! The Sustainability Office will be hosting the Swap in an effort to start clean up efforts early. The Swap will take place from 12-2:30 pm in CC214 on Saturday March 30th. Please only bring clothing or accessories that you are prepared to part with. There will be food, music, and a lot of great items to swap. Bring your clothing, your friends, and get ready to trade! 

"Grounds Crew and Waste"
Written By: Kelly Cargos '13


 Hi there! My name is Kelly Cargos, and I am the current Sustainability Coordinator for Macalester's Grounds Crew. You might be asking yourself, "What's a Grounds Crew?" Great question. We are a group of 7 student workers and 5 staff members working hard to maintain the beauty and safety of our outdoor campus. In the warmer months (if we're lucky) we do landscaping work such as pruning shrubs, planting flowers, and mowing the lawns. In the winter we do snow removal. Lots of snow removal. You've probably seen a bunch of cold-looking people shoveling snow around campus. That's us. Feel free to offer us some hot chocolate once in a while. We'd appreciate it. 


  Since waste is the month of March's critical issue, I will be talking about the three major ways in which Grounds Crew sustainably disposes of waste, including:

  1. Composting
  2. Recycling scrap metal
  3. Recycling bottles and cans

On Grounds Crew, we compost any and all yard waste that is biodegradable, including (but not limited to) branches, leaves, weeds, dead plants, tree stumps, and brush. We deposit this waste in the compost roll-off bin in the lot by the garages (between the church and the Janet Wallace parking lot). This organic waste is then taken to the SKB Malcolm Avenue Transfer Station in Minneapolis. Yardwaste is processed into a finished compost product or chipped into mulch. For more information, visit SKB Environmental's website at


Grounds Crew also recycles scrap metal that is collected around campus and generated from our own projects. We make small trips to a local scrap yard to dump this recyclable waste, and we also have an agreement in which participants in The NetWork for Better Futures come and collect our scrap metal for recycling at no cost to us. The NetWork for Better Futures is an organization that offers Minnesotans-primarily men of color with histories of imprisonment, substance abuse, mental illness, chronic unemployment, and homelessness-the chance to become productive members of society. Visit their website at


 Finally, in our day-to-day work, Grounds Crew members collect stray garbage around campus. Often we come across discarded bottles and cans, and we will deliberately sort this waste into recycling. Moreover, Grounds Crew is responsible for cleaning up the stadium after football and soccer games, and we make sure to separate recyclables from regular trash.  

Through composting and recycling, we at Grounds Crew do our best to be kind to the environment in our waste management practices. Stay tuned for next month, when I will talk about Grounds Crew as it relates to April's critical theme-jobs! Bye for now! 

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

Wednesday, April 17th, 2013 4:00-8:00pm

Science Museum of Minnesota, 120 Kellogg Blvd. W, St. Paul, MN 55102


Join Metro Clean Energy Resource Team affiliates, partners & friends

 to celebrate our 6th year of connecting communities to resources! Hear about our work and exciting energy efficiency and renewable energy projects, and find out how you can work to reduce your energy footprint. The program will be followed by a resource fair, cash bar, light appetizers, and networking!



Electric Vehicles in Minnesota: Jukka Kukkonen, PlugInConnect

Wright-Hennepin Community Solar: Steve Nisbet, Wright-Hennepin Electric Cooperative

Metro CERT Affiliate Action: Jen McLoughlin, City of Woodbury

After-Program: Resources, Networking, Light Appetizers, and Cash Bar


Register for free at


Many attendees will bus, bike, and carpool. Find your way at

Forever Saint Paul Challenge
The Saint Paul Foundation
Accepting entries February 13th through April 3rd, 2013

Game On. What would you do with $1 MILLION to make Saint Paul great?


We're ready for your best and brightest ideas, Minnesota! Enter The Saint Paul Foundation's $1 MILLION Forever Saint Paul Challenge today. We're accepting entries February 13 through April 3, 2013.

Tell us what you would do with $1 million to make Saint Paul great! Watch our inspirational video for some inspiration. We offer multiple ways to enter your idea. Download our criteria and guidelines for all the details on how to participate and make your idea amazing.


Game On!

"Ensia Live"
Speaker: Peggy Liu
Wednesday, March 27th, 7:20-9:30 pm
Ted Mann Concert Hall, University of Minnesota - Twin Cities
According to the Worldwatch Institute, China's "technological advances, aggressive policies, and a strong financial position" have led to a renewable energy expansion that it far outpacing nearly every other country in the world today-including the United States. In this thought-provoking presentation Peggy Liu, co-founder of the nonprofit energy organization JUCCCE, will share her thoughts on China's massively expanding energy infrastructure, the next phase of renewable energy development in China, and what it all means for the future of global energy production and climate negotiations. She'll also touch on topics including reimagining prosperity, reframing sustainability and reshaping consumerism in the Far East. 
The evening's events will begin with a vocal performance by members of the Twin Cities Women's Choir. -- Ensia Live brings environmental visionaries to the Twin Cities for evenings filled with engaging ideas and entertainment. Presenters will open your eyes and enrich your mind as they showcase environmental solutions in action. Encompassing science, arts, design and more, Ensia Live inspires new ways of looking at the world and our place in it.
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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