Green Star Award Winners

| 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 |


6/18/2015 - Green Star Award for Reducing Paper in the Registrar's Office

Congratulations to Jayne Niemi, Addy Free, and Denise Dreher for earning a “Green Star” award for reducing paper in the Registrar’s Office. 

This year, the Registrar’s Office reduced their data entry into Banner and notification to graduates from three weeks to three days. This processing change not only served the graduates better, but other college offices on campus as well. For the first time this year, instead of sending notifications and transcripts to the graduates by postal mail, they did it electronically.  

By using an electronic process for graduation confirmation, they estimate to have saved 398 pieces of letterhead paper, 398 letterhead envelopes, 736 pieces of regular office paper, $250 or so in postage and about 160 hrs of total labor, excluding development time (excluded since they can use this process over and over again with low overhead).

5/1/2015 - Green Star Award for Compostable Dishware Program

Congratulations to Rick Beckel, James Lindgren, Joan Maze, Doug Rosenburg, Document Services, and Jeff Rehbein (Loffler) for earning a “Green Star” award for developing and implementing Macalester’s first compostable dishware program.

The convenient new program allows faculty, staff, and student organizations to request necessary quantities of compostables through a simple Google form. This program is a great way to purchase compostable dishware for an event of any size. This innovative system saves everyone from spending valuable time and program dollars shopping for dishware at retailers and gets Macalester closer to its goal of Zero Waste by 2020. The Sustainability Office is deeply grateful to Rick and all those committed to making sustainability accessible across campus.

2/19/2015 - Green Star Award for Compostable Containers

Congratulations to Kimberly Driesch and Amy Jackson of Bon Appetit for earning a “Green Star” award for reducing waste by introducing compostable containers and dishware to all Bon Appetit operations. This includes all disposable silverware, plates, coffee cups, coffee lids, straws, food shells, peanut butter cups, and salad containers. With the exception of coffee creamers, all dishware from Bon Appetit’s catering network are compostable as well.

Bon Appetit strives to “do the right thing for the environment,” says general manager Kimberly Driesch, by doing everything in its power to explore sustainable options that align with both Macalester and Bon Appetit values.   We laud Bon Appetits efforts in realizing our goal to become Zero-Waste by 2020. 


4/22/2014 - Green Star Award for Composting

Congratulations to Kyle Wright, the rest of the Macalester custodial staff, and several students for earning a "Green Star" award for their remarkable efforts in making the first year of campus-wide composting a success at Macalester.

New this year to his role as the second-shift custodial supervisor with Facilities, Kyle Wright has taken initiative to make sure that composting has been utilized effectively and implemented to the fullest extent at Macalester. His efforts and enthusiasm to coordinate with Sustainability Student Workers and Sustainability staff have made this first year of composting a huge success.

This success would also not have been possible without the hard work of all the custodians who deal with compost on a daily basis. The Sustainability Office is deeply grateful for their commitment. In addition, several students contributed to the implementation of composting on campus.

Custodial Staff:

Karen Porras
Ralph Williamson
Don Bailey
Barb Olson
Brian Billstrom
Judy Von Arx
Mark Benoit
Doug Schutte
Kim Freeman
LeVoyce Brant
Jeff Golusky
Yodit Habtemichael
Hiwet Abraha
Dragan Loncar
Gary Palumbo

Mike Olson
Bruce Brown
Susan Sand
Ron Krey
Warren Williams
Jeff Treviranus
Jim Plaster
Katherine Keller
Javier Gutierrez
Sayed Mohamed
Sood Sudirno
Erin Andretta
James Jordan
Chia Vue

Dave Edens
Al Shepard
Ryan Hoover
Jovanka Loncar
Dave Eide
Bosa Letic
Vu Vue
Cristian Cajamarca
Kyle Bell
Justin Dubois
Wendy Fillion
Calvonzo Burnett
Robin Schutte
Caleb Manle


Peter Vang
Priit Paidla
Sophia Ali
Gage Garretson
Sam Doten
Hannah Mengitsu
Ethan Johnson
Kate Adelsheim

4/22/2014 - Green Star Award for Waste Tracking

Congratulations to Mike Olson, a Macalester recycler, for earning a “Green Star” award for his crucial contributions to waste tracking efforts on campus. Since October 2013, Mike has taken on the responsibility of recording the number and percentage full of all trash, recycling, and compost containers on a daily basis. Without his work, the college would have no record of campus waste output for this year, and would thus have no basis from which to compare past output levels or seek to make improvements. With Mike’s help, Macalester is well on its way to a viable waste tracking system.

1/23/2014 - Green Star Award for Supporting Car-Free Colleagues

Congratulations to Zach Bajaber and Sarah Le Duc for earning a green star award for supporting car-free colleagues during the recent polar weather.

When living without a car, having a friend or two with cars is an important resource. Sometimes HourCar and car2go aren't enough and taking a cab is an option, but is expensive. The recent polar weather made waiting for the bus or bicycling dangerous for a few days for Macalester’s car-free staff. Zach Bajaber and Sarahs Le Duc helped a car-free colleague continue a car-free lifestyle by carpooling on those days. Thank you for supporting your colleague’s ability to continue a car-free lifestyle.


12/4/2013 - Green Star Award for Supporting Green Jobs

Congratulations to Mike Porter for earning a “Green Star” award for supporting green jobs for Macalester students.

In addition to supporting all Macalester students with internships, Michael Porter collaborates with the Environmental Studies Leadership Seminar and Practicum. In this course, students complete an internship within the environmental field and then spend two hours a week with their classmates discussing their internship experiences, what it means to be a leader in the environmental movement, etc. Mike's involvement in this class illustrates his commitment to supporting emerging environmental leaders.

6/27/2013 - Super Green Star Award for Sustainability Leadership

Congratulations to Mark Dickinson for earning a “Super Green Star” award for sustainability leadership in Facilities Services for 37 years.

As the Director of Facilities Services, Mark has been responsible for the buildings and grounds of the campus.  Under his leadership, Macalester has steadily reduced greenhouse gas emissions, improved energy efficiency, and built more sustainable buildings.  His leadership is also apparent in the comprehensive Sustainability Plan and Sustainable Landscaping Master Plan.  Thanks to Mark and the Facilities Services Department, the college is moving closer to our goals of Climate Neutrality by 2025 and Zero Waste by 2020.

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7/7/2012 - Green Star Award for 100% Reduction Through Reuse

Congratulations to Conrad Adelmann, Mark Adelmann, Mike Rademacher, Kim Pittsley, and Bruce Thatcher from Facilities Services for earning a “Green Star” award for reducing waste by reusing materials.

For years Facilities Services has found uses for discarded materials and saved useable material from the incinerator or landfill.  Recently one staff reused discarded Art Department cabinets in the new MacBike bicycle repair shop.  The staff has also re-purposed large particle board closet doors for shelving, salvaged/reused lock and door hardware.  They also refurbished old mineral display cases from geology as a hallway display case for media services.  In addition, the staff consistently reuses lock and door hardware, and recycles or reuse scrap materials from projects.

6/28/2012 - Green Star Award for Improving Water Efficiency on Campous

Congratulations to Rosie Mate’12 for earning a “Green Star” award for improving water efficiency on campus.

As an extension of an internship with the Clean Energy Resource Teams (CERTs), Rosie successfully worked with Facilities Services and the Sustainability Office to install water efficient aerators and pre-rinse spray valves on campus sinks. She found discounted aerators through CERTs, successfully wrote a sustainability small project fund grant, and recruited students to change out the aerators during the school year, over January break, and in the summer. The new aerators are expected to save 2,962,500 gallons of water and 562,090 BTUs of energy a year.

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5/6/2011 - Green Star Award for the Reuse of the Macalester Pipe Organ

Congratulations to Evan Friedley ’13 and Provost Kathy Murray for earning a “Green Star” award for reducing waste by brokering the sale of the Macalester pipe organ to a church in Apple Valley.

With the renovations of the Janet Wallace Fine Arts Center, the Macalester pipe organ needed a new home.  Evan Friedley ’13 knew that his church, Shepard of the Valley Lutheran Church in Apple Valley, was searching for an organ.  He notified his church of the organ's availability and it was subsequently purchased.  Provost Murray worked with the church on the sale.  The church had it disassembled and transported to Ohio, where it is being refit and retooled for installation at the church later this summer.  One might say Evan and Kathy were "instrumental" in saving the pipe organ so it could continue to bring music to others in Minnesota!

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12/17/2010 - Green Star Award for 100% Recycled Copy Paper

Congratulations to Doug Rosenberg and Kathy Johnson from Business Services, Edwin Reynolds from Document Services, Nicole Kligerman '10 and Hannah Rivenburgh '10, for earning a “Green Star” award for offering 100% recycled copy paper as the standard for the campus.

Student have been asking for it for years and now the regular copy paper used in Document Services, computer labs, and most departments is now 100% recycled content paper, instead of the 30% recycled content paper that has been our standard.  By using 100% recycled paper, the campus is expected to save 655 trees and 299,793 gallons of water annually.

11/2/2010 - Green Star Award for Reducing Waste in Olin Rice

Congratulations to Department Coordinators Patricia Pfalz, Biology; Ann Esson, Environmental Studies; and Lee Olson, Psychology, for earning a “Green Star” award for reducing waste in Olin Rice.  These department coordinators bought matching silverware for their Departments and set up a system for washing and sharing the silverware for large departmental functions.  Their foresight will save money and landfill space by reducing the need for plastic silverware.

7/1/2010 - Green Star Award for Reducing Waste Through MacFreeSwap

Congratulations to Sara Suelflow, Communications and Public Relations, and Ellie Rogers '09, Cael Warren '09, Emma Colon '12, Reed Lehto '10, Matt Kazinka '11, Natalie Locke '11, and Nicole Kligerman '10 for earning a “Green Star” award for reducing waste by starting MacFreeSwap.

MacFreeSwap is a listing service for free items available on the Campus Resources tab of 1600 Grand.  Kazinka, Kligerman and Locke started the discussion, Suelflow developed the site, and Rogers, Warren, Colon, and Lehto in the "Psychology of Sustainable Behavior" class developed the outreach materials to launch the program. 

Since the program started in April 2009, the site has listed 284 items, such as envelopes, irons, pans, file folders, tables, and even a cat. The program saves campus departments and students money as well as keeping useable materials out of a landfill or incinerator.

4/9/2010 - Green Star Award for Reducing Energy from Vending Machines

Congratulations to Doug Rosenberg and Karoline Hart ’12 for earning a“Green Star” award for reducing energy use by campus vending machines.

Karoline Hart, as part of her sustainability student worker position in Facilities, is testing Vending Misers on five vending machines on campus.  Vending Misers cut down the amount of electricity used in the vending machines by turning off lighting and managing compressor cooling cycles when they are not needed.  These five units are expected to save $605 a year on energy costs.  Doug Rosenberg also noticed that several of the vending machines on the campus were not profitable and that these poor performers were still using energy to keep soda cold 24 hours a day.  Doug canceled the contract on the poor performers (18% of the machines), which is estimated to save $960 annually in energy costs.

2/8/2010 - Green Star Award for Waste Reduction in the Classics Department

Congratulations to Beth Severy-Hoven and Herta Pitman for earning a "Green Star" award for reducing waste and energy in the Classics Department. The Classics Department has reduced waste and saved money by implementing a paperless faculty search this year. Instead of handling at least three cases of paper applications, all committee members with authorized access can view applicant files online. The postage alone saved $123.

In addition, the department prints almost everything double-sided and reuses one-sided paper for printing drafts.  They also use real mugs in the break room instead of disposable cups and have a hot and cold water dispenser that filters tap water and dispenses it hot or cold, rather than purchasing bottled water.

The department saves energy by posting notes by the light switches in the common areas that say, "Last out? Lights out! Thanks." In addition, they use a power strip in the copy/break room, turning it off at the end of the day to eliminate that bit of standby energy being drawn overnight.

The Green Star Award is a program designed to congratulate students, staff, or faculty who contribute to sustainability on campus.

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11/4/2009 - Heating Plant Staff of Facilities Services

Congratulations to the Heating Plant Staff of Facilities Services for Earning a Green Star Award for Saving Energy in Kagin Commons.

The staff informed Mechanical Systems Manager Curt Stainbrook that coffee urns were left on in Kagin Commons because it took too long for them to heat up prior to an event.  Maintenance engineer Mike Fendrich investigated the actual time it took them to heat up and found it was one hour, instead of the three hours it was thought to take.  Staff electrician Ed Gerten then took some amp readings and calculated the energy savings.  Curt approached Bon Appetit management who agreed to turn off the units between events.  This change is expected to result in a $2,500 annual cost savings!

9/11/2009 - Waste Reduction at Move Out

Congratulations to Peg Olson from Residential Life, Cindy Haarstad from the Campus Center, Laurie Salden from Facilities Services, David Sisk from Information Technology Services, and students Molly MacMorris-Adix '09, Claire Vincent '10, Laura Macke '10, Margaret Scott '10, Zach Selke '10, Carol Brod '11, Chris Portero-Paff '11, Whitney Watson '12, Christina Nieves '12 and Matt Kazinka '11 for earning a “Green Star” award for dramatically reducing waste from spring 2009’s Move Out.

In response to the traditionally overwhelming amount of waste generated when students move out of the dorms, a new collaborative program of the Zero Waste Committee and student volunteers was set up to capture useable material for a fall garage sale, offer electronics waste recycling, and promote recycling.  The result of their work is dramatic.  The recycling rate jumped from 17 percent in 2008 to an impressive 46 percent (including e-waste) in 2009.  Student volunteers sorted and stored two rooms of additional discards for resale at the campus garage sale on Saturday, September 12.

8/11/2009 - Tom Ibsen ‘93

Congratulations to Tom Ibsen, ’93, for earning a green star award for his work on the Macalester prairie, raingardens, and green roofs.  Tom has been maintaining these projects and working with ten interns on prairie research projects since 2004.  He worked with students to develop the prairie plan, plant and maintain the project.  In 2008, through his firm, Grassroots Restoration, he formally started maintaining the library raingarden and green roofs on Kagin and the link.  For more information on these projects see the Landscaping page.

6/2/2009 - eBilling

Congratulations to Student Accounts staff members Elmira Marshall, Deborah Schmidt, Sherry Lueck, Trine Flinn, and Mary Johnson for earning a “Green Star” award for saving paper through eBilling.

The Student Accounts Office switched from paper bills to a new eBilling process last summer.  Moving to eBills reduced paper needed for bills and envelopes and saved the cost of postage.  The switch saves $11,220 annually.  At the same time, they utilized the technology that was already available and increased their customer service.

4/7/2009 - Pig Food Waste Recycling Program

Congratulations to Natalie Locke’12, Abe Levine, ’12, Deb Novotny from Bon Appétit, and Mark Dickinson, Jerry Nelson, Laurie Salden and Jim Davidson from Facilities Services for earning a "Green Star" sustainability award for starting a food waste recycling program in Café Mac.

As of February 9, 2009, food waste from Café Mac is picked up by Barthold Farms, cooked in a special truck, and transformed into feed for free range pigs.

Students Natalie Locke and Abe Levine, as part of their sustainability student worker project this fall researched food waste recycling options for Macalester in collaboration with the Zero Waste Committee.  The students proposed using Barthold Farms, which is used by Ramsey County schools because of their reliability in providing service in Minnesota and because of their commitment to raising free-range pigs and cows.

Making pig food out of Café Mac food waste, reduced waste hauling fees and keeps organic waste out of a landfill or incinerator.  The program is expected to save money though reducing waste hauling fees.  So far, the program has cut trash by 50%. 

2/5/2009 - Reducing Disposable Bottles on Campus

Congratulations to Patty Pfalz, Biology, Jeanne Arntzen, Theater and Dance, and Kathy Scott, American Studies for earning a "Green Star" sustainability award for reducing disposable bottles at events.

Patty Pfalz started using beverage dispensers last summer for the weekly Olin-Rice barbecues and departmental events.  She also asks attendees to bring their own cups to further reduce waste.  Over the course of the summer and fall semester she saved the purchase of 24 cases of soda and about 5 cases of water.

Jeanne Arntzen and Kathy Scott also use water containers for their department events instead of purchasing bottles of water.  This has eliminated the purchase of at least 14 cases of water in plastic bottles.

Using water dispensers instead of disposable water and soda cans and bottles reduces waste, reduces transportation greenhouse gas emissions, and may save money.

1/6/2009 - 100% Recycled Letterhead

Congratulations to Kim David and Paula Leonhart from College Relations for earning a "Green Star" sustainability award for changing Macalester College's letterhead, cards, and envelopes to 100% post-consumer waste recycled paper.  Since September, their paper choice saved 102 trees, 8,934 lbs CO2 (the greenhouse gas emissions equivalent of driving two cars for nearly a year), 37,083 gallons of waste water, and 4,762 pounds of solid waste.  In addition, the letterhead paper turned out to be cheaper than the original non-recycled paper.  The cards and envelopes are slightly more expensive; overall the change will have a minute financial impact on the budget.

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9/16/2008 - Reusable Take Out Containers

Congratulations to student Hannah Rivenburgh '10, and Bon Appétit staff Deb Novotny, Lisa Percy and Amanda Rizzo for earning a "Green Star" sustainability award developing a reusable take out container program at Café Mac.

Hannah Rivenburgh researched reusable takeout containers as a project this summer as a sustainability procurement student worker.  She presented the idea to Deb Novotny from Bon Appétit and the staff at Bon Appétit was able to implement the project in time for new student orientation. 

Reusable takeout containers present a viable, cost-effective alternative to disposable take out containers at the Grille.  It is preferable to recyclable plastic and compostable options because it reduces the amount of waste entering the waste stream, thus moving Macalester toward its goal of Zero Waste. Furthermore, it involves everyone who frequents the Grille, widening the sphere of waste reduction.

When ordering "To Go" food at the Grille, all students, staff, and faculty can pay a one-time $3 fee to be part of the program.  They then receive their take out food in a reusable container.  When they return it (still dirty), they get a card that they can use for another container the next time they order at the Grill.  As long as participants return their containers, they only have to pay the fee once.

8/29/2008 - Increasing Recycled Content in Printing Projects

Congratulations to Nancy Mackenzie, Admissions; Lynette Lamb, College Relations; Kim David, College Relations; and Danielle Nelson, Development, for earning a "Green Star" sustainability award for their work to increase post-consumer recycled paper in printing projects.

Using post-consumer recycled paper in printing saves energy, trees, water and greenhouse gas emissions. For example, using 100% post-consumer waste recycled paper in the Macalester Now is estimated to have saved 75 trees, 32,000 gallons of wastewater, 7,000 lbs of carbon dioxide emissions, and 53 million BTU's of energy.

8/29/2008 - Greening Reunion

Congratulations to Carol Polk and Andi Wulff from the Alumni Office, Marcia Mittelsted Maguire '58, Mary Hartle Larson '58, Deb Novotny from Bon Appetit, Laurie Salden from Facilities Management, and Roopali Phadke from Environmental Studies for earning a "Green Star" sustainability award for their work to "green" the 2008 reunion.

It started with Marcia Maguire '58 who wanted to include sustainability in her 50th year reunion.  Through a conversation with Prof. Roopali Phadke, a sustainability tour was developed; this original tour developed into the widely used Macalester Sustainability Tour Map.  The Alumni Office started a conversation with the Sustainability Office to find ways to "green" reunion. As a result, they hosted a "Zero Waste" picnic that highlighted local food and all of dishware and food waste was composted (saving disposal of over 400 pounds of waste).  They also reduced over 1000 single-use water bottles by creating the "watering hole" tent with water coolers and avoided mailing 9318 postcards by sending emails (saving over $1000 in mailing costs as well as reducing paper use). The event proved a test case for how to "green" large events at Macalester.

Numerous alumni mentioned their interest in the project.  Members of the class of 1959 already decided to include the picnic and the tours next year and intend to find a way to include more sustainably discussions in the next reunion.

7/03/2008 - First Green Star Awards Presented To Graduation Gown Donation Program Organizers

Congratulations to Carolyn Loeb '08, along with Macalester staff and faculty members Karin Trail-Johnson, Christie Manning, John Mountain, Denise Ward, and Sylvester Gaskin for earning a “Green Star” sustainability award for their work to develop a system for Macalester graduates to donate their graduation gowns to the Minnesota Internship Charter High School.

In only 10 days, Carolyn spear-headed the effort to set up a graduation gown collection system.  She contacted a low income school that she had interned with and offered gowns from Macalester. She then organized the effort to collect, size, box and donate 130 graduation gowns and 109 caps from Macalester graduates, approximately 1/3 of the gowns worn at graduation.

It started with an Associated Press article about the move to “one use” gowns by many colleges and universities throughout the country.  The article shared the story of a Macalester grad who was selling his graduation gown on Ebay.  At an environmental studies meeting, Carolyn Loeb and Prof. Christie Manning were compelled to do something about it.  They met with staff in the Sustainability Office, the Civic Engagement Center, Career Center, Multicultural Life and set up a collection system for the gowns.

This program expected to save the school over $2000 and kept eight boxes of gowns and a “giant” bag of caps from staying in closets or ending up in a landfill.  Amy Libman from Minnesota Internship Charter High School that this project was, “a great collaboration that links two institutions in a caring community.”  She also said that the program is a “wonderful role model for our students about how to care for the environment.”

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