The Sustainability Committee thinks that the Division has some really great sustainable efforts going on and we’ve decided to put the spotlight on some individuals that are spearheading these wonderful efforts.
This month’s Sustainability Spotlight highlights Ann Doyle and the Outreach Education Office!
Here’s what Ann had to say:
In addition to my role in Outreach Education I voluntarily serve on the BSU Center for Sustainability Advisory Board. For the past 5 years, I have coordinated the End of the Semester Residence Hall Collection Drive in Crimson, East and when we have enough people for the tables, Miles. I seek volunteers, both staff and students to monitor the collections in the halls to be sure we are collecting quality useable goods. We start the collections the day after exams begin and continue through the end of exams. The tables are monitored weekdays from 9am until 4pm. The goal is to reduce the quantity of materials going into the landfills, while providing useable goods to local social service agencies.
The first year I coordinated this effort, I had no idea how hard it would be to get an agency to come and pick up the items. Most agencies want items delivered to them. Thankfully, the second year of the program I was put in touch with Taunton State Hospital and until this year they came to campus and picked up the donated items. Taunton State Hospital would host a yard sale with the donated items and used the money raised with their clients. This year, Taunton State Hospital is experiencing great change so they were unable to participate in the collections in the residence halls. I contacted the Salvation Army and they agreed to come and pick up the donated goods but had stricter guidelines about what they would accept, so our numbers are quite a bit lower. The majority of items collected are clothing. Each year I deliver the food we collect to the Bridgewater Food Pantry.
How do you promote sustainability in your office?
The Peer Educators am are actively involved in the Residence Hall Collection Drive. They monitor the tables, assuring that what we collect is useable, inventory the items, sort and bag or box them. They know from being in the office that I really encourage them to reduce, reuse and recycle, with reduce being the most important. Within the Outreach Education Office, we review documents on screen rather than printing them, we print on the back side of previous flyers and also recycle any materials that can be recycled on campus. I bring home items that can’t be recycled on campus. I bring lunch to work in reusable containers and have a reusable plate and utensils in the office. During the spring Outreach Education hosted Sustainable Craft Workshops leading up to Sustainability Week, sponsored by the Center for Sustainability. Our workshops were on Wednesday afternoons and those who attended got to make various items from recycled materials. Our most successful workshop was when Colleen Belmore taught people how to knit coffee cup cozies from donated yarn. Pictures of all the workshops are on the Outreach Facebook page www.facebook.com/BSUOutreachEducation.
Why is sustainability important to you?
We only have one earth and we need to take care of it in order to avoid limiting the choices of future generations. We can’t expect to live as a throw-away society and not have repercussions. People need to seriously consider the decisions they make and realize how they are impacting others currently and in the future.
If money were no object, what sustainable practice would you implement in your office?
I would arrange for the commuter rail to have perfect timing for my arrival and departure from campus so I could walk to the train in the morning and walk home from the train at night.