Renewable Energy Turns Me On visited Walsh, Healy, the ICC, Reiss and Leavey and found some serious problems with their recycling bin set-ups. According to the post, Georgetown’s recycling bin failures are four-fold:
Every facility should have bins for as many different types of recycling as possible and trash cans.
Paper—which is sometimes divided into mixed paper, white paper and newspaper—should either be consolidated into one category or all three bins should be paired together.
The appearance and placement of recycling and trash bins should be standardized.
Recycling bins should be available in locations where they’re most needed (i.e. you should have paper recycling near copying machines, plastic and aluminum recycling near vending machines and Hoya Court).
Yesterday, EcoAction’s blog, Renewable Energy Turns Me On, drew our attention to a unsuccessful campaign from the 2006-7 school year which called for a $30 fee added on to tuition that would be used to make 30% of the University’s energy renewable and the possibility of a new push for a green fee.
According to the EcoAction blog, the petition received over a thousand signatures back in ’06-’07, but instead of implementing the green fee, Georgetown opted to “explore options for renewable energy with other universities in DC.” Although Georgetown created a Sustainability Action Committee, it didn’t allot any money to the group, limiting its effectiveness.
Now the question EcoAction’s asking is whether it would be wise to start another push for a green fee. Here’s some of the pros and cons they laid out in the post:
Would it run into the obstable of being associated with all of the other fees that we pay that seem to have no direct impact on us? The activities fee leaves a large unused endowment and a green fee/fund could run into problems if not used and not made directly relevant to the improvement of student life.
However, as the other universities begin to champion such causes adn the Pope being vocal about the issue himself, there are clear reasons for Georgetown to assert itself as a force for college sustainability.
What do you think?
Photo from Flicker user Tracy O, used under a Creative Commons license.
The good folks at the Sustainable Endowments Institute must have missed the Voice’s article this week about how GUSA, EcoAction, and the Corp are painting the campus green. At least, that might explain the B- Georgetown got in the SEI’s 2008 College Sustainability Report Card. Take heart, though. Georgetown students might cringe at the idea of getting a B- on anything, but it’s not all bad in this case.
The good news: In the category breakdowns, we received an A in Investment Priorities. Also, Georgetown’s grade was a bump up from last year’s. Though it’s only slightly higher than the average grade of a C+, it’s a whole lot higher than the D+ that both GWU and American received and Howard’s F.
The bad news: That being said, where would Georgetown be if we only defined success as being better than GWU and American? Georgetown was behind all of the Ivies, except for Princeton, which also received a B-. And we received an F for Endowment Transparency and C’s in Climate Change & Energy and Shareholder Engagement.
Georgetown’s report is viewable here and the entire report card is here.
There’s nothing worse than feeling hungry only an hour after eating at Leo’s. All that foraging through mounds of catfish nuggets, dry rice, and over-seasoned zucchini to find something edible was for naught, apparently. Occasionally, when I’m leaving Leo’s and I’m a little short of my calorie quota (that’s copyrighted, by the way), I save myself by grabbing a delicious, calorie-heavy, standby on the way out: the milkshake.
Such was the case Saturday as I took a break from the homecoming game to grab lunch. But when I went to get my milkshake on the way out, there were no take-away cups, plastic or styrofoam, to take the milkshake out of Leo’s. I stood awkwardly by the salad bar, downed half my milkshake, and left, dejected and not a little pissed off.
A phone call to Director of Dining Services Andrelino Cardoso later and my worst suspicions had been confirmed: the take-away milkshake cups are gone for good, gone the way of the two-keg party and beer pong table. Well, maybe not for good, but “while they’re harmful to the environment,” in Cardoso’s words, meaning that until scientists discover that disposable milkshake cups are the key to curbing global warming and bringing back the dodo, we’re out of luck. The changes came about largely through the efforts of EcoAction, Cardoso said, a student group I’m normally partial to.
In this instance, however, a line has been crossed. I’m as environmentally conscious as the next liberal guy, but the damage I’m doing to the environment by consuming milkshakes in throw-away cups is hardly keeping me up at night. Maybe there’s some middle ground we can find—edible cups made of organic styrofoam, perhaps, or a milkshake funnel? Or maybe Aramark (and EcoAction) can come to their senses and realize that plastic cups aren’t a BFD.
I never thought I’d say this, but check out this month’s issue of The Georgetown Federalist, the University’s conservative publication. Despite Editor J.P. Medved’s direct shot at the Voice in his “From the Editor” column, the issue does have a very worthwile piece by junior Alexander Bozmoski on why conservatives should be united against climate change (no link to this one–they don’t have a web site).
Bozmoski argues that the true conservative stands against drastic change of any kind. The tradition of Edmund Burke stresses the fact that we should pass onto our children the same great civilization that we have been fortunate enough to grow up in. God knows that global warming threatens all the progress that human society has made in the last 200 years.
The fact that this argument has hardly been voiced at all by any member of the GOP indicates that today’s Republicans are more interested in the immediate needs of big business than in a truly “conservative” stewardship of our society.