Archive for September, 2006

Hello, all.
This past Monday, students from many different environmental groups met to discuss two things.
First was the idea of a coordinated action week kicking off with “Campus Sustainability Day” on Oct 25, a week of “Focus the Nation” events and cumulating with a Nov 2 “International Day of Action on Climate Change”
Secondly, we brainstormed for a “EcoChallenge” contest sponsored by GE and MTV. (http://www.ecocollegechallenge.com/ for more infomation on the details). The full list of ideas is at the bottom and please feel free to add more. We’re looking to put together some mini/draft proposals for our next meeting and then narrow it down to a few competitive ones to send it.
The following people have asked to spearhead one group, so if you are interested in helping with that idea, please contact them.
* sustainable bathrooms (water reduction- waterless urinals, composting toilets, grey water)
-Phil, wje6
* energy efficency (overall integration of ideas)
-Doug, dmb68
* green roofs
– Carlos, cmr55
* bike fleet (free with ID swipe)
– Ian, lct2
* green landscaping
– Shay, ay63
Other ideas that are as yet unclaimed:
-motion sensored lights
– electricity being turned on linked to room key
– food waste reduction in hallway
– double sided printing/recycled paper
– revise green building standards
– energy auditing business (student-run) in collegetown
– convert a car to electric

The next meeting will be Wed the 11th in Carpenter Hall. Please feel free to come if you missed the first meeting or even if you can’t commit to working on the project. We need ideas/input from as many people as possible.
For more information, email me (Katherine) at kpm35.


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Fall Harvest Week

Farm-to-Cornell and Ithaca College Present:

Francis Moore Lappé
G10 Biotech Building
Wednesday September 20th; 6:00pm

Join us for an evening with the acclaimed author of Diet for a Small Planet; World Hunger: Twelve Myths; Hope¹s Edge; and Democracy¹s Edge. Francis Lappé has authored or co-authored 15 books, and her 1971 Diet for a Small Planet has sold over 3 million copies. Through her work with the Small Planet Institute, Lappé continues to educate about the human-made causes of world hunger and the power of every day choices to create the world we want. She is a highly-regarded speaker who has received 17 honorary doctorate degrees and was the 1987 recipient of the Right Livelihood Award, sometimes called the Alternative Nobel.

For more information about Francis Moore Lappé visit her website:

This event is sponsored by: Ithaca College Office of the Provost; Cornell Dining, Mann Library, Small Farms Program, Department of DevelopmentSociology, Slow Food Cornell, and funded in part by the GPSAFC. Open to the public.

For more information about this event contact dls79@cornell.edu, or bpl24@cornell.edu.

Please distribute this message far and wide!

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The Focus the Nation initiative has been launched (read below). This is a major educational effort to focus colleges and universities on global warming and build national support to convince our government to take serious steps to fight global warming. Many high schools, colleges, and universities are now signing up their teams for conferences, and we have done so as well.

There is now a Focus the Nation Team at Cornell that will plan and coordinate a 2- to 3-hour conference on November 2nd or another date. We’re asking as many interested people to join the team. We will need help in asking professors to speak at the conference, asking student groups to lead short breakout sessions, outreaching to student groups and the campus, requesting rooms, and planning the event.

This post is for the planning of this Focus the Nation event. If anybody is interested in joining, please comment here or e-mail Carlos Rymer at cmr55@cornell.edu to let the Team know. I hope we can support this national effort and build support for the fight to stop global warming.

Carlos Rymer

For Immediate Release September 14^th , 2006 Contact: Dr. Eban Goodstein 503-806-6370 Global Warming Educational Initiative Launched”Focus the Nation” Unveils Website, Tour of Colleges Portland, OR—A major new educational initiative on global warming is live today on the Internet. Focus the Nation will involve over 1000 universities, colleges and high schools in nationwide, simultaneous one-day symposia that will explore the challenge of “Stabilizing the Climate in the 21^st Century”. “Post Katrina, and with 2006 on track to be the hottest year on record, Americans are getting seriously worried about global warming”, said Ross Gelbspan, Pulitzer-prize winning journalist, and author of the book /Boiling Point/. “Focus the Nation will generate a critically-needed, non-partisan, national dialogue about the bold steps we have to take if we are going to stabilize the climate.” Students, faculty and staff can sign their schools up to participate at http://www.focusthenation.org <http://www.focusthenation.org/>. “Although we are working mostly with high schools and up, we also welcome participation by middle school and elementary school teachers” said Project Director, Dr. Eban Goodstein, Professor of Economics at Lewis & Clark College. In fact, building from a base in educational institutions, Focus the Nation is also encouraging involvement by faith and civic organizations, businesses, and cities and towns. “The decisions we make over the next decade to either stabilize global warming pollution– or not– will profoundly impact our children’s future. We owe our young people a truly national day of focused conversation about global warming solutions,” said Goodstein. The symposia are scheduled for January 31^st , 2008. The date falls in between the New Hampshire and Super Tuesday political primaries, and Focus the Nation organizers expect that with several million students nationwide discussing global warming solutions, political candidates and elected officials from all parties will join the dialogue. To launch the effort, Goodstein is touring campuses across the country—including stops in the next few weeks at Columbia, Yale, U Mass Amherst, SUNY Albany, Boise State, and the University of Arizona. Regional launch events will be held on September 30^th at Middlebury College in Vermont; October 6^th at Arizona State University; November 18^th at the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee; and on December 9^th at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon. A complete schedule can be found on the project web site at http://www.focusthenation.org <http://www.focusthenation.org/>, and are listed below. Focus the Nation intends to spark discussion about practical solutions to stabilizing the climate. An important part of the educational mission is being shouldered by the project’s business partners, including Clif Bar and Stonyfield Farm. “There are important lessons to be learned from companies that have been successfully reducing their footprint on the planet, while also gaining strength in the marketplace.” said Goodstein. The Focus the Nation advisory board includes *Dr.* *Bunyan Bryant*, School of Natural Resources, University of Michigan; *Senator Gary Hart* (D-CO); *Denis Hayes*, Earth Day founder and President of the Bullitt Foundation; *Hunter Lovins*, President of Natural Capitalism, Inc; *Dr. William Moomaw*, Professor of International Environmental Policy at Tufts University; *Dr. David Orr*, Professor of Environmental Studies at Oberlin College; *Billy Parish*, Director of Energy Action; the *Honorable Claudine Schneider*, former member of Congress (R-RI), and *Dr. James “Gus” Speth*, Dean of the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.

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Greening Cornell’s Fleet – use biodiesel, connect with Ithaca Biodiesel. Kenneth will look into this.

Bio-Energy Research Center – $ offered by National and State DOE, could Cornell get funding for a new research center? Kim will look into this.

Buses – Free Bus Passes were a great incentive. We currently subsidize parking spots, and we shouldn’t! Are there studies on how many freshman didn’t bring bus passes this year as a result of having a free bus passes? Stefanie will look into this.

Long term: Gravity Fed Tram on Campus? An ‘escalator’ for bike up Buffalo Street? Tamar will look into this. We also discussed the possibility of a tram for Ithaca, but have since discovered that many studies have been done in this area, and it was determined to be financially unfeasible. (Talk to Professor Francis Vanek, MAE)

Bus to Farmer’s Market!!!Tamar will work with T-Cat to provide ‘special’ shuttles to go shopping there.

*Energy in getting your goods shipped – make transportation more sustainable, and then the goods themselves become more sustainable. Also, BUY LOCAL!

People in attendance:
Kenneth Sauer – KJS55
Whitney Larson – WBL5
Stefanie Hufuagle-Eichiuer – SH339
Kimberely Schroder – KDS29
Tamar Sharabi – TMS43

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Institutional Support

Institutional Support

A Liberty Hyde Bailey Center for Sustainability is housed in a green building on the Cornell University campus. The Center houses several endowed chairships for faculty from multiple disciplines and is a vibrant center for interdisciplinary work. An academic field of sustainability puts Cornell on the cutting edge of sustainability teaching and research. This attracts a dynamic group of faculty and students. A fund is established via development fundraising to provide research grants for sustainability-related, interdisciplinary projects.

Using the successful “writing in the majors” course format, a “sustainability in the majors” curriculum is developed which integrates sustainability into curriculum across campus. This is supported through funded Teaching Assistantships, similar to the “writing in the majors” program, making it an appealing program for departments to become involved with.

The faculty reward system is recalibrated, starting with the faculty positions within the LHB Center for Sustainability, to encourage faculty to take more risks and be more innovative with their work. Teaching and outreach are encouraged and supported.

Other brainstorming pieces

  • Pursue a Kellogg endowed chair in sustainable agriculture
  • Include emphasis on sustainability-oriented work when writing new faculty job descriptions
  • Student involvement is needed to drive changes in campus physical sustainability and this requires institutional support (Catch 22 of which comes first?); attracting motivated students and faculty and they will feed the other campus changes being sought
  • Use transportation, food, energy, etc. ideas and changes as educational opportunities
  • Work to develop the campus as a curriculum in and of itself (more education about students’ physical environment and the impact of their daily decisions)
  • Tap into classes to help set goals/develop ideas for campus sustainability (ie, energy, economics of different options, etc.)
  • Make sustainability the topic for the first-year student reading project as a way to integrate sustainability into curriculum
  • Funding sources– current NSF Biogeochemistry IGERT is up for renewal soon and focus on sustainability is being discussed
  • Reinvigorate and integrate existing programs within the broader umbrella of sustainability and the LHB Center
  • Support extension, Community Food and Ag Program, etc.
  • Invest in local businesses to meet sustainability goals (ie, biodiesel from locally grown materials and community processing plant)

Staffing needs

  • Dilmun Farm manager
  • Cafe manager focused on local foods (Mann library?)
  • Internships
  • Harness the energy of current and recent undergraduates and provide leadership training for recent grads (Student Leadership in Sustainability Program?)

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Cornell Sustainability Hub
Sustainable Foods Group
Meeting Minutes: September 6, 2006

  1. Fall Harvest Festival
    1. All food will be from NY state, and a lot of it will be local (within 50 miles).
    2. Need pamphlets, posters, table stuff by 9/15 (That’s Friday!)
    3. There should be information there about the Farmers’ Market
    4. A Speaker for dinner would be awesome. How can we get ~ $5000?
    5. More info: Miriam @ mgg22
    6. We definitely need to advertise on West, and Collegetown for the upperclassmen.
  2. Farm To College Working Group
    1. More info: Jen @ jmb326
    2. Trying to book Francis Lapay
  3. New World Agriculture and Ecology Group (NWAEG)
    1. More info: Jen @ jmb326
    2. http://sao.cornell.edu/SO/search.php?igroup=77&year=organizations
  4. Farmers’ Market
    1. Bring the Farmers’ Market to Cornell
    2. Concern for students purchasing enough for the venture to be profitabl
    3. Who do we need to contact to make this happen?
    4. T-Cat Bus to Farmer’s Marke
    5. Cornell-sponsored trips to shopping malls are common. How are these organized?
  5. Student Organic Farming
    1. Expanding
    2. Increase Marketing
  6. Composting
    1. Does Cornell compost already? Who can we contact?
    2. Not only Composting Left-overs, but also taking food to local food banks
    3. Pre-consumer/Post-consumer composting
  7. University Level Program for Farmer-Infrastructure (Chan – Stick & Stone)
    1. Greenstar already has a similar program to this.
    2. The idea is that Cornell can help fund local farming ventures in exchange for farm produce.
  8. Nutrition: Work with Gannett to emphasize the importance of fresh foods
  9. Have a scale by the trash-bins at Dining Halls
  10. Carry-a-cup-campaign

People in Attendance

Stacey Ng, syn3

Sean Williamson, srw46

Miriam Golwer, mgg22

Hannah Shayler, has34

Joowon Ahn, ja257

Dana Shapiro, dls79

Katie Alexander, kba5

Jennifer Gardern, jmb326

Brad Lipovsky, bpl24

Kimberley D. C. Schroder, kds29

Tamar Sharabi, tms43

notes by bpl24

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1. Training PPC folks in Sustainable materials
-Cast FE vs. PVC plumbing
-Electrical Shop

2. Energy Audit of existing buildings.
-Which ones are the energy hogs?
-Prepare prioritized list of renovations/upgrades
-This could be part of curricular activities in architecture and engineering.

3. Cornell as a center of innovation, should demand innovative buildings. Leed buildings should shoot for Gold or Platinum and aim to go beyond.

4. Green/Sustainable Building Tour

5. Aim for density in student housing within walking distance.
-more mixed-uses within housing

Contacts: Martha Bohm (mb463)
Marnie Bettridge (mdb52)

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