Compost Tea

Penn treats the campus soil, grass, and plants with compost tea -- an organic alternative to chemical fertilizers

September 2010

On Campus Green

SUSTAINABILITY NEWS from the UNIVERSITY of PENNSYLVANIA

Green Campus Partnership Eco-Reps Amelia Wilson W'13 and Brent Ginsberg C'13 at the NSO Student Services Expo

Penn President Amy Gutmann Welcome Back to the Green Campus Partnership
One year ago, Penn launched its Climate Action Plan, designed to reduce the University's carbon footprint and place Penn at the forefront of sustainability. Through creative programming; smarter design; more efficient operations; innovative coursework; and cross-cutting research, the entire Penn community made the first year of the plan a success.

In particular, I want to recognize Penn's Green Campus Partnership, a network of students, faculty, and staff leading our culture of sustainability by implementing new initiatives in several key areas:

Academics/Research. The T.C. Chan Center for Building Simulation and Energy Studies, a partnership with Tsinghua University, brings together students and experts researching strategies for sustainable environments and high-performance, energy-efficient buildings. Penn also launched a new minor in sustainability last year.

Design. Going green is a key component of our campus development plan, Penn Connects. Last year we broke ground on Penn Park, which will increase our campus green space by 20 percent. We also opened three new buildings: Music, Weiss Pavilion, and the Horticulture Center at Morris Arboretum, all designed to LEED Silver (or higher) standards.

Energy. Penn purchases more green power than any other university in America. Nearly half of the total power we use is generated by wind. We've become more energy efficient over the past year and have established an Energy Reduction Fund, providing incentives for schools and centers to pursue conservation projects.

Outreach. The Eco-Reps program now includes all 11 College Houses and more than 100 faculty and staff volunteers working toward more sustainable workplaces and dorms. The Penn Green Fund seeds sustainability ideas generated by the Penn community with one-time grants of as much as $50,000. I am impressed and inspired by the accomplishments we have made, and hope that you will continue reducing Penn's carbon footprint for the betterment of our campus, city, nation and planet.

Amy Gutmann
Amy Gutmann
Penn President

 
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Archives
CONTENTS  
FEATURED STORIES
LEARNING SUSTAINABILITY
CONSERVING ENERGY
MINIMIZING WASTE
DESIGNING GREEN
REDUCING EMISSIONS
EATING LOCAL
LEADING THE GREEN
UPCOMING EVENTS  
   
SATSEP25 Campus Tree Tour
Enjoy an afternoon stroll on campus with Jason Lubar, the Morris Arboretum’s director of Urban Forestry, to learn about the collection of trees that line the streets of Penn’s Campus. Meet at the Button at 2pm.
   
SUNSEP26 Learn about LEED and the Historic Springfield Mill
Visit the new LEED® Platinum Certified Horticulture Center to learn about solar energy, geothermal wells, green roofs and other "green" elements used in the construction of the building. A historic tour of the 1761 Springfield Mill will also be offered. FREE LUNCH provided! This event is part of the Morris Arboretum's Free Student Bus Trip program. Buses leave promptly from the Penn Bookstore at 12:30 p.m. The first 40 students to reserve a seat for each trip will be allowed to board the bus. Students without reservations may fill the empty bus seats available on the day of the trip. To reserve a seat, please register online at the Morris Arboretum website.
   
TUESEP28 Water on the Walk
Stop and learn about local water and sustainability organizations and how you can get involved in keeping the environment clean for all as you are on your way to class. Representatives will be present from Penn groups (including the Green Campus Partnership), local, and regional environmental organizations.

Eat Local Challenge
Penn dining halls will feature lunch options made with ingredients from within 150 miles of the campus (the only exception is salt). At the Kings Court English College House, all dishes will be 100% local and at Hill 75% of the offerings will be local. At other Penn Dining locations there will be at least one designated station highlighting local options.

   
  VIEW MORE GREEN CAMPUS PARTNERSHIP EVENTS
   
FEATURED STORIES
Cool Schools Penn Ranked in Top 20 on Sierra Club's List of 'America's 100 Greenest Schools'
The University of Pennsylvania came in at No. 19 -- up from No. 45 last year -- in the Sierra Club Magazine's ranking of colleges it believes are doing the most for the planet. Penn was cited particularly for its Green Fund program, which awards grants to faculty, staff or students for innovative sustainability proposals. According to the September/October issue of the magazine, "Penn spurs competition to help execute its Climate Action Plan."

Overall, Penn received a score of 80.7 out of 100 points.  No school scored a perfect 100.  Green Mountain College in Vermont topped the ranking with a score of 88.6... READ MORE

Eco-Reps College House and Greek Eco-Reps Announced for the 2010 - 2011 Academic Year
The Penn Green Campus Partnership has selected 105 students to lead environmental sustainability initiatives as Eco-Reps in all 11 College Houses and 26 Greek chapters. Eco-Reps is an environmental leadership program that focuses on raising awareness of environmental issues and impacting the behavior of individuals across the Penn campus. The program began in 2009 as a pilot within three College Houses (Hill, Kings Court/English, and Rodin) and was expanded to include all College Houses, Greek chapters, and Penn staff before the start of the 2010-2011 Academic Year... READ MORE
Green Fund Fall 2010 Green Fund Applications Being Accepted Through October 29
The University of Pennsylvania's Green Fund will accept applications beginning Oct. 1 for a third round of grants to support green innovative ideas from students, faculty or staff designed to help Penn meet its sustainability goals.

Deadline for submission is Oct. 29, and the awards will be announced in mid-November. The maximum allocation is $50,000... READ MORE

 
LEARNING SUSTAINABILITY
Year of Water Penn Gets Its Feet Wet for a Year of Water
Each year, the Office of the Provost sponsors a series of events around a theme chosen by faculty, staff and students. The 2010-2011 academic year is devoted to an exploration of water in all its manifestations.

After kicking off with the Penn Reading Project, a study of Rose George's The Big Necessity, the Year of Water will continue with interdisciplinary conferences, symposia, exhibits, performances, and more -- all produced by Penn schools, departments, resource centers, and partners... READ MORE

Mark Alan Hughes 'Sustainability in Action' Offers Penn Students Another Innovative Green Course
As Penn continues to cement its role as a leader in sustainability education, the Fall 2010 semester will introduce yet another innovative course into the academic mix. 'Sustainability in Action', a new interdisciplinary course based out of the School of Design, is open to both undergraduate and graduate students through September 24.

The course is being taught by Mark Alan Hughes, a PennDesign Distinguished Senior Fellow and former Director of Sustainability for the City of Philadelphia, and will focus on sustainability at both the campus and City level... READ MORE

 
CONSERVING ENERGY
Conserve Energy Conservation Tips for On and Off Campus
October is National Energy Awareness Month, so the Green Campus Partnership has listed the top 10 actions you can incorporate into your daily routine that will reduce your energy consumption and, in turn, your carbon footprint. The release of Penn's Climate Action Plan has focused many on the news of the University's ambitious short-term energy conservation goals. The plan calls for a 18% overall reduction by the end of FY 2014. Meeting these goals will require a significant effort from every member of the Penn community, especially in terms of behavior change. Here's what you can do to help conserve energy on campus and at home... READ MORE
kWh meter Energy Reduction Fund Identifies Efficiency Projects
In an effort to make progress towards the Climate Action Plan goal to reduce campus energy consumption 18% by 2014, Penn Facilities and Real Estate Services has created the Energy Reduction Fund (ERF). The ERF is a centralized mechanism to propose, prioritize, and track energy saving projects and energy retrofits for campus buildings. The fund combines FRF energy related components, and energy projects identified by: schools/centers, Facilities, and past/current energy audits... READ MORE
 
MINIMIZING WASTE
Recycle Plastic #1-7 Accepted Plastic Recyclables Expand to #1 - #7
Effective immediately, Penn now recycles all plastic containers, plastic types numbered 1 through 7. Penn's recycler, Blue Mountain Recycling, has installed new equipment that is capable of sorting and recycling beyond #1 and #2 plastic to include #3 through #7 containers as well. Number codes for plastic recyclables are typically found on the bottom of the container... READ MORE
APPC Worm Composting APPC Begins Worm Composting Project
The Annenberg Public Policy Center installed a worm composting system to reduce the amount of food waste in the building and to educate staff about the composting process.

Based on an informal survey, APPC staff determined that they produce enough kitchen waste to warrant a small composting project that would complement waste reduction efforts already in place at the Center. The staff opted for worms instead of an outdoor composting system that could attract pests... READ MORE

Office Depot boxes Purchasing Services Encourages Minimum Purchase Order Amount
Penn Purchasing Services has announced an important initiative that the University, together with Telrose and Office Depot, is undertaking. Effective September 1, 2010, all purchase orders issued to Telrose/Office Depot should have a minimum order value of $25. This simple change will eliminate over 6,000 purchase orders annually, and supports University's Climate Action Plan by lowering Penn's carbon footprint and reducing waste... READ MORE
 
DESIGNING GREEN
Weiss Pavilion Weiss Pavilion Showcases Adaptive Re-Use Among Green Features
Weiss Pavilion now has a home in the north arcade of Franklin Field. Penn's new intercollegiate athletic weight training room, recreation fitness center, and retail establishments inhabit the space of the arches on two levels and connect the interior concourse space under the stadium bleachers with the new east-west exterior pedestrian promenade. On target for LEED Silver Certification, Weiss Pavilion exhibits one of the University's oldest architectural traditions -- preservation through adaptive reuse... READ MORE
Soil Organic Fertilizer Trial Aims for Healthier Landscape
An ongoing pilot at two campus locations is currently being analyzed to determine sustainable lawn care methods for Penn's green spaces. Turf in front of the Franklin Building and Harrison College House is being treated with organic matter to improve the chemistry and physical properties of the soil.

Turf absorbs significant amounts of carbon dioxide, and unlike trees, will store carbon in the soil, making a healthy landscape even more important for a healthy environment... READ MORE

 
REDUCING EMISSIONS
Bi-Fuel Shuttle Penn Transit Rolls Out "Cleaner, Greener" Wheels
Over the past two years, Penn Transit has purchased eight new low emission vehicles -- all in support of Penn's Climate Action Plan. The most recent additions, four new propane powered shuttle vans, are coming on line this September, and to celebrate the event, Penn Transit created new green-themed wraps for all the cleaner, greener vehicles. The stylish new buses and shuttles will hit the street later this month. Click here or the image to the left for a preview.
Commuter Fair Save the Date for the October 11th Commuter Fair
For many members of the Penn community, a big obstacle to choosing public transportation for their commute rather than driving is not understanding their options. In an effort to help Penn faculty and staff learn about the wide array of transportation alternatives available in this region, Business Services will host its third annual Commuter Fair on October 11... READ MORE
 
EATING LOCAL
Eat Local Challenge Bon Appetit at Penn Dining Hosts Second Annual Eat Local Challenge
On September 28th, Bon Appetit at Penn Dining will be hosting Penn's second annual Eat Local Challenge. Penn dining halls will feature lunch options made with ingredients from within 150 miles of the campus (the only exception is salt). At the Kings Court/English College House, all dishes will be 100% local and at Hill 75% of the offerings will be local. At other Penn Dining locations there will be at least one designated station highlighting local options. The Challenge is part of Bon Appetit at Penn Dining's ongoing Farm-to-Fork program, which partners small-scale, owner-operated local farms and creates unique partnerships between students, chefs, and local farmers and artisans... READ MORE
 
LEADING THE GREEN
Stan Laskowski Stan Laskowski, Lecturer/Advisor
Masters of Environmental Studies Program

Stan Laskowski is a lecturer in the Department of Earth & Environmental Science and an academic advisor in the Master of Environmental Studies program at Penn. A former Deputy Regional Administrator for the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and founder of the Philadelphia Global Water Initiative, Stan brings an invaluable amount of information and experience to the classroom that allows students to realize the connection between environmental studies and service. In addition to serving as an instructor of the innovative course ENVS 494: Toward Sustainability on Penn's Campus, Stan teaches several other courses on U.S. and global environmental management, environmental policy, and issues related to the attainment of the UN Millennium Development Goals for water and sanitation.

CLICK HERE TO READ OUR INTERVIEW WITH STAN