Students make it easier being green

From the well-placed signs encouraging the College community to “Burn calories, not electricity,” to the nearly 1,600 newly received recycling containers now appearing on campus, Lycoming’sSustainability Office has certainly been making an impression in its first year on campus.

Led by coordinator Alyssa Tomaskovic ’13 and co-coordinators Zebidiah Buck ’12 and Laura Walter ’13, the office has been spearheading the College's 2012 RecycleMania competition, led a "Flip It Off" campus energy conservation campaign and produced a PSA video to encourage others to recycle. It also regularly contributes a sustainability article to Green Corner, a new column in The Lycourier student newspaper.

The sustainability student team supports the work of Lycoming's Sustainability Committee, a group of more than 20 students, faculty and administrators who meet regularly throughout the academic year to discuss, plan and implement sustainability initiatives across campus.

“The Sustainability Office works on developing and implementing ideas that are discussed at the Committee meetings,” said Tomaskovic.

The “Flip It Off” Campaign, recently adopted by Lycoming College, is aimed at encouraging students, faculty and staff to turn off or unplug lights, electronics and appliance when they leave the room.

“By printing comical reminders on 100% recycled paper, we hope to raise awareness for electricity and water conservation,” said Tomaskovic. These signs have been placed next to light switches and sinks in various rooms and bathrooms across campus.

The new recycling bins were made possible by a grant from the Alcoa Foundation to support the 2012 RecycleMania collegiate recycling competition. Recylclemania, which runs from Feb. 5- March 31, is a friendly competition and benchmarking tool for colleges and universities to promote waste reduction on their campuses. Lycoming was one of 32 colleges and universities to receive the bins.

Call2Recycle, a free battery recycling program, is another ongoing sustainability effort. Collection boxes will be placed around campus so that students can drop-off rechargeable batteries and cell phones. The metal recovered is used to create new batteries and stainless steel products. Cell phones are recycled, refurbished and/or resold, with a portion of the proceeds donated to select charities.

Thanks to the ongoing efforts of the Sustainability Office and its student coordinators, College community is making strides in reducing its carbon footprint. “By interfacing with different departments on campus and contacting outside sources,” said Tomaskovic, “we hope to not only raise awareness about sustainability issues, but to make a positive and visible difference on the campus, as well.”

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