Wake Forest University

Home Stories - Sustainability at Wake Forest

Sustainability at Wake Forest

A New Way to Recharge

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Five and a half hours. That is the amount of time it takes for Powersol charging umbrellas on Reynolda Patio to fully recharge. Two hours. The total amount of time it takes for solar-powered umbrellas to charge an iPhone from zero to 100 percent—the same amount of time it takes your typical wall socket.
Over the summer, the Office of Sustainability, Hospitality & Auxiliary Services, and Facilities & Campus Services teamed up to bring five solar-powered patio umbrellas to the Reynolda Hall patio, allowing students to charge their small electronic devices with renewable energy from the sun.
“The solar shades are a wonderful way of creating a charging source without doing major infrastructure work. The shades are movable with the furniture, allowing for enjoyment of the outdoors.” John Shenette, Associate Vice President for Facilities & Campus Services said.
The Powersol charging umbrellas were developed by ZON, a company that provides solar-powered outdoor power solutions, to fill a void in the market and create a product that meets the demands of today’s typical mobile user.

Where are they now: De’Noia Woods

Thursday, September 29, 2016

De’Noia Woods (‘13) grew up on an island in the Caribbean surrounded by lush beaches, wilderness and a rich cultural history. As a child, Woods watched her father appreciate the environment for what it had to offer in terms of diversity and recreation. Her values are grounded in a desire to preserve the wonders of the environment for future generations.
When recalling her childhood, Woods speaks of her father: “He never believed in altering nature’s gift for greed but only in utilizing a small footprint that mirrored need not want.” By observing her father’s philosophy of living, Wood’s passion for sustainability and environmentalism grew.
While at Wake Forest, Woods studied anthropology and studio art, while serving as the creative liaison intern for three years at the Office of Sustainability. In this internship, Woods photo documented events and developed various sustainability themed public art exhibitions.
“I believe I gained the most from being under Dedee’s leadership for three years. She taught me how to be an accountable person in the workforce, encouraged free flowing creativity and allowed me to fail. With this guidance, I learned how to own projects from cradle to grave and within failure, I grew,” Woods recalls from her internship with the Office of Sustainability.  “I felt empowered to follow my passions by navigating the current opportunity to my next goal. I also trusted the process which allowed me to adapt, change direction and refine what I saw myself accomplishing in the short and long term.”

Greening the Goal

Thursday, September 8, 2016

The Wake Forest Athletic Department and the Office of Sustainability teamed up to host the University’s first carbon neutral soccer game on Sept. 6, in a match against Appalachian State University. Dr. Miles Silman, the Andrew Sabin Family Foundation Presidential Chair in Conservation Biology and director of the Center for Energy, Environment and Sustainability, served as the team’s honorary captain.
Office of Sustainability graphic design and social media intern, Talia Roberts, engages with fellow students at the first Wake Forest carbon neutral soccer game.
In preparation for the event, sustainability departments from Wake Forest and Appalachian State worked together to determine the carbon dioxide emissions from the team’s travel to and from Winston-Salem, as well as emissions generated from the stadium lights and fan transportation.
Carbon dioxide emissions generated from the game are being offset by We Are Neutral, a nonprofit organization that offsets homes, schools, businesses, travel, meetings, and sporting events. We Are Neutral creates offsets by planting trees on conservation lands, performing free home energy upgrades for low-income residents, and supporting the reduction of methane released from landfills.
During the game, members of the Office of Sustainability team interacted with fans to educate them about the impact of their activities on the environment and ways they can help reduce their carbon footprint.
“Our sustainability interns did a great job reaching out to fans of all ages and engaging them in our carbon footprint quiz, where they had to assess the relative emissions of air travel, plane travel, home energy use, and meat consumption. Our mission was not to condemn any of those activities, but simply to educate others so they can determine if more sustainable options may be appropriate in certain situations,” said Brian Cohen, Program Coordinator for the Wake Forest Office of Sustainability. “This initiative allowed us to reach a segment of the Wake Forest community that we do not have access to on a daily basis, and we look forward to coordinating with Athletics on more outreach opportunities in the future.”
The game ended with a 3-0 victory for Wake Forest and a small win for Planet Earth.

Welcome New Sustainability Staff

Saturday, August 27, 2016

The Office of Sustainability is pleased to welcome Brian Cohen and Ally Hellenga, who joined the Wake Forest Sustainability team on August 1, as the Program Coordinator and Communication and Events Coordinator, respectively.
“We are fortunate to have attracted such bright and accomplished individuals to our team. These two bring experience in both sustainability and higher education – their talents and perspectives provide a fresh and creative lens on our work,” Dedee DeLongpré Johnston, Chief Sustainability Officer for Wake Forest University, said.
Cohen comes to Wake Forest after serving as an assistant tennis coach at Old Dominion University and Washington & Lee University, where he also became a leader in campus sustainability. He helped introduce a number of environmental initiatives to the athletic departments at both schools and served as the Athletic Department Liaison for Environmental Initiatives at Washington & Lee.  In addition, Cohen has experience in marine conservation with two NGOs: SeaWeb and the Ocean Conservancy.

Stottlemyer to head Environmental Program

Monday, August 15, 2016

Dr. Eric Stottlemyer has been named director of the Wake Forest Environmental Program— adding yet another hat to his current work as an assistant teaching professor of the Writing Program and as the faculty director of the Learn, Experience, Navigate, Solve (LENS) Global Sustainability program.
Stottlemyer will lead the Environmental Program as former Director Dr. Abdessadek Lachgar begins a year-long sabbatical to further his research before returning to a professorship within the Chemistry Department.
In his youth, Stottlemyer recalls running around the woods and swimming in the lakes and rivers near his parents’ remote cabin in northern Michigan—the place where his passion for the environment originates. Since this point, Stottlemyer has been an active proponent of environmental education making his directorship of the Environmental Program a natural step.

Congratulations Class of 2016 Interns

Friday, May 27, 2016

Alyshah was recognized for her Sustainability Leadership at the annual Champions of Change awards ceremony.
Alyshah Aziz graduated Cum Laude with a major in Politics & International Affairs and a minor in Middle East & South Asian Studies. Alyshah served as an Alternative Transportation Intern for six consecutive semesters. She is working as a Business Analyst within Deloitte’s Federal Human Capital Consulting division.
Alyshah’s reflection on the internship: My internship with the Office of Sustainability helped me strengthen my skills in research, writing, marketing, and creativity. My time in the office and my friendships with Dedee, Hannah, Annabel, initiative co-sponsors, and interns are invaluable to me. My biggest takeaway that I will always carry with me is to think critically of what I read, hear, and see. The weekly intern meetings taught me to listen to what I hear and/or see and then investigate. My internship has lead me to view the world and all the activities of humankind from a holistic perspective. 

Graduates Commit to Living Green

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Graduating Sustainability Interns Stewart Rickert and Alyshah Aziz host the sixth annual Green Grad pledge.
Over 200 WFU graduates made an enduring commitment to sustainability by signing the Green Graduation pledge, an opportunity that over 100 other colleges and universities offer their graduates. All signatories received a reusable travel mug to reinforce sustainable habits.  The mugs are printed with Wake Forest’s Green Graduation pledge: I pledge to take into account the social and environmental consequences of any future endeavors and to work to improve the sustainability of the communities in which I work, live and play.
This is the sixth year that Wake Forest graduates have participated in the nationwide pledge movement.
Graduates who missed the initial opportunity to commit can come by the Office of Sustainability during our Homecoming reception in the fall to sign the pledge and/or grab a reusable mug.

Meet Wake Forest’s Newest Human-Powered Parking Enforcement Officer

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Wake Forest University’s newest parking enforcement officer, Kathy Kullman, exudes an overall friendly and approachable demeanor. It’s not her appearance or her personality that sets her apart from other parking attendants. The reason is not difficult to pinpoint: she’s human-powered.
Kullman has committed to biking throughout a significant portion of her workday. After previously working as a bicycle patrol officer for a school in California, it was a “no-brainer” when Alex Crist, Director of Parking and Transportation, asked about her preference on biking.
“Having a parking enforcement officer on bike is great for our campus,” says Crist. “We are saving money on fuel, reducing our carbon footprint, and providing an invaluable resource of increased accessibility to our campus community.”

Class of ’16 invited to sign Green Grad Pledge

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Members of the class of 2016 are invited to sign the Green Graduation Pledge on Friday, May 13 at graduation ticket pick-up outside the University Book Store. Students who sign the pledge are committing to “take into account the social and environmental consequences of any future endeavors and to work to improve the sustainability of the communities in which [they] work, live and play.”
This is the university’s sixth year offering the Green Graduation Pledge to students. The tradition began 30 years ago at Humboldt State University. Today, more than 100 schools participate in the nationwide pledge drive, facilitated by the Graduation Pledge Alliance.

Reduce Waste at Move-Out

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Did you know… that the big green dumpsters in front of residence halls are headed to the landfill? Help us keep all reusable or recyclable items out of the dumpsters and in the hands of those who can use them.
Spread the word about these opportunities:
Deacs Donate
What? Reusable housewares, clothing, small appliances, school supplies, canned/dried food and furniture
When? April 29 – May 8
How? Smaller items can be placed in blue Goodwill donation boxes in the lobby of every residence hall. Bulky items (futons, shelving units, bookshelves, rugs, etc.) can be taken out in front of each residence hall and placed next to the Deacs Donate sign. Residents of theme houses should contact their resident advisers for information about the location of the donation bins in their areas.
Why? In 2015, the program helped students put approximately 20,000 pounds of clothing and other essentials into the hands of those in need in the Winston-Salem community.