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Sustainability at Wake Forest

Sorority T-Shirts Get a Makeover

Friday, March 20, 2015

Sororities at Wake Forest University are notorious for the number of shirts that bear their letters. Each spring, hundreds of underclass women join Greek organizations and, as part of a campus wide tradition, are gifted previous semesters’ t-shirts. In a way, this “passing down” of t-shirts can be viewed as a sustainable ritual. On the other hand, it does not quell the flow of ordering among these groups. The global impact of the perpetual purchasing of t-shirts is often lost on the women who are placing the orders. The average conventional cotton t-shirt requires about 700 gallons of water and a half pound of pesticide and herbicide for production. Between the growing, manufacturing, and transporting processes, each shirt is also responsible for a significant amount of energy use. Last fall, Greeks Go Green, a network of peer-to-peer educators for sustainability,… Read more »

Call for 2015 Sustainability Interns

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Are you a student interested in making a difference and gaining professional development experience? The following paid internships are available to all Wake Forest University students for fall 2015. In order to apply, please fill out this form. Unless otherwise noted, these internships are with the Office of Sustainability. Please note, interns are required to attend an on-campus sustainability orientation August 19th – 21st. Internship applications are due by Tuesday, March 31st at 5:00pm. Campus Garden  The intern will collaborate with expert garden mentors, faculty, staff, student, and community volunteers to manage the campus garden across from Spry Soccer Stadium on Polo Road. Management entails all aspects of growing seasonally appropriate crops including, but not limited to, developing and maintaining rotation and cover cropping plans, starting and transplanting crops, watering, mulching, and composting food/yard waste.  The intern will coordinate garden volunteer opportunities, explore… Read more »

Are you a Champion of Change?

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Have you facilitated a change to a sustainable practice on campus? Are you teaching a sustainability-focused course or leading a research effort with sustainability-centered outcomes? We want to hear about it! On April 22, 2015 Wake Forest will host our second annual Champions of Change award ceremony. Complete this form by April 7, 2015 to nominate yourself or someone else as a Champion of Change for campus sustainability. Explore a list of last year’s winners. We will accept nominations for awards that honor sustainability through: resource conservation (energy, water, or waste reduction), academics (teaching, research, engaged learning), service and social action, and bright ideas (innovative ideas that have been or could be implemented).

A Lesson about Values

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

This February graduate students in the Applied Sustainability class visited TS Designs, a Certified Benefit Corporation making t-shirts in Burlington, North Carolina. The students spent the morning with company President, Eric Henry, who aims to create the “highest quality, most sustainable, printed apparel,” measuring success against the triple bottom line: people, planet, and profit. Henry discussed his take on sustainability, and the vision for the company that calls North Carolina home. Henry’s vision, and triple bottom line approach, is a consequence of the 1990’s North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). TS Designs, which Henry had operated since 1977, nearly closed its doors when customers and competitors fled to Mexico for cheaper labor and cheaper inputs all across the supply chain. The company, whose bread and butter was 50-cent screen prints for some of the world’s largest apparel brands, could not… Read more »

Landscaping Update: Winter Jasmine

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

During spring break, campus landscaping services will be doing some work on the west side of Wait Chapel near parking lot A.  The slope on this side of the chapel is covered with Winter Jasmine that has become overgrown and has expanded beyond its intended beds.  Some of the Winter Jasmine will be removed and replaced with sod near the Huffman Residence Hall loading dock.  The rest will be cut back to encourage new, healthy growth.

New Halls Bring Home Silver

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Optimized energy performance may seem like a dry topic, but it’s one of the features that earned Magnolia and Dogwood residence halls and North Dining Hall LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Silver certifications this semester. Undergraduate residents have occupied the residence halls since fall 2013. North Dining Hall welcomed students in January 2014. Prior to receiving certification from the US Green Building Council, however, each required post-occupancy performance verification. All new buildings on campus are designed to meet at least LEED-Silver standards. The buildings include hi-tech occupancy sensor lights, an interactive energy and water usage dashboard, and low- flow plumbing fixtures. Natural light and high performance lighting in the buildings also decrease energy usage. Learn more about some of the sustainable features from the LEED scorecards for Magnolia, Dogwood, and North Dining Hall.

PRO+ECT Event Increases Awareness

Thursday, January 29, 2015

For a conservation event with potentially apocalyptic connotations, Thursday’s “Pledging Responsibility for Oceans and Environmental Change Today” in Brendle Recital Hall was frank, optimistic and self-aware: panelist and scientist Nancy Knowlton even pledged to keep audience members “not utterly depressed,” to noticeable titters. The panel, an effort to engage the public on the importance of oceans and their nascent fragility as a result of climate change, garnered a sizable crowd, perhaps partially due to the celebrity of the panelists speaking: Sylvia Earle, a National Geographic oceanographer; Knowlton, Sant Chair for Marine Science at Smithsonian’s Natural Museum of Natural History; and Amanda Leland, vice president for Oceans at the Environmental Defense Fund. Despite the preliminary call for optimism, the scientists made the audience aware of the current dire state of the world’s oceans. Overfishing and pollution have ravaged our oceans to… Read more »

Holiday Setback Program

Monday, January 26, 2015

Think you were the only one resting this holiday break? Think again. This past winter holiday break marked the seventh year Wake Forest has participated in the “Holiday Setback” program, during which we allow electrical use and steam production a bit of a holiday break—conserving both money and energy. The energy savings during this 2014 winter break is estimated at $32,648; electrical savings were $28,436 (475,840 kWh) and natural gas savings were $4,212 (842 dT). All seven holiday setbacks total to savings of $274,143. This is one of the many examples of how sustainable practices are a great idea not only for the planet but also for our budgets. By Andrea Becker (’16), Staff Writer

Where Are They Now: Kathleen Pritchard

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The outdoors has always been a part of Kathleen Pritchard’s life. A 2010 graduate of Wake Forest University with a degree in political science and minors in biology and environmental science, Kathleen has carried out her passion for the environment by continuing her studies in environmental law and policy; she is now a third year law student at the University of Texas in Austin. After graduation, Kathleen took two years off before continuing her education. Her hiatus began with a return to a former post at Wilderness Ventures, where she guided backpacking and climbing trips in the Pacific Northwest. She then spent time in Oxford, MS to study for the LSAT and to gain experience at a small family practice law firm. Once she completed this, she gathered her things and traveled to Argentina where she spent seven months teaching… Read more »

Tree Removed in Lot P

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

A weeping cherry tree on the island in the middle of parking lot P on the east side of Wait Chapel was removed on January 6. The tree, which was part of the original campus planting plan, split down the trunk, rendering it unsalvageable. This tree will be replaced with the original varietal Weeping Higan Cherry (Prunus subhirtella ‘Pendula’). A description of this tree states that it “grows 20 to 30 feet tall and spreads 15 to 25 feet in a graceful weeping habit. Leaves stay glossy green throughout the summer and into the fall when they turn a vivid yellow before leaving the tree bare in winter. The drooping bare branches even lend a soothing grace to the landscape in winter. There is nothing quite like the Weeping Higan Cherry in full bloom in the spring. The light pink… Read more »