Wake Forest University

FAQ - Sustainability at Wake Forest

Sustainability at Wake Forest

FAQ

FAQ

Browse the list of topics for answers to your frequently asked questions. Have a question we haven’t answered? Direct your inquiries to sustainability@wfu.edu.

Purchasing

Sustainable t-shirts

Recycling and Waste Reduction

What to Recycle at Wake

Reusable vs. Disposable: Is it worth it?

The Recycling Myth

Double-sided Printing

Disposing of Electronic Waste

E-waste Chain of Custody

Rolling the Quad

Battery Recycling

CFL Light bulb disposal

Water Coolers (Office Water Dispensers)

Sustainable Printing

#5 Plastic Recycling 

Alternative Transportation

Carpooling: Emergency Ride Service

Carpooling to a Meeting

Food and Dining

Composting

Reusable to-go containers

Get Involved: Local Food Movement

Sustainable Dining Options

Campus Garden Produce

Water and Energy

Hydration Stations

Landscaping water usage

Restroom Water Savings

Holiday Setbacks

Ban the Bottle

Bubbly Water

Vampire Energy

Life on campus

Master of Arts in Sustainability

Changes to the Environmental Studies Minor

Hammocks

Rolling the Quad

Get Involved

Summer Volunteer Opportunities

Sustainability Job Resources

Sustainability Ranking

Sustainability Resources -  2011

FAQ: Carpooling to a Meeting

July 10th, 2014

Q: Some members of our department are attending a meeting off campus. We think others from Wake Forest might also be attending, but we’re not sure how to connect with them. Is there a way to do that online?

A: Absolutely. Whether you are driving to a meeting, a regional conference, or just an office lunch, you can always offer/seek a ride through Zimride. If you are attending a regional conference and have colleagues from the area attending, you can post a ride that is open to our members in trusted partner network: University of Virginia, Appalachian State University, University of Richmond, UNC Chapel Hill, and NC State University.

Read more frequently asked questions about carpooling on our how to guide, How to Find and Register a Carpool.

FAQ: Carpool Emergency Ride

July 10th, 2014

Photo courtesy of zimride.com

Photo courtesy of zimride.com

A: Yes. In the case of a personal or family emergency, the Parking and Transportation office will reimburse a carpool member for cab fare upon submission of a valid receipt. In the case of scheduled appointments or other driving needs during the workday, carpool members are encouraged to maintain a membership in Zipcar. Any of the four vehicles in the WFU shared fleet can be reserved and used as needed at a low hourly rate that includes gas and insurance.

Read more frequently asked questions about carpooling on our how to guide, How to Find and Register a Carpool.

FAQ: Sustainability Rating

June 6th, 2014

Q. I noticed that campus has a silver sustainability rating, but that we don’t make the lists of the greenest schools in magazines like the Sierra Club. Why is that?

A. Wake Forest University participates in STARS, the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education’s Sustainability Tracking Assessment Rating System (say that three times fast). We undertake this comprehensive reporting effort as a part of our commitment to transparency and accountability.  The framework was developed specifically to measure and track indicators of sustainability in higher education. Each campus that participates makes its report available online; no ratings or rankings are judged out of context or evaluated using metrics that create a limited view of a campuses’ commitment.  Wake Forest is one of many campuses that does not respond to other outside requests for ratings/ranking information. We encourage those groups who would like to showcase campus efforts to draw from our STARS report for any information they might need.

In 2011 and 2012 WFU submitted a STARS report and was awarded a STARS silver rating, the third highest rating possible. WFU will submit a new report in the spring of 2015 to fulfill our three-year reporting requirement.

FAQ: Summer Volunteer Opportunities

June 5th, 2014
Q.  I want to stay actively involved over the summer months – are there any volunteer opportunities on campus?
 
Gardening 2011
A. Fortunately, you don’t have to leave Wake Forest to get out and help out. With fewer students on campus over the summer, both the WFU Campus Garden and Campus Kitchen rely on the support of regular volunteers to keep operations in full swing. The campus garden needs help with planting, weeding, harvesting, and composting. The summer months are among the most bountiful, so the garden manager needs extra hands to keep up. Most of the produce grown in the garden is donated to Campus Kitchen, allowing them to prepare more dishes from scratch. Campus Kitchen needs volunteer support to pick up produce, and create and deliver nutritious meals to community agencies that are working to serve the needs of food insecure residents. To learn more about summer gardening hours, sign up for the campus garden listserv and “like” the Wake Forest Campus Garden Facebook pageSign up online to volunteer for Campus Kitchen shifts. Sign up for the Sustainability Weekly Update and the volunteer listserv to learn about Office of Sustainability, campus, and community volunteer opportunities as they arise.

E-Waste Chain of Custody

March 31st, 2014
Q.  I’ve recently learned that e-waste can still harm the environment, even if it is recycled. How do we make sure that doesn’t happen to the e-waste we collect here at Wake Forest?
A. Good question. It is true that some e-waste recyclers take short-cuts and that mishandled e-waste can have a devastating impact on the health and well-being of our planet. That is why we only choose e-waste recyclers who are transparent enough for us to verify their entire chain of custody, starting from when they take possession of our e-waste.

Piedmont E-Waste handles most of the personal e-waste generated by our campus community (old cell phones, CDs, key boards, cords, chargers, old TV monitors, microwaves, etc.). Goodwill Industries recycles our ink and toner cartridges.  All technology belonging to Information Systems (such as Think Pads computers) should go back to IS before being recycled. Computers returned to IS are reassigned to another member of the Wake Forest community, sold to the local school system, or recycled through a separate contract.

The Office of Waste Reduction and Recycling only enters into contracts with e-waste recyclers after thoroughly vetting their chain of custody. In addition, the OWRR considers the impact of the contract on the local economy and whether a company illustrates corporate social responsibility. Piedmont E-waste is a local business and Goodwill Industries is a nonprofit offering multiple services to the community, including English language classes and vocational training.

To find out how and where to dispose of e-waste, check out a past FAQ on e-waste disposal.

FAQ: Sustainability Job Resources

February 3rd, 2014

Q.  I’m interested in an internship or job related to sustainability, but I don’t know where to look. What sustainability job resources do you recommend?

A.  Fortunately, there are many resources available. The most comprehensive list which provides information on green and sustainability career pathways and job openings is this Google Doc.  Created by the Higher Education Associations Sustainability Consortium, the Disciplinary Associations Network for Sustainability, and the US Partnership for Education for Sustainable Development, this list includes job boards and career pathway resources that are regularly updated.

The WFU Office of Personal & Career Development (OPCD) also posts internships and job openings through DeaconSource. Keep an updated profile and search the platform regularly for opportunities relating to sustainability that have been targeted specifically through the WFU network.

Reusable vs. Disposable: Is it worth it?

January 27th, 2014

Q: Is it really worth buying a reusable bottle? How many times do I have to use it to start saving money and reducing my impact on the environment?

A: The debate over reuse vs. single-use applies not only to water bottles but to many other household products, like plates, cutlery, and towels as well.

The short answer is yes. A reusable bottle will save materials, fuel, and money when compared to disposable water bottles. However, the exact amount of cycles necessary to achieve the savings varies based on a whole host of complex factors. A cradle-to-grave assessment, however, can help you think more systematically about materials analysis and separate fact from fiction.

In your materials impact assessment, you can consider the resources required in terms of raw material extraction, materials processing, manufacturing, labor, distribution, use, repair/maintenance, and disposal/recycling. In this case, you would consider the source of the plastic, extrusion of the material, labor inputs, source of the water, transportation from water source to distribution hub, cleaning, and disposal and/or recycling resources. Numerous academic and industry studies have been published on these comparisons and are easily accessed via the Web. Some, like this University of Michigan publication, provide straightforward summaries.

Financially, the calculations are much simpler. Over the course of a year, the average American is likely to spend $588.00 on 168 bottles of water. Consider, for instance, my 32 oz. Nalgene water bottle, which cost $9.99. Purchasing a one-liter Aquafina bottle on campus costs $2.12. So, I started saving after refilling my bottle five times. Of course, if I had received a free water bottle from the Office of Sustainability, my savings would have begun to accrue immediately.

FAQ: Double-sided Printing

October 25th, 2013

Q: Is double-sided printing now the default setting for printers on campus?

A: With the launch of the new Pharos Printing Systems, starting with the ZSR Library, double-sided printing (also known as duplex printing) has now become the default printer setting for machines across campus. According to ZSR Director of Access Services, Mary Beth Lock, the transition was motivated, in part, by goals in sustainability.

The switch to default duplex printing translates to significant paper conservation in the library, where the busiest printers on campus are located. Lock reported that as of mid-October 2013, the three copy/print machines across from the Circulation Desk in the ZSR have already been used 70,000 times since their installation on September 23rd and 24th. Between classes it’s not hard to tell that these are the most frequently used machines on campus. Their predecessor, a single machine sitting in the same location, had been used well over a million times in the three years it faithfully served the students faculty and staff who used it.

Single-sided printing is, of course, still available for those who prefer it.

FAQ: Master of Arts in Sustainability

September 25th, 2013

Q.  I’ve heard Wake Forest offers a Masters in Sustainability. Is this true?

A. Yes. The Center for Energy, Environment and Sustainability (CEES) at Wake Forest plans to offer a Master of Arts in Sustainability. The inaugural cohort will be recruited to matriculate in fall 2014. The program offers a four-course core – global human systems; sustainable organizational management; resource management and energy science; and environment law and policy – as well as an applied sustainability course and a capstone research project or extended practicum. The 30-credit MA in Sustainability is one of a select few across the nation.

In addition to the MA in Sustainability, CEES will offer a Graduate Certificate Program in Sustainability. The 12-credit certificate includes all core courses from the master’s program. Although the certification can stand alone, providing substantive knowledge of sustainability-related issues, it can also be earned in conjunction with another Wake Forest master’s degree program.

The priority application deadline to be a part of the fall 2014 class is January 15, 2014. Learn more about the program and application requirements here.

FAQ: Campus Garden Produce

September 9th, 2013

Q.  How do I get produce from the campus garden? 

A. During the summer, the campus garden occasionally offered a produce stand on campus. However, now that the school year has started, the only way to enjoy the organic produce from the garden is to volunteer. If you, or a group you’re involved in are looking for hands-on service, then volunteering in the garden is an exciting opportunity. Not only will you get to enjoy working outside, but you can also take home some of the fruits of your labor in the form of tomatoes and other produce. Campus garden volunteer hours are every Wednesday and Sunday from 4-6 PM. Come alone, bring a group of friends from your residence hall, or schedule a volunteer event with your club. Located at the corner of Polo Road and Student Drive, across from Martin, the campus garden can always use an extra set of hands.

Email   for more information or to schedule a service event for your organization.