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Better World Books Archives Sustainability at Wake Forest

Sustainability at Wake Forest

Posts Tagged ‘Better World Books’

Book Collection at WFU Tops 8,000 lbs

Wednesday, June 26th, 2013

betterworldbooks-gifAs of May 2013, students, faculty, and staff on the Reynolda campus have collected and donated a cumulative 8000 pounds of books to Better World Books, an online bookstore, social enterprise, and B Corporation. Founded in 2002, Better World Books has raised nearly $15 million for global literacy projects, including $7.3 million for literacy and education nonprofits and $7.2 million for libraries nationwide. Since its founding, the organization has re-used or recycled over 146 million pounds of books – that’s over 100 million books.

At Wake Forest, we  began collecting books for donation to Better World Books in 2009. Our students donate an average of approximately 2000 pounds of books during move-out each year. Collection boxes are placed in the bookstore, making it convenient for students to donate the books that the bookstore isn’t able to buy back.

From time to time, faculty members also clean out their offices and clear off their bookshelves. Several have opted to donate their unwanted books to Better World Books. The process is simple: the Office of Sustainability delivers boxes to a departmental liaison; once the boxes are packed and taped, the office prints and delivers pre-paid UPS labels and the boxes are picked up for shipping. We cannot accept textbooks that are more than ten years old. Instead, those can be recycled locally.

Better World Books sells some of the donated books online and returns a portion of the proceeds to the programs it supports. For the first time this year, Better World Books invited Wake Forest to designate a local literacy partner to support. We chose the Augustine Project for Literacy’s Literate Girls program, a unique tutoring program that supports low-income girls with learning differences in Winston-Salem/Forsyth County.

For more information about Wake Forest’s relationship with Better World Books or how you can get boxes for an office clean-out, contact the Office of Sustainability at or at ext. 3328.

By Dedee DeLongpre Johnston, Director of Sustainability

Call to Action: Reduce Move-Out Waste

Tuesday, May 1st, 2012

We need your help spreading the word about all the great waste reduction programs that are in place for move-out. Last year, we kept more than 10 tons of books, furniture, clothes, paper and other items out of the landfill. We need your help to be successful again this year. Please familiarize yourself with the following programs and spread the word to your friends. A small effort at move-out can really make a difference, so be sure to do your part.


Move-out waste reduction efforts yield increased success

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

Move Out 2011Residence Life and Housing, Facilities and Campus Services, and the Office of Sustainability improved on the success of the end-of-year move-out waste reduction efforts again this year. Through effective programming and student involvement, 10.136 tons of books, house wares, clothing, paper and other items were diverted from the waste stream. This number, 13.34 percent of the total waste stream for campus move-out, represents a nearly 6 ton increase in waste diverted over last year’s total.

Deacs Donate, a program designed by the Resident Student Association and Residence Life and Housing to collect house wares, furniture, clothing and canned goods disposed of by students during move-out, put 7100 pounds of goods into the hands of the Salvation Army and those in need. In addition to bags of clothing, towels, bedding and small appliances, 108 area rugs, 90 shelving units, 8 televisions, and 22 pieces of furniture were collected through this program.

Students once again kept used textbooks out of the dumpsters through the Better World Books program. Large cardboard collection boxes were placed near check-out lines in the Campus Bookstore so that students could make the quick decision to donate books that the bookstore was unable to buy back. More than 1500 pounds of books from the university will be sold to fund literacy programs around the globe.

Nearly 5 tons of paper was collected for recycling between May 6, when the first students moved out of residence halls and May 16, when all seniors vacated their residence halls. This category represents that largest increase in waste diversion of any single category. Students recycled 10 times as much paper this year as was collected during the pilot Recycle Your Notes campaign last year. This success can be attributed to new individual paper recycling bags, designed and distributed by Residence Life and Housing.

First-year students were given the option of returning or reusing the green personal recycling totes distributed during orientation this year. Through an effective collaboration between Residence Life and Housing and Waste Reduction and Recycling Manager, Megan Anderson, more than 600 bins were collected for redistribution to returning students next year, which kept 1278 pounds of plastic out of the waste stream.

That the total waste diverted more than doubled from last year is encouraging. In order to maximize the positive environmental impact of our programs, however, the total waste created by the campus must be minimized. By measuring and monitoring the total waste generated during this period, the university has taken a critical step toward supporting students in reducing that number.

By Caitlin Brooks, Communications and Outreach Intern

Call to Action: Reduce Move-out Waste

Friday, April 29th, 2011

Image courtesy of RL&H

Though many seniors may be in denial, the end of the semester is just around the corner. End-of-year move-out can be one of the most wasteful times of year on the Reynolda campus, as students rush to pack up their possessions and dispose of unwanted belongings.

To combat this, a number of programs are available to make it easy for students to donate or recycle unwanted possessions to prevent these items from ending up in the landfill.

Last year, students diverted 4.4 tons of waste from the landfill during move-out. Can we top that this year? Read on for a summary of the move-out programs planned for this year.

Deacs Donate

What? Reusable house wares, clothing, small appliances, school supplies, canned/dried food and furniture

When? April 29 – May 16

How? Smaller items can be placed in donation boxes in the lobby of every residence hall. Bulky items (futons, shelving units, rugs, etc.) can be taken out in front of each residence hall and placed next to the Deacs Donate sign. Deacs Donate donations are collected daily by the Resident Student Association, in collaboration with the Salvation Army.

Last year, Residence Life and Housing’s Deacs Donate program helped students put 5,225 pounds of clothing and dorm room essentials into the hands of those in need.

Residents of the Polo Rd. and Rosedale Circle RL&H Theme Houses should contact their resident advisers for information about the location of the donation bins in their areas.

Questions? Contact Ashley Jones ( ) or Cherise James ( ), RSA advisors

Better World Books

What? Textbooks

When? April 29-30, May 2-5

How? All books can be deposited in collection boxes located conveniently near the registers in the school textbook department.

Students always seem to end up with textbooks that the bookstore just cannot buy back at the end of the semester. Better World Books collects and resells these volumes to fund literacy initiatives at home and abroad. Those books that cannot be resold are donated directly to partner programs around the world. This year’s campus partner for the drive is Invisible Children.

Questions? Contact the Office of Sustainability ( )

Recycle Your Notes

What? Class notes and all recyclable paper

When? April 29 – May 16

How? Recycle loose-leaf notes, class handouts, fliers and other paper and small pieces of cardboard by depositing them in the blue paper recycling bags given to all residents. Full bags can be placed next to the BLUE paper recycling signs outside residence halls.

Questions? Contact Megan Anderson ( )

Box Bonanza

What? Reusable to-go containers

When? April 27, 10 p.m.

How? Office of Sustainability interns will be storming the residence halls to collect any stray reusable to-go containers. Students may leave these containers outside their rooms for collection, may hand over the containers when interns come knocking, or may place the containers in collection bins located in the Fresh Food Company.

For the week of finals, bio-compostable disposable to-go containers will be used in all dining establishments.

Recycling Tote Collection

What? Small green recycling totes with white handles

When? April 29 – May 16

How? If you received a green personal recycling tote on move-in dayand do not wish to keep it, place it next to the GREEN recycling bin signs outside residence halls.

Unwanted totes will be cleaned and redistributed in the fall.

Questions? Contact the Office of Sustainability ( )

By Caitlin Brooks, Communications and Outreach Intern