Wake Forest University

Events - Sustainability at Wake Forest

Sustainability at Wake Forest

Events

Events

Speaker Series

Writing Resistance with Terry Tempest Williams (2017)

An Evening of Songs and Stories with Chuck Leavell (2016)

North Carolina Power Dialog (2016)

Truth, Lies, and Politics (2016)

Road to Paris – Climate Education (2015)

Make Every Bite Count (2014)

Earth Day Celebrations

Beauty in the World We Find (2017)

Earth Month (2016)

One Love (2015)

Love the World You’re With (2014)

Food for Thought (2013)

10 Days of Celebrating the Earth (2012)

13 Days of Celebrating the Earth (2011)

Piedmont Earth Day Fair (2010)

Conferences

Sustainability in Dining Summit

Southeastern Sustainability Coordinators Network 2013 Regional Conference

Energizing the Future

Sustainability across the Curriculum

Films and Lectures

Wake Forest regularly hosts nationally and internationally recognized speakers and award-winning films on themes relevant to sustainability.  Check our calendar for upcoming events.

Special Event

Join our electronic mailing list to receive regular weekly updates including upcoming events and other important announcements.

Take Action to Draw Down Greenhouse Gas Emissions

October 31st, 2017

Dr. Katharine Wilkinson spoke at Wake Forest University on October 5 on the 80 solutions to reversing global warming.

Drawdown transforms the doom-and-gloom narrative of climate change into a story of courage and possibility. It shows that 80 solutions to reducing greenhouse gas emissions are already in place, economically viable, and being implemented in communities around the world with steadfast determination, and that 20 more innovative solutions are coming out of the gates.

Nevertheless, the idea of reversing global warming is hard to comprehend on an individual level. It’s no wonder that throughout Wilkinson’s visit, the question of “How can I get involved with Project Drawdown?” surfaced again and again at different engagements.

The answer, as explained by Wilkinson, is that all solutions presented in Drawdown depend on how individuals and institutions choose to invest their time, energy, finances, and thought into reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Drawdown proves that while decisions made by industry, government, and other groups have a major impact on our future on this planet, individual decisions are equally as important.

To help you determine what you can do to make a difference, we have compiled a list of five of the 26 Drawdown solutions being implemented at Wake Forest that you can adopt today.

Advocate for women’s rights. If you add solutions #6 and #7, Educating Girls and Family Planning, empowering women and girls is the number one solution to reversing global warming. Due to existing inequalities, women and girls are disproportionately vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. At the same time, women and girls are vital to successfully addressing climate change and humanity’s overall resilience. Join the WFU Women’s Center for events such as Passing the Mic or become a peer educator for women’s equity with the L.E.A.V.E.s Program. By improving the rights, well-being, and equity of women and girls, we can improve the future of life on this planet.

Say no to food waste. Eight of the top 20 Drawdown solutions pertain to food. The #3 ranked solution is Reduced Food Waste and the #4 solution is a Plant-Rich Diet — both of which people can adopt immediately and at no cost. That being said, how many times have you tossed out milk that hasn’t gone bad, or forgotten about leftovers in your refrigerator? Remember to take only what you want to eat when eating at a dining hall, be sure to prioritize leftovers, grocery shop only when needed, and use your senses to determine when food has gone bad instead of relying solely on ambiguous sell-by labels.

Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants. To quote Michael Pollan, “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” Shifting to a plant-rich diet is a demand-side solution to global warming. By dining multiple times per day, imagine how many opportunities you have to turn the tables. With Wake Forest’s dedicated to plant-forward dining, it’s easy to turn Pollan’s mantra into a daily routine.

Get there the green way. Transportation produces the equivalent of 7 gigatons of carbon dioxide in greenhouse gas emissions annually. At Wake Forest, students, faculty, and staff have access to SharetheRideNC, Zipcar, the Re-Cycle Bike Share Program, Wake Forest shuttles, and local public transportation and ride-sharing opportunities from PART.

Take action. Get involved locally and nationally with those who are already implementing solutions. For example, join the local Sierra Club chapter, become a member of the Piedmont Environmental Alliance, support female education and empowerment, and elect local, state, and national representatives who support clean water, air, strong climate action, and community well-being. Remember, only you are in charge of how you spend your time, energy, finances, and thought— put your power to good use.

Photo courtesy of the WFU Women’s Center Facebook.

Author Offers New Approach To Climate Change

October 23rd, 2017

The book Drawdown serves “to map, measure and model the most substantive solutions to climate change and bring those solutions and the answers that we’ve uncovered to life,” Wilkinson said in her presentation.

Wilkinson was brought to Wake Forest to present various ways in which everyone, including Wake Forest students, can participate in the movement to reverse the effects of climate change.

Drawdown functions as a handbook that presents 100 solutions to climate change, specifically focused on reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere. Eighty of the solutions have been proven effective and scaled, while 20 solutions are considered ‘coming attractions,’ as these solutions are currently being tested.

Each of the solutions are ranked in terms of how much carbon dioxide they would reduce within practice. In addition to rankings, the solutions are presented alongside their cost of implementation and operational savings. By providing figures, Wilkinson adds an economic perspective to the topic of sustainability.

Emma Hughes, a Wake Forest mathematical economics major and environmental studies minor said the economic element “adds value for someone who doesn’t care as deeply about the environment.”

Wilkinson’s interdisciplinary approach to climate change is a product of her education and prior work experiences. She received her bachelor’s degree in Religion from Sewanee and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Geography and Environment from Oxford. Prior to working at Project Drawdown, Wilkinson worked in various consultancy firms, taught at Oxford and worked for the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Before Drawdown, Wilkinson published her first book, God & Green: How Evangelicals Are Cultivating a Middle Ground on Climate Change, in 2012. This book was a product of her research at Oxford.

Sebastian Irby, a Wake Forest senior who created her own interdisciplinary sustainability studies major with a focus in climate change, has worked within the Office of Sustainability throughout her time at Wake Forest. This event was sponsored by the Office of Sustainability, Center for Energy, Environment and Sustainability, Office of the Dean of the College and Sustainability Graduate Programs. Additionally, Irby is referencing Wilkinson’s God & Green as a resource as she prepares her senior thesis.

“This is in a lot of the circles that I run in daily,” Irby said in the auditorium before the event had begun.

Within Wilkinson’s top 20 solutions, the most represented areas of impact include various solutions centered around food, energy and land use.

Wilkinson concludes by emphasizing the multi-dimensional benefits to her mission, “One of the things that becomes clear when you come through the lens of solutions, is that — yes, these are ways to address greenhouse gases, great … they’re also the means of building a more vibrant and equitable and prosperous and resilient world where people are healthier and happier.”

Originally published in the Old Gold and Black.

The Age of Consequences – Screening & Discussion with Producer Sophie Robinson

October 12th, 2017

Following the screening, the film’s executive producer, Sophie Robinson, will lead a discussion.

The event will begin at 5:00 pm on Wednesday, November 1, in the Pugh Auditorium at the Benson University Center. Admission is free and seats are limited.

Environmental Wellbeing: How Facilities Management Impacts Climate Change

October 4th, 2017

  • Refrigerant management (1)
  • Rooftop solar (10)
  • District heating (27)
  • Solar water (41)
  • Heat pumps (42)
  • LED lighting (44)
  • Building automation (45)
  • Home water saving (46)
  • Recycled paper (70)
  • Retrofitting (80)

MATERIALS: Common Techniques and Technologies to Close the Loop

Refrigerant management is the top Drawdown solution. So, what is refrigerant management, and why is it important? Every refrigerator and air conditioner in existence contains chemical refrigerants that allow us to keep things cool. Up until recently, refrigerants such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) were key culprits in in depleting the stratospheric ozone layer. Upon discovery of their damaging effects, CFCs and HFCs were slowly phased out. Nevertheless, refrigerants continue to cause problems for our planet. Ninety percent of refrigerant emissions are created at the point of disposal, and without proper management of refrigerant waste, resultant emissions can be detrimental. In 2016, officials from more than 170 countries enacted the Kigali Deal, a mandatory agreement with specific targets and timetables for phasing out HFCs. It is estimated that the accord will reduce global warming by nearly one degree Fahrenheit. With the Kigali Deal in place, as well as additional safety measures for managing existing refrigerants, we may draw down carbon emissions by nearly 90 gigatons.

How does Wake Forest play its part in refrigerant management? Mike Draughn, Director of Maintenance & Utilities Services with Facilities & Campus Services (FACS), says that FACS partners with the university’s Department of Environmental Health & Safety to administer an all-encompassing, campus-wide program. “Basically, campus is treated as a giant balloon, and we try to measure any escaped refrigerants given both type and asset—the equipment from which it came.” Draughn states that FACS works to quickly identify and fix or replace any equipment that has a refrigerant leak or is at the end of its life. When appliances are discarded, refrigerant is either sold back to the installing contractor and reclaimed (for large items such as chillers), or is removed on campus and collected in warehouse recycling containers (for smaller equipment). “We always report a draw or deposit of inventory on any refrigerant that was either used or recycled and added to refrigerant storage in our warehouse. In terms of replacing and renewing appliances, we update and choose equipment based on a review of the most current, efficient, and environmentally-friendly refrigerant options.”

Wake Forest is also committed to Drawdown solution number 46—home water saving. If 95 percent of taps and showerheads are converted to low-flow options by 2050, we would avoid 4.6 gigatons of carbon emissions. According to Doug Ecklund, the Building Systems Manager for WFU FACS, we have seen a 45 percent increase in water savings as new buildings on campus are renovated and equipped with low-flow shower and water fixtures, as well as dual-flush toilets.

ENERGY: Planning for the Transition

One technology with which many are familiar is rooftop solar. First tested in 1884, solar capture technologies have become mainstream over the years and have seen increases in both affordability and effectiveness. If rooftop solar can grow from 4 percent of global electricity generation to 7 percent by the year 2050, we can avoid 24.6 gigatons of carbon emissions. There are several demonstrations of solar photovoltaic (PV) technology on campus: on the Barn, Reynolda Gardens greenhouse, and North Dining. To make a meaningful transition to solar PV, Wake Forest would need about 20 acres of panels. A changing regulatory environment in the state might release some of the current constraints on this transition.

The Barn was the first building on campus to feature solar electric PV cells.

Solar energy can also be used to heat water. Creating hot water for showers, washing dishes, and cleaning laundry makes up 25 percent of residential energy use worldwide. If solar water heating grows from 5.5 percent to 25 percent by the year 2050, we can draw down carbon emissions by 6.1 gigatons. This is currently the most cost effective application of solar technology on campus. South Hall’s water is heated by solar. Additionally, in phase three of the Reynolds Gym renovation, solar will be installed as a source of heating for the water for the pool.

BUILDINGS AND CITIES: Innovation in Our Urban Habitat

In terms of regulating the temperature of buildings in urban spaces, district heating is the way to go. Rather than having small heating and cooling units in each building, district heating entails funneling steam and/or chilled water from a central plant across a network of pipes to a variety of different buildings. By replacing stand-alone water and space-heating systems that currently exist with district heating techniques, we could draw down carbon emissions by 9.4 gigatons by 2050.

John Shenette, Wake Forest’s Associate Vice President for FACS, believes that the WFU campus is a great example of district heating. From the main Facilities plant, steam and chilled water are distributed to campus buildings through underground ducts to heat and dehumidify, through cooling, indoor spaces. “Wake Forest has invested a good deal of money into improved automation and controls,” says Shenette, “And for good reason—district heating and cooling is much better than individualized units in terms of efficiency.”

Building automation systems (BAS) are becoming very common in the commercial sector. In a building with a BAS, a centralized, computer-based “brain” monitors and controls all mechanical functions in order to operate under the greatest level of efficiency and effectiveness. If BAS usage expands from 34 percent of commercial floor space to 50 percent by the middle of the 21st century, we could draw down 4.6 gigatons of carbon and generate a large savings in operational costs. BAS exist in most campus buildings here at Wake Forest. The campus makes great use of occupancy sensors that adjust lighting and control heating and cooling by detecting the presence of someone in a room. There are also sensors to determine bathroom exhaust fan speeds according to occupancy and to detect the need for certain amounts of hot water. Over the past few years, the implementation of such controls has resulted in a 20 percent decrease in electricity usage on campus.

One efficiency solution that is easily recognizable from residential buildings and other locations across campus is LED lighting. LEDs, or light-emitting diodes, convert electrons to photons and use 90 percent less energy to emit the same amount of light as an incandescent bulb. In addition, LEDs have an extremely long life—27 years if turned on five hours per day. It is assumed that LEDs will become standard by 2050, replacing less-efficient bulbs and avoiding 7.8 gigatons and 5 gigatons of carbon in households and commercial buildings, respectively. LED lighting exists across the Wake Forest campus. According to Shenette, there are upwards of 1,000 LED fixtures both indoors and out.

From full renovation of residence halls on the upper quad to routine replacement of ordinary appliances, Drawdown solution number 80, retrofitting, is highly visible across campus. Retrofitting—updating existing buildings by installing better insulation, more energy-efficient features in the “envelope” like windows and roofs, and upgraded management systems—is taking place all around campus. “A great example of retrofitting is the Reynolds Gym,” says Shenette. “Rather than creating a brand-new building, we converted the bones of the original gym, revamped and reengineered everything with more efficient structural, electrical, and mechanical infrastructure. The same thing is also happening right now with the Salem Hall renovation. It’s incredibly innovative.”

Want to learn more about how you can play a part in Project Drawdown to reduce GHG emissions? Join us for a public lecture by Dr. Katharine Wilkinson, the senior writer of Drawdown, on October 5 in the Byrum Welcome Center starting at 6:00 pm. RSVP here.

Leading the Way Toward Carbon Reduction through Campus-Wide Initiatives

October 3rd, 2017

  • Reduced food waste (3)
  • Plant-rich diet (4)
  • Regenerative agriculture (11)
  • Electric vehicles (26)
  • Mass transit (37)
  • Household recycling (55)
  • Bike infrastructure (59)
  • Composting (60)
  • Ride sharing (75)

FOOD

Do you know the environmental impact of the food you eat? You may be surprised to see that the adoption of a plant-rich diet is solution number four, but it’s true– overconsumption of animal protein not only comes at a high cost to human health, but it is also detrimental to our global climate. Even the most conservative estimates blame animal husbandry for nearly 15 percent of greenhouse gases (GHGs) emitted each year. Food waste is an even bigger problem. Did you know that a third of the food raised or prepared each year does not even make it to your plate? If more people adopted plant-rich diets, composted organic matter, and reduced food waste by 50 percent, we could draw carbon emissions down by 70.53 gigatons by the year 2050.

A portion of the offerings provided by the vegan station.

Wake Forest Dining is making strides to support diets that are high in fruits, vegetables, and plant-based proteins. According to Wake Forest’s registered dietician/nutritionist, Brooke Orr, “Deacon Dining aims to educate students and provide a variety of plant-based diet options across campus.” Current options include: vegetarian/vegan options at catered events, the vegan station at the Fresh Food Company, the Performance Dining Station at the Fresh Food Company—which offers a variety of vegetables and plant based protein options daily, and the Performance Dining education program—which encourages students to make half of their plate vegetables and half of their protein choices a plant protein.

Campus Kitchen at Wake Forest has been working to reduce food waste for many years. This student-led initiative repurposes food that is prepared, but not served, into meals that are distributed through community partner agencies in Winston-Salem. The group also gleans food from high-end grocers in town. More than 500 pounds of high quality food, which no longer meets the store managers’ standards, is redirected daily to individuals and families suffering from food insecurity.

Campus Kitchen at Wake Forest repurposes food that is prepared, but not served, into meals that are distributed through community partner agencies in Winston-Salem.

According to John Wise, the Associate Vice President of WFU Hospitality & Auxiliary Services, our campus has also taken substantial steps to divert food waste from the landfill. The North Dining Hall was specifically designed to minimize waste. Both pre-and post-consumer food waste are sent to Gallins Family Farm to be converted into nutrient-rich compost. In the Pit, all pre-consumer waste from food prep is sent to Gallins Family Farm to be composted. Additionally, all coffee grounds from the national brand outlet and student-run enterprise on campus are diverted and composted.

Wake Forest is also working to demonstrate regenerative agriculture in the Campus Garden. Regenerative agriculture restores degraded land through no-tillage practices, diverse cover-cropping, in-farm fertility (no requirement of external nutrients), no pesticides/synthetic fertilizers, and multiple crop rotations between plots. The purpose of these methods is to help restore soil health by improving its carbon content. If regenerative agriculture acres increase from 108 million to 1 billion by 2050, carbon emissions could be reduced by nearly 23.2 gigatons.

MATERIALS

In addition to reducing the impacts of agricultural practices, Wake Forest promotes solid waste reduction and recycling. On average, 50 percent of recycled materials globally come from households, while the other 50 percent come from industrial and commercial sectors. The university is working to educate students, faculty, and staff about the economics behind consumer recycling while focusing on diverting major material streams like furniture, yard waste, and construction and demolition waste.

TRANSPORT

Another key set of initiatives on campus center on transportation. The implementation of bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure is a great pathway for reducing carbon emissions; easy access to bicycles, as well as the placement of a safe and effective riding environment, could work to increase global bike trips from 5.5 to 7.5 percent, and avoid 2.3 gigatons of CO2 emissions. Check out Re-Cycle, our bike sharing program, which allows students, faculty, and staff to borrow bikes for up to an entire semester. Additionally, Wake Forest administrators are in collaboration with City of Winston-Salem staff to implement recommendations for improving infrastructure to and from campus.

The WFU Re-Cycle Program allows students, faculty, and staff to borrow bikes for up to an entire semester.

If biking isn’t your thing, there are other sustainable transportation options. Mass transit currently makes up 37 percent of urban travel. If usage grows to 40 percent by 2050, we could save nearly 6.6 gigatons of emissions from individual cars. Similarly, ride sharing is free to implement and can also result in a significant reduction of GHGs.

In the realm of transit, Wake Forest’s transportation manager, Arian Bryant, supports “a fleet of 11 shuttles, which regularly run from the main campus to WFU satellite locations, as well as to a number of hotspots in the Winston-Salem community. We have recently redesigned our routes to make them more efficient and user friendly, and are now utilizing TransLoc, a GPS tracking service which shows the user bus routes and schedules.” If you need to travel somewhere beyond the shuttle routes, there are five Zipcars on the Reynolda campus and one at Wake Downtown. Additionally, Wake Forest partners with ShareTheRideNC, a ride-matching and ride-sharing service sponsored by the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) and the Piedmont Authority for Regional Transportation (PART). This service allows WFU students, faculty, and staff to share a ride with anyone across ShareTheRide’s network of 30+ companies and universities.

One of the electric vehicle charging stations on the WFU Reynolda campus.

Bryant also highlighted Wake Forest’s use of electric vehicles (EVs); many of the vehicles in the fleets used by campus maintenance personnel are EVs. Additionally, WFU’s Transportation and Parking Services is in the process of upgrading all parking enforcement vehicles to EVs. The campus also has a number of charging stations which are free for use by students, faculty, staff, and campus visitors. But what is the environmental benefit of transitioning away from internal combustion engines? If ownership and use of EVs rises to 16 percent of passenger miles driven by 2050, 10.8 gigatons of carbon dioxide emissions could be avoided. With innovation on the rise, it seems that EVs will be among the cars of the future.

Want to learn more about how you can play a part in Project Drawdown and campus initiatives to reduce GHG emissions? Join us for a public lecture by Dr. Katharine Wilkinson, the senior writer of Drawdown, on October 5 in the Byrum Welcome Center starting at 6:00 pm. RSVP here.

Project Drawdown: Your Comprehensive Guide to Carbon Reduction and Climate Protection

September 13th, 2017

Introducing Project Drawdown, the “most comprehensive plan ever proposed to reverse global warming.” Carefully constructed by 200 researchers and scientists drawn from a network of world-renowned institutions, the project and its resulting book, Drawdown, provide a roadmap to drawing down greenhouse gas emissions through 80 of the most impactful climate solutions available today.

Of the techniques and practices, there are some that are well known—wind energy, green roofing, food waste reduction, forest protection—as well as others you may have not yet heard of— in-stream hydro, perennial biomass, alternative cement, and peatlands. For each solution presented, the book meticulously projects potential emission reductions by the year 2050, along with the estimated cost of implementation and the resultant savings.  Together, the solutions prove that we can draw down greenhouse gas emissions in order to slow the rate of climate change. As project director Paul Hawken explains in the book’s introduction, we are not victims of “a fate that was determined by actions that precede us…We [must] take 100 percent responsibility and stop blaming others. We see global warming not as an inevitability but as an invitation to build, innovate, and effect change, a pathway that awakens creativity, compassion, and genius.”

Here at Wake Forest, faculty, staff, and students are already invested in 25 of the practices addressed in the book, five of which are included within the top 10 ranking of greatest impact. A handful of professors have recently incorporated Drawdown in their courses and professional workshops.  Law professor Alan Palmiter, for example, has coupled the book with his Energy Law course, as he feels that it provides a clear and compelling background for underscoring why the program is important. He describes the book as “the greatest recipe book of all time,” because it “describes the ingredients, the measures, and even the temperature at which we should cook what [may] be humanity’s redeeming meal.”

According to Wake Forest’s Chief Sustainability Officer, Dedee DeLongpré Johnston, “so far students have appreciated Drawdown as a very practical guide to global solutions. As emerging leaders who are trained to think across disciplinary boundaries, they can leverage what they’re learning in religion, psychology, philosophy, entrepreneurship, and policy to create new societal norms. Our campus serves as a living laboratory for implementing the book’s practices; if students can practically experience change here, they can lead it anywhere.”

In the coming weeks, this series of articles will explore how Wake Forest is currently deploying, demonstrating, and researching 25 of the 80 proposed Drawdown solutions. More specifically, we will explore these solutions as they relate to the built environment, research, and campus-led initiatives.

On Thursday, October 5th, Dr. Katharine Wilkinson, the senior writer of Drawdown, will give a public lecture at the Byrum Welcome Center at 6:00pm. Don’t miss the opportunity to hear Dr. Wilkinson speak on the 80 global solutions for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and to learn what you can do at home to play your part in Project Drawdown.

Attend the March for Science in Raleigh

April 11th, 2017

The itinerary* posted by the march organizers can be found below.

7:00 a.m.          WFU bus departs from the flagpole outside of the Benson Center
9:00 a.m.          Arrive at Shaw University in downtown Raleigh
9:30 a.m.          Begin lining up for the march
10:00 a.m.        March for Science begins
12:00 p.m.        March for Science concludes at Moore Square
12:00 p.m.        Rally and Science Fair begin
2:00 p.m.          March for Science activities conclude
2:15 p.m.           WFU bus departs from Moore Square
4:30 p.m.          Bus arrives back at Wake Forest University*

Each rider will pay a flat fee of $15 for transportation. By signing up, you will reserve your seat on the bus and also commit to paying the $15 fee (note that cash and check are the preferred methods of payment; make checks out to Wake Forest University).

Seats are limited and will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. Click here to reserve your seat.

Additional information and the full itinerary for the Raleigh March for Science can be found at raleighmarchforscience.org. Email cohenbj@wfu.edu with any questions.

* Itinerary times are subject to change.

Sustainability Leaders Honored at Annual Campus Awards Program

March 30th, 2017

Wake Forest University Provost Rogan Kersh and Executive Vice President Hof Milam recognized students, faculty, and staff who have demonstrated or initiated successful sustainable practices on campus in the following five categories: Teaching, Research and Engagement; Resource Conservation; Service and Social Action; Bright Ideas; and Leadership.

For the Teaching, Research, and Engagement award category, two individuals were awarded for their work to develop educational and research opportunities that showcase the campus as a living classroom and laboratory. Amanda Lanier was recognized for her focus on sustainability and conservation as the education curator at Reynolda Gardens. Each year, Amanda and her team of volunteers guide over 2,000 school children through the gardens, following a curriculum-based program that focuses on the ecology of the Piedmont. The second award went to Preston Stockton for her leadership on the Reynolda Meadow Project—a 16-acre demonstration site for wildlife protection, watershed protection, and carbon sequestration. The Meadow Project continues to engage the broader community in the important multidimensional research and education underway at Reynolda.

For the Resource Conservation award category, both Facilities & Campus Services and Residence Life & Housing were awarded for their joint work to renovate and renew the Quad residence halls. Over the past two summers, Kitchin, Poteat, and Huffman have all been renovated, resulting in a 20 percent reduction in energy consumption and a 40 percent reduction in water use. With this savings also comes improved indoor air quality and greatly enhanced livability.

Dr. Angela King was honored with the Service and Social Action award for her work to make Enno Farms a model of sustainable practices. Last year alone, over 300 dozen eggs from the farm were sold to Wake Forest faculty, staff, and students. Most recently, Enno Farms partnered with North Carolina Soil and Water to permanently fence livestock from natural water sources—ultimately preventing erosion and ensuring that the local Dan River water basin remains clean.

This year, the Office of Sustainability recognized three Bright Ideas. Lesli Tuttle, of Student Financial Services, was awarded for her marketing strategy to encourage students to obtain their 1098T tax forms electronically. Her innovative campaign saved over 3,400 paper tax forms from being printed and mailed. Steve Fisenne was awarded for his work to successfully develop a chemical inventory system to track hazardous chemicals on campus and to limit duplicate ordering of chemicals among and between departments. During the latest EPA inspection, the university passed an audit by both regional and federal authorities with zero violations—an unprecedented outcome. The final award in the Bright Ideas category went to the Wake Forest Customer and Custodial Services team for their work to make our buildings, air, and environment healthier. To ameliorate the negative environmental and human health effects of wet floor strippers, this team researched and implemented a dry removal method for the annual floor stripping in the residence halls.

Sebastian Irby was awarded this year’s Leadership award for her unprecedented drive in developing the first interdisciplinary undergraduate degree in Sustainability Studies. From mapping a course of study that matches the rigor of established degree programs at peer institutions, to securing commitments from faculty to offer the courses that will fulfill the program requirements at Wake Forest, Sebastian has blazed a trail. Additionally, Sebastian has served as a resource to at least 10 peers who are pursuing their own interdisciplinary paths in sustainability-related areas.

A special award was presented to Sarah Fahmy, a member of the Student-Athlete Sustainability Network, who lead the collaboration between the Office of Sustainability and Athletics to get the student-athlete sustainability network off the ground. A member of the Wake Forest Women’s Track & Field team, as well as the Women’s Cross Country team, Sarah has played in integral role in recruiting and inspiring this group of campus sustainability leaders.

How Valuable are Trees to You?

March 10th, 2017

Celebrate Arbor Day and Tu B’Shevat, the Jewish New Year for Trees, at the Reynolda Village trailhead on March 24 from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. The event kicks off with a tree planting ceremony. Following the ceremony, volunteers will pull up their boots and roll down their sleeves to beautify the woods and creek head surrounding the Reynolda Village trail. Afterwards, all participants will enjoy a cookout featuring grass-fed beef burgers (vegetarian options also included). Register to participate and receive an Earth Week t-shirt and a chance to win prizes for group participation. Other Earth Week events can be found here.

Have you spotted our bright yellow tree tags around campus? Share your photos with us using #CelebrateEarth on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Beauty in the World We Find

February 27th, 2017

Sunday, March 19 | 300 Link Loot Points
Celebration of Spring: Vernal Equinox
2:00 – 4:00 pm | Campus Garden
Kick off Earth Week by celebrating the Spring Equinox at the Campus Garden. Share and enjoy short stories, poems, essays, and songs about our relationship to spring, growth, beginnings, resistance, and healing. In addition to sharing stories, music, and food, you are invited to express your creativity by painting a banner to showcase your love and appreciation for trees. Student organizations are encouraged to register as groups to paint their banners. All materials will be provided by the Office of Sustainability. Banners will be displayed on the Upper Quad throughout the week-long celebration.

 

Monday, March 20 | 200 Link Loot Points
Bike Tune-Ups
12:00 – 3:00 pm | Green space in front of ZSR
We’ve teamed up with Outdoor Pursuits, Ken’s Bike Shop, and the Cycling Club to host a free bicycle tune-up station on campus. Stop by the green lawn in front of the ZSR Library where bike mechanics from Ken’s Bike Shop will pump up your tires, make minor fixes and adjustments, and offer advice on larger repairs that cannot be done on the spot.

 

Tuesday, March 21 | 400 Link Loot Points
Just Eat It: Waste-Not Cooking Class
4:00 – 6:00 pm | Campus Kitchen Lounge
Don’t toss it — eat it!  Ever wonder whether or not you should eat something after the “best by” date? Learn more about reducing your food waste, while also making a delicious, nutritious meal. Campus Kitchen, Thrive, and the Office of Sustainability are joining forces for a unique cooking class by cooking with food that might normally go to waste. This class is open to all students, staff, and faculty. Register on the PDC website, space is limited.

 

Wednesday, March 22 | 300 Link Loot Points
Campus Sustainability Awards
4:00 pm | Reynolda Hall Green Room
Join us in recognizing the work of those who have enhanced the culture of sustainability within the campus community at the fourth annual Champions of Change: Campus Sustainability Awards ceremony on March 22. Staff, faculty, and students will be awarded for their work in the following categories: resource conservation, academics and engagement, service and social action, leadership, and bright ideas. We look forward to celebrating the work of sustainable change agents across campus. RSVP here.

 

Thursday, March 23
Leadership Project Rally with Donna Edwards
1:30 pm | Johnson and Bostwick lawn
Former Maryland congresswoman and Wake Forest graduate Donna Edwards has spent the last few months on an RV road trip to state and national parks. Her ultimate goal is to raise awareness of parks in communities of color. Students, faculty, staff, and community members are invited to engage with Congresswoman Edwards and learn more about her political life, community activism, and travels on March 23 during a rally on the Mag Quad. Later that day, Edwards will be speaking as part of the Leadership Project at 6:00 p.m.in Farrell Hall’s Broyhill Auditorium. More information can be found here.

 

Friday, March 24 | 500 Link Loot Points
Campus Beautification Day
3:30 – 5:30 pm | Reynolda Village Trailhead
Celebrate Arbor Day and Tu B’Shevat, the Jewish New Year for Trees, at the Reynolda Village trailhead. The event kicks off with a tree planting ceremony. Following the ceremony, volunteers will pull up their boots and roll down their sleeves to beautify the woods and creek head surrounding the Reynolda Village trail. Afterwards, all participants will enjoy a cookout featuring grass-fed beef burgers (vegetarian options also included). Register to participate and receive an Earth Week t-shirt and a chance to win prizes for group participation.

 

Monday, March 20 – Friday, March 24
Get Caught Green-Handed
Throughout the week, individuals who are “caught green-handed” making everyday environmentally conscious decisions will receive a sticker or temporary tattoo. Decisions might include riding bikes, using reusable water bottles, coffee mugs, and shopping bags, taking the campus shuttles, eating at Deacon Dining’s new vegan station, or pledging to reduce energy and water use on campus.

 

Saturday, March 25
Forsyth Creek Week
Saturday, March 25 marks the start of a nine-day celebration of our local waterways. Join in on the fun with Creek Crawls, trail rides, Creek Week trivia, a photography contest and more. Further information about Creek Week, and ways to get involved, can be found here.

 

For questions about the events or other opportunities to engage, contact Ally Hellenga. Follow the Office of Sustainability on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (@SustainableWFU) to stay up to date on all events.

 

Download the event poster here.