Monday, February 25, 2013

And The Winner Is…

Last week the Green Fee Committee announced the winning Green Fee proposal for this years round of submissions! Congratulations to Samantha Muratori ’14 & her smart thermostat proposal for Seward/Park/Hull apartments.

What does this mean for Union? Students who live in houses on Seward, Park, or Roger Hull will now be able to control the heating of their apartment from their iPhone or Blackberry from any location that has wifi! Soon Ecobee smart wireless thermostats will be installed in all 60 units of the houses so students can control the heating of the house from any location. Students can now check on the temperature of their houses and turn down the heat over breaks and when they aren’t home! Additionally, facilities will have total control over these thermostats so they can remotely turn them all down over breaks which will save Union time and money! These thermostats are also data collectors which will be used by many future science classes! This  will be a huge energy saver for these houses!   

To congratulate Samantha on her proposal and learn more about this project, join us for lunch in Messa House today, Monday  February 25th during common lunch! 

Friday, February 22, 2013

NY Negawatt Challenge Second Place!

This term Union is participating in the Campus Conservation Nationals in the sub category of the NY Negawatt Challenge against the New York Six schools. The New York Six are Hobart & Williams Smith College, St. Lawrence University, Hamilton College, Skidmore College, Colgate University and Union College. So far in the competition we are already in second place! 

Challenge yourself and your friends to bring Union to first place! Always turn off the lights when you leave a room and unplug your chargers when they aren't in use! 

Monday, February 11, 2013

Growing Popularity of Farmers Markets Creates Niche Market for Delivery Services!

Do you love local food from the farmers market but you don't have time to get there every week? Well two awesome businesses have decided to solve that problem. Field-goods and FarmieMarket are two businesses that will deliver produce from local farms directly to you!

FarmieMarket is an online farmers market and lists on its website what is in stock to be delivered directly to your home. With a click of a button you can place your order with just a minimum of $25 and a $5 delivery charge. FarmieMarket doesn't just sell your standard produce, you can order much more including peanut butter, body remedies, and even pet treats. Farmiemarket makes deliveries in Saratoga, Albany, Schenectady and Rensselaer county!

Check out the website here:

Field-Goods delivers local produce weekly to a designated drop off site that you can select on their website. Here at Union, there is already a designated drop off site at facilities on Fridays. With Field-Goods, you pick the size of the bag you want and it comes filled with produce that is in season along with a list of recipes for how you can cook your delicious produce. You can also request additions of bread, herbs, and cheese in your bag for the week! This method is fun cause you never know exactly what your going to get!

Check out the website here:

Friday, February 8, 2013

Sustainably sustaining sustainability

SustainableWhat would we be if we couldn't laugh at ourselves? Courtesy of Randall Munroe @ (and H/T to and Union's own Meghan Haley-Quigley) here is a devastatingly spot-on observation about the use of the word "sustainability." In honor of this brave new world, perhaps we'll refashion our Committee's Mission Statement:

U-Sustain: Sustainably sustaining the sustainable sustaining of sustainably sustained...stuff.

Forgive me, I couldn't wait until April 1.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

How Are U Doing (It In the Dark?)

The first two weeks of Do It In The Dark have passed! The meters have been read, numbers have been crunched and results are in.

For those who don't know what DIITD is, basically the idea is that Facilities and some awesome students will be tracking your building's energy consumption every Monday through March 4th. The current reading will be compared to the previous week's reading, yielding a percent decrease/increase in electricity consumption. The residences highlighted in green lowered their usage from the previous week and those highlighted in red have increased their electricity consumption. Only after the competition is complete will we measure cumulative reductions.

So with that in mind, here are the rankings from Week 1 to Week 2:

The leaders this week are Ozone House, 712 Roger Hull and Dickens House. They have taken the lead by further decreasing their baseload. Will these buildings keep their lead? Keep checking back for more results & tips!

Rankings for Week 2 to Week 3:

There are a new set of leaders this week: 201 Seward which was on the bottom at the end of the 2nd week has made it to #1 with an 11.5% decrease in energy consumption. Followed closely by 217 & 209 Seward. We're also seeing an impressive move on behalf of Fox from the red zone to the green zone with a 4.8% decrease in energy consumption from Week 2.

Some tips for y'all:
-Don't do laundry unless you have a full load. Use cold water and hang dry!
-Turn off the lights when you leave a room.
-Using an incandescent bulb? Switch to a CFL!
-Is your laptop charged/showing a green light? Unplug it!
-Unplug your appliances/electronics when you are not using them.
-Close your windows its winter!

Come check here and  for future updates of Do It In the Dark!