Have you walked through the Peter Irving Wold Center yet? If not, head over there to check out the new spring term display case! For this term, U-Sustain chose to recognize two Union College efforts that are contributing to making our campus a more environmentally friendly place.
The left side of the display case brings to our attention the efforts of the facilities department to reduce pesticide use on campus in the spring. For over 10 years, facilities has been ordering beneficial insects that will do the work of pesticides to keep the plants on campus healthy and pest free. This works by releasing bugs including ladybugs and praying mantises that feed on most of the pests that eat our plants on campus. Some of the plants on campus that benefit from these beneficial insects are Holly, Barberry, Euonymus, and Spirea. This year, a Green Grant is expanding this program and funded additional purchasing of these beneficial insects so that we can protect more plants.
The right side of the display case highlights our new composting program in upper class dining. Since the program started in September 2012, we have diverted over 91,020 lbs of waste from the landfill! That is equal to 30 mid-sized sedans! Composting is the decomposition of organic matter that is recycled into useable fertilizer and in Upper, organic matter includes all food waste, napkins, cups, teabags and more. The composting company that takes our waste is called Empire Zero and comes to Union three times a week to pick up the organic waste to bring to their composting facility. Anyone can then go to this facility and purchase some compost to use for their own gardening or landscaping needs!
Special thanks to Facilities, Dining Services, Laura Macmanus-Spencer and Meghan Haley Quigley!