Sunday, September 29, 2013

Lindsey Berger 
from Greenpeace

Learn about grassroots campaign organizing TOMORROW, Monday, September 29 
at 7pm in Breazzano

Lindsey is a MO (Missiouri) Beyond Coal Organizer. 

" Missouri youth are building the movement that is going to sustain this epic fight to stop the coal rush in Missouri. They are standing in solidarity with each other at Board meetings and rallying in their communities against coal ash. "

Read her post on here.

Octopus Garden

Harvest Thus Far:                               Upcoming Harvest Dates:
582.25 + pounds                                Thursday 10/3 and 10/10
                                                                   Common Lunch
                                                                                    Last harvests and prepare the garden for winter

Solar and Green Building Tour
of the greater Capital Region
October 5th 10am - 4pm

Over 30 homes and businesses who have invested in solar and green home projects are participating in the tour! Meet the homeowners and ask them questions about why, how, who, how much, etc. 
Solar & Green Building Tour

See the map with the index here

And, a list of the participants on Our Energy Independence Community 

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Union College Recycles 150 Mattresses with 
LRP Recycling, Summer 2013

Why recycle mattresses?
Union must replace any mattresses with any tears or damage for health & safety reasons. Community service groups can not usually accept rejected mattresses. So what did Union do with them? This year, instead of being sent to the landfill, the mattresses were recycled!!! 

It is in most cases, it is cheaper to recycle or donate furniture instead of throwing it away. 

How it Works
Photo from LRP website

How it works:
The mattresses arrive at the processing center and are carefully examined to see what can be reused, donated, or recycled.
The recycled material is either shredded, baled, or sent to other vendors for recycling.
The cotton and foam of the mattresses are sent to insulation and carpet bagging companies.
The bed frame, either metal or wood, is recycled. The wood is typically made into wood chips. Old sofas are made into new furniture or a garment.

If you have household items that you would like to recycle, contact: or call 508-879-1732

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Funding Sustainability at Union!

Have a great idea to make the campus community more environmentally friendly?
Apply for funding through the
Presidential Green Grants
The Union College Green Fee Fund

Presidential Green Grants-funding for up to $2,000 for the following types of projects:

  • Campus projects: These are projects that will make Union more sustainable in such areas as energy use, recycling, transportation, or dining, among others.

  • Research projects: These are projects that will make specific contributions to sustainability at the regional or national level.
Students, Faculty, and Staff are welcome to apply.

DUE DATE: MONDAY, OCT 14th, 2013 at midnight

Guidelines and application form: to print, save image (forms) on your computer
For more information or a pdf copy of the RFP contact

The Union College Green Fee - $25,000 is available for a project that will measurably reduce Union's carbon footprint. 

 $25,000 available to a student(s) proposal which will measurably reduce Union College's carbon footprint. Proposals are assessed for creativity, uniqueness & reduction of the carbon footprint. Projects should not only reduce Union's Carbon Footprint, but also make a statement on campus that Union as a community is moving towards a carbon-free future. 

Proposals must be submitted by fully matriculated undergraduate students but collaboration with faculty & staff is strongly encouraged.

Contact Lucas Comstock: for more information or pdf version of RFP.

DUE DATE: FRIDAY NOVEMBER 1st, 2013  at midnight

Guidelines and application form: to print, save image (forms) on your computer

Welcome back Union! We have a lot planned for 2013-2014. Here is what you need to know to get involved...

Looking to get involved in one of our environmental groups or need to contact one of our leaders?

Our events coming up will be listed in blue under the appropriate group

 A committee of students, faculty, staff and administrators who work together to help reduce Union's carbon footprint and make the college more sustainable.
U-sustain meets on Wednesday of Week 2, 5, and 8 in Old Chapel during Common Lunch!

Faculty Leaders: 
Jeff Corbin:
Laura MacManus-Spencer:
Student Leaders: 
Max Fey (Co-chair):
Jordan Pulling (Co-chair):
Marissa Peck (Education and Outreach):
Jill Ackermann (Secretary):

U-Sustain meeting Wednesday, September 18. Old Chapel. Common Lunch.
Meet the action groups and begin planning projects for this term.

Environmental Club
An all student run organization where the ultimate goal is to raise environmental awareness on campus. The club brings speakers to campus, raises money for ecological organizations, petitions and works on community service projects. Club meets Mondays at 8:00pm in Humanities 115. 

The club is working to send some students to represent Union to
US Power Shift 2013 in Pittsburg, PA (Oct. 18-21). 
 Talk to (BLANK) if you are interested in going.
Octopus's Garden
The garden was a student initiative funded by a Green Grant in 2008. The idea was conceived with the intention of producing delicious produce for those without access to fresh vegetables in our community. In recent years OG's produce has been donated to the food pantry, used for Ozone Cafe and in the dining halls. Very recently, a new collaboration has formed between OG and Campus Kitchens which we will continue to foster considering that it brings us back to our original mission!

The garden is always in need of tending, so.....

If you are interested in getting down in the dirt contact: 
Connie Schmitz at

Last fall harvest on Saturday September 21.
Come and enjoy the life of the Octopus Garden and celebrate the end of a bountiful season!

Octopus's Garden Club!!
OGC is being re-formed this year. A very successful meeting was held during week 2 and officers were chosen! And during week 3 potatoes were harvested! Weekly meetings will be held on Thursdays at 6pm in Golub Great Room!

Contact Ram Batta:

Campus Kitchens
Student volunteers take excess food from Union's dining halls and create a healthy, balanced meal which they deliver to the City Mission of Schenectady. 
CKUC Meets Saturdays from 11:00-1:30 in College Park Hall.

Tori Chee:

Ozone Café
A student run café that offers a local & organic freshly made lunch on Fridays in Old Chapel from 12 to 1:30pm. The best meal you'll have all week is just a meal swipe away!

If you are interested in serving contact: 
Maxwell Prime:

Ozone Café every Friday in Old Chapel from 12-2pm.
One meal swipe for a delicious lunch made with local ingredients served by the members of
Ozone house and others on campus

Green Fee Governance Committee (GFGC)Committee creates and releases The Green Fee RFP. The GFGC reviews proposals and determines proper allocation of funds. Committee Members include:

Chair: Lucas Comstock
Vice Chair: Lauren Hafkemeyer
ENS faculty member: Kristen Bidoshi
ENS student: Lucas Comstock
Facilities Services staff member: Paul Matarazo
VP of Sustainability: Max Fey
U-Sustain student: Jordan Pulling
Sustainability Coordinator: Meghan Haley-Quigley
Environmental Club student: Lauren Hafkemeyer
Committee on Committees student: Peter Durkin

Vice President of Sustainability
Max Fey:

Sustainability Coordinator 
Meghan Haley-Quigley:

 Follow us on Twitter and Like us on Facebook!!  

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Kids are Alright!

Welcome back to campus, Union Students!! And pat yourselves on the back. The next time someone (an adult, a parent, or even a professor) spouts the cliche about your generation being self-centered, individualistic, or materialistic, tell them that's not necessarily true.

I mean, think about it: You've entered College and/or are on the cusp of entering a world of bleak economic opportunities and unprecedented environmental challenges. It would be entirely reasonable for this generation to have a "to hell with it" attitude and double-down on selfishness. But that's not the case.