It’s that time of year again, where we all take time to reflect on all of the things that we are grateful for. At the Chatham University Office of Sustainability, we have continued to work toward our goal of carbon neutrality by 2025 and have made great strides in sustainable development on our three campus locations! The following is a list of new accomplishments made this semester that we are grateful for, and we look forward to continuing to implement new sustainability initiatives at Chatham!
- In the beginning of the semester, University Sustainability Coordinator, Mary Whitney, in conjunction with a spokesperson from Scalo Solar, spoke about the energy potential of solar power, highlighting the solar array at Eden Hall! The workshop was a part of a summer series at Chatham’s Eden Hall Campus.
- In September, we hosted the movie Time as Money: A Documentary Film about Timebanking, in conjunction with the Falk School of Sustainability and the Three Rivers Timebank.
- For two weeks in October, a number of Chatham University faculty and staff participated in the NorthWest Earth Institute’s EcoChallenge! The focus of the EcoChallenge was for each person to choose one measurable and attainable goal that would work to reduce his/her carbon footprint!
- The Bike Works bike shop hosted two workshops on basic bike maintenance to encourage Chatham’s biking community to learn how to fix and upkeep their bikes! Bike Works also provided a number of semester and year-long bike rentals for students and staff on campus!
- As Chatham’s Eden Hall campus continues to grow, a number of new sustainability initiatives and developments have been implemented on the campus, one of which is that coffee cups and food waste can now be composted!
- Our University Sustainability Coordinator, Mary Whitney (received her PhD this summer!), spoke at the annual Assoc. for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) in Portland on voluntary sustainability agreements made by university’s as a method of addressing climate change.
- The Chatham University Green Fund, a community-driven fund for campus sustainability projects, was launched in October! Chatham community members can now donate through MyChatham to assist in the funding of student-created projects! Through an application process detailing the measurable impacts on the sustainability of the campus, students can submit project proposals each semester that will then be voted on by the Chatham University Climate Committee.
- E-waste recycling bins were installed on all three of Chatham’s campuses! The Chatham community can now safely recycle CDs, ink cartridges, and batteries. The bins also have compartments for old cell phones that will be donated to Cell Phones for Soldiers and/or Hopeline.
- Chatham has partnered with the Group Against Smog and Pollution (GASP), UPMC, Allegheny Co. Health Department, Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy, Sota Construction, and PJ Dick on a new Clean Construction Vehicle program. We hosted an industry panel here in November to discuss clean construction trends and projects, including Chatham’s Eden Hall campus.
- Chatham has once again joined the Green Workplace Challenge, sponsored by Sustainable Pittsburgh. The GWC is a year-long competition that promotoes energy efficiency and other sustainability-focused actions. We also hosted the awards banquest on campus for the 2013-2014 GWC participants.
We are looking forward to another great semester of sustainability work in 2015! Best of luck to all of the Chatham students during finals, and we hope everyone has a safe and relaxing winter break!