E-Waste Recycling at Roosevelt

E-Waste is a growing problem. With more aspects of our daily lives being conducted through electronic devices and more people using devices like cell phones and computers every day, the issue of e-waste disposal requires our immediate attention.

E-waste of every shape and size–from batteries to cellphones and plasma screen TVs–contains a myriad of components that need to be disposed of and recycled properly to ensure that no resource is lost or squandered and to keep unwholesome toxic components–such as lead, cadmium and mercury–from being released into the environment. E-Waste also contains valuable precious metals and rare earth minerals that can be salvaged from old electronics to be used in the next generation of electronics.

So remember the old proverb “one person’s trash is another’s treasure” and recycle your old unwanted electronics properly.

Drop off locations are as follows:

  • Chicago Physical Resources Office: Wabash B16
  • Schaumburg Campus Mail Room
  • For larger items (or if you have a lot), please contact Physical Resources at (312)-341-3600

Information related technology should have all data erased prior to drop off. Roosevelt University is not liable for stolen information.

E-Waste may include:

  • Cell phones, iPods, laptops, TVs, desktop computers, batteries, and more.

E-waste recycling, from on or off campus, is free to all RU students, faculty, and staff, so please take advantage of this service and help keep electronic waste out of landfills.

If you have any questions and/or for guidelines on recycling e-waste, toner cartridges and batteries, please contact Rebecca Quesnell, RU’s Sustainable Operations Coordinator, at rquesnell@roosevelt.edu.

~Author, Nicholas Waskowski~

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Roosevelt University Renews Membership with AASHE

This January, Roosevelt University renewed its membership with AASHE (Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education), strengthening its commitment to sustainability yet again.  The membership renewal, led by RU’s Physical Resources team, reconfirms our goal to remain a leader among sustainable campuses.

AASHE is home to STARS (Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System) for which RU received a Bronze rating in December.  Find the full STARS report at stars.aashe.org/institutions/roosevelt-university-il/report.

Membership with AASHE gains us access to online resources and discussion forums for professional development.  Membership benefits are also free to anyone in the RU community with a Roosevelt University email address at www.aashe.org.  Go to the upper right hand side of the screen and click on the “Create an Account” link.  Then, fill out the required information using your RU email address.

For this and other sustainability news at Roosevelt University, contact Rebecca Quesnell, Sustainable Operations Coordinator at rquesnell@roosevelt.edu.

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Environmental Sustainability Committee 2016 Kickoff Meeting

Students, Staff and Faculty, mark your calendars!

On Monday, February 29th there will be Environmental Sustainability Committee kickoff meeting. The meeting will be from 2-3 pm in the Wabash building Room #1214. You will also be able to attend virtually via Zoom.

In addition to the regular first meeting of the year formalities we will be discussing how to implement RU’s 5-Year Sustainability Plan. The Plan was developed in 2014 and approved in 2015. The plan encourages the University to continually strive to be a center of sustainability on every level. As the Wabash building’s LEED Gold Certification showcase’s, the University can accomplish anything when we work together. The meeting is open to all.

If you have any interest in getting involved with RU’s Environmental Sustainability Committee, would like to help implement our 5-Year Strategic Sustainability Plan, or are just interested to see what we are all about, please feel free to email Rebecca Quesnell, Roosevelt’s Sustainable Operations Coordinator, at rquesnell@roosevelt.edu. We look forward to seeing new faces from the RU community at our kickoff meeting.

To view RU’s Strategic Sustainability Plan visit Roosevelt’s Green Campus Webpage: http://www.roosevelt.edu/GreenCampus/StrategicSustainPlan.aspx

“~Author: Nick Waskowski, Sustainability Studies Student, Roosevelt University~”.

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Indoor Walking Course

It is the pleasure of Roosevelt University’s Physical Resources department to announce the addition of an “Indoor Walking Course” to our Schaumburg campus. The course will traverse the Schaumburg campus existing layout. By following the existing layout the course takes advantage of the sustainable materials rehabbing that has taken place at the campus.

4 laps of the course will equal 1.13 miles. It is our hope that this course will allow Roosevelt’s students, faculty and staff to be physically active when it is convenient for them. If your eyes have been glued to your computer and you need a jolt of energy, don’t reach for your fifth expresso! Take a stroll on the course – it will get your blood pumping without the negative side effect of feeling like your eyes might pop out of their sockets. Maybe the short winter days are giving you a gloomy outlook. Well, saunter on over to the walking course to beat the blues away.

As we all know life can get pretty hectic. It is hard to balance school and work and still find time to exercise. It is our desire to make that balancing act a little easier, so please come join us starting February 18th, at Roosevelt University’s Schaumburg Campus and take a stroll with friends. To dedicate the course Roosevelt University’s President Ali Malekzadeh will be taking an inaugural walk on Thursday, February 18th, at 10:30 am. Save the date Rooseveltians.

“~Author: Nick Waskowski, Sustainability Studies Student, Roosevelt University~”

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Roosevelt University Earns Bronze STARS Rating: A Student’s Perspective

Bronze STARS LogoWhat is a STARS Rating?

RU is a current member of The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). And the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ (STARS) is a comprehensive reporting tool that colleges and universities can use to assess institution-wide sustainability, and to see how they compare to other colleges and universities – both in the United States and around the world.

How long did it take to assess and rate RU?

Great question! This was a considerably lengthy process, taking nearly a year from start to finish. The data gathering began with a brand new Sustainability Studies special topics course at RU: SUST 390 – The Sustainable Campus – first offered in spring, 2015. Led by the director of the Sustainability Studies program, Dr. Michael Bryson, nineteen students were divided into four STARS Teams. The teams corresponded to the four principal STARS Reporting Categories: Academics, Engagement, Operations and Planning & Administration. The student STARS teams were tasked with developing a plan for their data gathering, reporting on individual progress halfway through the semester, and, finally, submitting their data reports.

How did RU get from the end of an introductory course to STARS Submission? Collaboration Abounds!

The STARS reporting had to take a bit of a summer break while exciting things were happening for sustainability at RU: The Sustainability Studies Program moved to the College of Arts and Sciences; SUST grad, Rebecca Quesnell (spring, 2015), was hired as the first Sustainable Operations Coordinator; and the Sustainability Studies Program hired a new Assistant Professor, Dr. Graham Pickren, who taught SUST 240: Waste, and SUST 320: Sprawl, Transport and Planning this past fall.

Once these changes were underway, the STARS Team was formed! Initially, the team consisted of SUST Professors Bryson and Pickren, Physical Resources’ Rebecca Quesnell and SUST major/Physical Resources’ STARS Intern, Maria Cancilla (also the author of this post). As the fall, 2015 semester progressed, so did the STARS Team’s research. As the team approached the Dec. 18th submission deadline, two more Physical Resources Interns: Shannon Conway (Environmental Sustainability Student Associate, Chicago Campus) and Brennan Morrow (Energy Management Student Associate) joined in to help. Both individuals provided valuable assistance to our small team.

Not only was this a collaborative effort on the part of the STARS team – there was collaboration at every level. Both the students in SUST 390 and the smaller, final STARS team reached out to fellow students, faculty and staff throughout the university. Throughout our research, each person we contacted was more than helpful when it came to meeting our deadlines – despite busy schedules, papers to grade, etc.

If this is such a lengthy process, why report at all?

For this answer, we go back to fall, 2014 – when SUST major, MaryBeth Radeck, facilitated RU’s first-ever Strategic Sustainability Planning Session. A group of SUST majors and alumni, faculty and staff convened three times with the end result being a draft of RU’s five-year Strategic Sustainability Plan (SSP). As part of our planning process, we identified the need for a comprehensive assessment of sustainability at RU. We determined that the STARS tool would best meet our needs. But with a 350-page instruction manual and over 70 credits to research, how could we accomplish this monumental task? Students could help! And thus, SUST 390, the Sustainable Campus was born. And we were on our way to our first STARS submission.

Sounds like a great opportunity! How can I get involved?

So glad you asked! It might seem like the work is done now that our STARS report has been submitted and RU has received a Bronze rating. But there is still much to do. SUST 390: The Sustainable Campus will continue to run. This spring it’s being offered as an honors course. Students will be tasked with taking the torch from the first section’s students and running with it! As the student researchers gathered their data, they identified many areas for improvement in sustainability at RU. This is where you would come in: The next section will work on the implementation of all these great ideas for improvement. While the class is already running, many projects are to abound and the developers of those projects could always use extra hands.

Additionally, RU Green-a student organization- is projected to be up and running this semester. You can always get involved with this student organization.

Looking for another way to get involved with sustainability at RU? Consider joining the Environmental Sustainability Committee or an Action Group. Each action group will be implementing goals and initiatives outlined in RU’s five-year Strategic Sustainability Plan. Whether you’re interested in Energy, Education, Waste or Planning – there is a group for you.

Please contact Rebecca Quesnell for more information on ways to get involved: rquesnell@roosevelt.edu

As a student member of both the STARS team and the first Sustainable Campus course at RU, it has been an honor to be a part of this process. And as an institution submitting to AASHE and STARS for the first time, we can be proud of our Bronze rating, and, at the same time, we can be ready to grow and improve as a sustainable institution as we head into a new semester and new year at Roosevelt University.

You can read the full STARS report here.

~Maria Cancilla, Sustainability Studies Student, Roosevelt University

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DIVVY Price Change

Chicagoans are fortunate to have access to the DIVVY Bike sharing program, which offers a sustainable transportation option for its members.  The system, which features thousands of bikes at hundreds of stations around the city, allows members to rent bikes easily – (reducing their carbon footprint), increase mobility for users without other means of transportation, and encourages people to use a feasible mode of sustainable transportation in the city.  If you are a member of the RU community, you may have already acquired membership at a discount.  DIVVY recently altered their membership pricing.  Full, non-discounted memberships are $99/year.  RU students will now receive membership for $75 annually, and RU faculty and staff will receive membership for $89 annually.Divvy Bikes

If you have any questions on the pricing change or on how to utilize this discounted membership, please contact Rebecca Quesnell, RU’s Sustainable Operations Coordinator, at rquesnell@roosevelt.edu.

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Schaumburg Campus Community Gardeners Enjoy a Potluck Dinner to End the Season

potluck dinnerLast week, on Tuesday November 17, many of Roosevelt University’s community gardeners were able to come together to partake in a potluck dinner at the Schaumburg campus. About ten gardeners were able to participate, providing delicious dishes like spicy Mexican soup, caprese toast bites, pecan-sweet potato casserole, sticky buns, and more!

This event was a fun opportunity for me and the community gardeners to learn from each other as we reviewed best practices, considered means of improvement, and recapped a lovely season of gardening. Although we’ve all been tending the garden regularly all summer long, some of us still got to meet other members for the very first time. Most importantly, this was a chance for everyone to connect and reflect.potluck 1

(And for all the sustainability minded readers, we used real dishes. No paper or plastic!)

Thank you to everyone who participated in the dinner! For those who were not able to make it, thank you for a beautiful gardening season! We look forward to seeing you again next year.

potluck 2 To learn more about this and other sustainability initiatives at Roosevelt University’s Schaumburg campus, contact Sarah Tag, Environmental Sustainability Student Associate, at sfisher@roosevelt.edu

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