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Committee on Sustainability announces Green Fee awards

William & Mary’s Committee on Sustainability (COS) has awarded funding to 19 sustainability projects for the fall 2014 semester.

The projects represent many different aspects of sustainability on campus. In particular, the funded proposals feature improvements to facilities and operations, community outreach and joint student-faculty research. Funding for the projects proposed by students, faculty and staff totals $62,005.

The COS continues to support environmentally focused initiatives by funding proposals through the “Green Fees” application system, which focuses on how to best enhance the culture of sustainability on campus. Below are the descriptions of this year’s funded projects.

Assessment of photovoltaic feasibility of campus rooftops

$3,000 to Matthew Goetz '15

This project will explore the feasibility of installing photovoltaic (PV) panels on campus rooftops, particularly on the roof of the Keck Lab. Using SunEye 210 Shade Tool, Goetz will track the path of the sun to analyze the maximum sunlight that could be absorbed by potential panels on the roof. The W&M campus currently uses about 75 million kWh of electricity annually at a cost of over $7 million. If the footprint area of every building on campus were available and oriented appropriately for PV generation, W&M would generate enough electricity to meet campus needs and sell electricity back to the grid, according to estimates based on ENSP 249 Alternate Energy Strategies lab exercise. Some buildings are viable candidates for PV; the proposed acquisition and use of the SunEye 210 Shade Tool will help the project managers determine which buildings on campus could be the focus for sustainable energy production via photovoltaics.

Bulb crusher

$5,585 to Steve Singleton, Safety Engineer Senior, Environment, Health & Safety Office

This project funds the purchase of a new bulb-crushing unit that is capable of crushing compact-fluorescent bulbs as well as straight-tube fluorescent bulbs. With the elimination of incandescent bulbs on campus, compact fluorescent bulbs are becoming more common. The procurement of a bulb crusher will allow for these compact bulbs to be crushed, reducing the number of pickups required by waste management and allowing more room in the recycling space. This project will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, as well as reducing cost to the university for maintaining and recycling the fluorescent light bulbs.

Greater Williamsburg Area Park Prescriptions

$11,425 to Dorothy Ibes, Postdoctoral Teaching & Research Fellow, Environmental Science and Policy

Upon completion, this program will offer local healthcare providers the technological infrastructure, support and training to prescribe ‘nature’ (i.e. time outdoors in area parks) to their patients. Our system will build upon and improve the method doctors in Washington, D.C., have used in prescribing parks to more than 600 patients since July 2013. Ultimately, following D.C. Park Rx and other successful national and international Park Rx initiatives, GWA Park Rx is expected to help prevent and treat chronic disease, promote responsible health practices and foster place attachment and environmental stewardship among William & Mary students and other local residents.

Bring back the Lorax

$300 to Anne Davis '16

As part of planning Earth Week 2015, EcoAmbassador Anne Davis will bring back the tradition of reading Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax and will purchase a new Lorax costume for the Sunday celebration.

Tool and Supply Shed to Support the VIMS Community Garden

$500  to David Wilcox, GIS Manager/Analyst, VIMS Biological Sciences

This project will enable the building of a useful addition to the VIMS community gardens, which will safely hold necessary equipment for maintaining the gardens. The shed will be water-tight and able to withstand severe weather conditions. The shed will be constructed in 2015 before March 31, as early as the weather permits and volunteer workers are available.

Conifer Walking Tour

$200 to Aiyana Bodi '15

This project will enable Bodi to post signs around campus identifying examples of certain coniferous trees, and to create a website enabling users planning a walking tour of campus to better familiarize themselves with the vegetation. Allowing community members and students to educate themselves while enjoying exercise and the outdoors will bring them closer to the beautiful arboretum that is our campus.

Bob AvalleExterior Recycling Containers

$4,500 to Bob Avalle, Director of Operations & Maintenance, Facilities Management/John McFarlane, Associate Director, Gardens and Grounds

William & Mary’s firm commitment to sustainability and recycling on campus includes a single stream recycling program. Due to initial budget limits, a limited amount of exterior recycling bins were strategically placed around campus. This project allows the financing of six additional exterior recycling bins, which will increase recycling choices and participation across campus. Placing these bins in areas such as the Laycock Center, Sadler Center, Jamestown South, ISC 3, Small and William & Mary Halls will make recycling choices available in these areas.

Replacement of Incandescent Candelabra Lamps

$8,500 to Dan Patterson, Associate Director of Utilities, Facilities Management

There are more than 700 candelabra lamps used in various locations on campus; these lamps are not energy efficient and have a relatively short life span. This project aims to evaluate and replace as many of these candelabra lamps around campus with incandescent lamps.

Matoaka trails improvement

$420 to Joe Carroll, J.D. '15

Currently the Matoaka Trails are poorly mapped and unmarked. This project will map the trails, mark them with names and directions and make maps available to the campus community. This will promote the safe and sustainable use of the Matoaka Trails as a recreational and natural resource.

Elkay Water Bottle Filling Station in Blow Hall

$3,600 to Diana Healy, Senior Center Administrator, Charles Center

This project will fund the installation of an Elkay water station at the last existing water fountain in Blow Hall that has not been converted to an eco-friendly bottle filling station. The Elkay fountains are key in reducing the use of disposable water bottles and providing clean, filtered drinking water.

Elkay Water Bottle Filling Station in Ewell Hall

$7,600 to Dan Kent '15

This project will fund the installation of two Elkay water stations in Ewell Hall. The Elkay fountains are key in reducing the use of disposable water bottles and providing clean, filtered drinking water.

Elkay Water Bottle Filling Station in McGlothlin-Street Hall

$7,200 to Dan Kent '15

This project will fund the installation of two Elkay Water Stations in McGlothlin-Street Hall. The Elkay fountains are key in reducing the use of disposable water bottles and providing clean, filtered drinking water.

Improving the Sustainability of the Cattlet-Burruss Research and Education Laboratory

$2,500 to Sarah Nuss, Education Coordinator, VIMS CBNERR-VA

This project will fund the installation of an Elkay bottle refilling station, as well as the installation of pervious pavers, reducing the damaging effects of erosion and runoff on the area around the laboratory.

Swem mugSASSY Swem Reusable Mugs

$2,545 to Martha Higgins, Research Librarian, Swem Library

This grant will allow Swem to purchase 500 reusable ceramic mugs that will be given to staff and students who sign a pledge to use the mug instead of wasteful paper cups, plastic tops and cardboard cup sleeves.

Solo Cup Recycling

$1,080 to Kara Newman '17

Number six’ plastic cups, including but not limited to Solo cups, are not recyclable on William & Mary’s campus. This project is an initiative to collect these kinds of plastic cups on a weekly basis from fraternity houses and recycle them with a company called Terracycle, drastically reducing the amount of potentially recyclable waste that goes to the landfill.

Reduction of Electricity Used by Vending Machines

$430 to Jason Zhang '18

This project will research various methods of reducing the energy consumption of vending machines, eventually leading to an implementation of best-practice methods to actually reduce the energy usage of the various snack dispensers around campus.

Campus Gardens Shelter

$820 to Michael Curcio '15

These funds will allow members of SEAC to build a shelter near the Campus Gardens that would serve as a meeting and organizing space, as well as allow for the construction of rain barrels and trellises to improve the functionality of the gardens.

New Compost Bins for Dining Services

$1,500 to Michael Curcio '15

This project will allow Dining Services to purchase new compost bins to replace old and damaged ones, as well as to serve for promotional and display/educational purposes on Homecoming and admitted students day. New bins will help maintain the integrity of the College’s composting program, as well as boosting awareness of sustainable food initiatives on campus.

‘COS Celebrates’ Funding

$300 to Natalie Hurd '16

This funds the COS programs and education subcommittee’s new initiative called ‘COS Celebrates,’ which will bring awareness to various environmental holidays throughout the semester, usually with a small-scale event on the Sadler Terrace each month.