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2019 Earth Day Logo

ARC Earth Day 2019

2019 Earth Day Logo

I’m working on our upcoming Earth Day Celebration here at American River College and I wanted to extend an invitation to each of you to host a free table to share the sustainability efforts of your department or for any green artists or businesses you might be involved with and/or any suggestions for others you may have! We’ll be celebrating Earth Day on: 

Wednesday, April 24 from 8 am – 3 pm

This year’s theme is a little different, REPAIR & REUSE—two of the six R’s of recycling (Reduce / REUSE / Recycle / REPAIR / Rot / Refuse). As we go about developing our strategies to meet ARC President Thomas Greene’s goal of ZERO WASTE BY 2025, we will be looking at the three distinct areas to focus our efforts on:

  1. Upstream: Where we affect product or packaging by a manufacturer that supplies items to our college
  2. Middlestream: Where we extend the longevity of the products used by repairing, reusing, repurposing, refurbishing, donating, and recovering—like food
  3. Downstream: Where we maximize the recovery of resources from our discarded items by sorting and diverting from land fill…aluminum can goes here, food waste goes there, and as a last resort land fill goes ‘away’.

It’s the MIDDLESTREAM that we’d like to highlight this year—extending the life of the items around us! How frequently we buy things affects the amount of material to be managed in our waste streams. By changing consumption expectations, and by extending the life our products, we can reduce the amount of downstream efforts needed to meet our goals.

We’ll of course be once again highlighting ARC’s Fine & Applied Arts Department with our upcycled recycle bins being assembled and reconditioned by our Student Veteran’s Club, booths from our ARC Environmental Studies, Electronics & Automotive Departments, your STRIPE booth, and hosting an e-waste drop off …but this year, I’m going to be inviting people who have probably never been asked to join in on this type of event: local businesses like sewing machine, vacuum & appliance repair shops in our area!

You can find photos from our previous Earth Day Celebrations on our social media outlets here—we’ll of course be having photographs captured for you to share on your social networks this year as well:

If you are interested in tabling at our event, please fill out our online application and someone from my team will get back in touch with you. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me directly—thank you for your consideration.

Don Reid
Earth Day Celebration, Chair

DC Solar trailers coming soon to ARC

July 2018 update

Happy July everyone!

As I go over my calendar, July is looking to be a very busy month on the ARC Sustainability front and so I wanted to put an email out to share some information about a couple of projects that we’ve been working on that are sure to get people talking.

More Recycle Bins for ARC

Late in 2017, the Student Senate agreed to match funding from our Administration for the purchase of 32 new Max-R recycle stations, and they are scheduled to arrive mid-July. These bins will go a long way in increasing the amount of waste that we are able to divert from our landfill waste stream and I can’t wait to get these out for our students, staff & faculty to be able to use. With this batch, we’ll even finally be able to get some bins over to our Natomas & McLellan Centers.

DC Solar Trailers Arriving!

If you were able to make it out to either of the past couple of Earth Day Celebrations, you may have noticed the rather large solar trailers that were out there. On July 18, DC Solar will be bringing us almost $3,000,000 worth of solar trailers as part of a grant and they will not cost us anything. These trailers all have solar panels that charge a set of batteries and come with a gas-powered generator in case the need is there with no sun. That means that each of these will also have the capacity to be emergency power that we can tow to anywhere, should the need arise.

They come configured three different ways:

  1. With picnic benches that have outlets in the middle powered by the solar panels for students to work on and charge their devices. We’ll be putting one in the middle of Portable Village, one in the Computer Math Complex, and one down next to the stadium.
  2. Another configuration: as an EV car charging station. We’ll be putting one of these next to the Tech Ed area, and a couple more in the parking lots on the North & South end. We’ll also be placing one of these at our Natomas & SRPSTC parking lots.
  3. and finally, with two adjustable telescoping LED light towers. We’ll be putting a number of these along the creek walkway in an effort to get some light out there as well as be able to light up the fields.

California Higher Education Sustainability Conference (CHESC)

CHESC is a yearly conference where UC Berkeley, UCLA, Stanford, Cal Poly, etc… come together to share best practices, and I can’t wait to see what ideas they have for us to bring home to ARC.

This year’s CHESC will be held at UC Santa Barbara, and I’ve been asked to be a speaker to talk about ARC’s diversion efforts. I’ll be highlighting the great work that is happening over in our Hospitality Management program & our Aramark run cafeteria where they are diverting food waste from their land fill waste stream in great numbers. Food waste is heavy and pulling that from our landfill stream is sure to get us closer to the 75% diversion mandates as set by AB 341, and on our way to meet President Greene’s commitment to get to zero-waste by 2025.

I’ll also be bragging about our amazing student art covered recycle bins! This project has many hands involved, and I’d like to thank all of the student artists (many are part of the ARC Art Club) that have taken the time to make it happen. This wouldn’t work without our amazing faculty from FAA, Patricia Wood & Sarah Mattson—they have been instrumental in ensuring this project continues by making these panels part of their class.

I’d like to give a great big ARC thank you to the TRiO SSS Veterans Program At American River College. Without their help on Earth Day, those art panels would just be sitting in my office. Throughout the Earth Day Celebration, they dismantled, cleaned spiders out, stripped, sanded, repaired & painted us an additional 4 bins—we now have 9 on our campus with more to come!

California Resource Recovery Association (CRRA)

And finally, on Saturday, July 28, I’ll be representing ARC at the CRRA awards ceremony at their 42nd Annual Conference & Tradeshow in Oakland where I’ll be accepting their “Outstanding School Recycling Program” award. We had the CRRA Executive Director out to our LRCCD Sustainability Conference in December to give a talk about what zero waste for an organization our size might look like. Here is the Prezi presentation I gave titled “ARC’s path to Zero Waste”.

Since then, we’ve been in contact about how we may get some of our folks trained and certified on zero waste concepts and apparently, she liked what we had going on so much that she submitted ARC for this award. This came as a wonderful surprise in my Monday inbox.

So, as you can see, I’m really looking forward to July and all the changes it will bring our campus. As always, if you need any recycle bins for your area, don’t hesitate to ask; and don’t forget to send us your used toner cartridges—we make money on them for these efforts!!

Don Reid, Sustainability Committee Chair

Tree Campus USA designation

 

We are working on wrapping up this year’s application for our Tree Campus USA designation and I wanted to share with everyone our 2017 campus tree care plan which outlines all of the good work our committee has accomplished this year.

I also wanted to share a little progress report on our geo-tagged tree inventory. This year, we nearly completed the ID process of the more than 1,400 trees here in our urban forest, as you can see from the map below:

Click here to see it live on Google Maps: https://goo.gl/T27vbD

During the first year, we had a group of people go around and add a red mark on this Google Map and as our staff id’d them, they turned the red dot into a little tree icon. As you can see, we still have some work to do over there in Horticulture, so if anyone is interested in taking on that end of campus, please feel free to reach out to green@arc.losrios.edu.

The next phase of this project will be to edit each of these little green tree icons with a full description of the tree:

  • The location of the tree
  • The name of the tree species and/or abbreviation
  • Some kind of generic (Wikipedia?) description & link for more information about

 

  • The diameter of the tree’s trunk
  • The condition of the tree (good, fair, poor, dead/dying)
  • Any trees that require urgent pruning or removal
  • Any tree that requires maintenance in a timely fashion
  • The location and quality of potential planting sites for new trees
  • Potential constraints on planting spaces such as utility wires and narrow tree lawns
  • The location and extent of tree damage to sidewalks and curbs

Our tree inventory has been a lot of work, but now that we are deep in to it, we are finding all kinds of uses for it. If you’d like to participate in this project, please get in touch with us at green@arc.losrios.edu.

If you are interested in acquiring a Tree Campus USA designation at your school, check out the US Arbor Day Foundation webpage for more information:

 

 

 

Welcome to Earth Week at ARC!

This Wednesday, we celebrated Earth Day out in front of the Student Center / College Bookstore quad area and I wanted to highlight a few things we had going on for you to check out.

Our theme this year is RECYCLING and we had our student Art Club & student ECOS Club out there creating new recycle signage to go on either side of the Servery portion of the cafeteria that will hopefully make it very clear as to what goes where. They are using wood that we were able to salvage from the folks over in the Theater Department, so recycled wood for our recycle signage ftw!

A good thing to keep in mind about our trash:

Everything that leaves our campus goes on to a scale,
it’s our goal to get that stuff on to the cheaper end of that scale.

Food waste from Aramark & the Hospitality Management Program, campus recycling and green waste (landscape trimmings) are some of the directions we are trying to divert trash but we desperately need YOUR help by separating your waste correctly, modeling that to others, and encouraging the use of less stuff.

By law (#AB341), our campus needs to be at 75% diversion from the land fill stream by 2020, and right now we are at around 40% campus wide. Bottom line, we need to be capturing more of our recyclable content and creating less waste. You may have noticed the new blue & black Max-R recycle stations that went into the Eatery portion of the Cafeteria last month—special thanks to our Administration on this investment as it will go a long way in moving some of that waste away from the land fill.

We had a number of wonderful vendors that brought things like DC Solar. They brought two of their solar powered trailers that come configured as

  1. car charging stations; or as
  2. picnic benches with outlets for students to work at & charge their electronic devices; or as
  3. LED light towers to illuminate the dark corners or our parking lots.

If all goes well, we may get to put one or two on our campus very soon! To see photos of these trailers, check out our Facebook photo gallery where they came to visit us, or where I went to visit them as they launched an install at Mills College.

We’ll also planted a tree with the Sacramento Tree Foundation and our Grounds Department as in celebration of Arbor Day & our official designation as a Tree Campus USA by the U.S. Arbor Day Foundation!

Below are some photos, and you can find the rest on our Facebook page over at facebook.com/SustainARC: Photo gallery from #ARCEarthDay 2017

#PROTIP: Consider bringing your own coffee cup or refillable water bottle to Convocation, or other catered meetings/events—or, encouraging others to do so at yours. Those Starbucks cups are not recyclable or compostable.