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:

 

 

 

4th annual Los Rios Sustainability Summit // Zero Waste

If you would like solid answers to questions like,                     .
“why do we need to pay attention to recycling [diverting]?”
this summit will offer the training you’ve been looking for!

This year at our Fall Convocation, President Thomas Greene stated that he would like ARC to be Zero Waste campus by 2025. Knowing how much work that is, I thought it would be a good idea to make it the theme of our 4th annual district-wide Sustainability Summit to give some solid information & training as well as share the Zero Waste concepts as they relate to us.

I was able to attend a recent CA Green Summit downtown at the convention center where I saw a presentation from CalRecycle that focused on diverting food waste. They discussed recent legislation as well as stats and data on how businesses are doing around our state. Making greener choices in the packaging we use, and in the options available for discarding trash are key here in running a successful zero waste program, and so I am pleased to invite you all to hear from experts in this field to give us this much-needed training.

4th Annual
Los Rios Community College District
Sustainability Summit 2017

December 1, 2017
Raef Hall 160
9:00 AM – 11:30 AM

A G E N D A

Introductions & updates from the sustainability reps of SCC, CRC, FLC

Don Reidpresentation about the partnership of our
Student Senate & ARC Administration on the purchasing our new recycle stations

John Duke & Joseph Rasmussen from CalRecycle to discuss recent legislation & share
why it’s important to recycle & divert food waste

Rich Brown from BERC who provides education and performs outreach through workshops for businesses and communities regarding environmental compliance and sustainability.

Jenna Abbott from California Resource Recovery Association to talk about zero-waste concepts, as well as the certifications they offer that you can get covered with professional development funding

Questions & Answers.

 

Again, this is a district-wide event open to everyone interested. If you have been wanting to get more involved in the sustainability efforts of your campus, this would be a great way to get plugged in as representatives from the sustainability committees from all of our colleges will be here. I hope you can make it—help & involvement is needed on every one of our colleges with these efforts, for sure—especially here at ARC!

For those of you who still need Flex hours for the Fall semester,
this will be a great way to get those hours!
This event meets State PD Guideline B, ARC Strategic Goal 4, & ISOL 6.
We’ll have a sign in sheet available on the day of as you walk in the door.

This is a zero-waste event. Please consider choosing to bring in your reusable water bottle which can be filled at one of our new filtered water bottle refill stations in Davies Hall (first floor on the east & west sides).

 

Don Reid, ARC Printing Services Supervisor

ARC Sustainability Committee, Chair
ARC Green Office Committee, Chair
ARC Campus Tree Advisory Committee, Chair
ARC Buildings Grounds & Safety Committee, Campus Sustainability Representative
CHESC Steering Committee member

Update on our Elkay filtered water bottle refill stations

I went out to the SRPSTC yesterday and was shown their new retrofitted Elkay filtered water bottle refill station! They had a couple questions, and so I wanted to share the answers with everyone.

  • Are these filtering the water and if so, what is filtered out?
    The Elkay filter used in the bottle filling stations reduces aesthetic chlorine, taste & odor, particulate class I, and lead.
  • How do we get the filter replaced when it’s required?
    Fill out a Maintenance Order request using the Maintenance Connection website, or send an email to green@arc.losrios.edu (or to me directly)
  • The filter status light on our unit is out…what’s up with that?

Our Facilities Department has done a cool thing. They have moved the filter down from the water bottle filler to lower in the line so that the drinking water from the whole unit is filtered as well. Because of this adjustment of the filter location, the filter light is no longer in the path of being monitored by the lights. Bottom line, if there is a stream of water coming out, then the water is filtered. As the filter becomes spent, the stream of water coming out will get thinner and thinner, but it will still be filtered. If you notice the stream getting thinner, please feel free to put a workorder in to the Maintenance Connection website (or an email directly to me) to get it replaced.

Some staggering numbers based on what I pulled from the machines today…and a calculator on the Elkay website:

  • Bottles not purchased since installs began as of today: 332,826
  • Cost per bottle at vending machines: $1.75
  • Total savings for our students/staff/faculty if each of these were purchased in our vending machines: $582,445.50
  • Pounds of plastic waste not being disposed of: 13,868 pounds!!!!

Here are the numbers and locations of our existing machines, and future plans/hopes/dreams. We’ll be reaching the end of the money that was donated by our Associated Student Senate for these units, but will make every effort to move forward on Phase 3 as far as the remainder of their $20,000 will go.

Again, I want to send a HUGE thank you to the Student Senate for the gift of delicious clean pure drinking water that I know I personally enjoy every single day. If you do the Facebook thing, consider giving them a big ARC thanks & LIKE on their Facebook page, or even a quick note on paper. You can send it to the Center for Leadership & Development…I’m certain it would be well received.

P.S.
While I have your attention, I’d also like to make sure everyone knows about our Toner/Light Bulb/Battery Recycle Program—please please please bring these items to one of the many drop off places around our campus. If you are unsure of where that is, just send them to Printing Services. These items should ALWAYS be diverted from our land fill stream of waste. It needs to be EVERYONE’s job to help divert as much as we can from landfills if we are to meet AB341 diversion requirements which require that by 2020 we are diverting 75% from that waste stream. We are currently at around 40% (+/-), fyi.

Thank you all for your support in these efforts.

Don Reid, Supervisor Printing Services

ARC Sustainability Committee, Chair
ARC Green Office Committee, Chair
ARC Tree Campus Advisory Committee, Chair
ARC Buildings Grounds & Safety Committee, Campus Sustainability Representative

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.

Waste Audit Results from Convocation

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At convocation this semester, we analyzed the waste generated from our event—here is the WHY, the HOW IT RELATES TO US, and the (most important part) WHAT CAN YOU DO of it all…

WHY?

Over the summer several of us were able to attend the California Higher Education Sustainability Conference (CHESC) at CSU Fullerton. This week long conference is where sustainability teams from colleges & universities from all around our state come together to share how they have gotten green practices to work for them saving money, energy, making dents in food insecurity, social justice, and especially (from my own perspective) recycling/diversion.

There is of course a photo gallery that you can take a look at:

Once the conference was wrapped up, several of us attended a WASTE AUDIT training where we:

  1. weighed all of the food, recycling, trash bags from this week long event
  2. put those numbers into a spreadsheet
  3. tore the bags apart, re-sorted everything correctly
  4. re-weighed everything—and put those numbers back into the spreadsheet to analyze percentages and make recommendations

The results were surprising, to say the very least. We found at their event, there was so little actual trash that next year they won’t even have garbage cans out as they were just used incorrectly with only 64lbs of 776.5lbs being truly landfill for a 92% diversion (from landfill) rate!

 Pictured above is ARC’s Ashley Kwan & Frankie Johnson during a waste audit training session that we performed on the trash generated from this week long event.
Pictured above is ARC’s Ashley Kwan & Frankie Johnson during a waste audit training session that we performed on the trash generated from this week long event.

Overheard during that session: “It all gets weighed, it’s our job to try and get as much of this stuff on to the cheaper end of the scale as possible.”

HOW DOES THIS RELATE TO ARC/LOS RIOS?

Some time ago, a bill (AB 341) was passed that mandates business’ our size divert 75% of our waste stream away from the land fill, which means we need to be sending ¾ of what we generate to the recycling bins, the food waste bins, the (broken down) cardboard bins, and the grass/tree trimming bins – instead of the garbage cans.

2016 Fall Convocation Waste Audit Spreadsheet
2016 Fall Convocation Waste Audit Spreadsheet

That spreadsheet (2016 Fall Convocation Waste Audit Spreadsheet) is pretty pretty similar to what we are seeing campus-wide as shown in the pie chart below:

2015 ARC Diversion Rates

For comparison, the entire UC system has pledged statewide to work toward 100% diversion. That’s right, ALL of the UCs are working toward becoming ZERO-WASTE campus’ and as you can see from that CHESC event, the work to get there is paying off.

The models are in place, working, and they are eager to share with us (and everyone) how they got there.

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

Get involved / stay informed / share recycling practices with your office at the next department meeting / let us know you need a recycle bin / ask questions / choose recyclable or compostable products and then recycle them when the time comes / empty your small recycle bins into a common area larger one when they are full / ask the cafeteria to use compostable materials for your next catered event / BREAK DOWN THOSE CARDBOARD BOXES & set them next to the recycle bins / follow along with our efforts & ask questions out loud on our social media / and my favorite: sign up to get your ARC Green Office Acorn award—just as many ARC offices have.

You can find the first Acorn instructions/application/checklist on the ARC Sustainability website. By the way, the GREEN OFFICE award will be the focus of this year’s Earth Day event scheduled for Wednesday, April 19, 2017:

As always, if you have any questions about recycling, or would like to be more involved, please reach out. I hope to have more updates as time permits…and I promise they’ll be shorter. I do microblog all of our efforts to our Twitter & Facebook page, so please feel free to LIKE / Share /  Comment / Retweet / follow along to your heart’s extent.

Thank you all for your time.

Don Reid, Supervisor Printing Services
ARC Sustainability Committee, Chair

ARC Green Office Committee, Chair
ARC Tree Campus Advisory Committee, Chair
ARC Buildings Grounds & Safety Committee, Campus Sustainability Representative