In 1997 the RWG convened a team from College Printing & Mailing, the Hinman Post Office and Facilities Operations & Management to centralize more of Dartmouth's mailing functions and to cut down on the number of postage meters on campus. Dartmouth realizes savings of approximately $20,000 per year with this initiative.
Bicycles on Campus
Since 1998, the RWG has enabled an annual pick-up on campus of abandoned bicycles. These collected bicycles are held until their owners are found, and if owners cannot be identified, they are donated to Windsor prison to be refurbished for charity. Facilities Operations & Management also has joined with the Town of Hanover's Recycling Committee since 1999 in a special twice yearly collection of bicycles which also are refurbished by the prison.
Facilities Operations & Management completed a water conservation project at Dartmouth in 1998, particularly focused on retrofitting fixtures in the residence halls to conserve water. Retrofitting was completed in December 1997, and since then Dartmouth has reduced water consumption in the modified buildings by 17.5% resulting in savings of approximately $50,000. Future projections of savings indicate that the payback for this project will be just over 5 years, as anticipated.
Towel Racks in the Residence Halls
In 1999, Jesse Foote '01 noticed in North Fayerweather that the residents of the 3rd floor would fill two trashcans with paper towels twice a week. Jesse talked to Woody Eckels, Director of Residential Operations and a member of the RWG, about the possibility of putting up towel hooks in the residence hall bathrooms. The towel bars were put up in North Fayerweather and decreased waste to one quarter of its original amount. The towel hooks were completely built and installed by spring 1999: students volunteered to assemble them (they used recycled plastic lumber for the backings and worked in the Hop with powerdrills from the woodshop), and delivered them to ORL headquarters. ORL then installed the hooks into every bathroom on campus, increasing the paper towel savings campus-wide.
By putting napkins on tables instead of in dispensers, Dining already has saved 1/2 million napkins (as of spring 1998!) Efforts will continue to conserve in this area. By composting all food waste, Dining Services has shut down several garbage disposals, thereby reducing water, sewage, electricity, and maintenance expenses.
Public Printing: GreenPrint
A new printing system called GreenPrint has being put into place which is drastically reducing printing waste. Print jobs are queued as in the old system, but printing doesn't occur until the user goes to a "release station" and inputs a password. Thus, no cover sheets are needed, and if students forget to pick up their jobs, no paper is wasted. This is expected to save approx. 2 million sheets of paper each year. GreenPrint stations are currently available in Berry and Collis, and are planned to go into a number of locations all over campus.
A Powerpoint presentation that highlights environmentally-friendly purchases, energy conservation, recycling, and other environmentally benign practices was presented to a group of administrative assistants at a lunch in December, 2003.
In cooperation with the Environmental Conservation Organization and the Office of Residential Life, a residence hall room has been devoted to the demonstration of environmentally friendly lifestyles. It was dedicated by President Wright, Provost Scherr, Dean Larimore, and ECO Coordinator Brent Reidy in September. The current occupants are Anne Raymond and Vicki Allen, both '06s, who open their room for educational tours periodically. You can visit the room virtually at: Model Residence Hall Room.
A Transportation Demand Management system has been implemented. It provides a cash incentive to people who live more than .75 miles from campus and surrender their parking permits. Dartmouth contributes financially to the Upper Valley's fare-free Advance Transit bus system. Two hybrid cars have been incorporated into the Dartmouth fleet.
Visits to Environmental Projects at Peer Campuses
The RWG also plans visits to projects at our peer schools from time to time, such as the environmental studies building at Middlebury College and the new building at Vermont Law School.
The RWG has supported the work of the Dartmouth organic farm, which has expanded its scope and developed more and more of a curricular focus linked to the Environmental Studies Program.
RWG member offices have funded a growing number of student internships designed to contribute to sustainability efforts at Dartmouth. At this writing, 17 internships exist, in the following departments: Environmental Health and Safety, Facilities Operations & Management, Computing Services, Residential Life, Facilities Planning, Procurement Services, Office of the Provost, and Dining Services.
Building on a study of the applicability of sustainability indicators by the Spring 2003 Environmental Studies 50 class under the direction of Professor Karen Fisher-Vanden, a student intern is developing measures that conform to the Global Reporting Initiative.
Bill Hochstin has been working with the Environmental Conservation Organization to put together tours for 6th-8th graders of Dartmouth facilities that deal with waste, recycling and composting. The first tour was conducted on April 23rd. Additional tours for on and off campus groups are being explored.