January Meeting Notes
January 8, 2002
- -memo + ideas
- -light switch stickers
- -data analysis + new intern
3) Intern agenda
- Memo: A letter was recently sent to all students regarding energy conservation. It has received positive feedback already, and the group decided that some types of follow-up are necessary. Ideas include:
- A CFL light bulb sale. It was noted that Granite State Electric already subsidizes them, and suggested that the college may be able to sell them even cheaper as it will receive the cost savings from their reduced energy use.
- A quiz in the dinning halls on energy, with prizes for winners.
- Getting in touch with College Real Estate to ensure their equipment fits energy star specifications
- Somehow taking control of the refrigerators and microwaves that students bring to campus (currently, there could be multiple inefficient mini-fridges per room)
- Light Switch Stickers: Jim Leech brought a number of possible designs for a new sticker that will go above each set of light switches in college administrative buildings and public spaces. The design was discussed, as well as implementation. Jim will have his staff modify the sticker and bring final possibilities to the next meeting.
- Data Analysis/New Intern: Andy Friedland has done some analysis of college energy use data from the last 4 years. Some key findings where that the top 10 most energy consumptive buildings on campus use approximately 40% of the college's total electricity (mostly lab buildings), and that energy use per building has been increasing steadily.
The group agreed that more analysis would be very useful, to keep graphs of energy use for each building, to know if they were increasing or decreasing, and make a form that would be easily updateable in the future. The idea came up of hiring a student intern to do this work, and other research into college energy use.
- Bill Hochstin mentioned a trend over the last couple years that departments are switching back from 30% post-consumer recycled paper to 100% virgin paper, which is especially disturbing since the price and the product are almost identical. Jesse mentioned that the PAC (purchasing advisory committee, a group of students and administrators) has the list of departments that use virgin paper, and is currently visiting them to ask them to switch to recycled.
- We had a discussion of what the RWG could do on this front. Two ideas were proposed:
- The RWG and purchasing making a policy that the college will buy recycled paper, and not offering virgin paper.
- Moving to web-based ordering and setting the default to recycled paper, so that departments have to do extra work to order virgin paper.
- personal note: the issue of policy has come up many times in the past, on many different issues. Can the RWG or another group specify that the college must buy recycled paper, or energy star products, or environmentally safe cleaning fluids? Regulations on cleaning supplies and other potentially hazardous chemicals already exist; and many departments already only buy energy star appliances. It is the opinion of your intern that in many cases a college-wide policy is appropriate. In the case of paper, where the two products are almost indistinguishable and their cost is the same, there seems to be no reason why any of our departments need to buy virgin paper (except for specialty items such as water-seals). A policy therefore seems justifiable, and the RWG seems to me to be the appropriate group to make that policy.
3) Intern agenda
- Jesse Foote (me) is your new student intern! His agenda for the term includes:
- Keeping and sending meeting notes
- Continuing the research on how other schools set up their offices of sustainability, that your former intern Ruben Guetschow began last term
- Gathering and organizing information for a new RWG webpage (to be discussed at the February meeting)
- Monitoring the RWG blitz account
- Running the Department ECO rep program
On that last bullet, I have enclosed the description of the department ECO rep position (which was discussed at RWG meetings last term). We currently have reps in 29 departments, including many, but not all, or the departments represented on the RWG (you'll get another blitz soon if your department still has no rep!). There will be a kick-off lunch on February 1st for all department reps.