Red & Blue On College Green
Special Issue  I  ReThink Your Footprint: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
In This Issue
ReThink Posters the College House
ReThink in the News
"Thinking Beyond Recycling"
November 14, 2013
Penn Current (print) and Penn Current Express (online)
November 25, 2013
The Daily Pennsylvanian
"Green Campus Partnership: Thinking Beyond Recycling"
December 6, 2013
University Communications News Video
Did You Know?
Pictures related to reduce, reuse, recycle are often worth a thousand words. The Green Campus Partnership team used signage to communicate landfill diversion rates and tons of waste in "real world" terms. 
Zero-waste Event How To Guide
A few groups in the Penn community chose to participate in ReThink Your Footprint by organizing a zero-waste event -- a meal, party, study break, or other event where at least 90% of the waste is diverted from landfills (i.e. the majority of the waste generated is either composted or recycled.) The Green Campus Partnership has created a Zero-waste Event How To Guide, posted on their websiteLearn how to plan, execute and evaluate a zero-waste event with this guide.

ISAC 2014 Faculty Deadline Feb 4 - ReThink Your Coursework
Bring a new dimension of environmental sustainability to your existing or new courses by participating in the Green Campus Partnership Integrating Sustainability Across the Curriculum (ISAC) program. 

Faculty participants explore sustainability concepts at a one-day workshop in the late spring, and then are partnered with an undergraduate student research assistant to work over the summer integrating sustainability into the course syllabi, lectures, assignments, reading material, and tests.  
The research assistants work 40 hours a week for eight weeks starting in June, and are paid by funds made available by the Academics Subcommittee of Penn's Environmental Sustainability Advisory Committee.

Faculty applications DUE Feb 4.

Student Research Assistant applications DUE March 7.

A Note on College Green


Zero-waste events - Cutting down on office printing -Toting trash - Recycling construction waste -Reusable food containers - Transforming a cement plot into a green backyard - Sorting through waste bins -Composting lunch meeting food waste - Greening the office - Recycling clothing.


In these ways and more, members of the Penn Community participated in ReThink Your Footprint, Penn's fall 2013 waste minimization awareness campaign. From November 4 - 22, Penn's Green Campus Partnership recognized long-term University initiatives and one-time events that promoted environmentally sustainable practices in source reduction, reuse, and recycling.


Daily news stories and social media communications shared information on these campus-wide "green" activities. All of the ReThink "Happenings" are collected on the Green Campus Partnership website,, and many are re-published in this e-newsletter.


The Green Campus Partnership extends its thanks to the schools and centers, offices and programs, students, staff and faculty who created ReThink events, initiatives, and activities in support of the University's Climate Action Plan goals around waste minimization.

ReThink Happenings
2013 QuakerFest Achieves 94% Diversion Rate 
Think about how much waste a picnic with more than 1,400 people could generate, and then think about how amazing it is that 94% of that waste was diverted from the landfill. That's just what happened at this year's QuakerFest, the alumni event held before the Homecoming football game.  READ MORE...

Students ReThink

College House Waste Audits Led by Student Eco-Reps


The College House Eco-Reps conducted waste audits during ReThink Your Footprint to learn about their house's recycling and trash streams.  Each group sorted through the contents of one recycling bin and one trash can to see what residents in their building are throwing away.  The activity will help inform future waste and recycling initiatives within the house, as Eco-Reps learn where there are areas for reducing waste and improving recycling in their buildings.  READ MORE...


Student Eco-Reps Tote Their Trash Along


As part of Penn's ReThink Your Footprint campaign, student Eco-Reps participated in a week-long activity tracking their personal waste disposal habits.  Each Eco-Rep received a 5" x 5" Mini Bin that they carried with them for a full week and used as their primary trash can.  During this time, they were asked to monitor the amount of waste they disposed into the bin.  The program is meant as an educational activity to think critically about personal consumption habits and what we each throw away. READ MORE... 


Zero-waste BasketBall Game Planned for Feb 21


The Penn Athletics Eco-Reps announced the first Zero-Waste Awareness basketball game for the 2013-2014 season. The Awareness Game was the Penn vs. Penn State match-up on Saturday, November 16 in the Palestra. Athletics Eco-Reps and the Athletics Green Team engaged fans, educating attendees on proper recycling practices, and collecting recyclable items in the stands.  READ MORE...


More than 75 Penn Students Received Green Living Certification


It may be just a little more than half-way through the semester, but already more than 75 Penn students have applied to be certified "green." 


The new Green Living Certification program for students living in College Houses validates the environmentally sustainable lifestyle choices they make as individuals. Pilot-tested in Spring 2013 and formally launched this fall, Green Living is meant to publicly recognize those students whose personal choices represent their commitment to the environment.  READ MORE...


ReThinking Retail and Restaurants

Penn Retail Offers Sustainable Selections: SweetGreen, HipCity Veg, Greene Street 


Penn's Facilities & Real Estate Services Division works continually enhance the retail offerings at Penn and respond to changing market conditions. Student and community interest in an environmentally sustainable lifestyle prompts Penn to seek out operators of food and other retail shops that support these principles.


Recently, fast-food inspired fresh vegan food joined Penn's retail line-up through the opening of Hip City Veg at 214 South 40th Street.  READ MORE...


Morris Arboretum Café Preparing for "Green" Certification

Morris Arboretum is working to have its Compton Cafe certified as a Green Restaurant® by the Green Restaurant Association. They are working on accumulating points in seven categories such as water efficiency, waste reduction and recycling, and sustainable food. Additionally, the Arboretum must have a full-scale recycling program and be free of polystyrene foam  (which they currently are), and commit to educating Arboretum visitors on environmental sustainability.

Administration ReThinks Services & Practices
Penn ReThinks the Plan for its Waste


Penn's Division of Facilities and Real Estate Services with help from outside consultants, Haley & Aldrich, is currently in the process of implementing a campus-wide Solid Waste Management Plan. The SWMP provides a prioritized list of initiatives to help the University in achieving the Climate Action Plan goals."  


Currently, staff from Penn's schools, centers, and select offices are collaborating as part of a bi-weekly working-group that is developing standard operating procedures (SOPs) for a variety of University waste-management practices. READ MORE...


Green Offices Number 66 Across Penn's Campus


Just how "green" are offices at Penn? Offices represent a significant portion of campus energy and material use and waste production. The Green Campus Partnership recognizes the efforts of staff and faculty to "green" their daily activities by offering four levels of Green Office Certification.


By the end of October 2013, 66 offices have been recognized - with three at Level 4 - the highest level: Penn Law Information Technology Services, Penn Women's Center, and the 3401 Walnut St. Office of Business Services Division.  READ MORE...


ReThink Your Clothes Closet: Donate to Goodwill


Take some time to ReThink Your Wardrobe and do a closet clean-out.  Maybe you have outgrown or out-worn some of your clothes and shoes, but these items could do someone else a lot of good!


Since April, two Goodwill collection containers have been filling up on Penn's campus -- one is located outside of Sansom Place West and the other outside of Rodin. Organized by the Business Services Division, these Goodwill bins were considered a pilot program for the campus. Donations have been strong, as numbers from this past summer attest: June totaled donations of 6,095 pounds of clothing, July totaled 6,578, and August brought in 1,472 pounds.  READ MORE...


Construction and Demolition Waste Recycled


Penn uses Northeast Philadelphia-based Revolution Recovery for its Small Projects Group construction and demolition waste recycling. Revolution Recovery's corporate mission - to keep materials out of landfills - strongly aligns with the University's own environmental sustainability goals. The traditional waste management companies that pick up the University's regular trash can do some recycling, such as office paper, but they cannot handle the construction waste that most renovation jobs around campus produce - from replacement of ceiling tiles to redesign and construction. Metal, wood, plastics, cardboard, drywall, siding and carpet - and much more - is sorted and sent on for recycling.  READ MORE...


Schools & Centers ReThink
ReThink Takes Action in Penn Schools and Centers, Divisions 
All members of the Penn community were encouraged to participate in ReThink by organizing an event, activity, information session -- something specific to their population that would serve to communicate the principle of reduce, reuse, recycle during the awareness campaign, November 4 - 22. The following are just a few of the activities reported from the Perelman School of Medicine, Wharton, the School of Arts and Sciences, and Facilities and Real Estate Services. 

The Perelman School of Medicine launched a Recycling Room on November 15. Located on the 2nd Floor of the Clinical Research Building at 415 Curie Blvd., this room will be a single location to recycle batteries, phones, toner cartridges, pens, hardcover books, softcover books, paper, and single stream materials. According to Jennifer Mishkin, sustainability coordinator and Associate Director, Interiors, Space Planning & Operations, in the School of Medicine, "This room will allow us to consolidate collection of recyclables and identify the quantity that we generate."  READ MORE...

School of Social Policy and Practice ReThinks its Green Space


Thanks to the generous gift from the Class of 1977 with cooperation from the School of Social Policy and Practice and Facilities and Real Estate Services, 3815 Walnut Street now has a lush green backyard that offers occupants an attractive shared outdoor space and increases the location's environmental sustainability. Their backyard had become a paved slab over the years; an 86% impervious surface that let all of the stormwater runoff into the storm sewer inlets. When considering how to improve the space, SP2 and the University's Landscape Architect's office came up with a plan that handled the waste water and made use of recycled or reclaimed materials. The project team acted purposefully in line with the University's Climate Action Plan goal to create and maintain a sustainable campus by increasing green space.  READ MORE...


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