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Sustainability Day Event to Celebrate \'Green\' Practices

(Posted October 23, 2006)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Juniata College will one of several hundred college campuses across the nation participating in Campus Sustainability Day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 25 at various locations around the Juniata campus.
All events are open to the public.
"What we are trying to do is change the culture of the campus permanently. We want our staff and students to turn off lights because that's what Juniatians do. We are not going to make rules and regulations to prevent bad behavior. We want the norm to be good behavior and sustainability," explains Rob Yelnosky '85, vice president for finance and operations and the supervisor for Juniata's sustainability project.
For this year's Sustainability Day, Juniata has scheduled a series of events designed to bring attention to how much waste Juniata generates and how the college has improved its recycling rates, waste rates and reduced paper usage over the past year.
Students will take part in a Dumpster Dive, where groups of students will empty several dumpsters into a sorting area on Juniata's central quad from 9 to noon. Students will sort garbage into piles of recyclables and waste.
Other exhibits will be on display in the college's central quad and in Ellis Hall from 9 a.m. to noon. Displays and booths include, a GEM car display, which focuses on an electric car; a bicycle generator; a solar-powered coffeepot exhibit; a recycling scavenger hunt and shuttle run; and a student presentation how individuals can live a sustainable life on campus and at home.
From 12:30 to 2:30 p.m., a webcast, sponsored by SCUP, will be shown in the Sill Board Room in the von Liebig Center for Science. The webcast will cover the topic. "Where is Your Campus on the Continuum of Integrated Sustainability Planning?"
At 2:30 p.m., Juniata faculty, staff and students will moderate and participate in a panel discussion on global warming in Sill Boardroom, Philip Dunwoody, assistant professor of psychology, will chair the discussion. In addition, Paula Martin, assistant provost and professor of environmental science, will present the scientific case to determine if global warming is occurring. She will present best- and worst-case scenarios. Dennis Plane, assistant professor of politics, will explain the national energy policy and address international environmental issues.
Yelnosky will speak on how Juniata has reduced its imprint on the environment. In addition to discussing the college's sustainability initiative, he will outline what Juniata is and is not doing to become sustainable. Finally, Shawn Rumery, a junior from Dayton, Maine, will speak on what individuals can do to reduce their personal impact on the planet. He also will talk about how individuals can spur institutional and governmental change in energy and environmental policies.
At 4 p.m., members of the campus facilities crew will plant more than a dozen new trees on campus, representing the number of trees saved through waste reduction. According to Jeff Meadows, grounds supervisor, most of the trees will be planted along 19th Street. The crew will plant a variety of tree species, including red maples, sugar maples, dogwoods, ash, tulip trees red oak and white oak. The tree planting will be preceded by a dramatic reading of "The Lorax," a Dr. Seuss tale in which the plot hinges on the usefulness of trees.
Juniata participated in Sustainability Day last year, organizing several events such as a dumpster dive, where students, faculty and staff sorted through a day's worth of trash. This led to Juniata's participation in Recyclemania, a contest among colleges and universities across the country to collect the largest amount of recyclables per capita, the largest amount of total recyclables, the least about of trash per capita, or the achieve the highest recycling rate. The national contest starts in January, during spring semester.
Last year, Juniata generated 308 sheets of paper per person each year out of its printers and copiers, which translates into 5,311,589 sheets of paper (not counting printers and copiers in individual faculty and staff offices). That paper alone, stacked in a single pile would stretch more than 1,770 feet in the airĂ¢??100 feet more than the world's tallest building and 320 feet less than the Sears Tower in Chicago.
The college's emphasis on sustainability is reflected throughout the campus culture. The topic for the 2007 Bailey Oratorical Contest in spring semester will center on sustainability and the book selected for the College reading discussion project is "Collapse," by Jared Diamond, an examination of how societies fail when they fail to conserve available resources.

Contact John Wall at wallj@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3132 for more information.