“‘Scrappy” Sustainability at Ohio Wesleyan University” is a recently published book chapter which describes OWU’s sustainability efforts and strategies over the last decade.
In the Spring of 2012, Geog 360 student, Sarah D’ Alexander embarked on a major campus donation drive known as the May Move Out. The purpose of this project was to collect many of the items students typically throw away at the end of the year and donate these items to local charities and the OWU Freestore. It was estimated that 43 tons of “waste” was donated and kept from the massive dumpsters set up all around campus.
A small wetlands area exists at the edge of Ohio Wesleyan’s campus, pinched between the recreational trail, US Highway 23, and OWU Athletic fields. This habitat, artificially created by the significant landscape modifications in the area over the past 100+ years, supports salamanders and other wildlife, despite poor water quality, noise, half-buried waste from an old Ohio Wesleyan dump, and garbage. This project builds on an earlier project that removed garbage from the area and provided a basic assessment of the location and animal species present.
In the Spring of 2012 a team of students assessed the current ecological state of Delaware Run, adjacent to the academic side of the OWU campus. The ultimate goal, explored in a spring of 2014 project by a different group of students, is to re-naturalize and restore the stream, ideally with a focus on urban water, wetlands and wildlife.
Making and eating food is one of the most socially and biologically important human activities. Making healthy food is much easier, and more fun, than most students think. In order to encourage social DIY cooking on campus, with an emphasis on healthy eating, we developed a DIY Food Workshop. The workshop covered basic cooking skills and healthy DIY food options, with an emphasis on interaction and engagement. The event ends with a meal, consisting of foods prepared during the workshop. The first workshop was held in the spring of 2012.
A student theory-into-practice project focused on processing, analyzing and mapping energy data for the Ohio Wesleyan campus. A significant part of the project focused on the development of an equation so that the relative energy efficiency of buildings on campus (which vary widely in size, usage, age, etc.) could be compared.