Delaware, Ohio area Sustainability Events & Activities

Just about every month the Sustainable Delaware organization publishes a list of environmental, sustainable and related events and activities in and around Delaware, Ohio.

Just about every month the Sustainable Delaware organization publishes a list of environmental, sustainable and related events and activities in and around Delaware, Ohio. The newsletter is posted here, under the Sustainability in Delaware tab above.

Sustainable Delaware is always happy to have OWU student, staff or faculty involvement. Check their web pages for more information.

Heart of Ohio March for Climate | Delaware, Ohio | Saturday April 29, 2017

Gathering people from everywhere in the heart of Ohio to call on Congress, our State and Local governments to take action on climate.

Heart of Ohio March for Climate

For Climate, Health and Jobs

Delaware, Ohio – Saturday April 29, 2017

Gather 9:45 – 10am at Bicentennial Park (next to Wilber Bills Fire Station)

March to Delaware County Courthouse (on sidewalks)

11:00am – Noon: Rally and program at the Courthouse

Gathering people from everywhere in the heart of Ohio to call on Congress, our State and Local governments to take action on climate.

This march is nonpartisan, open to those who are concerned about solving climate change. All are welcome. This march will be respectful of the elected officials and community leaders from across the political spectrum because these are people who are crucial in protecting the earth’s climate. We invite them to join us.

OWU Green Week 2016 Events: April 18 to 22

OWU Green Week 2016 Events and Activities.

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OWU GREEN WEEK 2016

Monday 4/18: PHYSICAL WASTE

12-1 pm Sagan Speaker in Merrick 3rd Floor, w/free lunch!

Peter Wynn Kirby, University of Oxford, UK: Smuggling, Burning, Burying, Shredding, Knowing: Varieties of Waste Work in East Asia  

KICK OFF: Carry Your Waste Week

To become more aware of the waste we produce every day, you are challenged to carry around everything non-compostable/recyclable in a bag with you all day every day for the rest of the week.

Tuesday 4/19: WATER WASTE

12-1pm Tabling in Hamwil:

Information on Water Waste, GIVE-AWAY: Homemade detergent with DIY Instructions

6:30pm Documentary Night in Benes B:

Last Call to the Oasis with panel discussion to follow including representatives from the Sierra Club and other guest stars

Wednesday 4/20: FOOD WASTE

12-1pm Tabling in Hamwil:

Information on Food Waste, GIVE-AWAY: Bamboo Utensil Set

6:30pm Veggie Meal Night at Tree House:

Come eat delicious, FREE vegetarian grub!

8pm Food Recovery Program in Hamwil:

A program to donate Hamwil’s leftovers to those in need at Grace Clinic

Thursday 4/21: CARBON/ENERGY WASTE

12-1pm Tabling in Hamwil:

Information on Carbon/Energy Waste, GIVE-AWAY: Homemade Hot Drink Sleeves

7pm Sustainability Discussion in Corns 312:

Come share your input and hear from experts about sustainability with dining services, the community garden, and the sustainability plan at OWU.

Friday 4/22: EARTH DAY on the JAY

Tabling during Day on the JAY!:

Help us celebrate EARTH DAY by coming by our table to hear about MERMAID CONSERVATION!  GIVE-AWAY: Bike-blended smoothies!

ALL WEEK: SUPPORT THE ART DEPARTMENT AND THE PLANET BY PURCHASING A HANDMADE CLAY WATER BOTTLE OR THERMOS!

Partially funded through WCSA   

email chhastin@owu.edu with any questions

Farm / Food / Environmental / Sustainability Internships at Stratford and Methodist Theological School of Ohio

Ohio Wesleyan is offering several internships at two locations for the Fall 2016 semester. Opportunities are at the Stratford Ecological Center and the Seminary Hill Farm, part of the Methodist Theological School. Both are just south of OWU’s campus.

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Ohio Wesleyan is offering several internships at two locations for the Fall 2016 semester. Opportunities are at the Stratford Ecological Center and the Seminary Hill Farm, part of the Methodist Theological School. Both are just south of OWU’s campus.

Opportunities at the Stratford Ecological Center are detailed in the flyer below (click for PDF).

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Opportunities at the Seminary Hill Farm, part of the Methodist Theological School of Ohio are detailed in the flyer below (click for PDF).

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The internships can count towards your Environmental Studies independent study requirement (for ES majors). They will also count towards the proposed Food Minor (to be voted on by faculty later this month). Yes we have transportation options for carless interns. Yes I will accept a bushel of rutabagas you grow as part of the internship.

Choices for Sustainable Living Course | Stratford Ecological Center | Oct 1 – Nov 19, 2015

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Earth Institute Course: Choices for Sustainable Living
When: October 1 – November 19, 2015: Thursdays 6:30pm-8pm
Location: Stratford Ecological Center
Cost: $30

Choices for Sustainable Living discussion course is part of a series developed by the Northwest Earth Institute in Portland, Oregon. The series is promoted by Simply Living in Columbus, Ohio. Their aim is to educate and motivate people to live more simply and sustainable in their lives. This course provides participants a powerful opportunity to explore sustainability more deeply and learn its unique meaning from individual, societal and global perspectives. We are excited to offer this updated eight week course, including introduction, for up to twelve people. The course is participant led with no right or wrong answers, providing an opportunity for open discussion. The $30 fee covers the postage and cost of the hard-copy book.

If interested in attending, let John Krygier know and maybe we can arrange ride-sharing.

May Move Out 2015 – Results

OWU’s Spring 2015 May Move Out focused on getting students to donate reusable items to Goodwill (by placing them in storage pods) while moving out of the dorms. Overall about 19,000 pounds of material was collected by Goodwill throughout the May Move Out period. That is about 9.5 tons of material kept out of the landfill (and close to our estimated 10 ton diversion rate).

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OWU’s Spring 2015 May Move Out focused on getting students to donate reusable items to Goodwill (by placing them in storage pods) while moving out of the dorms. The effort worked well given our goals of diverting stuff from the landfill (and to Goodwill) while clearing the dorms (in preparation for their summer use).

Overall about 19,000 pounds of material was collected by Goodwill throughout the May Move Out period. That is about 9.5 tons of material kept out of the landfill (and close to our estimated 10 ton diversion rate).

Earlier this year, Ohio Wesleyan was awarded $10,000 from the Delaware, Knox, Marion, Morrow (DKMM) Joint Solid Waste District through the efforts of OWU’s Sustainability Task Force.

Overall, we rate the effort a B with areas of improvement to include promotion and logistics.

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Of the larger items, according to Goodwill, we collected 45 mini refrigerators, 12 bins of textiles, 37 misc. wares, 13 futons, 14 office chairs, 18 rugs, 27 storage containers and a dozen or so misc. chairs.

Our Goodwill partners were very happy with the effort, as were OWU’s Buildings and Grounds and Residential Life staff. In other words, we have a model that can, with some tweaks, work in the future.

With overall success come a series of problems and proposed improvements to consider.


Problem: Promotional efforts did not work as well as possible. This will be a big challenge for May Move Out 2016.

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Michelle Smith pulling a nice bike out of the dumpster. Potential donations were removed from the dumpsters by May Move Out volunteers. When asked, a signficant number of students professed ignorance of the May Move Out effort.

Solutions:

  • Earlier efforts to inform students and RAs, Fraternities and SLUs about the May Move Out effort. Promotion in the last month of classes came at a time when everyone was distracted by many other issues. Consider outreach efforts that will reach students already hit by a barrage of information.
  • Consider a fall and early spring promotional effort with a Goodwill truck with a “May Move Out 2016 (Early!)” banner parked in residential area. Possibly a similar effort mid-spring semester. Allow for early donations (as well as faculty and staff donations) but focus is to raise awareness for the actual May Move Out.
  • Banners for May Move Out on each donation pod. Potential for green balloons floating above pods.
  • Organizations and groups to help with outreach: Tree House, UC 160 Sustainability focused section, spring 2016. Students and courses in Environmental Studies.
  • Brainstorm promotional ideas:
    • Pod Puppies: puppies (from Companion Dogs company?) for end of semester stress relief and promotion of May Move Out
    • Green Week or Earth Day promotion
    • Have a contest (like Greek Week) based on how much you get donated (organize by floor, dorm, SLU, etc.)
    • Swag? Green Week efforts? Social Media?

Problem: Lots of recyclable material, particularly paper and cardboard, in the dumpsters. Part of the problem is the lack of a recycling program in the City of Delaware for businesses and multi-tenant buildings (such as the dorms on campus).

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A May Move Out promotional poster (above) in the dumpster!

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Lots and lots of paper and cardboard in the dumpsters.

Solutions:

  • work with the City of Delaware on this problem
  • investigate dual dumpster / recycling bins
  • improve campus recycling on the residential side of campus, in particular many of the cardboard boxes were from Aramark cleaning materials.

Problem: Limited donation dates and times meant that materials that could have been donated were thrown in dumpsters (for example, over night when the donation pods were locked).

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Donations left by a locked donation pod overnight (above).

Solutions:

  • Have pods placed on campus earlier.
  • With better promotion, students will know to leave donations by the pods if they are locked. Banners: “May Move Out Goodwill Donations. Leave it Here if You’re Not Sure”

Problem: Students have a tendency to toss everything (including potential donations) in the closest dumpster or garbage can.

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Potential donations in a dumpster that was closer to the dorm than the donation pod.

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Potential donations dropped off by the trash can closest to the dorm exit.

Solution:

  • Better promotion of May Move Out effort to encourage students to carry their donations the extra distance to the donation pods
  • Adjust donation pod locations so that donations can be made by all well used dumpsters (see image above). Attempt to get donation pod closer to dorms than the dumpsters.
    • Bashford pod: try to get dumpster and pod closer and facing same direction

Problem: too many nearly unused donation pods near SLUs and Frats.

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Things were very quiet at the donation pods near the SLUs (Small Living Units) and Frats.

Solution: This is actually a good thing, as it means we will probably need fewer donation pods for the Spring 2016 May Move Out (saving some money).

  • Work with Fraternities & SLUs to determine if donation pods are needed and where they should be. Possible that the fraternities and SLUs can organize an effort to get donations to the donation pods near the dorms, rather than have their own donation pod.
  • Revised May Move Out Promotion effort for Fraternities and SLUs

Additional ideas and issues:

  • gloves for volunteers at each pod
  • hours for each pod posted on pod
  • have real estate lock boxes for pod keys (rather than pick up and drop off)
  • encourage volunteers to circulate – don’t have to stay by assigned pod

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Downtown Delaware’s Native Plantings

Stroll through Delaware, and you’ll find something different. Replacing the exotic and colorful splash of color are about 20 concrete planters filled with muted, earthy-looking, shrublike plants, each one an Ohio native.

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From The Columbus Dispatch • Sunday May 31, 2015 5:14 AM

By Dean Narciso

DELAWARE, Ohio — The vincas and petunias spill from baskets in many suburban downtowns. It’s a beautiful floral explosion, but one that is expensive and unnatural in central Ohio, where those plants aren’t native.

Stroll through Delaware, and you’ll find something different. Replacing the exotic and colorful splash of color are about 20 concrete planters filled with muted, earthy-looking, shrublike plants, each one an Ohio native.

Liz Neroni came up with the idea while living in downtown Delaware, which went with petunias year after year.

Neroni is a naturalist at Preservation Parks, Delaware County’s park system. She envisioned the planters as tools for teaching, “to have people realize natural plants are super important. They’re supposed to be here. They’re a huge part of the ecosystem.”

Ohio’s birds, insects, bees and other pollinators evolved with native plants “like they have a relationship together,” she said. “They’re beautiful and beneficial to the wildlife that live here.”

Among the small shrubs are bayberry, blackhaw viburnum and smooth hydrangea. Each has medicinal uses.

And many of the plants are perennials, such as swamp milkweed, wild ginger and strawberry.

The natives, which have adapted to Ohio weather, require less water and little if any fertilizer or pesticides, said Rich Niccum, education-services manager for Preservation Parks. “Overall, (cities) don’t need as much time to maintain them. It’s a money-saving opportunity as well.”

Plus, they are a natural draw for birds and insects — helpful pollinators at a time when bee populations are in decline.

Downtown passersby seem to take little notice of the change. And city leaders hope that silence indicates acceptance.

“I expected to hear complaints about the lack of color because everyone is so used to us putting in petunias and sweet-potato vine, but no one has mentioned the change in a negative way,” said Frances Jo Hamilton, executive director of Main Street Delaware, which oversaw the project.

The plants, from local growers, cost about $1,200, Niccum said.

“People have this mindset of native plants being weeds, that they’re kind of unattractive and plain,” said Neroni. “They don’t think of natives when they’re designing planters or decorating their yards. But we’re trying to show people that they’re wonderful.”

dnarciso@dispatch.com

Spenser Hickey’s Report on OWU Sustainability

During the Fall semester of 2014 Journalism student Spencer Hickey reviewed the state of Sustainability on OWU’s campus, reviewing its history and current status, interviewing students, staff and faculty, and documenting his work as Special Report: OWU Sustainability.

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During the Fall semester of 2014 Journalism student Spencer Hickey reviewed the state of Sustainability on OWU’s campus, reviewing its history and current status, interviewing students, staff and faculty, and documenting his work as Special Report: OWU Sustainability.

OWU’s Sustainability Task Force (Facebook here) is actively addressing many of the issues in Hickey’s report, and a Spring 2015 practicum (Geography 499) will review and address the issues as part of the process of creating a campus-wide sustainability plan.

 

Ohio Wesleyan’s Community Garden

The Ohio Wesleyan Community Garden is a student initiated project, run by OWU students, faculty and Chartwells (campus dining services).

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The Ohio Wesleyan Community Garden is a student initiated project, run by OWU students, faculty and Chartwells (campus dining services).

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We are always in need for volunteers and “taste testers.” Please come visit us! We are located behind the old observatory.

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More information and many pictures can be found at:

This season’s plantings with additional fascinating details can be found at What’s In the Garden.

Contact: Susannah Waxman: sewaxman@owu.edu

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Green Business Survey and Resource Guide

The goal of the Delaware Green Business Project is to create a Green Business Challenge for the City of Delaware in order to help local businesses to become more environmentally sustainable. An online survey and resource guide (downloadable) were created for the project.

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Photograph of historic downtown Delaware, Ohio. Photography by John Hollinger (Source)


Delaware, Ohio Green Business Survey & Resource Guide                      

Spring 2012

Sophie Kiendl, Amy Carr, John Krygier, Sean Kinghorn

Summary

The goal of the Delaware Green Business Project is to create a Green Business Challenge for the City of Delaware in order to help local businesses to become more environmentally sustainable. The Challenge will be initiated with an online survey created for the project. The survey will allow us to monitor various environmental issues related to community businesses over time, and can be connected to the Sustainability Region database. Our main objective is to decrease energy usage, water consumption and waste and improve the performance of commercial and institutional buildings and their operations. We will work with Delaware business to increase the environmentally business practices will decrease their expenditures. The Green Business Project is a business friendly project and will in no way harm participating businesses. We encourage the entire business community to join us and help create a greener community.

Methods and Results

At the beginning of the semester Dr. Krygier informed us that we would be doing class projects involving the environmental sustainability of Ohio Wesleyan University and Delaware County. We had to come up with ideas that both would add depth to the project and interested us. Amy came up with the idea of a Green Business Challenge for Delaware Businesses. The idea came from a previous project she worked on in Charleston, SC, which had the same goal of increasing greener business practices in their community. Amy and I worked with Sean Kinghorn to come up with ideas for what we would like to have involved in our green business challenge to make it effective and applicable to the Delaware County business community. We met weekly to ensure that we could provide our participants with the best possible challenge and resources to complete the challenge. We developed an online survey with 37 questions for the participants to complete with 65 points possible.

Participants will receive this message upon receiving the online survey challenge.

We have sent you the Delaware Green Business Challenge survey. The survey is meant to give you a baseline of how green your business is and an idea of what areas you can improve in. It includes 50 actions that are necessary for a greener business. Once you have completed the survey your answers are collected and your score is generated. There are a 100 points total 4 tiers of achievements. Tier 1 being the highest level of achievement. See the chart below for a breakdown of points needed for each tier.

Along with the challenge businesses will receive a Resource Guide to help green their business. Once each business has finished the challenge we will compute their scores and personally work with them on ways to better their businesses. As well businesses will receive a plaque or certificate showing the public that they have participated (in no circumstances will the businesses scores be shared with the general public, we are here to help not harm!).

See the two documents generated for this project:

  • Green Business Challenge Survey (PDF)
  • Green Business Resource Guide (PDF) (Word)

The survey is in Google Docs format and can be modified and sent to businesses if students are interested in continuing the project. The resource guide, with some updates, can also be used for future projects. Contact John Krygier for more information.

Recommendations (2012)

  1. Consult the City of Delaware Chamber of Commerce. Allow for critique and adjustment of the survey to meet the needs of Delaware businesses. With the approval and backing of the Chamber of Commerce it is possible that more businesses will want to participate in the survey and Green Challenge program. Inquire as to methods of promoting the survey and program.
  1. Consult additional local business organizations, such as Downtown Delaware. Again, allow critique and adjustment of the survey and the Green Challenge program. Inquire as to methods of promoting the survey and program.
  1. Develop educational programs on sustainable practices that are open to the public along with programs only for those that are participating in the program. The educational programs should be hosted by Ohio Wesleyan, which opens the possibility to involve students in the programs. The involvement of both the City of Delaware and Ohio Wesleyan in the program will lead to a stronger relationship between the City and the University. Reach out to the Economics Department to see if students and faculty may be interested in moving the survey, Green Challenge, and additional sustainable practices programs forward.
  1. Directly link the results of the survey to the Sustainability Region database. Institute a program to periodically resurvey businesses to track change over time and assess the impact of the programs promoting sustainable practices.