The Office of Sustainability has existed on Drew’s campus for 10 years, and Tina Notas has served as the Campus Sustainability Coordinator since its beginning. The Office is focused on reducing the campus’ carbon emissions, with the commitment to reach climate neutrality by 2035.
COURTESY OF DREW UNIVERSITY
The office works on different initiatives around campus, some highly visible and some that take place behind the scenes. For example, they have worked to replace light bulbs in different buildings with LEDs, which reduce the amount of energy being used. There are new lights in the renovated labs in the Hall of Sciences, Tolley/Brown Lounge, and the parking lots. There are also new roofs on Holloway and Welch halls that will help save energy in the buildings.
The Office of Sustainability also includes Eco-Reps, which are peer to peer educators on campus. This year there are five Eco-Reps who will start holding regular hours in the dorms to talk to other students about sustainability issues around campus. There is also a task force that has formed in Seminary Hall to certify the building as a a Green Seminary.
This year the Office will host several events. In the spring they will host the first ever Green Games, a competition between the halls on campus to see which is the greenest dorm. In addition, every year Drew competes in the nationwide RecycleMania competition.
They will also be holding regular fern restoration days, where volunteers help pick invasive weeds from the fern beds planted in the middle of campus. The next will occur on Tuesday, Sept. 25 at 5 p.m.
One of the largest sustainability issues on campus is food waste, as well as recycling contamination. The current level of contamination being accepted is almost zero. Contamination happens when something unrecyclable is thrown in with the recyclable materials, which contaminates the entire bin. “When in doubt, throw it out,” states Notas about recycling properly. One large contaminator is plastic bags, which cannot be recycled. Food is another major contaminator.
Students around campus are encouraged to use reusable water bottles and mugs. There are 24 water stations around campus, all of which can be found at drew.edu/waterstations. If students bring their own reusable mugs to Peet’s and Starbucks they can get a discount on their drink.
The office rents out bikes on campus for a small fee of $25 for the whole year. They are also responsible for the ZipCars on campus. In fact, students can use the code FALL2018 for a $15 free driving credit when new members sign up.