sustainability

SMU hosts series of sustainability events throughout April 2013

Poster art for YERT: Your Environmental Road TripFree campus screenings of two popular environmental documentaries April 4-5 and the return of SMU’s Engineering and Humanity Week April 6-12 are highlights of a month of sustainability-themed events that will underscore the celebration of Earth Day 2013 on Monday, April 22.

Living With the Trinity, showing at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 4 in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Forum, focuses on the political history surrounding management of the Trinity River. The screening will feature an introduction by writer, producer and director Rob Tranchin.

YERT: Your Environmental Road Trip shows at 7 p.m. Friday, April 5, in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Theater. The film takes a humorous cross-country look at environmental issues through the eyes of three friends travelling together. Both screenings are sponsored by SMU’s Sustainability Committee and Friends of the SMU Libraries.

The “Barefoot on the Boulevard” sustainability and music festival runs from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, April 6 on the Bishop Boulevard lawn. Also free and open to the public, “Barefoot” will feature a short talk and concert at 4:30 p.m. by former Sudanese child soldier and hip-hop humanitarian Emmanuel Jal, whose appearance is being made possible by the organizers of Engineering & Humanity Week.

> TIME Magazine: 10 Questions: Emmanuel Jal

Sponsored by Students For a Better Society and the SMU Sustainability Committee, “Barefoot on the Boulevard” will include economically priced food, booths featuring environmental organizations and vendors, and student music acts including the Southern Gentlemen, JSpear, Sean Hadeler, Adam the Bard, Chris Escarfullery, Sudie and Dan Howard.

David de Rothschild

Adventurer and environmentalist David de Rothschild brings the Plastiki, an experimental sailing vessel made of reclaimed bottles, to Dallas for SMU’s 2013 Engineering and Humanity Week.

Engineering & Humanity Week will bring global solution seekers to Dallas and SMU around the theme of “Water: Ripple Effects.” Among the highlights is a visit from the Plastiki – a unique sailing vessel made of reclaimed plastic drink bottles. Engineering & Humanity Week honors its captain, David de Rothschild, with the 2013 Visionary Award at a dinner and reception in Fair Park’s Centennial Hall on Saturday, April 6.

Emmanuel Jal will also be honored at the dinner with the E&H Week Humanitarian Award and will perform his international hit, “We Want Peace,” accompanied by student musicians from SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts. The 6 p.m. dinner is open to the public, and tickets may be purchased at eandhweek2013.eventbrite.com.

> National Geographic Explorers: David de Rothschild, Environmental Storyteller

Most of the program is scheduled for the SMU campus and is free and open to the public – such as the outdoor, interactive water distribution camp that mimics sites in refugee camps. “The Water Tap” (pictured below) on April 9-10 will allow both the SMU community and visitors to learn about and try solutions for problems of water scarcity and sanitation in the developing world. E&H Week is sponsored by Hunter and Stephanie Hunt, SMU’s Hunt Institute for Engineering and Humanity and the University of Oxford’s Refugee Studies Center.

Written by Kimberly Cobb

> Learn more from SMU News

Mustang Express now offering Saturday service

SMU’s Mustang Express now operates on Saturdays. The popular free rides serving the Bishop Boulevard, Greenville Avenue and Amesbury Drive areas via the Mockingbird Lane Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) station begin Saturday rounds Aug. 25, 2012.

The shuttles will follow the non-session weekday schedule while fall and spring classes are in session. Mustang Express service runs from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturdays, with service about every 20 minutes at each stop. (Construction on Airline Road is expected to create some shuttle delays until December 2012.)

Faculty and staff members who plan to make DART a part of their daily commute can purchase transit passes through Parking and ID Card Services (Park ‘N Pony) at the discounted DART Corporate Employer rate. In addition, transit-pass subsidies are available for qualifying employees who don’t park a car on campus and do not purchase an SMU parking sticker.

Students can get a DART transit pass for a one-time charge of $5. Renewals are free.

All DART transit passes must be pre-ordered online. For more information, contact Parking and ID Card Services, 214-768-7275 (214-SMU-PARK).

By | 2012-08-21T10:08:55+00:00 August 21, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: , , , , , , |

SMU VP Lori White appointed to national sustainability board

Lori White, vice president for student affairs at Southern Methodist University-SMU.Lori White, SMU’s vice president for student affairs, has been appointed to the board of directors of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) – a national organization that provides sustainability resources for campus engagement, education and research, as well as campus operations. She will serve for a term to run through December 2014.

AASHE was founded in 2005 to help coordinate and strengthen campus sustainability efforts at regional and national levels, and to serve as the first North American professional association for those interested in advancing campus sustainability. The organization’s STARS (Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System) program, for example, is a self-reporting framework that allows colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance.

AASHE sponsors North America’s largest college sustainability conference every fall, and SMU’s Sustainability Committee traditionally funds attendance for student representatives. AASHE also produces professional development workshops and seminars for faculty and staff.

“What attracts me to AASHE is that they define sustainability in a much broader way than most people do,” White said. “They’re about leaving the world a better place for people tomorrow. Their approach to social justice is about opportunities for the next generation, and I’m committed to the education component of the AASHE program.”

White often has lunch in the dining hall at Umphrey Lee Center, she said, and recently sat with a group of students who identified themselves as environmental representatives (E-Reps) for the campus residence halls.

“They told me about how they had gone to the AASHE national conference in October, and they were excited about what they had seen and learned there,” White said. “Here at SMU we want to work with our students to help them become leaders in their community, in their country and in the world. Getting involved in sustainability will give them an avenue to develop those tools.”

Written by Kimberly Cobb

> Read more from SMU News

Lyle School to offer Master’s in Sustainability & Development

The Pallet House prototype by I-Beam Design
The Pallet House prototype created by I-Beam Design was featured in HRH Prince Charles’ Royal Gardens as part of an exhibition on sustainable design. The inspiration for the Pallet House Project came from the fact that 84% of the world’s refugees could be housed with a year’s supply of recycled American pallets. (Photo courtesy of I-Beam Design)

It’s going to take more than engineering to build a world of sustainable cities. That’s the challenge behind a new Master’s degree from SMU’s Bobby B. Lyle School of Engineering that is already drawing multi-industry leaders to the intersection of engineering design, urban planning and environmental policy.

The Master of Arts in Sustainability and Development will be offered beginning in January 2012 through the Lyle School, with support from the Hunter & Stephanie Hunt Institute for Engineering and Humanity.

The Lyle School and the Hunt Institute will kick off the new degree program Friday, Dec. 9, with a special mid-day program featuring renowned London urban sustainability strategist Peter Bishop and the unveiling of an innovative, low-cost “pallet house” previously featured at a sustainability expo hosted by the Prince of Wales.

“The world’s population just hit 7 billion,” said Lyle School Dean Geoffrey Orsak. “The need to build livable, sustainable cities has moved beyond the critical stage. This new degree program creates a framework for partnerships between engineers and the architects, city planners and environmental policy experts needed to ensure the cities can thrive in the face of so many challenges.”

“With this population growth comes a tremendous strain on non-renewable resources, infrastructure, and energy sources,” said Betsy del Monte, SMU Lyle adjunct professor, and principal and director of sustainability at the Beck Group. “Providing access to clean water, clean air, housing, and transportation will shape public policy, redefine business, and engage a generation.”

Students pursuing the Master of Arts in Sustainability and Development will complete a 30-hour interdisciplinary program that will cover sustainability-related topics from policy to design in both developed and developing worlds.  The program will advance the wise use of environmental resources in urban development, with a goal of creating and re-building economically and environmentally healthy cities, both here and abroad.

The program offered through the Lyle School’s Civil and Environmental Engineering Department will incorporate studies in:

  • Re-use and redevelopment
  • Urban transportation systems
  • Modernization of existing structures
  • Waste and sanitation

Classes begin in January 2012. Applications are now being accepted at smu.edu/lyle.

– Written by Kimberly Cobb

> Get the full story from SMU News
> Visit the Lyle School of Engineering homepage
> Learn more about the Hunt Institute for Engineering and Humanity

Tune In: Spy-themed mini-movie is SMU’s 2011 Green Minute winner

A winner has been selected in SMU’s 2011 Green Minute Video Competition, and his name is Barnard…Lance Barnard.

The first-year student from Sherman Oaks, California, took home the grand prize of an iPad2 for his “Mission: Possible”- themed Green Minute.

In addition, Barnard’s mini-movie – in which he portrays a superspy sleuthing out ways to reduce, reuse and recycle on campus – was screened at TEDxKids @SMU and TEDxSMU on Dec. 2-3.

SMU first-year student Lance Barnard

Lance Barnard

Barnard, who plans to major in finance and psychology, participated in his environmental club in high school and said he entered the video contest because he was looking for ways to get involved in similar activities at SMU.

The second-place winner was Ryan Tanner, a first-year student from Arizona, who received a 22-inch flat-screen TV. Third place went to Anh-Thuy Nguyen of Vietnam, a Master’s degree candidate in Meadows School of the Arts; she received a $50 Starbucks gift card.

Sponsored by the SMU Sustainability Committee, the Green Minute Video Competition is designed to foster concern for the environment in the campus community. Now in its third year, the contest challenges students to produce a one-minute video that encourages environmentally responsible behavior on the Hilltop.

“This contest is as fun for us as it is for the students,” said Eric English, co-chair of the SMU Sustainability Committee. “The videos do a terrific job of spreading the sustainability message on and off campus, and we feature them at various events throughout the year.”

> See all three prize-winning videos courtesy of SMU News Video
> Visit Sustainability @ SMU online

SMU tops Texas private universities in final RecycleMania 2011 standings

SMU RecycleMania logoAggressive recycling by students, faculty and staff pushed SMU to first place among Texas private colleges and universities in the 2011 RecycleMania competition’s per capita category. The University amassed a whopping 18.15 pounds of recyclable material per person over the eight-week competition.

SMU placed second among all 22 Texas colleges and universities in the per capita category, and in the top 15 percent nationwide when the results were measured against the 363 colleges and universities competing in that category.

This was the 11th year for the annual RecycleMania competition, and only the second year that SMU has entered the competition division.

“I want to thank everyone on campus for their participation,” said Eric English, environmental manager and co-chair of the SMU Sustainability Committee. “Since this was only our second year in the competition division, I believe you all should give yourselves a big round of applause. I can’t wait until next year.”

Results in the various RecycleMania categories were measured for eight weeks, Feb. 6-April 2. The tournament started with two pre-season reporting weeks beginning Jan. 23, meaning that RecycleMania was a 10-week experience for participating colleges and universities.

SMU collected 119 tons of recyclable material during this year’s competition, compared to 78 tons collected during the 10-week period last year. The Sustainability Committee also sponsored an inter-campus recycling competition during RecycleMania, resulting in these winners in three categories:

  • Residence Hall Winner: Perkins Hall
  • Academic/Athletic Facility Winner: Bridwell Library
  • Area/School Winner: Central Library

Written by Kim Cobb

> Find more RecycleMania 2011 results at the SMU News site
> Learn more about recycling from Sustainability @ SMU

University carpenter nails down top prize in 2011 Art of Recycling Contest

Nolberto Salas' 'Happiness in Wood,' winner of SMU's 2011 Art of Recycling Contest“Happiness in Wood” (left) is well named: The artwork, created by SMU carpenter Nolberto Salas using boards mostly found in a campus trash bin, took first prize in the 2011 Art of Recycling Contest sponsored by SMU’s Sustainability Committee.

Salas won a Dahon folding bicycle valued at $500.

Eric Owen Tacker took second place and a $50 iTunes gift card for his “Hey Joe!!/Dear God” work. Honorable mentions went to Laura Ries (“For the Love of Grandpa and the World”) and Janis Jessen (“Keep Our Earth and Waters Clean – Be a Friend to a Fish”).

The art contest will be an annual event to help raise awareness about the national RecycleMania competition, running this year through April 2. “Happiness,” along with other recycled material artworks by SMU staffers, will be on display through this week in RFoC @ Lee in Umphrey Lee Center.

> Last week to help SMU score in RecycleMania 2011 – learn more here
> Visit Sustainability @ SMU online

Eco-chic hits the runway March 25 as RecycleMania 2011 continues

Model with dress and tote bag made from recycled Capri Sun drink pouchesSamaiya Mushtaq believes a commitment to sustainability can be a fashion statement. The SMU chemistry major is paving the way, via the catwalk, for the University’s first eco-fashion show. The event is set for 6 p.m. March 25 in SMU’s Hughes-Trigg Varsity Room.

The cost of admission is one recyclable item, such as a spent plastic bottle or aluminum can. The event is open to the community, and food will be provided.

Supporting the University’s competitive efforts in the nationwide RecycleMania 2011 contest, the event will showcase fashion designs featuring at least 75 percent reclaimed, recycled, natural and/or organic materials. Each design must be original, and no more than two designers may collaborate on a work. The winning designers will take home gift cards.

“We wanted to do something creative and fun that would add an entertaining twist to the idea of recycling and reusing,” says Mushtaq, whose studies in chemical recycling led her to become a student environmental representative on SMU’s Sustainability Committee. “We heard about a fashion show that took place in Dallas in December and saw its success on other campuses, so we thought it was perfect.”

Meanwhile, SMU’s sustainability team is issuing a new challenge: Which academic or athletic campus building can collect the most recyclables during the remainder of the RecycleMania competition? The battle of the buildings will run through April 2.

“This is the beginning of a new tradition,” says SMU Environmental Manager Eric English. The winner will receive a RecycleMania plaque during the 2011 President’s Picnic May 25.

“This would be a great time to do those office clean-outs you’ve been wanting to do,” English says. “Just do it!”

To stay competitive in RecycleMania, toss recyclables in their proper place. Put these “single-stream recyclables” in blue bins or containers lined with clear bags:

  • Books and magazines
  • Aluminum cans
  • Cardboard
  • Paper
  • Shrink-wrap
  • Milk jugs and plastic bottles
  • Newspapers
  • Phone books

The exception: Place corrugated cardboard boxes alongside the bins for each building’s custodian to compact or bale.

For more details on RecycleMania, visit recyclemaniacs.org. Find more information about SMU’s recycling efforts online, or contact Eric English, 214-768-2163.

Written by Denise Gee

(Above, a dress and tote bag made from recycled drink pouches represent eco-chic at its most colorful.)

> Get the national and residence hall RecycleMania rankings from SMU News

Calendar Highlights: Mar. 7, 2011

Dr. RankinMost important Wednesday of the year: SMU’s Office of the Chaplain and Religious Life will lead the 2011 Ash Wednesday service at noon Wednesday, March 9 in Perkins Chapel. All are welcome to attend.

Rescheduled lecture: As posted in Calendar Highlights before the epic February snowstorms, Dr. Stephen Rankin (pictured) will present a Willson Lecture titled “Seeking a Better Way: SMU as a Leader in Church-Affiliated Higher Education.” The rescheduled lecture will take place at noon Thursday, March 10 in the Hughes-Trigg Ballroom. The lecture is free for all to attend; lunch will be served at 11:30 a.m. For more information, visit the a Office of the Chaplain’s website.

A concert for the road: Meadow Symphony Orchestra is putting together one more concert this week before Spring Break begins. At 8 p.m. Thursday, March 10, in the Meyerson Symphony Center, the MSO will present Mozart’s Symphony No. 38, also known as “The Prague.” Also included will be Austrian composer Anton Bruckner’s Symphony No. 5 in its entirety. Tickets are available through both the Meadows box office and the Meyerson itself. Prices are $13 for adults, $10 for seniors, and $7 for SMU faculty, staff and students. For more information, call the Meadows box office at 214-768-ARTS (214-SMU-ARTS).

Sun MaskCreate treasure from trash, receive new bike: SMU’s 2011 Art of Recycling Contest is officially open to all participants. For one week, people with a mind towards unusual art can create made up of items that would otherwise end up in the trash can as a reminder of what can be recycled in this world but often isn’t. Among the rules: 75% of the artwork must consist of reused items that would otherwise be regarded as trash; the artwork should not exceed 4 feet by 4 feet; and each entry should include a list of the reused materials and its theme (if applicable), title and artist contact information. The submission deadline is Friday, March 11. All entries and related information should be brought to the first floor of the Laura Lee Blanton Building. Winners will be notified by March 21, and their artwork will be on display at the RFoC cafeteria at Umphrey Lee. The SMU Sustainability Committee, who is sponsoring the event, will donate one Dahon Folding Bike (valued at $500) to the winner of the contest. For more details about the Art of Recycling Contest, contact Kelly Milazzo, 214-768-0495. (Pictured right: “Big Sun Mask” by Diane Kurzyna, an entry from last year’s contest.)

There will be no Calendar Highlights for the upcoming Spring Break week. Have a safe and fun holiday, wherever you may end up!

Spring comes up green as SMU competes in RecycleMania 2011

SMU RecycleMania imageEveryone’s trash – in the form of paper, aluminum cans, plastic bottles and cardboard – will be SMU’s treasure during RecycleMania 2011, now running through April 2.

RecycleMania is a friendly competition and benchmarking tool for college and university recycling programs to promote waste reduction activities in their campus communities.

SMU will collect and track recycling materials throughout the 10-week competition involving hundreds of colleges and universities throughout the nation. That data will then be ranked according to the largest amount of recyclables per capita, largest amount of total recyclables and highest recycling rate.

How can those on the SMU campus help the University rise in the RecycleMania ranks? It’s simple: Sort things out.

“It’s especially important that we place anything that can be recycled [other than corrugated cardboard] either in blue bins or trash cans lined with clear bags,” says Eric English, SMU’s environmental manager. The University’s ranking in the competition goes higher the more the bins are used.

“Corrugated cardboard is an exception: It should be collected by each building’s custodians, who will help get it compacted or baled. Traditional garbage should go in a trash bin’s black bag,” English added.

Last year, SMU collected 77.59 tons of recycled material and placed 5th out of 21 competing Texas universities in the Per Capita Classic division (ahead of Rice, Baylor, the University of Texas at Austin, the University of Houston, the University of North Texas and Texas A&M). Overall, SMU finished 107 out of 346 schools in the Per Capita Classic Single-Stream (paper, cans and bottles) division and 151 out of 231 in the Targeted Materials (corrugated cardboard) division.

“SMU is known for its commitment to excellence,” English says. “This is one way to prove what we can do on the sustainability front.”

To learn more about or volunteer for SMU recycle programs, sustainability initiatives and how RecycleMania works, contact English at 214-768-2163 or by e-mail.

> Find more information at the RecycleMania site
> Visit the SMU Sustainability Committee online
> Learn more about SMU’s recycling programs

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