Sustainability Conf Fall2010

Nineteen SMU students are attending the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (ASHE) conference in Denver in October 2010, where attendees will exchange ideas about campus sustainability.

Note to SMU: Check out tree-free paper

An update from Jason, a senior majoring in music composition, with a minor in history:

Recall the two points for attending this conference – one collective and the other personal:

1) to improve campus sustainability around the country

2) to find ways as a composer to make an environmental impact

And I just found a big way to help, which could elevate SMU’s green status and my own!

treefrog.jpgAt Monday’s expo, I came across the company TreeZero LLC, which created TreeFrog, a paper completely produced without trees (or any wood or wood fibers). It is entirely made of recycled sugar cane (yes, like you see in rural ditches around Texas) and other recycled materials.

Sugar cane can be harvested multiple times per year, unlike trees, which take a lifetime. Plus, TreeFrog is not made from sugar cane grown on farms but rather is grown naturally.

So how does the paper feel and function?

Extraordinary. Smooth. Weighty. And it is paper-jam free and recyclable!

Staples will carry TreeZero’s entire line of products, which are comparably priced to other paper products. SMU, WE NEED THIS – it is basically zero-impact to the environment and can be recycled with other types of products. This product can increase our commitment to sustainability.

As a composer, all of my manuscripts are now exclusively printed on TreeFrog.

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Mountain views and green companies

An update from Jessie, a sophomore environmental studies major:

Jessie1.jpg Escaping the Texas heat and humidity isn’t the only great thing about coming to Denver … It’s a fun city with a spectacular view of the mountains!

I also really like the convention – especially the convention center and its sculpture of the “big blue bear” that looks like it’s peeking in the windows (photo left).

Jessie2.jpg This morning, we spent some time at the Expo talking to representatives from green companies. A lot of them had interesting products and demonstrations. There was a strange-looking picnic table with solar panels, a barrel that could recycle aerosol cans – and Olivia even generated enough energy walking on a treadmill to light up a light bulb!

Later, everyone from SMU crowded into one of the smaller conference rooms to hear my speech. I think it went pretty well, but I’ve got another one tomorrow!

In the afternoon, we checked out some of the local shops – including some pretty tacky souvenir stores! (photo right)

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Going green in Colorado

An update from Jason, a senior majoring in music composition, with a minor in history:

J1.jpg Nothing represents the beauty of environmental awareness like Colorado. So it is fitting to be here in Denver for the 2010 AASHE Conference, focusing on campus sustainability!!!

J3.JPGI am here as a composer thinking about numerous ideas. First, I would like to find someone to collaborate with in order to increase environmental awareness.

Second, a coal-fired power plant is being constructed by my home in Riesel, Texas, so since I did not win against the power plant’s construction, I hope to keep pressing forward for a better environment here. Persistence pays off.

Third, I want to increase my knowledge of “green” – there is a plethora of knowledge here!

Sunday was mostly an orientation day, so I found time to head out to Boulder and hike up around the Rockies in Chataqua Park with a couple of friends. Included here are a couple of pictures of what earth looks like, clean and untouched.

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