Delicate Balance Project Ideas

A list of Delicate Balance sustainability projects provided by Ryan Ihrke, Green Mountain College Sustainability coordinator.

Please contact Ryan if you have suggestions for other campus sustainability projects. ihrker@greenmtn.edu


        
 
Project Name:
Abstract:
Author first name:
Author surname:

Page: 1 2 ()
Natural Capital

New Compost System— GMC would like to either build a certified composting facility on campus or collaborate with a local landowner willing to house a facility on their land. Either way, the facility needs to be big enough to process all of the food scraps generated on campus. There has also been discussion of  being  capable of accommodating an addition that could handle some or all of the food scraps generated in Poultney. Many key stakeholders are already on board with this project and several thousand dollars have been raised for engineering consultation, which has been used to produce a blueprint of one model we may consider. But, more money needs to be raised and more planning needs to happen. Cerridwen Farm, the Sustainability Office, and the Campus Sustainability Council need several students to take on various aspects of the project. Pieces of the project include creating a business plan for selling the finished compost, finding a network of suppliers of carbon (leaves and woodchips), developing a detailed management plan outlining the day-to-day responsibilities required of the caretakers, and writing grants. There is a lot of momentum for this project and it will make an enormous mark on the College, so it’s a very exciting project to be a part of. (Carl Diethelm in the sustainability office)

ተጨማሪ

Natural Capital

100% Renewable Energy by 2020—Last spring, Steve Letendre’s RETA class developed a roadmap for how to achieve 100% renewable energy by Poultney 2020. In the short-term, the road map calls on the College to increase offset renewables to source alternative energy from the electric grid, while increasing electric and thermal effiency on campus. Over a longer term, the road map calls for development of on-site renewables. The conceptual groundwork has been laid for these projects, along a fair amount of technical detail. To jumpstart some of these projects, strategic financial planning is needed to incorporate these projects into our existing mix of solar projects, while seeking funding through the green revolving loan fund, SCGF, or other sources. (Contact Steve Letendre).

ተጨማሪ

Social Capital

Building social capital on campus—A few years ago, the College completed its first survey assessment of social capital on campus. Questions included trust and associations between people, diversity and inclusion, wellbeing, personal development, and grit. Now the College would like to build on strengths and address weaknesses. This is an especially important topic given the national debate around racism. There are many “isms” that can be addressed with a project related to social capital. The Authentic Sustainability Coordinating Committee (ASCC) is working on analyzing the data. Some classes have developed proposals for addressing weaknesses in the data. But, it would be great if some students took on an initiative as well based on their interpretation of the data and where they think effort should be expended. One idea is to boost community service in athletics by working with teams so that they can take on specific projects in the community. For example, the upcoming Thanks & Giving day on November 15th needs teams of volunteers to take on projects. How could someone create buy-in from a whole team or numerous teams, find a meaningful project for them to do, and create lasting relationships between athletes and town stakeholders? (Contact Professor Jennifer Sellers or Vice President of Student Life, Joe Petrick)

ተጨማሪ

Natural Capital

Reuse woodshed— three years ago, a student completed a research project that suggested that over 5% of our entire waste stream consists of wood that could be re-used. The facilities department, the sustainability office, REED, and Cerridwen Farm would all have an interest in this wood diversion effort. A motivated student could work with facilities and the sustainability office to estimate the volume of wood that could be diverted each year and then estimate the size of a shed needed to house the material. Then, the student could either design a shed themselves or collaborate with REED or an outside contractor to design a shed (preferably using sustainable design concepts). The student could also make a proposal for how the material would be managed, including who would be responsible for diverting it, who would be responsible for organizing the shed, and how various groups of people could access the wood from the shed. (Contact Simon James in the sustainability office & Bill Ballard in facilities).

ተጨማሪ

Social Capital

Poultney Trails System— An active group of community members is working to revitalize and grow the trail system in Poultney. This group needs professional signs, professional maps, trail clearing, and funding from grants. A delicate balance project could address one or all of these issues. This effort grew out of Poultney 2020, the town-wide project to build the vibrancy of the community. (Contact Bianca Zanella in the Sustainability Office)

ተጨማሪ

Natural Capital

Energy-efficiency lighting upgrades—this project would consist of a survey of the entire campus, making note of all the locations that may still be using incandescent bulbs, writing down their sizes, and describing their fixtures. Then, the student would calculate the savings by changing these bulbs to CFLs or LEDs. The student would also communicate with Bill Ballard and the sustainability office to find vendors and prices for replacement lights. Finally, the student would develop a proposal to fund the replacement of the lights that they could submit to SCGF, the green revolving loan fund or to GMC’s capital budget process (Contact sustainability director, Ryan Ihrke).

ተጨማሪ

Natural Capital

Eco-spots (Phase II)—In order to help change culture to be more mindful of energy savings, and waste minimization, effective signs are needed. Two years ago, some delicate balance students did some research on holders that could be installed to display messages, and some research on effective marketing techniques. The next step in the process is for someone to develop the content for these holders and work to implement them on campus. This person should work closely with Aaron Witham to identify important messages and communicate the most up-to-date facts. (Contact Ryan Ihrke).

ተጨማሪ

Natural Capital

Carbon impact of alumni—the Sustainability 2020 metrics task force developed a measure of progress called alumni impact. The metric consisted of adding 12 questions to the annual alumni survey. Alumni are now asked about everything from what mode of transportation they use on their daily commute to the square footage of their house. These questions were specifically designed so that it would be possible to convert them into greenhouse gas emissions (in other words, they were designed like a simple carbon footprint calculator). A good project would be to convert the answers to these questions into ghg emissions. Whoever takes this on will learn a lot about ghg accounting, which is a critical skill for anyone entering the sustainability field. The results can then be compared to our inventory of up-stream ghg emissions from purchases in order to answer the question: are the positive impacts of our students outweighing the impact of our supply chain on campus? (Contact Ryan Ihrke in the sustainability office)

ተጨማሪ

Stone Valley Arts

Stone Valley Arts—the newly formed nonprofit organization in town called Stone Valley Arts needs passionate college students to help them generate revenue to sustain their business model. A student project could help them develop a business plan for gaining revenue through yoga, poetry, theater, music, and other performances or workshops. A college student could also help them apply for grants to sustain the arts community in Poultney. Stone Valley Arts grew out of the Poultney 2020 effort to build the vibrancy of the Town. (Contact Bianca Zanella in the Sustainability Office)

ተጨማሪ

Poultney Trails System

Poultney Trails System—an active group of community members is working to revitalize and grow the trail system in Poultney. This group needs professional signs, professional maps, trail clearing, and funding from grants. A delicate balance project could address one or all of these issues. This effort grew out of Poultney 2020, the town-wide project to build the vibrancy of the community. (Contact Bianca Zanella in the Sustainability Office)

ተጨማሪ

Page: 1 2 ()