All About Aletta

August 27, 2015

Yeah, I know I just posted about the butterflies. But why not introduce myself since I’m already here? As you can see, my name is Aletta. This is my third year at OWU, I live in tree house, am a botany and environmental studies double major, and my current dream is to grow food in Cuba for a few years (if you ever want to know more about their agricultural system just come to me–I am inclined to extol their amazing practices for hours). I don’t want to form any more complete sentences, so enjoy these fun facts in list form:

  • Tree House is one of my favorite places on earth
  • I have a bit of a green thumb and aim to crowd my room with plants
  • I have a goldfish named Chandler who I won at a fair two weeks before I began my freshman year
  • My armpit hair is really long because it makes me feel beautiful
  • I haven’t shopped anywhere except second-hand stores for a year
  • I only eat ethically raised meat
  • The last book I read for fun was “Heart of Darkness” (I’m currently halfway through “Anna Karenina”)
  • My feet are almost always cold, so I have an impressive collection of fuzzy socks


Environmental News- 08/27/15

August 27, 2015

The monarch butterfly population is estimated to have dropped by 95% since the 1990s.  The David Suzuki Foundation has created this Monarch Manifesto to encourage people in the northeastern U.S. and southern Canada to plant butterfly gardens to help monarch butterflies thrive once again! Final project, anyone?

Geog 360 Environmental Geography: Blog Updated for Fall 2015!

July 28, 2015



Course Project Report

May 9, 2015

Olivia Lease

The Chain of Bottles I Managed to Not Get Tangled In Ban the Bottle 1


The goal was to ban the distribution and selling of disposable water bottles on campus. This original goal was modeled after the Ban the Bottle campaign going on internationally in high schools and universities. The focus of this goal changed when it did not appear to be economically feasible for Chartwells to do right now. The ultimate goal was to raise awareness of how disposable water bottles are a waste of resources. This was done over the span of a 24-hour demonstration on the Jaywalk during Green Week 2015. A part of the demonstration stayed up for three weeks after this day.


Originally, I met with one of the presidents of the Wesleyan Council on Student Affairs (WCSA) and a member of Treehouse to discuss the implementation of the Ban the Bottle movement here on campus. Both were on board with the idea and WCSA had already ordered six new hydration stations the month before. The new hydration stations were being installed throughout the semester across campus. After meeting with Chartwells District Manager, Gene Castelli, this movement seemed to be a less attainable goal. Notably though, he did say that water bottle sales had already been steadily dropping. From the spring semester of 2014 to the fall of that same year, SmartWater sales were reduced by close to 2,000 sales (1,914 in actuality). So a demonstration to further awareness of bottled water’s waste of resources began to be planned. One possibility that was briefly explored was having a recyclable fashion show with items made of bottles but that proved to be too time consuming. So stringing together as many water bottles as possible and hanging them across campus was decided.


First, I researched the requirements to be a part of the Ban the Bottle Initiative. OWU already met one of them because they had already had a showing of the film Tapped in fall of 2014. In the meeting with WCSA, other conditions were seriously considered until it didn’t seem plausible. We realized we’d need to look into Chartwells’ contract and find any loopholes. The water bottles Chartwells sells are Dasani and SmartWater are both brands owned by the Coca-Cola Company. To no longer sell these brands, it would have to be known when the contract with Coca-Cola would be renewed and if those brands could be written out of the contract (but still include soda and other products). SInce the demonstration was decided upon, collection of bottles began in late February. A classmate put a container in the weight room on campus marked “water bottles only” and this was emptied weekly. Other bottles were collected around campus: in trash bins, recycling containers, and from the ground. In total, roughly seven trash bags were collected and stored in the InterFaith House and in the Science Center. Buildings and Grounds (B&G) was contacted to get approval for the demonstration. They helped get the track teams stakes to hang the strings of bottles on. They also gave up some nylon rope and a needle-like tool to string the bottles. Caps were taken off the bottles and strung from the mouth of the container to the other end.Ban the Bottle 2

Any water left in bottles was put in gallon-sized containers that would be used later in the demonstration. Approval from WCSA, the Student Involvement Office and B&G was needed for the demonstration. Once gained, on the night of April 15, 2015 students from the class helped set up.

About ten cardboard signs (ranging in size) contained facts about disposable bottled water or simple said, “ban the bottle” or “buy reusable.”
Ban the Bottle 4
Ban the Bottle 5These were hung up along the protest that covered almost the entire expanse of the Jay. One string went from Corns Building to Beeghly library. Another was on the grass outside the Benes rooms. Another was in frony of the mural past Hamilton-Williams and the the last was strung in between the trees outside Chappelear Drama Center. The ones in the trees didn’t require the track team’s stakes to stay up and therefore, stayed up longer. The day of the demonstration was the water-focused day of Green Week. Most was taken down late April 16 and the stakes were returned to B&G early April 17.

Ban the Bottle 3


Gene Castelli of Chartwells (

Dennis Wall of B&G (

Emma Drongowski of WCSA  (

Emily Romig of Treehouse (

The Transcript (

Course Project Report

May 8, 2015

Allie France

Dishwasher Dilemma and To-go box turmoil18complaintbox-span-blogSpan


Originally, the goal was to find the money to replace the current dishwasher in Hamilton-Williams which is rather old. It was the first step to making Hamilton-Williams Market place more sustainable. The overall goal was to replace the dishwasher and introduce reusable containers to Market Place.


Originally, I was looking into alumni to cover the cost of replacing the dishwasher, which was approximately 80,000. This was a difficult feat. I discovered it was difficult to find someone to fund something that isn’t easy to name after them. Therefore, with the help of Buildings and Grounds I was able to see the waste of the current dishwasher. They then did calculations to see how much money was wasted based on the lack of efficiency. The money being lost through water and electricity was enough to cover the cost of the lease for a new dishwasher. With the University saying that they would install the dishwasher over the Summer 2015 I changed my direction of the project to eco-containters. There was some previous work done on the containers but was halted due to the dishwasher not being able to be upgraded. Dan Magee was able to give me previous details about cost and ordering. With this I created a proposal plan for cost and the product.


First, I looked into the different types of reusable containers. I found a company called Eco-containers that has previously worked with Universities on start up programs. This is when I found out that the Dan Magee had previously investigated this product. Therefore, I reached out to Dan to see what he had already collected on the materials and discussed with him his thoughts about how to implicate this product into Market Place. He and I both believed that totally eradication of the previous disposable to-go boxes was necessary for the eco-containers to be successful.

I then began to research the financial side of the product. I asked for current spending reports on the disposable to-go containers. With this I was able to figure out on average yearly costs as well how imagesmany containers are being thrown away during a school year. I then researched the eco-containers and their life expectancy. Each eco container can be used approximately 500 times before needing to be recycled. Therefore, even thought the initial cost of the eco-contaniers is higher than that of the disposable containers they become cheaper in the long run as an investment.

Once I gained the help and support of Chartwells I brought the eco-containers to WCSA asking for their support and potential funding. WCSA was receptive as a whole and was able to help write letters to the Vp of Finance expressing their support of the project. They too agreed that the eco-containers had to be an all or nothing kind of approach. They were interested in the logistics of how the containers would be returned and what the proper incentive would be to return the containers. Eventually, the hope would be to incorporate the bar code that each box has on the back. However, to do that the school would need to update the registers. Each box would also have a logo on it depicting how the presses works and where they can be filled and returned.



Gene Castelli (  ) 

Dan Magee ( )

Jess Choate of WCSA  (

EcoTakeout : Sendy Tran ( 281-833-2121

Digital Portfolio – Allie France

May 8, 2015

Posts on the readings

Week 2: The meadow lands – (1/20/15)

Week 3: Abby, Desert Solitaire– (1/17)

Week 4: Coates, Nature (Part 1)– (2/3)

Week 5: Coates, Nature (Part 2)– (2/11)

Week 6: Foer, Eating Animals– no post  (2/18)

Week 7: Robbins, Hintz, and Moore, Environment and Society (Part 1)– (2/24)

Week 8: Robbins, Hintz, and Moore, Environment and Society (Part 2)– (3/3)

Week 9: Spring Break

Week 10: Introduction to the killer bunny at your house

Week 11: Urbanik, Placing Animals (Part 1 & 2)– (3/25)

Week 12: Urbanik, Placing Animals (Part 1 & 2)– (4/1)

Week 13: No class

Week 14: Humes, Garbology (4/15)

Article Posts: Some were posted in the same post. Therefore, there might be a project post at the bottom but I have double linked them.

Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5 – Week 6 – Week 7 oops panda Week 8 -Week 9-  Week 10 Week 11 

Project Posts:

Week 2 –  Week 3 – Week 5Proposal Week 6 – Week 7 


May 8, 2015

Nope- Thats what I have to say about this book. I felt like I was constantly waiting for it to begin. It was just back story and set up. Yes there were insightful parts about peoples perception on wilderness and that it does not have to be this pristine location away from people. That was a concept that was hard for me to grasp due to the fact that is how I grew up. I thought that wilderness didn’t include people so I enjoyed his perspective. Although, his descriptive language of these locations was rather odd. He spoke as if he was looking at the most magical naturally occurring scene when really he was looking at a garbage swamp outside of New Jersey. It was different and the book was dry but overall it did add to the questions the course was asking. But really.. did I meant ion that I didn’t like this book.


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