Last year, Ohio Wesleyan introduced the “reusable green to-go box” at Hamwill. These boxes could be purchased for a $5 charge which will be refunded upon return of the box, located around campus (Hamwil, Stuye Face, Bishop Cafe, Merrick). Our project will aim to spread knowledge about the box and how it impacts our University and environment. Although totally switching to the “green box” seems like the obvious choice, there are still many problems that it faces. The two main issues we plan to focus on are the appeal of the “green boxes” to the student body and if it is possible to work with Chartwells in order to figure out a way to completely switch over to the “green boxes” that fits within their budget.
Munir Qaddourah and Jassiem Shabazz
Connected with 4 schools that use some form of containers.
– Mount Holyoke
Gave a Survey to 75 students and recorded first 50 volunteers
- Rate the overall effectiveness of the green containers program
- Would you consider using the eco-containers if they were free?
- What is the biggest concern you have regarding the program?
- Have you heard of the OWU eco-container program?
Question 1- highest scores 2/5 and 4/5
Question 2- Yes 62%, No 16%, Maybe 22%
Question 3- Convenience 24, Price 13
Question 4- Yes
- (10/3) – A meeting has been scheduled with the Tree House to being discussing our project and how we will go about it
- (10/4) – We have began to compile a list of schools currently using more environmentally friendly dining options and contact information for the schools
Meadowlands (Week 1)
Reading about Robert Sullivan’s experiences in the Meadowlands was a very interesting introduction into the class. He discussed the area and culture, essentially describing it as a once culturally rich area that now has turned into a place where things die. He discusses the wild life and how it has changed over time due to human pollution and other impacts that we have on the area.
Overall I enjoyed this read. It was an interesting time for me to read the book because I had just finished watching the Sopranos, an area that shares a lot of parallels with the story we read. I culturally rich and wildlife induced area turned into a “dump”. It was interesting to see how essentially the only thing keeping it alive was the fact that humans could not physically live there. It made me think about our impact on nature as a whole.
Desert Solitaire (Week 2)
This store reflects on a man’s experiences working at a national park over a couple of months. I am someone who appreciates nature, but rarely ever goes to visit national parks or explores through camping trips. For this reason, I couldn’t really connect on a personal level to this book, but I do feel Abbey brought forth some interesting things to think about. He talks about how these preserved nature parks are actually in fact being destroyed by humans who interact with the land from touring and camping. Essentially he is trying to convey that humans, although we think we do; do not know what is best for nature.
This made me think about the question of “is everything that humans touch doomed.” It made me think that the best way to save nature was to completely leave it alone entirely. I found this to be an interesting concept to try and grasp. Although we do things to try and preserve and save nature, we end up still having negative effects.
Bruckner (Week 3)
Bruckner harshly criticizes our ways of life and culture and links it to our effect on the earth’s natural state as a whole. He wants human kind to go back to a simpler way of life because he feels that ultimately our complex ways of living have more negative effects than positive ones. Something I found kind of interesting was his talk about carbon and how great of an effect it has had on our world. Carbon concentration is out of control and the damage is so deep that we are at a point where solving it would take hundreds of lifetimes, if we were to stop using carbon. His overall tone of the reading is a sense of doomedness and lack of confidence in our earths future.
Western Attitudes (Week 4)
Ultimately, I found this to be a little bit more boring than any of the other reads this semester. It was less of a story and more informational, but we had been warned that was the case. Despite this books semi-boring tone, I do think the content was interesting. I enjoyed how the booked talked about us as humans destroying nature. That was an old theory we had already heard, but what I thought was interesting is how he brought forth the point of saying it could be some sort of natural selection. This was a very different and interesting way to think about our destruction of nature. Maybe we are that “meteor” that wiped out the dinosaurs. History has shown that when extinctions do happen, they often show some biological purpose, it was interesting to think of us as not actually doing things wrong and viewing us as just a biological fate. I thought this was something that is rarely mentioned and a very interesting outlook on the matter
Eating Animals (Week 5)
- In this book the narrator takes us on a dietary journey and lays out the timeline of his thoughts and reasoning’s behind supporting a vegetarian life style. He discusses the meat industries and the horrors behind it as well as slaughter houses and humans self interested reasons for eating meat. This book I found very interesting, yet conflicting. I have been on both sides of the meat/non-meat eating spectrum and have evaluated my stance on eating very firmly. After being a vegetarian for 8 years I decided that meat was the way to go. There were 3 things that I thought about when going through this process.
- The first was, social reasons for eating meat
- Wrong, apart of pop culture, inhumane
- In high school I became a vegetarian more times than I can now remember, most often as an effort to claim some identity in a world of people whose identities seemed to come effortlessly
- The second was how far in terms of eating meat
- ways they are killed
- what animals would you eat versus not eat
- where is the line drawn
- Lastly is eating meat an important part of the human diet
- Over compensating for lack of nutrients you would be getting from meat
- According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, an evidence-based review showed that a vegetarian diet is associated with a lower risk of death from ischemic heart disease. Vegetarians appear to have lower low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure and lower rates of hypertension and type 2 diabetes than meat eaters. Vegetarians also tend to have a lower body mass index, lower overall cancer rates and lower risk of chronic disease.
- Job loss-expensive
- “for every $1 billion in beef exports [from America] 12,700 jobs are created; for every $1 billion in pork exports [from America] 13,333 jobs are created; and for every $1 billion in exports [from America] 11,853 jobs are created” (Free Trade Agreements).
Over 15% of the work force in meat industry (roughly 21 million)
Placing Animals (Week 7)
Overall, I enjoyed this book. I was able to draw similarities from my presentation about eating animals. It was more about the actual animals and their role in our society, but if felt like it spoke from the side of the animals. Reading these stories, I never realized how much I take the role of animals in our daily life for granted. It made me think about how we view animals and how little care we really show for them. As I talked about in my presentation the role they play in the animal products industry is beyond excessive. When she talked about the slaughtering of the animals and the amount of killing that we do in comparison to what you think we really need, the skew is hard to believe. It makes me think about an earlier time when we used to hunt for what we ate, therefore we only took what we needed. Were there just less animals at that time or was there an overpopulation?
Analysis of OWU’s Water Fill-Up Stations
My objective for this project was to asses the locations of the current water re-fill stations and provide possible alternative locations. Alternative locations in the sense that will promote more uses by students, which translates into less of a demand for the purchase of plastic bottles.
The purpose for selecting this as my project is in response to the sustainability issues that currently have an impact on both humans and animals around the planet. Over consumption of plastic bottles has led to massive amounts of waste that have not been properly dealt with. Steps for recycling these plastic water bottles that are available in multiple locations on campus have been made and implemented but this is not my aim for this project. Since most students I’ve seen over the three and a half years I’ve attended OWU I came to the conclusion that the majority of students elect to buy a plastic water bottle like “Smartwater” and then throw it away.
I propose that students will be more inclined to re-fill those bottles if the opportunity is there and is efficient for them to use.
The research that I did was to put boots to ground and assess locations that currently have or do not have a re-fill station. Locations I studied were Edwards Gym, Merrick Hall, University Hall, Philips Hall, and the library. What these locations all have in common was foot traffic. This increases the probability that a station will be used coupled with the possible demand of students needing to re-fill. The results I found were good and bad but also led me to suggest possible areas that could benefit from a re-fill station. Examples of these are below.
The photo on the left Hamwill’s lobby which is the place most frequented during any day. The re-fill station is just behind off frame between the two bathrooms and a waste container. Students getting lunch or just going from the parking lot to the Jaywalk pass by it, increasing the chance of usage. The middle photo is in Merrick Hall and is another example if a good location but for another reason. Waste containers are often locations of high frequency which represents an added chance of usage. If a student is on their way to throw the empty water bottle away and sees a re-fill station then the chances are they will re-fill the bottle instead of tossing it. The final picture on the right is in Philips Hall which represents an inefficient location. The water fountain is located in the lobby of a popular building in which the lobby itself acts as a location to sit and wait for your class or take a study break. The addition of vending machines and bathrooms in close proximity to this water fountain only boost this locations possible usage.
Course of Action
With the existing water pipes that currently run to water fountains in buildings such as Philips Hall, University, and the library I propose that Ohio Wesleyan accolade funds into implementing re-fill stations in areas that meet the mention criteria for good and effective locations. The costs of both installing and modifying the pipes in addition to the purchasing of the stations I do not know but it will be an expensive operation. However, for a school that already attempts to make changes to reduce their footprint on the environment, this would be a great step.
Long term payoffs of less waste coupled with greater access to water would only boost the environmental state of mind that seems to be gaining widespread attention.
My Presentation on Google Docs
Book Reviews and Current Events
Save the Night
Participants: Max Kerns & Amanda Apicella
Description of Project: To research Ohio Wesleyan University’s history in regards to Astronomy as well as look into the topic of light pollution and how it can be addressed both on campus and off. We are going to be looking into past projects and proposals at OWU and to other campuses/areas that have taken steps or made attempts to address this issue. We also hope to propose potential solutions to issues of light pollution and the pros & cons of each for our campus and the city of Delaware Ohio. It is also important to look into ways to raise awareness to start getting others involved so that future plans/projects can get the support they need.
- Ohio Wesleyan University’s History with Astronomy
- Perkins Observatory
- Student Observatory
- Previous Projects and Proposals
- Lights Out OWU (by Brendan Wood and Varalie Vanichstin)
- Incandescent Suppressant Fluorescent Project (by Andrea Mac Vay and Sean Kinghorn)
- Details and Information on Light Pollution
- Types of light pollution and what causes them (types of lights and uses of them)
- Effects on Environment and Human Health
- Security and crime
- Recommendations and Potential models
- Earth Hour Promis
- Retrofitting city lighting
- Potentially adding top covers for outdoor lighting to limit amount of upward-facing light
- Energy saving initiatives
- Earth Hour Link – These sources are all regarding Earth Hour, its organization and the event/day.
- Light Pollution
- Light Pollution Link 1/3 of humanity can’t see milky way
- FAU Astronomical Observatory – Light Pollution Endangers our Security and Safety – Lighting does not automatically equal safety and ways in which it is done/lit can make things even more dangerous and/or reduce visibility of potential threats. Inefficient and ineffective lighting is not only producing excessive light pollution but is also harmful for people as well.
- Darksky – Lighting, Crime and Safety – Similar to the FAU link but more concise. Increase in lighting does not seem to affect crime rates and in some cases shows the opposite in that decreased lighting can actually reduce crime depending on the area and how it is done.
- FAU Astronomical Observatory – Human Health and Light Pollution – Link to the site’s main section regarding human health and includes multiple other links to specific issues. These issues include suppressing Melatonin production which can lead to faster cancer growth (especially breast cancer) and multiple other health issues due to how many bodily functions and hormones it influences.
Current Events Postings:
Notes on Reading:
3. The Fanaticism of the Apocalypse – See above
4. Nature I
5. Nature II
8. Placing Animals – Missing Notes
Week 1 (intro)
Week 8 (Fall Break)
Eating Animals (Entire Book)
Report (Sent in PDF)