Preliminary Project Proposal

September 28, 2011

Project Title: Rain Gardens

Project Participant(s): Hannah Benzing (working in conjunction with Glenn Skiles)

Description & Overview of Project:

            After looking into stream restoration, I wondered what could be done for the small dormant creek in between the Science Center and Meek.  I thought possibly adding some native Ohio plants to the area would spruce it up, and then John Krygier proposed to create a rain garden in the area.  I then began to research rain gardens; how to go about creating them, best possible locations, and what they even were.  I discovered that rain gardens are designed to collect water (from rainwater, flooding, and creek banks, practically anything that creates a run off of any kind) and absorb it, filter and drain the water.  Through research I have found that it is better to use native plants if at all possible.  Some native Ohio plants include: Bloodroot, Mayapple, wild geranium, Jack-in-the-Pulpit, Solomon’s seal, Squirrel Corn and Trillium.  But ones that would most likely be seen in a rain garden include: purple coneflower, white turtlehead, blue lobelia, and Ohio spiderwort.  One of the difficulties though with this project is that the small creek is on Delaware city property.  I still need to get to find out who to get in contact with to make this possibly happen.  If this does not work out, I will be looking for an area around campus.

Outline of Project:

1. Contacts: People who will be helping with the project, or information I have gotten from them will be beneficial with the location of the rain garden.                

       – Barbara Wiehe: In charge of Ohio Wesleyan’s greenhouse and has insight on the native plants of Ohio, that would work best for rain gardens.

      – Jann Ichida: Professor at Ohio Wesleyan for botany and microbiology.  Has worked with rain gardens before and is well aware of the benefits and has some insight on them.

      – City of Delaware Official: Still looking for who I need to contact in order to collaborate with the city to turn the small creek into a rain garden. 

2. Design and Layout

      – OWU student to design layout?  Possible idea would be to ask an Ohio Wesleyan student to design a layout, get their name out as the designer.

        -What layouts work best?

       – Flowers to be planted: Make sure to use all native plants of Ohio.  5 benefits of native plants include:

               1. Live longer than exotics

               2. More tolerant of local weather and soil conditions

               3. Enhance the natural biodiversity in an area

               4. More beneficial to native wildlife, providing food and shelter

               5. Require less water, fertilizer and maintenance

      – Who is going to do the physical labor?  Should we get B & G to plant, or since it’s my idea and project would it best if I plant.

     – When will it be the best time to plant?  If this is possible, planting sometime this fall will be very beneficial to the area.  Swim meets will be underway and I think it will enhance the area.

3. Ideas

     – How to Work Shop:

    – Get the community involved

   – Flyers

Annotated Bibliography:

Ichida, Jann.  “Rainwater Recover and Rain Gardens at OWU”.  Green OWU.  2009.  Web.  20 September 2011.  <;.

            Jann Ichida comes up with some helpful hints on how a functioning rain garden should do.  Also, Jann brings up some legal issues for instance; Ohio has size restrictions on how big a rain garden can be.  A map/picture is presented to help guide and see what a rain garden should look like.  As well, two different funding opportunities. 

“How a Rain Garden Works”.  Scioto Gardens.  20 September 2011.  <;.

            This article, from Scioto Gardens (right here in Delaware), displays how a rain garden works.  Includes design plans, creating your own list, sizing, and how to construct a rain garden from start to finish.  This is a good example of getting the community involved and helping them see the benefits of rain gardens.

Central Ohio Rain Garden Initiative.  2011.  20 September 2011.  <;.

            This website, provided by Central Ohio Rain Garden Initiative provides a Google map of rain gardens in central Ohio.  Links on the side provide their project ideas, newsletters, and plants that can be found native to Ohio and what you’re likely to see in a rain garden.

“What is a Rain Garden”.  Rain Garden Network.  2003.  20 September 2011.  <;.

            This site includes a definition as to what a rain garden is and why you should plant a rain garden.  The site also includes water and storm water runoff, more storm water alternatives, and rainwater harvesting. 

“Create a Garden”. WMEAC.  20 September 2011.  <;.

            I found this website to be very helpful.  It had quite a few tips on what you should do before you start, designing, preparing the site, car, and rain garden care.  This site is good for helping anyone create a rain garden.

Ichida, Jann.

            Will be collaborating with Jann to provide insight on ideas about rain gardens.

Weihe, Barb.

            Will be collaborating with Barb to provide insight on ideas about rain gardens.

A.R.T. (Artistic Recycling Today)

September 28, 2011

Project Title: A.R.T. (Artistic Recycling Today)

Project Participant(s): Sarah Johnston and Lauren Leister

Description & overview of project:

Our campus offers many opportunities for the students to travel across the globe to see all the wonders of the world.  Although there is much work done to preserve nature across the globe, there is little done on campus that promotes recycling or energy conservation.  Our project focuses on promoting recycling with a twist.  Using unique designs to draw attention to the recycle bins we will increase the probability of recycling.  This will encourage students and faculty to recycle.  The current bins on campus are unattractive, poorly labeled, and positioned awkwardly.  Most recycle bins are a short, square, and blue.  The result of the current recycle bins is the misplacement of recycled materials in the wrong bin and the misuse of recycle bins as trash!  Also since the current recycle bins are short they fill up quickly and are hard to see since they are so low to the ground.  This results in people tripping over them or missing them completely when looking to recycle something.

We are proposing to use replace the current recycle bins with a more attractive and practical design. Using a previous student’s proposal we decided to use recycled materials to produce new eye catching bins for recycling.  Using casted paper mache we will bring together sheets that form a tall, attractive container to be used for recycling.  The other difference that our recycling bins will have is better labeling for what belongs in the recycle bin.  We will use visual orientation; this means instead of having to stop and read what recycling goes where you can just see what recycling goes where based on the cut out on the bins.  The bins will have cut outs on the lids indicating the recycling.  There will be a cut out shape of a plastic bottle to indicate plastics/glass recycle bin and a long rectangle to indicate paper.  This will make it easier for people to figure out what belongs in which recycling since the visual of the recycled material will be the shape of the hole to put it in the box.

The shape of the new bins will be a triangle but when placed together the paper and plastic separate containers will combine to make a square.  They will also be taller, the size of a typical trashcan to prevent tripping and make for easier access when recycling.  The convenient square shape will compliment any corner or wall.  This makes the recycling bins visually more appealing as well, so more people are likely to want them around, thus increasing the number of people who use them

In collaboration with the art department we will need to obtain a large mixer to stir enough paper mache for the size of the bins needed.   The entire sheet must dry at the same time in order to obtain the most durability which is why a large mixer is needed.  Once dry the recycle bin will be assembled using acid free glue to allow for further recycling of the bin, if something happens to the bin and causes it to become damaged.  Our hope is to use specific colors for the paper vs. glass/plastic recycle bins.  This will help designate recycling as well as the cut outs.

Once we collaborate with the art department we need to move forward and find funds to make the purchase of the mixer possible.  Once that is all in place the making and painting of the bins is the last step before incorporating them to our campus.  Once in place on campus it would be good to give back to the community and potentially make recycle bins for the local public schools.

Outline of project:

  • Problem
    • Recycle bins availability
    • Recycle bin design
    • Recycle bin use
    • Solution
      • New attractive design
      • New placement
      • Improved labels
      • Material
        • Paper mache
        • Recycled material
        • Design
          • Taller, eye-catching, two boxes used as “one”
          • Colors/shape cut outs designate the type of recycling
          • Methods
            • Mix paper mache
            • Make molds for bin pieces
            • Mold paper mache
            • Glue pieces together
            • Cut out shapes and paint/design
            • Place in plastic bags
            • Evaluation
              • Check current recycle bin location, use, and public opinion
              • After new bins are integrated, follow up on use and public opinion
              • Use includes using the correct bin for the correct recycling as well as lack of actual trash in the bins
              • Analyze public opinion surveys and compare bin observation before and after
              • Result
                • Will include results from the above evaluations
                • People to collaborate with
                  • Sean Kinghorn- sustainability coordinator
                  • Housekeeping in Science Center- to see where we are able to place them
                  • Dr. Quick – art department
                  • Dr. James Krehbiel – art department chair – Work with him to collaborate to get the large mixer and find funds to buy the mixer.
                  • Art students- who could help with the design and making of the new recycle bins


Annotated bibliography

  1. Sean Kinghorn – We discussed the expansion of recycle bins with Sean and will continue to collaborate once to bins are created for feedback.  Also, we will collaborate with Sean to find funding for the bins.
  2. Dr. Krehbiel/ Dr. Quick – Collaborate with the art department to buy a huge mixer for the paper mache the recycle bins will be made from.  Also, have art department help with funds for mixer since they will inherit the mixer after the bins are made.
  3. Art students – Students who are interested in helping with the project and making our campus a better place to live.  It could potentially be volunteer/community service hours.
  4. Previous Project –New Paper Mache Recycle Bins for OWU by Anh Hoang Vu.
  5. Public opinion surveys – Campus surveys that are sent out before and after the project to see what people think.
  6. Materials website- – Shows different recycle bins made of recycled materials that we could use for ideas.
  7. Recycling facts – – Fast facts for the campus that we can put up when we put out the bins.
  8. Recycling benefits – – Fast facts for the campus that we can put up when we put out the bins.
  9. Campus recycling – – Fast facts for the campus that we can put up when we put out the bins.
  10. Paper mache how to – – Useful information to compare with the original recipe for us and the art department when making the bins
  11. Design ideas – – Design ideas for the recycling bins that we are making out of recycled materials.

Project Proposal

September 28, 2011

Title: Changes in Waste Composition: Outdoor Recycling Bins

Participants: Reed Callahan

Description & Overview: The main idea of my project is to see if the placement of outdoor recycling bins will change the composition of waste in the trashcans on campus. I have already gone around to different trashcans on the JayWalk and academic side, and recorded the weight of recyclable materials in the trashcans. I also included a rough estimate of the percent composition of recyclables in the trash to help people get an idea of how much of the waste is recyclable. The outdoor recycling bins should be placed soon, I was told they were supposed to be out this week (9/26), but they are not and I am in the middle of figuring out why. I was told there are 10 recycling bins that will be placed in select locations around the JayWalk and academic side.  When doing my initial waste audit I found that the trashcans with the most recyclables were areas with the most foot traffic and near the entrance/exit of buildings. I let Sean Kinghorn know this and once the bins have been placed I can continue my project. My next step once the bins are adjacent to trashcans is to go through all trashcans in the vicinity of the bins and see how much recyclable material is in them.  I can do this by weight and estimating the percent composition of recyclables. The scale I used last time was not the best so I may mainly rely on estimating the ratio of trash to recyclables. I will also go through the recycling bins and see if people are putting trash in the bins. In the process of doing this I will also sort out recyclables and trash from each bin and put them in their proper place. That way I can also help out instead of just writing down observations.

Once going through the recycling bins and trashcans for a couple of weeks I may come to the conclusion that I need to put proper labeling on the bins. If people keep putting bottles and containers in the recycling bins and if OWU’s recycling contractor does not take those material than that is a problem. I would then need to make a sign of the different things that are accepted for recycling. When going through the trash I may realize that a lot of cardboard and paper waste make up most of the trash’s contents. This would be a great way for me to propose more paper recycling bins around campus and possibly an outdoor bin for paper material. During my initial waste sampling I found a lot of cardboard boxes near the mailroom trashcans because students would open their packages outside of Hamwill.

I really cannot speak for the exact direction this project will go because I am not the only one involved with OWU recycling. Once I start actually comparing the waste compositions with the recycling bins present, then I could provide a more detailed direction for my project. I may jump around a bit, but I do want to mainly focus on the outdoor recycling bins. Overall I would simply like to see the school be more involved with recycling, and I see this project as a great way to help.

 Outline of project: I spoke a lot about my speculated outline in the overview, but I will try and provide a more segmented version.

Making Contacts: At first I had to figure out whom I needed to talk to and stay in contact with. I talked to the Sustainability coordinator for the school, the recycling coordinator for the school and a student who did a project about trash last semester.  I also accumulated more contacts just to keep me in the loop about any details regarding recycling. I was better able to understand the direction to approach my project and any other important details.

Initial Sampling: I took an initial sampling of the percent composition of recyclable material of the trashcans around the JayWalk and academic side. I will show my results and compare them to my later findings.

Recycling Bin Sampling: Comparing the percent composition of recyclables in the trash and trash in the recycling bins. This will show me if the bins have been effective.

Next Step may vary: I cannot honestly say the exact direction I will go with this project until I take samples of the recycling bins and trash cans for a couple of weeks. I will have to update the proposal as I go along.

Annotated Bibliography:

Sean Kinghorn-Sustainability coordinator for Ohio Wesleyan University

  • Sean is filling me in with any information or details I should know regarding the outdoor recycling bins
  • A waste audit will be conducted on campus in a few weeks and Sean has invited me to tag along, which could possibly provide me with valuable data.
  • Overall just a good contact to have

Heather Bowman-Senior at Ohio Wesleyan and her past project involved studying the composition of items in OWU’s trash

  • She told me good ways to sample the trash and that I should use an infant scale.
  • Many you the weights were pretty small when she sampled the trash so that helped me figure out what I should do.
  • Provided me with other good advice and tips

Dennis Wall-Employee with B&G and worked on getting outdoor recycling bins on campus

  • He kept me in the loop about what was going on with the bins
  • Good contact if I have any questions about trash and recycling

Ngoc Tran-Recycling coordinator for Ohio Wesleyan

  • We have talked and she is a good contact if I have any questions

Jonathan Kissell- Works for Rumpke Recycling

  • When starting my project I asked him if there was any particular things I should know before tackling a project with recycling

John Krygier-Geography professor and member of sustainable task team

  • He has helped me with setting up and formatting my project
  • Provided me with necessary contacts for my project
  • Given me advice and tips

Sim Bros Recycling-Delaware recycling company

  • Collect OWU’s recycling
  • Very useful site, helped me figure out which recyclables they accept

Recycling Preparation-Website posted by Delaware’s health department

Delaware Solid Waste Authority-solid waste website for the city of Delaware

Environment and Society (Ch 2-8)

September 28, 2011

So far, I have enjoyed this book the most.  I took a wildlife conservation course in Africa, and we spent alot of time on policy and community involvement with the wildlife.  The actions of the locals and the government affect the wildlife and the environment more than other influences.  Human interaction/involvement is the number one reason for the endangerment of animals/plants on the IUCN Red List.  I am a zoology major and an animal lover, but some people do not seem to realize if you want to work with animals, you must work with people as well.  People need to understand the effect they have on the environment.

My perspective matches the closest with the ideas in Chapter 5 – Environmental Ethics.  Honestly, I have been torn with whether I agree more with conservation or preservation.  People often place both ideas in the same meaning, they have distinct differences.  I was able to see the differences first hand in Tanzania.  There are five types of wildlife areas in Tanzania: national parks, game reserves, game controlled reserves, wildlife management areas, and wildlife corridors.  The national parks are the only true preservation areas where no human activity is allowed.  The rest of the areas are all a part of the conservation of wildlife in Tanzania, where hunting, agriculture, and human settlement is allowed under certain controls depending on the area regulations.  Conservation is a type of compromise and allows for both society and wildlife/environment to exist and benefit together.  Conservation is meant to be beneficial for both nature and society, however, most cases can result in neither party getting what they need. However, in many cases there one party takes advantage of the other e.g. elephants ruins farmers fields and lions/leopards attack village’s livestock.  On the other side, humans “frame” the environment to fit their lives and ruin habitats and hunt some wildlife to endangerment, like the rhino.  Preservation protects nature first and only which is good for nature but does not provide benefit for society.  It actually prevents humans from making use of that nature and profiting.  Many may see preservation as too radical.  Both views do acknowledge nature as having intrinsic value.

The chapter discussed the situation of animals in a pig factory.  Are the goods we receive so important to us that we do not care how we obtain them, is it worth it?

I am not on the side of the theory of utilitarian or anthropocentrism.  In these views, humans are seen as the center point for the decision of right or wrong actions towards nature, and the value of something is determined by the usefulness to society.  Basically, opinions and values are all defined by society opinion.  In this way, nature does not have intrinsic value.  However, it is difficult to not look at goods or nature without realizing what it means for society.  It seems instinctual to define goods by what its value is for you, part of the selfishness of humans.

Ethics is never easy to argue especially environmental ethics.  However, compromises will have to be made before too long.  Of course, the solution will need to benefit both society and the environment to get any majority to agree, maybe conservation is the answer then.

Project Proposal

September 28, 2011

Project Title: Stealthy Food

Project Participant(s): Olivia Gillison and Christian Ng

Description & overview of project: We are picking up on the ‘Nothing with a Face Food Festival’ project that was started last spring. We’re hoping to bring in about 5 or 6 people from the Columbus area to have them share their expertise in vegan/vegetarian food cooking and buying. In addition to this, Chris will more specifically be working on improving one of the Geography 355 projects from last spring in updating a map/recipe booklet to be distributed as well as uploaded online. He’ll be working to recreate the current maps of where to buy healthy (maybe organic) foods around campus, and then places where you’re allowed to use the cooking facilities. We are hoping to have this go off sometime mid-spring semester with hopes of having a lot of the campus community come out and enjoy the event. There will be cooking demonstrations and informational sessions intertwined with some hands on cooking for the students.

Food Awareness on Campus: ‘Nothing With A Face Food Festival.’ Proposal for a day long series of workshops and cooking demos and eating focused on vegan food. If there are vegans (or vegetarians) in the class, this would be a good topic, but also a skeptic of vegan/vegetarian diets would be a good choice to assemble this workshop. Preliminary proposal (see handout) and verbal agreement regarding funding (Chartwells, Healthy Bishop Initiative). For foodies.”

Outline of project: Our outline is currently in process and will be shaping up throughout the semester as we have people’s schedules coming together and a timeline developed. However, as of right now we’re going off of the proposed schedule that was created last spring by Krygier himself. 

Annotated bibliography

  • John Krygier – extremely well connected to some of the people we’ll be needing to contact for the project
  • Dell Sroufe – Vegan chef, worked on the beginning of the project with Krygier last year
  • Kevin from the community market – might be able to donate some vegan food as well as speak to where to find places that sell it
  • Portia’s Creations – vegan seller in the Columbus area, would be helpful to have her insight on being in the vegan business
  • Chef from Wooster – they already have a vegan/vegetarian cafe at their school, would be able to speak about how the students enjoy the choices of different healthy foods
  • Possibly: Jazelle Jones – deputy managing director for special events in the city of Philadelphia (my boss), knows all the ins and outs about running an event smoothly and on time.
  • Other sources are not applicable for my portion of the project/I don’t have any yet.

Environment and Society ch 2-8

September 27, 2011

This book is hard to focus on, but it contains information that is highly interesting. As an Environmental Studies major, I find it important to focus not only on how the environment affects people, but also how people affect the environment. For example, the fact that a person in Phoenix uses more water than a person in a neighboring town is somewhat unusual. I know that Phoenix is located in a hot, dry region, but the natural heat should be the same there as in another town in the general area. But this doesn’t take into account the pollution from cars and factories. After all, carbon burned by one person does become everyone’s problem.

The chapter that I associate the most with, is Chapter 5. It talks about factory farms, which are basically assembly lines for getting more products from animals than we need. The example that they give shows a pig in a cage that can barely move, and her young get crushed to death despite the safety precautions put in place. This process reminds me of the bear bile farms in mainland China. The Chinese moon bear is a very rare species that is put through arduous conditions because its bile is used in Chinese medicine. The bear is placed in a tiny cage similar to the crates that the pigs are placed in, and the bile is harvested directly from it while it is still alive. This process, combined with the inhumane conditions the bears go through, means that many bears die in these miserable factories. I understand that these kind of factories help people to get the products they want faster and cheaper, but the question is; are these products really what people need? Is it worth the risk of an endangered species to benefit from cheap profit that can be illegal?

People seem to forget that “animals are not capital”. Just because many walk on four legs and just because they cannot speak human language doesn’t mean they are not significant. It would seem to me that humanity has forgotten its primate roots. We have endangered our brothers the gorilla and orangutan and make our cousins the chimpanzees do silly things. We are descended from the same animals that these primates came from. I know that in the bible it says that we are allowed to dominate over nature, but it also says to “replenish the Earth”. How can we do that if we have virtually destroyed it?

I found the battle between conservation and preservation very interesting. Many people think that these two phrases have the same meaning, but there are key differences. For example, while a conservationist might allow people to hunt animals in a wildlife reserve under strictly controlled conditions, a preservationist would ban hunting all together. Each has is ups and downs though. While conservation allows both humanity and nature to profit at the same time, changes will still be made that can damage the landscape. In the case of preservation, only nature profits, and this can lead to financial trouble.

No matter how we “frame” the environment, it is clear that it is not good. However, if we try to clean things, will we in fact be making more of a mess? It is questions like this that people who support the environment need to answer when they are planning to speak out against someone.

Environment and Society – Chapters 2-8

September 27, 2011

I find this book to be very interesting and relevant to my studies here at Ohio Wesleyan. With the Environmental Studies major we discuss and view different perspectives of the state of the world, which can be very complicated. With the Economic major, we also view these subjects with the economic standpoint, and this book melts these two subjects together. It is also extremely related to my Environmental Economics class that I am currently taking. The more one knows and understands about different perspectives, the more difficult these decisions pertaining with the environment becomes; however these different perspectives make forming ones own opinion much easier.

I agree that each company/entity should be accountable for their actions, and the only way to make sure this happens is to privatize most of these public goods. For example the fishing industry should use some mechanism of privatization, like permits or private fishing zones for instance. Although I realize this has been done in a lot of areas, and places like international waters are hard/impossible to “privatize”, doing so would make the fishing communities responsible for “their” fish. If they were to over-fish one year, the repercussions would be felt the next. These permits would also have to last for several years, such as 30, to keep the fishermen liable for their actions. These permits could also be transferable, such as the cap and trade system for carbon emissions. These private organizations would also be able to come together and negotiate what is best for the “privately common” good, further ensuring the upkeep of the natural goods – Like the Maine lobstermen example given in the text. Plus there is no debate who would be able to work faster to fix problems and make important decisions – government or private – the answer is undoubtedly private.

The down-side of this system is the possible monopolization of this tactic, and also the “common” aspect of these areas. Places like lakes and oceans are not technically owned by anyone and are often used for recreational fishing, boating, swimming etcetera. The privatization of this, such as private beach clubs and fishing permits, takes away these “common” areas for people on vacation or the locals. Big fishing companies would undoubtedly buy up these permits, pushing fishing towns in the hole and ruining mom and pop communities.

One part of the book I did not agree with was the uneven distribution of pollution. One because the world really is not that large, what we do in America is felt around the world. Two, where do all of our old computers and televisions go to? – third world countries. And finally, why should other countries even have to deal with our waste to begin with, they did not make the waste nor do our actions benefit them, so why should they feel the brunt of it. I think instead we, and the world, need to worry about what we do ourselves and how we can make little changes to benefit the earth and in time ourselves. Talk is cheap however – everyone knows what we should do, I don’t see many people doing it.


more computers in Africa