Environment is focus of upcoming events, activities

Students and staff are getting their “green on” this spring with a number of environmental activities.

Geopolitical analyst and internationally known columnist Gwynne Dyer, familiar to local readers of The Blade, will give the 2009 Lamb Peace Lecture (see next week’s  Monitor). He will speak on “Climate Wars: The Geopolitics of Climate Change” at 7 p.m. Feb. 25 in the Bowen-Thompson Student Union Theater.

A campus sustainability conference is being planned for March 25 by the newly named Department of the Environment and Sustainability, the Center for Environmental Programs and the campuswide Environmental Sustainability Committee. To get involved, contact Dr. Gary Silverman, 2-7774.

For two weeks beginning today, residence halls are engaged in “energy wars” to see who can save the most electricity. This activity was conducted last year by the Greek units, according to campus Sustainability Coordinator Nicholas Hennessy, and resulted in not only significant energy savings but also creative ideas about how to achieve them. A green crown and prize the whole hall can enjoy will go to the winners.

Once again this year, BGSU is participating in the Recyclemania competition, which pits hundreds of schools nationwide against one another in a bid to see who can collect the most per-person recycling. At BGSU, halls are competing against one another for the chance to win prizes. Recyclemania continues through March 28.

A “green dining” initiative called “Caught Green-Handed” now through March 17 has students experiencing environmentally conscious changes to the Sundial Food Court.

As spring approaches, other plans are also under way. The orange bike program is gearing up to get rolling after spring break. Volunteer bike mechanics are tuning up the fleet of donated bicycles and will train anyone who would like to help. The program will provide bicycles for use by campus community members who can pick them up and drop them off as needed in designated spots around campus.

Later in March, there will be a used athletic shoe collection on campus and in the community. The shoes are converted into outdoor recreational and playing surfaces in areas that have such a need.

Hennessy and the student Environmental Action Group can also help with ideas for Earth Week (April 21-24) activities.

The eighth annual When You Move Out, Don’t Throw It Out collection will be held at the end of the semester. This program, conceived and administered by Hennessy and residence life, has kept tons of usable goods out of local landfills while providing much-needed food, clothing and household items to needy families.

For more information or to volunteer for any of these projects, or for help planning your own, contact Hennessy at

February 16, 2009