Wednesday, April 23, 2014

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U.Va. Unveils New Sustainability Efforts

University of Virginia employees and students are unveiling a broad array of initiatives designed to promote interest in helping the environment. The efforts include a new sustainability website, an online presentation, an enhanced Sustainability Pledge and the launch of a new speakers series.

Highlighting these efforts and providing opportunities for sharing information will be a Campus Sustainability Day Forum, to be held Thursday in the Newcomb Hall South Meeting Room. Three components of the forum will occur at noon, at 1 p.m. and at 2 p.m.

From noon to 1 p.m., the student organization Green Grounds will host a Green Forum to showcase sustainability initiatives open to U.Va. students and employees.

“The forum is designed to connect student leaders and U.Va. employees with sustainability information to encourage innovative partnerships,” said Nina Morris, sustainability outreach coordinator in Facilities Management.

The first in a new “Opening Sustainability: Discussions Across Disciplines” speakers series will begin at 1 p.m. Speakers will include David Neuman, architect for the University; Don Sundgren, U.Va. chief facilities officer; and Phoebe Crisman, associate professor of architecture and director of the global sustainability minor program. Alyssa Tsantes, a third-year student majoring in environmental thought and practice, will moderate the panel.

“The discussion will focus on faculty/student/administrator collaborations and the role of these innovative partnerships in reaching University sustainability goals,” said Andrew Greene, sustainability planner in U.Va.’s Office of the Architect.

Breakout sessions exploring innovative ideas to meet U.Va.’s sustainability goals will begin at 2 p.m. In addition, a Sustainability Pledge photo station will be set up outside the South Meeting Room from 2 to 2:30 p.m. for individuals who want to declare their commitment to helping the environment.

From noon through 2:30 p.m., the South Meeting Room will host a variety of displays and complimentary refreshments. Displays will include information about U.Va.’s sustainability goals, progress and challenges.

There will also be displays on “Sustainability at U.Va.: You Can Make a Positive Difference,” a new online training program, and Sustainability Partners, a volunteer group of employees that meets monthly to promote green workplace practices.

In addition to donating the refreshments, U.Va. Dining will have a display highlighting its friendly environmental practices across Grounds.

“All materials generated at the event will be composted or recycled,” said Ida Lee Wootten, director of U.Va.’s Community Relations Office, one of many units and organizations involved in planning the session. “That commitment to composting and recycling was important to all the event organizers.”

U.Va. Dining is also planning a variety of efforts in support of Campus Sustainability Day, including a Fall Local Food Show set for Wednesday, from 3 to 5 p.m., at the Fine Arts Café. The show will feature Twin Oaks Tofu.

“The broad, diverse effort, stretching among departments and across Grounds, is reflective of the collaborative approach to sustainability at U.Va.,” said Wootten, who has chaired for several years the Community Outreach and Communications Subcommittee of the University Committee on Sustainability.

  U.Va. Dining Sustainability Events
Oct. 22 Meat-Free Monday Celebration at N2, Observatory Hill (Farm-to-Fork station) and Runk Dining Room, dinner. Local apples and apple cider at N2, dinner.
Oct. 23 Local fruit crisp and fair-trade coffee sampling at Observatory Hill Dining Hall (Farm-to-Fork station), dinner.
Oct. 24 Fall Local Food Show at Fine Arts Café featuring Twin Oaks Tofu, 3 to 5 p.m.
Oct. 25

Local apple crisp at Runk Dining room (Farm-to-Fork station), dinner.

 

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