Inside Rensselaer
* Sustainability
Supporting Sustainability and the  Environment at Rensselaer
Founded in the fall of 2007, the Student Sustainability Task Force (SSTF) is a student-led group that includes students, faculty, and staff focused on creating awareness of sustainability and making it a part of the campus culture. The brain child of graduate students Ben Cohen, Ph.D. student in mechanical engineering, and Sarah Parks, a Ph.D. student in ecological economics, the task force has met with numerous staff and administrators to discuss potential ways to integrate sustainability-related initiatives into their performance plan. Most importantly, the task force has opened the way for members of the Rensselaer campus to discuss and seek ways to save money and the environment through conservation, education, and improved sustainability at Rensselaer and beyond. The group also created a comprehensive report titled Sustainability at Rensselaer.

Following is a snapshot of upcoming events taking place during the month of April:

April 17: Sustainability Charrette
The Institute-Wide Sustainability Task Force will host a two-day Sustainability Charrette April 17-18. Charrette may refer to any collaborative session in which a group of designers drafts a solution to a design problem. In this case, over the course of 24 hours, an interdisciplinary team of Rensselaer students, faculty, and staff will work to generate creative and realistic suggestions for the Rensselaer campus. The event will be held in the Greene Building Gallery beginning at 2 p.m. on April 17.

April 24: EarthFest 2009 and Face the Waste
In order to get environmental sustainability into the hearts and minds of the Rensselaer community, Ecologic, Rensselaer’s environmental student organization, along with several other student organizations will host the annual EarthFest 2009 event on Friday, April 24. The event will be held in front of the Russell Sage Dining Hall with festivities kicking off at noon. EarthFest 2009 will feature renewable energy displays, representation from local environmental groups, food, and more, along with live musical performances. In addition, the event also will highlight the culmination of the “Face the Waste” recycling/sustainability project. The project is a large visible display of a week’s worth of waste generated on the campus that includes such things as cans (aluminum), computer/electronics, paper, glass/plastic bottles, and food. Organizers say the event is an effort to promote discussion and inquiry into the campus interaction with material resources, and how individuals choose to use, reuse, or dispose of them on campus, among other things.

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Inside Rensselaer
Volume 3, Number 4, April 10, 2009
©2009 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
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