Since Colleges President Mark D. Gearan signed the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment last September, Hobart and William Smith Colleges has cemented its place as a forerunner in a nationwide effort dedicated to making colleges and universities more “green” places to live and work. In response to that commitment, the HWS Climate Commitment Task Force, made up of HWS students, faculty and staff, was created to steer the Colleges’ progress toward reducing emissions of gases responsible for global warming. The latest step in their efforts included traveling to nearby Ithaca College to observe their progressive environmental sustainability efforts. Members of the Task Force were able to meet with the college’s Program Coordinator for Recycling and Waste Management, Mark Darling, who taught the team about effective recycling programs and a comprehensive compost system. The Task Force also met with Ithaca College Dining Services General Manager Jeffrey Scott, considered a leader in the field of sustainable dining services, about incorporating environmental initiatives into the Colleges’ dining services program. They also visited Cayuga Compost, owned by Mark Wittig, which handles all of Ithaca College’s biodegradable food waste. “We’re trying to understand the larger environmental implications of these programs before we implement them at HWS,” explains Climate Task Force Intern James Landi ‘08. “This trip really helped everyone to see how these efforts play out and demonstrated that our goals are attainable and sustainable.” The Climate Commitment provides a framework and support for America’s colleges and universities to go carbon neutral. The signatories of the Commitment pledge to fulfill a three-step constitution, which includes expediently initiating a comprehensive plan for climate neutrality, taking tangible action to reduce greenhouse gases and publicizing the action plan, inventory and progress.