Sustainable is Attainable! – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Sustainable is Attainable!

At first glance, one would never guess that the newly-renovated Sill House kitchen, home to Campus Greens, is nearly 100 percent sustainable. Bright paint, shiny cabinetry, and the kitchen’s centerpiece – a concrete island countertop – manage to be both eco-friendly and aesthetically pleasing.

“What a neat welcome-back gift for our students,” remarked Tom Bonacci, project manager at Buildings and Grounds, as he and Sustainability Coordinator James Landi ’08 surveyed the finished product, spearheaded by Project Manager Janine DeBolt.  

The cabinets are made from solid strips of bamboo grass. The wood, salvaged from a rubber plantation, would have otherwise been wasted. Greenguard-certified NAUF Wilsonart International laminate countertops contain no added urea or formaldehyde. The pantry was recycled from Sill’s old kitchen. The concrete island countertop is sturdy and able to seat the Green Team comfortably for a meal. A low-VOC, ProGreen paint in burnt orange adds to the décor.

Energy Star appliances, including a refrigerator and a dishwasher, not only conserve electricity, but save money in the long-run. The Colleges began installing Energy Star appliances in Odell’s Village and have continued to do so all across campus. The kitchen also includes a recycling center and cloth shopping bags to cut down on waste. All of these renovations make sustainability an even more attainable goal.

“This year, Campus Greens is very active with local and regional green efforts,” said Landi. Comprised of 100 students — 30 core members who live in Sill House– Campus Greens is essential in getting HWS students up-to-speed with Green efforts. Placing a focus on local farmers, students will cook with local produce and host communal dinners, highlighting the Geneva Farmers’ Market in the process.

The Green House is a meeting place for students interested in learning new ways that they can help conserve the environment. The house residents sponsor projects such as composting, energy campaigns, learning how to properly recycle and on-going discussions of current events and issues that are environmentally related. House members serve as a model and reminder to HWS and the Geneva community of the importance in caring for the environment.

The group is supported by Sarah Meyer, Finger Lakes Institute Community Outreach Coordinator and last year’s sponsor; Rev. Lesley Adams, the Colleges’ chaplain who hosts sustainable dinners; and Landi, who works closely with the students on green projects.