Hobart and William Smith Colleges’ longstanding commitment to environmental leadership and sustainable practices are in the national spotlight this month.
Recognized as one of North America’s most environmentally responsible schools, HWS has been included among the select institutions featured in the 2015 edition of The Princeton Review‘s “Guide to 353 Green Colleges.” Now in its sixth year, the annual guide lauds colleges and universities with the most exceptional commitments to sustainability based on academic offerings and career preparation, campus policies, initiatives and activities. This is the fourth consecutive year the Colleges have been honored.
In addition, Hobart and William Smith have been named a member of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Green Power Leadership Club, an elite group of institutions that are demonstrating exemplary environmental leadership.
Both “green” honors arrive at the same time that the Colleges are kicking off their annual celebration of Earth Week which will feature a wide range of programs, including scholarly talks, a farmers’ market and an Arbor Day tree planting.
“Hobart and William Smith Colleges are proud to earn these significant recognitions, underscoring our ongoing commitment as a leader in sustainability and environmental awareness,” says Sustainability Manager Adam Maurer. “Year after year, students, faculty and staff continue their collaborative work to move these efforts forward for the benefit of future generations on campus, locally and beyond.”
This spring semester, the Colleges also improved in several key metrics documented in the annual RecycleMania tournament, a friendly competition and benchmarking tool for college and university recycling programs to promote waste reduction activities to their campus communities. During an eight-week period, colleges report the amount of recycling and trash collected each week and are in turn ranked in various categories.
During RecycleMania, the Colleges increased recycling rates, increased waste diversion and reduced the amount of waste per capita on campus. Since first joining the contest in 2009, HWS has improved its waste diversion rate by 11.2 percent and recycling rate by 5.9 percent during the eight-week period. In addition, HWS was a 2015 leader in composting this year, ranked 18 out of 147.
“HWS recycling and diversion rates (a.k.a. waste diverted from the landfill) continue to improve each year due to our collective efforts,” Maurer says. “Improved management of materials on campus decreases our impact on Ontario County Landfill, where most of our trash goes, and helps to reduce HWS operating costs.”
As the Colleges continue the momentum of recent achievements, Earth Week will be celebrated on campus from Sunday, April 19 to Monday, April 27. A complete list of Earth Week events at HWS is available below.
Earth Week Schedule:
- Sunday, April 19: From noon until 3 p.m., there will be a “Reclaiming Real Food” event on the Quad, featuring food trucks, Cayuga Creamery, juice from Red Jacket, and other activities.
- Monday, April 20: At 6 p.m. in Stern 2013, the Colleges will host an environmental forum, “Political Activism for the Environment.” Moderated by Professor of Public Policy Studies and Political Science Craig Rimmerman, the panel will feature Visiting Instructor of Political Science Benjamin Farrer and Professor of Geoscience Brooks McKinney, along with special guest Dominic Frongillo, founder of Elected Officials Protect New York and five-time delegate to the United Nations.
- Tuesday, April 21: From 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., the HWS community will kick off a guerilla gardening event, “Wake the Farm Seed Bomb Workshop,” hosted in the Scandling Campus Center. The event will coincide with Moving Up Day.
- Wednesday, April 22: HWS will celebrate Earth Day, with “Mindful” meals in Saga.
- Thursday, April 23: A waste audit will be held in front of Scandling Campus Center from 10:20 to 11:45 a.m. Also on April 23, there will be guided tours of the HWS Fribolin Farm. The tours will take place from 3 to 5 p.m. Also featured on April 23 will be a “Pride of N.Y.” dinner in Saga that will include food and products from across New York State.
- Friday, April 24: There will be an all-day “Fashion Revolution” in which participants will wear clothes inside-out to highlight where the garments were made. Also on April 24, there will be an on-campus farmers’ market on the Scandling Campus Center patio. In celebration of Arbor Day, there will be a tree planting with the City of Geneva at 10 a.m. in the Brook Street Park. At Saga, there will be a “Weigh the Waste” event at both lunch and dinner, in which students will divert organic waste for composting. The HWS community will also have the chance to get their photos taken during the farmers’ market for committing to sustainable food purchasing and consumption.
- Saturday, April 25: There will be a swap meet for spring cleaning in the front lounge of the Scandling Campus Center from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- Monday, April 27: There will be a fireside chat with Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies Chiyo Crawford and Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies Whitney Mauer. The event will take place in Intercultural Affairs and is titled “Can Green also be the Color of Social Justice.”