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ISSUE 118 VOL 11 PUBLISHED 2/25/2005

Recycling programs produced

By Anna Jasch
Contributing Writer

Friday, February 25, 2005

The St. Olaf Environmental Coalition is an awareness group that includes the political St. Olaf Green Party and the volunteer St. Olaf Environmental Program. Recently, the Environmental Coalition came up with new ideas for ways to make St. Olaf greener.

Among these new ideas was the creation of two opportunities for students to learn more about ecological issues: the Global Warming Forums and the Hope Lecture Series.

In the Global Warming Forums, professors from a variety of departments will direct discussions focusing on the issues surrounding global warming.

The Hope Lecture Series, consisting of a series of lectures given by professors and alumni, will discuss ways to keep hope afloat in a tumultuous world.

The St. Olaf community can also expect to see "trashy" signs shooting up across campus in the near future. These "trashy" signs will be posted on public waste receptacles, and will feature photographs of actual landfills, reminding students that putting trash in a black bin does not make it "disappear."

Dayna Burtness ‘07 transplanted this idea from her interim stay in Holden Village. Over the next few weeks, Burtness and the Environmental Coalition will work with the St. Olaf building management to make these signs a permanent structure in the facilities.

Another new idea, First-year Environmental Awareness Presentations, or "The Environment 101," aims to educate incoming first-years on environmental matters during corridor meetings and Week One.

St. Olaf offers Campus Ecology for all students who desire an ecological education. "Campus Ecology fosters an introspective reflection on self, place and education,” current Campus Ecology student Allison Madison ‘07 said. “It is one of the most thought-provoking courses I have taken at St. Olaf. Rather than burdening me, the intensive reading load fuels my interests and leaves me eager to devour more.”

One new bud to look for this spring is the Recycled Bikes Program. This program aspires to reduce car usage through the recycling of used bikes, and making them available for student use.

As part of the program, Recycled Bike riders could loan bikes, as well as keys, locks and helmets, from their residence halls.

This reincarnation of The Yellow Bikes Program hopes to bypass the vandalism, theft and unreliable bikes which deflated the original.

The Environmental Coalition also recently cultivated the idea of a student-run organic farm for campus sustainability.

This farm, also known as STOGROW, will grow produce on a small plot of land, the yield of which Bon Appétit will buy and serve on campus.

Income from the sale will then be used toward the maintenance of the farm.

Burtness says the farm will "Increase campus sustainability by closing the cycle of nutrients through using composted cafeteria waste on the land, and give the St. Olaf community opportunities to connect in a tangible way with where their food comes from and the concepts of sustainable agricultures."

So this spring, watch through the melting snow, and the emerging buds, for a green St. Olaf to sprout.

To stay updated on the latest environmental happenings, be sure to bookmark St. Olaf’s new environmental website (, or stop by an Environmental Coalition meeting, Wednesdays at 7 pm in Buntrock 143.

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