Author: Alan Turnquist

Husky Exchange (MTU’s green move-out) by the numbers

Michigan Tech held the second annual Husky Exchange this spring to gather unwanted items from students during move out from the residence halls. In sum, students donated nearly 9,000 items, keeping over two tons of materials out of the landfill and headed toward others in need.

Here’s what 9000 unorganized donations look like! Students use the pool noodles to protect their noggins on their lofted beds.

The most common donations were nonperishable food (~3,500 items), clothing (~1,000 articles!), and pool noodles (~700). All of those items, with the exception of some expired food, will go back as donations to students next academic year. We partner with the HuskyFAN food pantry in Fisher Hall for our food donations and the new clothing closet in Douglass Houghton Hall for our clothing articles to provide students access to these items throughout the year. Its a great example of how we all have to work together to make better use of our resources and work towards a more sustainable campus.

Many of the remaining items will be made available to our newest Huskies moving into the residence halls before fall orientation. Over 95% of the items will be available free of charge, or for a charitable donation, while a handful of higher value items like refrigerators, microwaves, and box fans will be sold at a steep discount to cover the costs of running the program.

Finally, we partner with non-profit organizations in the area for the remainder of the donations, including linens, lightly expired food, and other items of need. We included a handful of photos and a full list of donations below to get a better picture of the program. Thank you to the staff and students who put many hours in to collect and sort the donations!

Item Type Number of Items
Food (unexpired) 3000
Food (expired) 450
Clothes (winter) 25
Clothes (other) 1000
linens 35
Lamps 30
Small electronics 40
Refridgerators 11
Microwaves 16
Fans 28
Noodles 700
Hangers 650
Misc Office 300
Kleenex/Toilet Paper/Paper Towel 100
chairs 12
other furniture 1
Mirrors 20
bedmount Shelves 25
Bathroom Caddies 30
Kitchen Misc 80
binders 100
Notebooks/paper reems 50
Textbooks/packets 30
large storage/organization 15
small storage/organization 50
trash bin 20
Disposable plates/utinsels 1500
Mugs, cups, waterbottles 100
cleaning supplies 50
laundry detergent 30
hand sanitizer 20
Personal Care 150
Ironing boards and drying racks 5
Sporting goods 40
Brooms, hokies, swifters 8
Throw Rugs 6
Miscelaneous 100
TOTAL 8827

Let’s Celebrate our First Ever Sustainability Award Winners for 2022

Congratulations to the winners of the inaugural Sustainability Awards at Michigan Tech!

Kendra Lachcik (Undergraduate Student), Rose Daily (Graduate Student), Sarah Green (Faculty, Chemistry), and Larry Hermanson (Staff, Facilities) have all contributed mightily to sustainability efforts at Michigan Tech. Watch the following short video below to learn more about their work in sustainability at Michigan Tech.

Play 2022 Sustainability Award Winners video
Preview image for 2022 Sustainability Award Winners video

2022 Sustainability Award Winners

Husky Exchange 2022 – MTU’s Green Move-out Program

Have extra stuff at move out? Don’t throw it away, donate it!

The Husky Exchange is Michigan Tech’s green move-out program. With your help, we will gather reusable but unwanted items from residents as they move out of the residence halls in the spring, then store and sort the items and donate to local organizations or resell/giveaway the items back to students in the fall.  Together we can support students and the local community, divert waste from the landfill, and help build an awareness of sustainability at Michigan Tech. Last year, we collected over 3,000 items and kept more than a ton of materials out of the landfill!

When? Students can drop donations off anytime between Friday, April 22 and Sunday, May 1.

Where? There are eight drop off locations in the residence halls:

  • WADS (5): outside the Cafe on the ground floor, and in each of the centrally located kitchenettes (floors 2-5)
  • McNair (2): glass lounge outside the front desk (lobby) and the lobby area on ground floor east of the dining hall.
  • DHH (1): Connector space
  • Hillside (1): first floor kitchen near fireplace

What? The general rule is: if it’s clean and might be useful to someone, drop it off.

Partial list of items: pool noodles broomball sticks, non-perishable food, fans, lamps, storage and shelving, mirrors, office supplies, area rugs, electronics, laundered clothing, and small, clean, appliances.

Questions? email us at sustainability@mtu.edu

“Glasgow—Michigan Tech Agents of Change” with Dr. Sarah Green. March 21, 6pm

This week’s Husky Bites on Monday, March 21 is called “Glasgow—Michigan Tech Agents of Change,” with Chemistry Professor and Interim Dept. of Chemistry Chair Sarah Green, plus Jessica Daignault, who earned her PhD in Environmental Engineering at Michigan Tech in 2021, and current mechanical engineering PhD student Ayush Chutani. Dr. Green led a group of 9 Michigan Tech students and alumni to the UN International Climate Change Conference, COP26, last November.
We’ll learn what kinds of things go on at COP26, what it’s for, who goes, why we have observer status as a university (not many have it). We’ll hear about the outcomes from Glasgow, including the Glasgow climate pact and what it means. Dr. Green also has plans to possibly engage next year, at COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt. We will also celebrate leading up to World Water Day, which takes place the very next day, on Tuesday, March 22, 2022.
Dr. Green has served as a Jefferson Science Fellow in the U.S. State Department, and as co-chair for the Scientific Advisory Panel on the Sixth Global Environmental Outlook (GEO-6), United Nations Environment Programme. Her research includes all aspects of environmental chemistry, from molecular analytical methods to global climate change, as well as communicating about climate change. At Michigan Tech, she teaches Green Chemistry and Climate Science and Policy.
Links to stories and live feed
twitter
https://twitter.com/mtu_engineering/status/1504831802631880705

facebook
https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=495597902072218&id=109353424030003

Instagram
https://www.instagram.com/p/CbQN11EL3rS/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

blog
https://blogs.mtu.edu/engineering/2022/03/17/sarah-green-glasgow-michigan-tech-agents-of-change/

calendar listing
https://events.mtu.edu/event/glasgowmichigan_tech_agents_of_change?utm_campaign=widget&utm_medium=widget&utm_source=Michigan+Tech+Events+Calendar

Alumni Panel on Sustainability – March 2

On Wednesday, March 2 from 10-11 a.m. EST, join in for a discussion with five distinguished  alumni on how Michigan Tech can work with industry and alumni for a more sustainable future.  The meeting will be 100% virtual, and the Zoom link is open to all:  https://michigantech.zoom.us/j/86273210371

Stream Details

Dial-In Information

You are invited to a Zoom webinar.
When: Mar 2, 2022 10:00 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Topic: MTU Alumni Sustainability Panel

Please click the link below to join the webinar:
https://michigantech.zoom.us/j/86273210371

Or One tap mobile : 
    US: +16468769923,,86273210371#  or +13017158592,,86273210371# 
Or Telephone:
    Dial(for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location):
        US: +1 646 876 9923  or +1 301 715 8592  or +1 312 626 6799  or +1 669 900 6833  or +1 253 215 8782  or +1 346 248 7799 
Webinar ID: 862 7321 0371
    International numbers available: https://michigantech.zoom.us/u/kRmcAxBxL

Open House at the Sustainability Demonstration House – Thursday 2/10

Please join us for the Sustainability Open House on Thursday, February 10th from 4-7 pm over Winter Carnival weekend! Come learn about our sustainable systems including composting, hydroponics, aquaponics, a solar array, a beehive, energy-efficient appliances, a zero-waste household, and many more. In addition, guests will receive free sustainable swag. 


The Sustainability Demonstration House is located at 21680 Woodland Rd, just down the road from East McNair. Parking is available at East McNair, Hillside, and Lot 10E. Masks will be required indoors. 
Please see the attached flyer for more information. Feel free to email 

sdh@mtu.edu with any questions. We hope to see you there!

Announcing the first annual Frank Chernosky Campus Climate Ambassador Award!

We are thrilled to announce the competition for the first annual Frank Chernosky Campus Climate Ambassador Award that will support the development of Michigan Tech undergraduate students into the climate change leaders of tomorrow.  This alumni-funded award is named after Frank Chernosky, a former professor and advisor at Michigan Tech.  Mr. Chernosky was an early advocate for sustainability principles who impacted many students before dying tragically from a rare form of Heart Cancer in 1971.  This award in his name consists of three forms of student support: a partial tuition scholarship, funds for professional development and/or applied work, and a formal mentorship by campus and/or external professionals.  One recipient will be chosen annually.

The award for 2022-23 will be $8,000 – a scholarship amount of $6,400 spread over fall and spring semesters, and a professional development and applied work fund of up to $1,600 to be used by August 2023. Awardees will also receive active mentorship from campus and/or external professionals to help them develop networks and skills for their future work.  The overall timetable for the award is flexible to accommodate opportunities such as a co-op or internship.  Applicants and award recipients will solidify the details on the timing of the award, as well as the nature of mentorship and professional development, through the application process and dialogue with the committee.

To be considered, an applicant must be a full-time undergraduate student at Michigan Tech with the equivalent of at least three semesters of full-time enrollment at Michigan Tech by the fall of 2022. They must also have a minimum of two semesters of coursework remaining, though there is potential for flexibility to accommodate an internship or coop into the award timeframe.

Full details of the award and a link to the application are available in the PDF document below. Please send inquiries to Alan Turnquist at alturnqu@mtu.edu

Join us on January 27 to help craft a strategic plan for sustainability at Michigan Tech

The Office of Sustainability and Resilience invites you to participate in a public forum as part of a strategic planning process to develop campus sustainability goals that will lead us into the future.

The forum will take place in the MUB Alumni Lounge on January 27th. To maximize participation, there will be two back-to-back “identical” 75 minute sessions, one from 4:00 – 5:15 p.m., and another from 5:30 – 6:45 p.m. Director of Sustainability Alan Turnquist will begin each session with a brief overview of the motivations, process, and the draft framework before facilitating a discussion. Participants will have the opportunity to contribute to broader visioning, as well as provide specific comments on targets and timelines.

There are other opportunities for public input, including a second public forum planned for April 15 from 4-7 p.m. in the alumni lounge. There is also Google Form on the MTU sustainability website where anyone with an @mtu address can comment throughout the semester.

Please send any questions or comments to sustainability@mtu.edu

MTU recognized in the 2021 Sustainable Campus Index

Michigan Tech was highlighted in the Sustainable Campus Index for contributions to the L’Anse Community Solar Project. This work brought together a team of engineering researchers and students from the Alternative Energy Enterprise, advised by Jay Meldrum, to work with local and state partners to bring solar to the Community of L’Anse, while meeting the needs of lower income residents. The project successfully installed 340 panels and had a 100% subscription rate after six months. Read more about the project (see page 55) and other important sustainability milestones from around the country in the 2021 Sustainable Campus Index.

The Sustainable Campus Index highlights innovative and high-impact sustainability initiatives from institutions that participate in the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Reporting (STARS) program. Michigan Tech earned a Silver rating in their first STARS submission in October of 2020.