Archive for July, 2012

Sustainability at CWRU

Most students and people on campus have probably seen the big recycling bins on campus, along with posters for Recyclemania and many other recycling initiatives, but what are Case and affiliated companies doing to help take care of the Earth?  I wanted to know so I met with Stephanie Corbett, Director of Sustainability here at CWRU, to talk about what’s happening on campus and she gave some really cool insight and information about all the of the recycling and sustainable efforts happening on campus that most of us probably don’t even know about!

Yeah-we all see the recycling bins that come in the dorms or are all around campus (fun fact: there are nearly as many recycling bins on campus as trash cans so saying recycling is too inconvenient is not a valid excuse!), but there is so much more going on.  Case is endeavoring on a Climate Action Plan that will have the campus entirely carbon neutral by 2050! And while that may seem like a long time from now, they have many short term goals and milestones along the way to help achieve this massive goal of being carbon and energy neutral! Some buildings on campus (the Village at 115, Tomlinson and others) are also certified by the US Green Building Council for being energy efficient which, I think, is a really great feature of this university! There are also student groups such as the Student Sustainability Council, and groups, called Green Teams, for faculty and staff to learn more about green programs on campus and how they can help the cause by making small changes as part of everyday life. And this is just the tip of the iceberg as to what Case has going on- if you want to know more about their efforts, check out some of the links below!

The benefits of recycling and the sustainability effort can really be broken down into 3 categories: People, Planet and Profit. Here are some highlights from each category:

*Living in a cleaner space, especially in a big city like Cleveland, is obviously beneficial to our health.  The School of Nursing, for example, has recognized this as part of the holistic health perspective and has a lot of sustainable practices in place.
*Cuyahoga county has also run out of room for all the garbage we accrue- currently it’s being dumped in other counties so if we recycle more, it benefits us and our neighbors!
*The recycling/sustainability industry is one of the largest in Ohio. So by recycling more, we are helping the industry grow which creates more local jobs to help the economy.
*Many things we might consider trash can be “upcycled” and recreated into some really cool products which also creates jobs and brings in money to Cleveland. Check out http://hipcycle.com/ for some really cool ideas, although I’m sure you can find tons of information like this on the internet!

It’s awesome that departments, student groups and CWRU people are doing so much to help the environment, but Bon Appetit also has many sustainable programs in place! They may not be completely visible when dining because despite their brochures or flyers highlighting many of their initiatives, when the food looks so good who is really stopping to read about them?! So I’ll tell you about them because I think it is truly amazing and commendable:

~Their chickens and turkeys are raised without antibiotics in their feed
~Hamburgers are made from natural raised beef- that means there are no antibiotics or added growth hormones in the food
~Seafood practices follow the sustainability guidelines of the Monterey Bay’s Seafood Watch Program
~They purchase fresh produce from as many local farmers and vendors as possible
~Eggs produced are cage-free and Certified Humane
~All milk and yogurt comes from cows not treated with artificial Bovine Growth Hormone

Bon Appetit also has two composting programs in place, which is unique since most places just have one.  Any plant material that would be considered waste when preparing food, Bon Appetit sends to the University Farms which gets composted and turned back into food! And the material the Farm won’t take, such as meat and bread, Bon Appetit puts in the extra effort to have an outside company gather the waste so that it can be composted.  A lot more work goes into this than what meets the eye and all of it helps our environment more than we can imagine!

To learn more about all of the initiatives Bon Appetit has in place, check out their website: http://www.cafebonappetit.com/ and click on any of the links on the left side to read about all of these porgrams! There is tons of information on their site explaining the programs more in depth…You might be surprised at what you learn 🙂 They also have many links to the resources they use as well!

So if you’re even slightly interested in this stuff, I encourage you to learn more about it and get involved! The following links can be very helpful

http://www.case.edu/climateactionplan/index.html
https://twitter.com/GreenCWRU
http://www.facebook.com/CWRUSustainability

And save the date of September 6 from 12-3:30: The Inamori Ethics Prize will be awarded to David Suzuki who will be giving a speech, followed by the EcoShowcase right on campus!

Smoothie Review

Are you looking for a refreshing dessert that may be a little healthier than a sundae or milkshake?

I’m always up for a healthy dessert, so I wanted to see what University Circle had to offer! Considering not all students want to go too far from campus, I decided to try Tropical Smoothie, Liquid Planet, and Denny’s AllNighter (the last 2 are both right on campus!).  So here’s what I found:

 

Tropical Smoothie: The nutrition information for all of their food, including smoothies, is available online but the information isn’t so good :/ While they have a lot of options, including “supercharged smoothies” and low-fat options, they are all extremely high in sugar! And while most desserts do contain a lot of sugar, it’s something we should all be careful of. There are healthier alternatives, but if you’re looking for something super sweet, you can try here.

 

Liquid Planet: This off-campus restaurant has a lot of smoothie offerings! They have many add-ins such as protein, fruit juices and herbs.  It’s debatable if many of these extras are actually worth the cost, but they are available.  Liquid Planet also has many options that have less sugar, but unfortunately more fat.  A lot of the smoothies that they advertise to provide energy really just means it has a lot of calories-so beware! But if you’re looking for a smoothie with a lot of protein, you’ll have a lot of options here.

 

Denny’s AllNighter: Located right on North side, any student looking for a good, healthy snack should look no farther!  Denny’s offers a lot of smoothies that are lower in calories, fat and sugar; which is good for your health and they’re still delicious! Made with fresh, real fruit, these smoothies offer a lot more benefits than smoothies loaded with fat and sugar, such as great fiber content and many of the antioxidant properties in fruits.

 

So if I had to choose, I’d go with Denny’s. Its right on campus, offers much healthier options, and the smoothies are delicious! But if you’re craving a smoothie, there are plenty of options right around campus.