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Sunday is the 48th Annual Earth Day

April 22 marks the 48th year of Earth Day. Ever wondered about the history of Earth Day? This  1970 CBS News Special with Walter Cronkite goes in-depth about that very first Earth Day, with surprisingly familiar themes to today.

Calling all ideas!
If you have an idea for how to make Brandeis more sustainable, submit it here!

Today: The Changing Face of Global Recycling
Join us today, Tuesday, April 17!
The session will be offered twice
: Once from 11 – 11:50 A.M. and again from 12-12:50 P.M.
Shapiro Campus Center 313

Back by popular demand! This session will answer all of your questions about recycling! Snacks will be provided (please BYO beverage).

While the global recycling market has been impacted by recent decisions in China, Brandeis has partnered with Republic Services to handle our waste. This session will present new information about recycling today, and answer your questions.

Come take a virtual tour of our recycling facility, learn what can and can't be recycled on campus and hear how the changes in the market will affect Brandeis in presentations by Mary Fischer with Gretchen Carey of Republic Services.

Strides in Food Waste Collection
It's always best to avoid wasting food in the first place. But when we can't, composting that waste is the next best option we have. Here are a few ways we're making strides.
Springfest Aims for Zero Waste
With new zero-waste stations for outdoor events, and because of our new partnership with Black Earth Compost, Brandeis now has an outlet for compostable items, such as the cups made from the bioplastic PLA that Springfest will be using at this year's event. The event will feature Brandeis' new outdoor waste stations (example left) which include compost receptacles. Both the compostable cup and waste station purchases were made possible by the Brandeis Sustainability Fund.
Compost Collection Expands to Heller
The Heller Environmental Justice Working Group applied for a grant from the Brandeis Sustainability Fund to purchase new indoor compost bins and compostable bags. Key to the partnership was the ability to add Heller as a compost pickup location for our hauler. The Office of Graduate Student Affairs will also be stepping up their composting efforts, using a new indoor bin and utilizing the compost pickup location existing outside Kutz. Brandeis now has four compost pickup areas, including Usdan, Sherman, Kutz and Heller. Read more about it in the Hoot.
Coming Soon: New Waste Stations in Large Event Spaces
With a grant from the Brandeis Sustainability Fund, Brandeis will be purchasing new waste stations for our large event spaces in Usdan and Sherman. This will leverage the existing composting capacity at both locations, and bring the ability for events to request that the waste stations utilize the compost bin in addition do the recycling and bin of last resort, including when event organizers order from the new Green Events Menu
Another way to reduce food waste
Help reduce food waste and insecurity by utilizing the Brandeis Free Food Facebook Group.  Post about free/leftover food (with location) to inform fellow students. You can also share leftovers at the Graduate Student Center (Kutz Hall).
Give & Go Starts May 1
Our annual Give & Go program will begin on April 30. Students will be able to drop off donatable items to various collection locations in residence halls instead of putting them in the trash. Last year we diverted approximately 3 tons of donatable items from the trash. This year we hope to double that. More info for students will be coming soon.

Left: Truck packed with donations from last year's Give & Go.
Earth Month Topic: Bottled Water
Offices at Brandeis consume over 3,000 gallons of bottled water per year, at an average cost of almost $9 per gallon. The cost of a gallon of water from the tap is about 3 cents.

How much does your water cost?
Average cost per gallon (including the cost of rented dispensing equipment):
  • Dasani (individual bottle on campus): $11 per gallon
  • Poland Springs (5 gal bottle): $8.86 per gallon
  • Rented tap water dispenser/cooler with filter: $6.30 per gallon
  • Tap water: $0.03 per gallon
If your office or department currently purchases Poland Spring water bottles, you may be able to save money -- and reduce climate change -- by switching to a filtered cooler that connects to a tap water line or using a filtered pitcher. You can save even more by eliminating it altogether and going straight with tap water. 
Inquire about making the switch
Did you know?
  • Bottled water is less regulated than tap water, and is not by any means free of contaminants found in tap water.
  • Unlike Brandeis' source of water, the Massachusets Water Resources Authority, which is required to test for contaminants frequently and disclose the results to the public, the bottled water industry can hide the results of its testing. The MWRA tests water daily and publishes those results online.
  • Analysis by the Pacific Institute, a global water think tank, found that it takes up to 2,000 times more energy to produce bottled water than tap water. It takes energy to make the bottles, fill them with water and ship them. That energy -- and the bottles -- are derived from fossil fuel.
  • Over 40% of bottled water in the US is just filtered municipal water, some of which, such as Dasani, often comes from the most drought-ridden areas of the country

Find the best water filter 

Top 5 reasons to choose tap water over bottled water

The Story of Bottled Water: How manufactured demand pushes what we don't need and destroys what we need most  (Short film)
Get Involved
Interested in joining a group on campus to act on sustainability issues important to you? Find links and contact info for all campus sustainability-related groups here, including the Staff Action Team on Climate Change, the Student Senate Sustainability CommitteeFaculty Against the Climate Threat, and more.
Copyright © 2018 Sustainable Brandeis, All rights reserved.

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