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December, 2011:

December 5th Sustainability tip of the Week!

Hello Campus Community,


Here is your December 5th Sustainability Tip of the Week. This week’s tip on reusing the plastic bottle caps is brought to you by Carabeth Stevenson. Thank you Carabeth!! (P.S. Carabeth is not an official member of the sustainability committee but she offered up a great tip this week, so with that in mind if you all have other tips to share please feel free to forward them to me). Click the link below to see how to reuse those plastic bottle caps.




Enjoy a wonderful holiday.

October 2011 Meeting Minutes

Sustainability Committee Meeting



In Attendance:

Janel Spaulding, Natural Resources Dept.

Adrienne Roush, Library

David Mills, GHAB

Gary Hay, ASGHC

Lynn Siedenstrang, Math/Science Dept.

Erik Sandgren, Art Dept.

Kathy Barker, Transition Programs

Todd Bates, Natural Resources Dept.

Kenji Seta, Math Dept.




1) Introductions

2) Review of past committee work

3) New Projects

4) Sustainability Tip of the Week Sign-Up

5) Planning for Upcoming Projects/Events

a. Campus Sustainability Day

b. Earth Day, 2012

6) Next Meeting


Meeting Notes:

1) Introductions:

Everyone provided self-introductions.


2) Review of past committee work:

The Grays Harbor College Institutional Footprint Project was mentioned as a project completed a couple of years ago by AmeriCorps volunteers in the Coastal Resources Learning Center. This project was meant to serve as a starting point to more formally pursue sustainability at Grays Harbor College by informing and educating the college and community of where GHC is currently at and a vision for the future. The Institutional Footprint Project can be found on the Sustainability Blog at GHC:


The Sustainability Action Plan was developed by AmeriCorps volunteers in the Coastal Resources Learning Center and the Sustainability Committee. This plan was meant to be a supplement to the Institutional Footprint Project that called out specific action items the Sustainability Committee could take the lead on. There were 9 action steps called out in the Sustainability Action Plan. The Plan can be found on the Sustainability Blog at GHC:


The Sustainability Committee has been instrumental in planning and organizing the Annual Earth Day Celebration at the College. Last year we had an Earth Day Fair in the HUB with a variety of hands-on exhibitors and activities from the campus community and our local community as well. We also held a work day on the trails with local school kids and Todd’s forestry program students led the trail activities.


3) New Projects:

The Sustainability Committee has not yet developed a mission statement. It was suggested that the group’s first step this year should be to develop a mission statement. Each member will think about their definition of sustainability and what she be entailed in a mission statement for the committee and will bring their ideas back to the next Sustainability Committee Meeting.


It was also suggested to align the mission statement goals with what was presented in the GHC Accreditation Report on Sustainability review at the College. The section discussing sustainability can be found under Chapter 4, Objective 4 starting on pg 111.


Janel will meet with President Brewster to have a further discussion on what the mission statement and/or goals of the Committee might be.


4) Sustainability Tip of the Week Sign-Up:

A sign-up sheet was sent around the room for members to sign up to develop a Sustainability Tip of the Week. The Tip of the Week gets emailed out to the campus community every Monday. Past Tips have included: bottled water vs. tap water, energy efficient light bulbs, energy efficiency in the home, sustainable gardening, the importance of forests, carbon footprints, etc. Please email your tip to Janel by the date you sign up for (or earlier) and she will send it out to the campus on that date. For example, if you sign up for November 28th she needs your tip by the morning of the 28th so she can email it out in the afternoon.


Here are the dates that everyone signed up for and the dates with no name means we need someone to do a tip for this week:


October 31st, 2011: Janel Spaulding

November 7th, 2011: Kenji Seta

November 14th, 2011: Adrienne Roush

November 21st, 2011: Kathy Barker

November 28th, 2011:

December 5th, 2011: Erik Sandgren

January 9th, 2012:

January 16th, 2012: Todd Bates

January 23rd, 2012: Cal Erwin-Svoboda

January 30th, 2012: Lynn Siedenstrang

February 6th, 2012: Gary Hay

February 13th, 2012: Adrienne Roush

February 20th, 2012: Erik Sandgren

February 27th, 2012:

March 5th, 2012:

March 12th, 2012: Gary Hay

March 19th, 2012:

April 9th, 2012: Kathy Barker

April 16th, 2012: Cal Erwin-Svoboda

April 23rd, 2012: David Mills

April 30th, 2012:

May 7th, 2012: Janel Spaulding

May 14th, 2012: David Mills

May 21st, 2012: Adrienne Roush

May 28th, 2012: Todd Bates

June 4th, 2012:

June 11th, 2012: Cal Erwin-Svoboda

June 18th, 2012:


As you can see there are still many dates available so please sign up if you have not already done so.


5) Planning for Upcoming Projects/Events:

The Committee expressed interest in doing a Campus Sustainability Day, but not on the National Day as it is scheduled for October 26th and there was not enough time to pull something together. The Committee will think about doing an event in the Winter Quarter.


The Committee expressed interest in taking the lead in coordinating next year’s (2012) Earth Day Celebration. The group will work on organizing that event over the coming months. The event will likely be a similar format to last year which included an Earth Day Fair in the HUB and a work day on the trails on campus.


6) Next Meeting:

The next Sustainability Committee Meeting is scheduled for Thursday, November 14th at 3pm in the Choker Dining Room in the HUB. Janel will send out an email with agenda when the date gets a little closer.


November 28th, and 14th Sustainability Tips of the Week

Here is your November 28th Sustainability Tip of the Week. This week’s tip on Thanksgiving and other upcoming Holidays is brought to you by Kathy Barker. Thank you Kathy!!


1.       Celebrate locally- Stay close to home and reduce your carbon footprint.

2.       Keep the food simple- Serve basics for the meal; this will cut down on food waste and amount of electricity used in food preparation.

3.       Buy local produce.

4.       Use natural materials to decorate- Use squash, pears, pinecones, autumn leaves, and raffia.

5.       Use cloth napkins.

6.       Thrift store shop- Save on items that are only used once or twice per year, like gravy boats and candle holders.

7.       Use beeswax or soy candles- Save on lighting (but stay away from petroleum-based paraffin candles).

8.       Compost your vegetable scraps- Next summer’s garden will thank you.

9.       Keep the TV off- Instead, go for a before or after-meal walk outside.


*Source: EarthFirst



Here is your November 14th Sustainability Tip of the Week. This week’s tip on cloth napkins and wash cloths is brought to you by Adrienne Roush. Thank you Adrienne!!


Use cloth napkins and wash cloths! Wipe paper napkins and paper towels out of your life. Cloth napkins are fairly inexpensive and can usually be used for more than one meal, so washing them is not a large burden on your laundry pile. If you worry about having nice looking napkins for company, keep an extra set just for special occasions.



This week’s tip on the GH PUD rebate program is brought to you by Kenji Seta. Thank you Kenji!!


PUD Rebate Program.


  • ·         Money!!!  PUD offers rebates or low interest loans to improve the energy efficiency of your home, such as heat pumps, windows, or insulation.  Not only will these make your home greener, but will save you money on energy costs.


  • ·         First Step:  Talk to the PUD first.  You will have to have a preliminary energy audit done first before you can get any rebates or loans.


  • ·         One or the requirements for the rebates or loans is that your primary heating source must already be electric.


  • ·         My problem:  I have an oil heater.  And it does get expensive – heating oil is running about $4 a gallon.  Therefore, I don’t qualify for $1000 rebate or $10000 loan to get a heat pump.  And I don’t qualify for any other rebates or loans either.


  • ·         Solution:  I pay out of pocket for part of the heat pump system, the air handler which can be equipped with an electric heating element.  Now I have electric heating and I qualify for the loan or rebate to have the rest of the heat pump installed.  And I can now get all the other loans/rebates as well.


  • ·         You can find more info on these programs at

GHC Earth Day Celebration

Hello Campus Community,

The Sustainability Committee is hosting the Annual Earth Day Celebration on Tuesday, April 17th. Activities begin at 9:00am with an invasive species talk by Grays Harbor Noxious Weed Coordinator Nancy Ness in Room 316. Starting at 10:00am in the HUB and Fireside Room we will have an Earth Day Fair, featuring information booths from local organizations, a free clothing exchange hosted by GHAB, and then at Noon a free showing of the film “Dive” in the Choker Dining Room. From Noon-2:00pm, there will be an invasive species removal on campus trails led by Todd Bates’ forestry students. Tools and gloves will be provided for people participating in the invasive species removal. Also, as part of the free clothing exchange we are requesting clothing donations. If you have any used clothes you’d like to donate please feel free to drop them off at my office in Room 318A this week and into next week too. I’ve attached a flyer above with more information on this event. I hope that you all can attend this wonderful event and encourage your students to attend as well. Let’s celebrate Earth Day!!!!

Thank you,



All of the links on the top of the sustainability blog homepage have been fixed, and now work.

The About/Contact Page

Meeting Minutes

Tip of the Week


More posts to come soon….

Campus Life Test1

To be continued…