Sustainability Action Team Hosts E-Waste Collection Site

On April 16, 2013 by Grad Forum

sustainability_action_feature_editedThe Sustainability Action Team (SAT) is a newly formed arm of the Dartmouth Graduate Student Council (GSC) concerned with providing a voice for sustainability efforts and awareness in the Dartmouth graduate community. During Earth Week 2013, on April 23, the group will be hosting their first event, an e-waste collection site, in collaboration with the Dartmouth Office of Sustainability.

SAT members are graduate students in programs ranging from earth science and engineering to public health. They share an interest in contributing to sustainability efforts at Dartmouth. These sustainability efforts include education regarding current ecological issues as well as simple practices in which the Dartmouth community, both individually and collectively, can engage. More than just a platform for philosophizing and debating, team members envision a Sustainability Action Team that does as the name implies by focusing time together on ways to help the Dartmouth community become more sustainable.

What does becoming more sustainable mean? For SAT, becoming more sustainable begins with a realization that how humans choose to interact with the earth is a real determining factor in the future availability of resources and the health of life on this planet. Once that awareness is reached, we are in a position to start thinking of ways to lessen the negative and emphasize the positive impacts we have on local, as well as global, ecosystems.

Originally envisioned by earth sciences PhD candidate and GSC Vice President Justin Richardson, the Sustainability Action Team first came together as part of a breakout session at the December 2012 GSC meeting. The first meeting demonstrated that individual members of the team have given significant thought to issues of sustainability and that there was plenty of momentum among team members to define goals and to execute a plan based on a shared vision.

What is that shared vision? Primarily, it is that the Dartmouth graduate community is capable of making a meaningful and measurable difference. In addition, SAT members recognize that collaborative effort should be emphasized; sustainability efforts at Dartmouth have the benefit of much existing organizational infrastructure, such as the Dartmouth Sustainability Project, the Sustainable Living Center, and the Tuck School of Business student group, Tuck Sustains. Sustainability Action Team members have already met with personnel from the Office of Sustainability and are hopeful about collaborating with other student groups to pool efforts and resources.

It is probably fair to say that most of the team members are not planning to devote their careers exclusively to the fight for a more sustainable world. However, they recognize that living sustainably does not require a career commitment. Living sustainably requires simple awareness of the impact of human activity on the various systems that make up the earth, and a willingness to learn how to be wise stewards of our planet and its resources.  At Dartmouth, SAT members believe that making a meaningful and measurable difference is possible even with their multiple other commitments. SAT members believe it so much, in fact, that they’d like to invite you to their first event!

In celebration of Earth Week 2013, the GSC Sustainability Action Team is collaborating with the Dartmouth Office of Sustainability to host an e-waste collection site on April 23 in front of the Fairchild Science Complex (Fayerweather Hill Rd). The event will be from 11 am to 3 pm (or until they reach their weight limit of 1000 pounds). This event is completely free. Acceptable items include electronic waste, such as cell phones, computers, monitors, TVs, and microwaves. (They will not accept any refrigerating units—for example a mini fridge.)

Future SAT plans include visiting Dartmouth Organic Farm and working to encourage graduate students to green their workspaces and homes, through sponsoring activities such as herb/planter gardening classes. Be sure to check out the GSC events page for the latest updates!

by Spencer Hatch

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