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  • Sustainable Spring Cleaning

    April 30, 2019 at 4:24 pm

    Spring has finally arrived, which means it’s time to do some spring cleaning! To help students clean out their closets in a sustainable way, the Sustainability Office recently hosted the Repair Fair and the Free & For Sale Frenzy. Through the Repair Fair, students were able to bring broken items including electronics, clothing, and bikes to be fixed by community members and other students. At the Free & For Sale Frenzy, students had the opportunity to sell their clothes and buy other students’ clothes, similar to a pop-up consignment shop.

    Both events were huge successes, in part due to all the amazing volunteers that helped out. Personally, I got my bike repaired (it was in bad shape after the winter!) and I sold a top and got 3 new shirts! My fellow STA (Sustainability Assistant) Rebecca McCartney was similarly enthusiastic, stating, “It was a wonderful opportunity to revitalize my closet in a closed-circuit way that promotes sustainable consumerism.”

    Often times, students are confused that the Sustainability Office is the organization hosting the Repair Fair and Free & For Sale Frenzy. I think this is because people do not always make the connection that repurposing items can be sustainable as they are diverted from the landfill. The main goal of these events is to disrupt the linear consumption economy–the idea that when you buy a new item, you use it until you no longer want/need it or it breaks, and then you throw it away. However, there are so many easy and creative ways to repair and repurpose items, or relocate them to other people who may have a better use for them. As the old saying goes, "one person’s trash is another person’s treasure." This gets at the heart of the Free & For Sale Frenzy’s purpose, as an old piece of one student's wardrobe can be a new asset to another student's.

    The Repair Fair was intended to not only help repair students' items but also teach students how to repair things. The goal is that students learn how to fix various items, or who to reach out to if an item is broken, so they can make more sustainable consumption decisions in the future. 

    The Sustainability Office hopes to continue hosting both events at least once a year, due to their popular demand. In the meantime, happy spring cleaning!

  • "Trash Talking" at Carleton Football Games

    February 4, 2019 at 4:29 pm

    Did the Superbowl bring out some football season nostalgia? Learn more about the waste contamination prevention efforts that were going on during Carleton's home games! 

    If you’re a Carleton football fan, you may have noticed a few changes in Laird Stadium this fall. The tailgating area got a new triple bin, and each of the existing triple bins got a student or two (nicknamed “trash talkers” ) stationed nearby to answer questions about Carleton’s waste sorting system. Rob Nechanicky, our Custodial Services Supervisor shared some thoughts on our newest moves toward Zero Waste Athletics.

  • That’s Rubbish! Compost Myths: Busted.

    October 25, 2018 at 1:25 pm

    People often assume that composting is this impactless way of returning unlimited amounts of food waste to the earth and restarting the cycle — or that it’s impossible to produce too much waste as long as it’s compostable. This is not accurate. Facilities like this one can handle large volumes of waste, but it is currently running at capacity. Compost is a great option, but any kind of waste management is going to have an impact on the ecosystem.

  • The Bald Spot Museum of Art

    “Bald Spot Museum of Art” Launches Inaugural Exhibition

    August 31, 2018 at 2:00 pm

    The Bald Spot Museum of Art, a temporary institution operating during the construction of Carleton’s Geothermal Energy system, announces its inaugural (and likely only) exhibition on the South Wall of its green-plastic covered fence, facing the Chapel. Landscape and Labor, a gallery installation by Carleton art professor David Lefkowitz runs from September 1 through November 20, 2018.

  • Sustainability Update 2017-2018

    July 31, 2018 at 4:48 pm

    The 2017-2018 year was full of new and exciting projects and events from our office, some highlights:
    Click here for more information about the Sustainability report for fiscal year 2018.

    Points of Intervention Tour

    The Points of Intervention Tour was in partnership with the Post-Landfill Action Network, the CCCE Office, Convocations Committee, Custodial Services, Bon Appetit, Environmental Advisory Committee, Zero Waste Task Force, & Dick’s Sanitation (Carleton’s waste hauler). The tour stop consisted of a convocation panel presentation entitled, “Challenging the Linear Consumption Economy” followed by a Repair Fair where volunteer fixers helped over 80 people repair bikes, clothing, small electronics and musical instruments that may have otherwise been destined for the landfill.

    Free & For Sale Frenzy

    The Free & For Sale Frenzy was built upon the existing Free & For Sale Facebook page on campus. Students can post when they would like to sell something, then it’s first come first serve to claim it. The Sustainability Assistants worked to consolidate this process into a one-day shopping frenzy! Over 100 students participated with over 1,200 articles of clothing.

    Utility Master Plan, Year I

    This past year, campus has been undergoing a transformation to replace our out-dated steam system with geothermal energy. Progress in year I includes: 

    • Converted Cassat, James, Myers to operate on 120 degree F supply water
    • Isolated Faculty Club on its own boiler
    • Completed Bell Field and Mini Bald Spot geothermal bore fields
    • East Energy Station constructed and equipment installed

    For more information on the Utility Master Plan, please visit

    Click here for more information about the Sustainability report for fiscal year 2018.

  • Goodbye Seniors

    May 2, 2018 at 2:13 pm

    A goodbye to the senior STAs.

  • PLAN Points of Intervention Tour and Community Repair Fair

    March 20, 2018 at 11:18 am

    Read more about the events of the Post-Landfill Action Network's national Points of Intervention tour and Carleton's Community Repair Fair!

  • Post-Landfill Action Network’s Points of Intervention Tour

    March 7, 2018 at 1:04 pm

    Points of Intervention Tour

  • Climate Action Week 2018

    February 5, 2018 at 2:31 pm

    Climate Action Week is coming soon!

  • President Steven Poskanzer

    A Smart Investment

    August 23, 2017 at 10:38 am

    You’re likely to find backhoes and construction workers on the Carleton campus every summer. But this year we’re particularly busy as we begin to implement the first phase of the Utilities Master Plan, approved by the trustees this past fall.

  • Reasons to Bike to Work

    May 22, 2017 at 3:15 pm

    The benefits of biking to work.