Face it... green looks good on you.
From energy conservation to educating fellow Spartans about the importance of waste reduction, faculty, staff and students are showing off their school spirit by being Spartan green. Take a look at how they are making a difference every day.
Each month we will feature one spartan in each area who Reduces, Reuses, Researches, Rethinks, and Redesigns. To see all the other Face-It stories, check out our other Face-It pages.
|Reduce Stories||Reuse/Recycle Stories||Research/Reeducate Stories||Rethink Stories||Redesign Stories|
|Lynda Boomer||Christina Tucker||Amol Pavangadkar||Marci Baranski||Diane Barker|
|David Graff||David Kone||Joydeep Mitra||Claire Kolumban||Kathleen Peshek|
|Mizu Yu||Tim Heckaman||Vance Kincaid II||Lauren Olson|
|Kallie McConkie||Marcus Coleman||Matt Powers|
|Sgt. Florene McGlothian-Taylor||Sean Barton||Skye Black|
|Rebecca Kegler||Christine Carter|
Born and raised in China, Muzi Yu also known as Mumu knows how important it is to reduce our environmental impact. Mumu has been very enthusiastic about "going green" and sharing her stories of how Chinese people reduce the consumption of energy, water and waste.
With a population of over 1 billion people, China has a large impact on the environment. Just like in China, Mumu brings her own silverware or uses reusable chopsticks. She takes her water in bottles or mugs so she doesn't have to use disposable cups.
As Mumu grew up, she walked 30 minutes every day to her elementary school, middle school and high school. Eighty (80) percent of her hometown did not drive cars - instead people took buses, subways, bikes, or walked. At MSU, Mumu continues to reduce waste by using reusable bags and bottles and turning off her lights when she leaves. She takes the bus to and from her apartment on to campus and gets plenty of exercise walking around campus and to work.
Mumu's Grandma also taught her some special tips to save water and energy. She would make the best use of every drop of the water in her house. She would first use the water to clean the vegetables before she cooks them, then use the water again to wash the dishes. And Mumu used to be disciplined by her Grandma if she left the lights or any electronic devices on when she left the room.
While at MSU, being Spartan green comes naturally. And best of all, she knows that her Grandma would be proud of her!
Reuse and Recycle
A few years ago recycling was the furthest thing from the mind of Marcus Coleman. Marcus attended Southern University, a historically black university in Louisiana, where recycling wasn't readily available. "At our school, students did not really focus on recycling because resources were limited. It wasn't a big deal like it is at Michigan State University. We as students just were not educated institutionally on the importance of recycling."
When Marcus began his Masters program in Agriculture, Food and Resource Economics at MSU, his attitude about recycling changed.
"Recycling was readily available and convenient. The recycling bins are right outside my office door. You can literally trip over them as you walk in the hallway."
In addition to the containers everywhere, he was constantly being educated through posters and signs on the recycling bins on what and how to recycle. The extra $0.10 back from the grocery store also helped.
As a student in a sustainable agriculture field, he sees the importance of conservation.
"It's good to make use of resources over and over again instead of using new ones. This helps to make our environment sustainable for years to come. This also helps to ensure that the children of the future have a clean and attractive environment to live in."
Now Marcus recycles paper, cans, and everything in between. He plans on continuing his new 'green' behavior after he leaves MSU.
Research and Reeducate
How does Amol Pavangadkar, multi-media expert and Communications Arts & Sciences instructor, teach students about environmental stewardship? Simple, he leads by example.
Pavangadkar, like many instructors balances teaching obligations with developing new projects and proposals and looking for funding. He also knows how important it is to help students prepare for a "green" future. As a result environmental stewardship is incorporated into his classes through simple actions.
Because Pavangadkar's classes work with specialized production equipment, he shows students how to use simple steps to manage power use. Additionally, all assignments and grading are done electronically to minimize paper consumption.
Should you visit his office, you will see a nearly paperless office, with his reusable water bottle perched on his desk. He also takes advantage of the natural light in his space to work.
By incorporating simple acts into his lectures,Pavangadkar'sis teaching his students about environmental stewardship andhow to incorporate it into their lives and their future professions.
With a laundry list of community engagement activities and experiences under her belt, Marci has lead in a diverse range of sustainability projects throughout her time at MSU.
She has traveled to Bangladesh for study abroad and organized a bike ride from Michigan to D.C. for climate change advocacy. She has lead in organizations like MSU’s Eco, Women’s Council, and the Michigan Student Sustainability Coalition (MSSC).
Rooted in activism Marci believes that her passion for the environment has been following her around since the 1st grade when she saw a recycling video in class and begged her parents to recycle more than just their newspaper.
“Honestly it’s always been a part of my personality,” she said “I want to push myself to make as much change as I possibly can.”
Thinking about the long-run in her day-to- day life, Marci uses a reusable water bottle, recycles everything she can, and rides her bike to work every day. She was recently the subject of a commuting video, showing viewers just how easy it is to go green and get exercise on your way to work.
Riding in her work attire Marci said she hopes the video reduces skepticism. “If I can do it in high heels anyone can.”
At MSU, Marci has worked on a wide range of environmental issues including energy, agriculture, environmental justice and transportation.
“I think it’s important for students to realize that what you do outside the classroom is sometimes more important than what you do inside.”
Drawing connections to women’s issues and the environment, organizing critical mass bike trips to the state and national capitals and leading in the MSSC’s steering committee, Marci is dedicated to outreach and education.
“To see my own university taking leadership has inspired me to do the same,” she said. “It’s great to be biking around and see the Be Spartan Green flag.”
"No one owns the light"
When imagining a sustainable office spaces you may think of grass spouting from the floors and criminal punishment for excess paper use. When it was time to update the Finance and Operations and Investment and Financial Management suite after over 30 years, Christine Carter and others had a tall task.
Christine, along with the finance and operations staff, investments and financial management staff, Herman Miller, the MSU Physical Plant and MSU Interior Design were charged with designing an open, collaborative, environmentally friendly space.
The VPFO office's "greening" is in the details. 'No one owns the light' was the mantra for construction. Natural light flows into the entire office area through the utilization of glass dividers as opposed to cubicles. Lighting controls were installed so that if someone leaves their office for more than a few minutes, their lights automatically turn off.
The office made sure their conference rooms were equipped with the proper technology for video conferencing to minimize traveling. But if anyone in the office does need to go to a meeting nearby, the keys to two office bikes, rented from MSU Bikes are available.
On the user side, every office has a Watt Stopper, or a device that automatically turns off the equipment plugged into it after it senses that no one has been in the office. Recycled products were also used in the remodel and one need not go far to find a recycling container. All of the old furniture was sent to the MSU Surplus Store and the new Herman Miller furniture was made out of recycled materials.
Most importantly is the message of sustainable work practices that resonates through the office. All employees are encouraged to reduce, reuse and recycle as much as possible. By establishing an environmental message in the work place, energy use and waste has been significantly reduced.
The space helps enhance collaboration and communication as a more inclusive work environment and sets an example of how renovations can incorporate environmental practices.