Thursday, November 21, 2013

Third Annual America Recycles Day at SC

The Green Team hosted the third annual America Recycles Day competition on November 15. The  event helps raise awareness of recycling and gets the SC students involved in the campus recycling efforts.

Activities during the America Recycles Day event included a pledge drive in which 44 SC students pledges to recycle more items. The day also included a recycling and sculpture competition in which 6 campus organizations signed up to compete. The sculpture portion of the competition challenged organizations to create a sculpture out of recyclable materials and display in on the library lawn. Tonebuilders won the sculpture competition with an impressive cardboard piano sculpture.

The recycling competition challenged organizations to collect as much recycling as they could from Nov. 4-15 and display it all on the library lawn. The Worship Outreach team collected the most recycling to claim first prize. The overall winner of the America Recycles Day competition, however, was Leadership Southwestern. The "Ships" placed second in both the bulk recycling competition and the sculpture competition to claim the overall championship.

Green Team Southwestern Purchases Water Bottle Filling Stations

Green Team Southwestern has purchased eight Elkay EZH20 Bottle Filling Stations to be installed around the Southwestern College campus. Thus far, four of the units have been installed and are operational in the Deets Library, the lower level of the Christy Administration Building, the Darbeth Fine Arts building and the lobby of Stewart Fieldhouse.

“We purchased these filling stations in order to promote the use of refillable cups and bottles instead of bottled drinking water,” says Jason Speegle, director of Green Team Southwestern.  “We received 500 customized Vapur collapsible water bottles with our purchase of the filling stations. The SC Laptop Center gave out 300 of these Vapur collapsible water bottles to SC students at the time that they received their new laptops this fall.” The Green Team is selling the collapsible Vapur water bottles for $10 each.

Some of the advantages of the filling stations include:
  • The EZH2O bottle filling station fill rate is 1.1-1.5 gallons per minute, three times faster than a traditional drinking fountain.
  • One-handed operation allows for a quick fill between activities.
  • The electronic sensor provides touchless, sanitary operation.
  • Integrated Silver Agion Anti-microbial protects against mold and mildew growth.
  • Innovative Green TickerTM counts the number of bottles saved from landfills

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Green Team Student Assist Isle of Lights Conversion from Incandescent to LED

Green Team students, along with other volunteers from Southwestern and the community collaborated to help change light bulbs on the Winnie the Pooh display for the annual Isle of Lights. The light bulbs on the display were changed from incandescent bulbs to high efficiency LED bulbs.

The Winnie the Pooh display contains approximately 233 lights. The change from incandescent bulbs to LED should save over 303 kilowatt-hours during the 6-week Isle of Lights display this year alone. The Isle of Lights committee has converted 5 of the displays to LED light
bulbs thus far for an estimated yearly savings of over 3,500 kWh in electricity.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Disaster Response Simulation Goes Well at Southwestern College

A disaster response simulation, the first of its kind in the state of Kansas, tested out the concept of Multi-Agency Resource Center (M.A.R.C.) on Sunday, Oct. 6, in Stewart Field House on the campus of Southwestern College.The event was planned by the Directors of the service learning teams at Southwestern (the Green Team, Leadership and Discipleship) along with Dave Denly (SC Athletic Director), Brandon Hessing from SC Student Foundation and Dr. Tim Shook of the Fine Arts Department.

A total of 325 students showed up to participate in the event.  They packaged 700 comfort kits for American Red Cross distribution to victims of disasters.  A total of 20 community organizations helped run the simulation.

According to Lindsay Wilke, director of the SC service learning council, all participants who were involved took useful learning away from the event.  The local Cowley County Emergency Management, American Red Cross, and United Way of the Plains chapters now have the first ever draft of what a M.A.R.C. could look like in Kansas and what organizations would be involved and can contribute.  Community organizations noted additional trainings and research that needs to be done to be better prepared to respond in the event of a disaster.  Southwestern students were exposed to better ways to be prepared for a disaster, such as keeping copies of important documents at alternate locations.  They also took away meaningful insights that could impact their careers and civic engagement in the future.

“Southwestern College was pleased with service project efforts on Sunday,” Wilke says.  “Together with local community organizations, Southwestern students accomplished something that set us apart as a region and as a state.  It is always exciting when student learning and real life application can combine to make the community stronger.”

The purpose of the M.A.R.C. is to bring together under one roof all local and national agencies that would provide relief and assistance after a disaster. This would make it easier for victims to quickly and efficiently get the help they need.

“We hope that we will never actually have to put this plan into place in Cowley County,” says Mark Stump, director of direct services from United Way of the Plains.  “However, the more we can sit together and talk about things like this on calm, sunny days, the more prepared we will be to act quickly and efficiently in the event of an actual disaster.”

The 20 community partners that agreed to participate in the event and had booths were: American Red Cross, Cowley County Emergency Management, Southwestern College, United Methodist Committee on Relief, KSOK Radio, agents from American Family Insurance, Farm Bureau Insurance, and Albright Insurance, Salvation Army, Cowley County Animal Response Team, Cowley County Mental Health, National Chaplains Association, Winfield City Commission (represented by Beth Wilke), Cowley County Health Department, United Way of the Plains, Children’s Miracle Network, Winfield First United Methodist Church, Lions Club, Creative Community Living, and Winfield Community Helping Hands.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Electronic Waste Recycling Event - April 21

Southwestern College senior Sally McGuire coordinated an e-waste (electronic waste) drive-through drop-off event on Sunday, April 21, at the Winfield Fairgrounds inside Building 6 (4-H Arena). 
“This event will give Cowley County residents the opportunity to discard old electronic items to be recycled,” McGuire says. 
By definition of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, e-waste includes all types of obsolete, unused, or unwanted electronic equipment.  The presence of lead in many of the items has caused some states and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to express concerns about disposal in non-hazardous waste landfills. 
Electronics were delivered to Asset LifeCycle in Topeka, a state authorized e-waste recycling facility.  This facility accepts laptops, monitors, keyboards, scanners, cell phones, printers, controllers, and much more.  Items are accepted for free except CRT monitors ($10) and televisions ($20).  It is advised to remove all personal information from electronic devices; however, Asset LifeCycle assures removal of all personal information upon receiving the devices. 
According to McGuire, the project would not have been possible without the help of Frito-Lay, Inc. in Topeka, who provided a semi-truck for transportation to the recycling facility free of charge.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Green Team Collaborates with Community Partners to Clean Up Walnut River and Island Park

The Southwestern College Green Team hosted a cleanup of the Walnut River and Island Park areas to celebrate Earth Day 2013.The cleanup was a two-day event taking place Friday and Saturday, April 19 and 20. Friday volunteers met at the Winfield Fairgrounds Building #6 and cleaned sections of the Walnut River and its banks. Saturday, over 50 volunteers congregated in Island Parkand cleaned the moat, the nature trail, and the surrounding areas of the park.

This event was sponsored by Green Team Southwestern, Grace United Methodist Church, and Gottlob Lawn and Landscape. “In order to celebrate Earth Day, the Green Team wanted to do some type of river cleanup effort in conjunction with a nationwide collaborative effort called American River cleanup,” said Jason Speegle, director of Green Team Southwestern. “As we started the planning, we joined forces with several other groups and businesses in the community to create this wonderful collaborative effort that will benefit the Winfield community and the environment. We are fortunate to have such amazing community partners.”

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Green Team Southwestern is a KACEE Award Recipient

Winfield, Kan., March 5, 2013 — The Kansas Association for Conservation and Environmental Education (KACEE) has announced the recipients of the 2013 Excellence in Conservation and Environmental Education Awards.  Green Team Southwestern is among the recipients.
Nominated by their peers, these awardees exhibit outstanding innovation, leadership and achievement, as well as collaboration and cooperation within and beyond the environmental education field. 
“KACEE is pleased to honor these deserving individuals and organizations, who are so dedicated to environmental education in Kansas,” said KACEE President Jeff Severin, director of sustainability at the University of Kansas.  
Southwestern College earned a KACEE award.  KACEE awards are given in several categories and recognize outstanding leadership, achievements, and collaborations by individuals and organizations with at least five years’ experience in conservation and environmental education in Kansas.
Awardees will be recognized at an awards celebration hosted by KACEE on Friday, April 5, at Heritage Hall in Topeka.  The event is sponsored by KACEE, the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, Capitol Federal Foundation, and the Westar Energy Green Team.