Monday, April 1, 2013

Sustainability Month 2013!

Be sure to check out other great events happening all month at UNCW including:

4/3/2013 Recycling Flash Mob, 10:15-11  @FUU
4/3/2013 Dumpster Dive 11 am-1pm @ FUU
4/4/2013 SPIN, 8pm @ Thalian Hall ( 
4/20/2013 OOZEBALL 8am-5pm @ the Gazebo
4/20/2013Earth Day at Hugh McRae
4/20/2013 Work On Wilmington: Lincoln Elem. Garden Build 10:00 am-2pm (CLES)

Monday, April 16, 2012

Join the Sustainability Committee educate UNCW about making Teal the new Green.
Happy Sustainability Week 2012!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Don't Have to Bag Out with your Wag-Out!

UNCW Campus Dining does a great job of giving students several dining options- at any time during the day!
Wag-Out, attached to Wagoner Hall, is one of these great locations that offers a quick, grab-an-go type meal option. Whether you're in the mood for pasta, pizza, or sandwiches, Wag-Out has lunch choices that could please any UNCW student.

Last week, after our weekly HRL Sustainability Committee meeting, I went to Wag-Out to grab a lunch before completing the rest of my afternoon tasks. Our meeting was different last week as we had a representative of Campus Dining attend and inform us/remind us of all of the great ways Campus Dining is functioning sustainably. A topic of particular interest to me was our discussion on plastic bags being used at Wag-Out and the POD markets for items that could easily be stored in bookbags, purses, or even hands.
It was this conversation that inspired me to change my plastic bag habits.

At Wag-Out following the meeting, I went to the register to offer my OneCard as payment for my meal (a turkey sandwich, bag of pretzels, and a banana for anyone that's interested) and when asked if I wanted a bag, I declined politely, explaining that I could just carry it. A guy I knew was next to me in line and looked at me funny with my hands full. I smiled and nodded and suggested he should be sustainable do the same!

Guy: *laughs* Why?
Me: It's the right thing to do!

Later on, I logged onto my Facebook and had a wall post from the same guy:

As long as you can inspire one person, that's a start.

For statistics on plastic bag consumption and recycling (or lack thereof), visit:

Stay sustainable, Seahawks!

- Laura Beard
HRL Sustainability Committee Member

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Sustainable Spring Semester

Welcome back to school, Seahawks!
As we are sure you checked our last post on traveling sustainably, we are hoping you stayed green over the break and are ready to begin a new green initiative this semester! Here a few helpful tips in staying sustainable this spring:

For those of you that live in the Seahawk areas (Crossing, Village, Landing) and the University Suites, and are able to set your thermostat to your favorite temperature, remember it's always better to SAVE ENERGY.

 Set your thermostat a few degrees lower in the winter and a few degrees higher in the summer to save on heating and cooling costs and for the university and to spare certain resources involved with the energy created to heat and cool our apartments!

Unplug appliances when you're not using them.

This eliminates the usage of "phantom" or "vampire" energy, a small amount of energy that is being wasted when our hair straighters, blow dryers, fans, and computers are not being used.

For those of you in traditional academic housing, utilize the green buttons when washing clothes. These functions typically wash the clothes in cold water. As much as 85 percent of the energy used to machine-wash clothes goes to heating the water.
Also, feel free to use a drying rack when applicable in order to cut down on some of the energy associated with the dryer machines.

Less gas = more money (and better health!).

Walk or bike to class or work. This saves on gas and parking costs (and the cost of parking tickets! yikes!) while improving your cardiovascular health and reducing your risk of obesity.

Eat smart.

If you eat meat, add one meatless meal a week. Meat costs a lot at the store-and it's even more expensive when you consider the related environmental and health costs. Eating healthier just might help you in accomplishing your New Year's resolution!

If eating on campus, consider local and/or organic options like The Green Spot at Hawk's Nest or the Chef's Table at wag. These locations often offer locally raised, humane, and organic meet, eggs, and dairy products. The money used to purchase these products from local farmers means that we, as Seahawks, are keeping money in the local Wilmington and surrounding economies.

Skip the bottled water.

There are great reusable water bottles out there in stores available for purchase! Some include a water filter to purify tap water instead of buying bottled water. Not only is bottled water expensive, but it generates large amounts of container waste.

Bring this reusable water bottle (preferably aluminum rather than plastic) with you to class, work, or meetings. It will keep you hydrated and eco-friendly!

Think before you buy.

Go online to find new or gently used secondhand products. This can be applied to textbooks ($$$$), clothes, room decor, and much more. This will save you money and more than likely keep money within the local economies.

When items can be borrowed, go for it!

Buy items in bulk. Purchasing food from bulk bins can save money and packaging.

Invest in high quality, long lasting products. It will be worth it in the end when you don't have to replace the item as frequently.

In general, it is important to remember not to waste our resources. Take quicker showers, turn lights off behind you, and recycle items in the blue bins and designated containers in your residence areas.

If you have any additional tips you'd like to provide (maybe a certain way you've found has worked for you!), feel free to comment on this post and share with us.

Good luck this semester!

- HRL Sustainability Committee

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Greener Way to Travel

With help from National Geographic and other trusted sources, we are bringing you ways to help you enjoy your traveling days more sustainably.  We want to give you simple tips that are easy, but can make such a large impact on our world.  Enjoy the tips, travel safe, be sustainable…remember, It’s the right thing to do.

Staying in a Hotel, Driving, or Flying??? Here are some tips that work for everyday life too!

Towels and Linens
Reuse your towels and linens for your stay.  They do not need to be washed every day; you don’t do that at home so there is no need to here either.

Pack Your Environmental Ethic
According to the telephone survey of travelers conducted by the research firm STUDYLOGIC, 60 percent reported that they are more likely to leave the light on when they leave a hotel room compared to when they leave home. And while 70 percent say that they attempt to conserve water at home "as much as possible," less than 20 percent practice water conservation when traveling.  Even though this won’t save you money on your hotel bill, it can save the world.

Unplug Your Home and Office
Responsible traveling begins at home. Before you head out, unplug any appliance that won't be in use while you're away such as computers, chargers, televisions, video game players, and microwaves.

Lighten Up
Packing lightly will make it easier to get where you're going, while also reducing your negative impact on the environment.  "In our research for The Green Book, we discovered that every additional ten pounds per traveler requires an additional 350 million gallons of jet fuel per year," says Thomas Kostigen. "That's enough fuel to keep a 747 flying continuously for ten years, which is pretty amazing."

Bring Your Own Water Bottle
According to the Container Recycling Institute, more than 60 million plastic water bottles are thrown away in the United States each day. Recycling or reusing those bottles instead would save enough energy to power a 60-watt light bulb for an entire day in 15 million households. Travelers can help by recycling and reusing existing water bottles, and refusing to purchase or accept new bottles; instead refilling a single bottle or other dishwasher-safe, reusable bottle with filtered water.

Bring a Reusable Shopping Bag
Packing a basic canvas tote, or other similar sturdy, washable bag, in your luggage is an easy way to help keep trash out of landfills and off roadsides, conserve energy, and protect marine life. Use the bag—instead of the paper or plastic bags provided by stores—to carry souvenirs and other purchases made during your trip.

Make a Suggestion
Little things mean a lot when it comes to lessening our impact on the environment, so speak up and let hotel and restaurant owners know what more they could be doing.

Check Your Ride
Doing some very minor, simple, and inexpensive maintenance to your vehicle before embarking on your travels will go a long way toward reducing fuel consumption, increasing gas mileage, and saving both the environment and money. 
1. Replacing a clogged or dirty air filter will increase a vehicle's gas mileage up to ten percent.
2. Rocks, bits of twig, and other bits of road debris are all things that can lodge in the treads of your tires. Keeping your treads clear of debris will decrease your rolling resistance and increase your miles per gallon.
3. Make sure your tires are inflated properly

Next Time you Change Tires, Get Nitrogen
Nitrogen in tires is becoming a popular replacement for standard air. Nitrogen is all around us... the air we breathe is 78% nitrogen, 21% oxygen and the rest is small amounts of other gasses. When it comes to tire inflation, nitrogen has many advantages over oxygen. With nitrogen tire inflation, improvements can be noted in a vehicle's handling, fuel efficiency and tire life through better tire pressure retention, improved fuel economy and cooler running tire temperatures.  Check it Out:



Saturday, November 12, 2011

Residents "Marched" out for chili!

On Wednesday, November 9th at 6 PM, over 70 residents enjoyed a sustainable experience in the Big Backyard behind Galloway at the HRL Sustainability Committee hosted event, "Chili Night in November."

The event kicked off with several "green" trivia questions which included facts about both UNCW and the publics' efforts in being sustainable. Correct answers to these trivia questions earned awesome prizes such as t-shirts, water bottles, and vouchers for movie tickets!
This sustainable water bottle is one of the many prizes
you could win by attending a Sustainable program!

"Chili Night" continued with- you guessed it!- CHILI! Various kinds of chili were served in bread bowls with limited usage of dinnerware made from recycled products...all fit for a green meal! If you missed this event, you should probably be aware of the fact that you missed hot apple cider made from local vendors as well (sad day!).

Attendees also enjoyed a special viewing of March of the Penguins on a huge, inflatable screen! This documentary, narrated by Morgan Freeman, highlights the lifestyle of penguins and also addresses problems occurring due to changes on our Earth.
March of the Penguins in the Big Backyard

If you missed "Chili Night," be sure to check back in with us for news about our upcoming events!

As always,

Keep things green. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A Chili Night in November

What better way to start November than with a bowl of chili? The Sustainability Committee brings back the highly acclaimed "Chili Night in November" on Wednesday, November 9th at 6pm in the Big Backyard. This year, we have invited our friends, the Emperor Penguins from March of the Penguins to show us how to enjoy the cold weather. Bring your blanket, a chair and your appetite!

I'm sure you were wondering, "What is the sustainable twist?" Thanks to our friends at Aramark, we have prepared a sustainable menu that invites you to enjoy either a vegetarian or meaty chili served in bread bowls. Don't forget to bring a napkin or wear a shirt you won't mind getting a little messy because no paper products will be available. How is that for sustainable?

You may also be thinking, "Why invite the penguins?" Not only is this great promo for their world debut in Happy Feet 2, coming to a theater near you on November 18th, but they too are affected by our sustainable efforts. Did you know that global warming melts sea ice and reduces the scope of their habitat? See more in TimePhotos' Global Warming Threatens Penguins.

So, what will you be doing on Wednesday, November 9?
Spending a "Chili Night in November" the best way you know how.
6pm, Big Backyard
Special Feature: March of the Penguins

And the winners are....

After two weeks of superb competition, the winners have been crowned! Two teams stood tall above the rest, and proved to be victorious. The committee was so impressed by both teams' competitive spirit that TWO winning teams were crowned! Members of the winning teams are:
  • Kerry McCarthy (Hewlett)
  • Bekah Burrow (Hewlett)
  • Chelsea Doiron (Hewlett)
  • Shelby Byrd (Univ. Apt.)
  • Hannah Smith (Univ. Suites)

Below you will find several pictures of the teams. Congratulations to both teams, and thanks to all who participated!

Hannah and Shelby are so happy giving that high five!
Kerry, Bekah and Chelsea sure are sad after reading that fact!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

To the Victors go the Spoils

The prize pack is ready for its spotlight. This wicker box is jam-packed with a variety of items, all derived from sustainable sources! From plant-based laundry detergent to water bottles made from recycled plastic, even Mother Nature herself would be satisfied!
The prize pack is hanging out with one of the very signs teams are looking for!

The team that conquers the Trail Hunt and claims the prize will be proud new owners of:
-  Target tote bags
-  UNCW Sustainability tote bags
-  UNCW Sustainability T-shirts
-  Bobble Water bottles
-  Coffee travel mugs
-  Green Works cleaning supplies
-  Laundry Detergent
-  Dishwashing Soap
-  Fabric Softener
-  Light Bulbs

With a variety of prizes up for grabs, teams are expected to compete at a feverish pace! Good luck to those who take on this Trail Hunt!

Monday, October 3, 2011

The Hunt Begins

Mark Costello stands by one of ten Trail Hunt signs hidden along the Cross City Trail. He is not scared.

Today marks the beginning of the week-long adventure along the Cross City Trail. Teams of five are giving it their all as they make their way through a series of photographic challenges. Their journey often begins in front of the lawn with a mascot placed strategically, takes them behind sporting fields, by twin residents halls, over a wooden bridge and usually ends along the Ave. with a sweet, flowery name.

There will surely be those teams that come up short in their endeavors. However, for those brave souls who complete all ten challenges, they will be immortalized by emailing their pictures to:

Good luck to all of those who dare to take on this task. Our thoughts are with you.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Trail Hunt: Explore the Cross City Trail (October 3-7)

Join the HRL Sustainability Committee for the first event of the season! To coincide with UNCW's Bike to Work Day (10/4), the Trail Hunt is a photo scavenger hunt along the Cross City Trail!

Between Monday, October 3 and Friday, October 7, grab four of your closest friends (teams of five) and ride, walk, run or skate along this trail that connects Downtown Wilmington to the beach! Along the way you will encounter 10 signs that share facts about the trail itself and the benefits of living an active lifestyle. Snap a photo according to each sign's challenge. Each team that successfully submits all ten pictures will be entered into a prize drawing!

To participate:
1. Find at least one other teammate (teams of 2-5)
2. Travel along the Cross City Trail as it goes through campus.

3. Snap pictures according to the challenges listed on each of the ten signs
4. Once all ten photos are taken, email photos to:
5. Make sure to include all team members' first and last names!

Everyone is invited to participate in this fun competition (however, only residential students are eligible to win.) When is the last time you've had this much fun being sustainable?