Office of Sustainability

University of Mississippi

Archive for the ‘Red, Blue & Green Blog’ Category

Fall 2015 Semester In Review

Posted on: February 3rd, 2016 by lmphill2

by Lindsey Abernathy, Project Coordinator | February 1, 2016

Fall 2015 saw the launch of several new sustainability initiatives on the University of Mississippi campus, including the establishment of the UM Garden Club and the inaugural Red, Blue & Green Freshman Interest Group, as well as the growth of already existing initiatives such as EcoReps and efforts to advance biking. Read a recap of sustainability projects below:

Garden Groundbreaking – Volunteers broke ground on the university’s first on-campus community garden in September. Members of the new UM Garden Club maintain the garden, growing produce for themselves and to be donated to the UM Food Bank. The garden is open to students, faculty and staff.

Fostering Residential Leaders in Sustainability – The EcoReps program grew during fall semester, with 10 students working to advance sustainability in Crosby Hall and Residential College South. EcoReps organized monthly activities and served as sustainability hot-spots in their halls.


Environmental Film Series Kicks Off Feb. 10

Posted on: February 2nd, 2016 by lmphill2

by Joe Scott, Marketing & Communications Intern | February 2, 2016

The University of Mississippi’s annual Spring Environmental Film Series kicks off February 10 and runs through March 8. The series, which includes three films, captures the spirit of resource stewardship and addresses the major environmental issues facing society.

Documentaries featured in the series span a wide array of subjects, but all films included are connected by their focus on the environment and resources. All screenings will take place in the Overby Center Auditorium and are free and open to the public. The 2016 films are:

TT_03 KopieThule, Tuvalu
February 10, 7 p.m.
Overby Center Auditorium

Two places on separate ends of the planet take on the full force of climate change. Like opposite sides of the same coin, Thule is facing rapidly melting ice, while Tuvalu faces steadily rising sea levels. Both locations see very different effects of Earth’s rising temperatures, yet both communities experience the full weight of climate change destroying their homes, livelihoods, and means of survival. The film Thule, Tuvalu challenges audiences to engage with the real and present threat of climate change as it portrays the desolation of these two struggling communities.


8 Ways to Go Green Over the Holidays

Posted on: November 20th, 2015 by lmphill2

by Kelli Coleman, Green Student Intern | November 17, 2015

Go Green over the holidays (2) copy

The holiday season is a time of joy, community and giving back. With festive dinners, extravagant decorations, and beautiful presents it is easily the best time of the year.  Unfortunately it can also be a time of increased waste production and energy use around your home. Thankfully there are many opportunities to give back to the environment by going green this holiday season! Check out these eight easy tips to help limit your environmental impacts and spread holiday cheer.

1.) Buy local seasonal ingredients for your holiday meals – There’s still plenty of time to purchase locally grown and made products such as squash, pumpkins, carrots, greens, cookies, milk, grits, honey, and much more for your holiday meals. Avoid the grocery store rush and help support local farmers by purchasing fresh ingredients your whole family will love. In Oxford, the Farmer’s Market Store  and Living Foods sell local ingredients. 7D Farms also offers a winter bread club with locally made breads, cinnamon rolls, cookies and more.

2.) Donate unopened canned goods to the UM Food Bank – Instead of pushing unopened canned to the back of your pantry, bring them to the UM Food Bank in Kinard 213 or drop them off in Food Bank donation bins across campus. Your unused canned goods will make a significant contribution to the Ole Miss community and give many students the opportunity to have a meal over the holidays.


Go Green This Spring: Join a Student Group

Posted on: November 16th, 2015 by lmphill2

Go Green• This spring •-2 copy

by Steven Wild, Green Student Intern | November 16, 2015

Though it’s hard to fathom, this fall term is already coming to a close, and students have begun setting their schedules for spring semester. As you start to make your own plans for the upcoming spring, be sure to consider some of the following opportunities to become a change agent in the Ole Miss environment. With around a dozen different organizations to choose from, there are a multitude of outlets for students interested in environmental activism to plug in and make a difference here at the university.

Students for a Green Campus (SGC) is an umbrella organization focused on a range of different issues pertaining to environmental sustainability. Among other things, SGC supports the UM Office of Sustainability and Green Fund, leads volunteer efforts on campus and in the Oxford community, and coordinates activism with national and global campaigns for environmental justice. Upcoming events include a film screening fundraiser at Lamar Lounge, a highway cleanup event, and a campus demonstration commemorating the upcoming UN Climate Negotiations.


UM Students Tour Yokna Bottoms Farm

Posted on: October 19th, 2015 by lmphill2

YoknaPhotoby Lindsey Abernathy | Project Coordinator, Office of Sustainability

University of Mississippi students active in sustainability initiatives on campus got a firsthand look at local food production during a tour of Yokna Bottoms Farm on Friday, October 16.

The farm tour was organized by the Real Food Rebels student group. Members of the newly established Red, Blue & Green Freshman Interest Group (FIG) and interns in the Office of Sustainability’s Green Student Intern Program also attended.

“I wanted to attend such a trip because I want to be more educated about different aspects of sustainability,” said Austin Smith, a freshman medical laboratory science major and member of the FIG. “I wanted a better understanding of [the farm’s] operation and why it’s useful to my community.”


Panel Discussion Examines “The Cost of Food”

Posted on: October 12th, 2015 by lmphill2

Photo by Robert Jordan/Ole Miss Communications

The many costs of food on the wellbeing of humans, the economy and the environment will be the focus of an interactive panel discussion on Tuesday, October 20.

“The Cost of Food” panel discussion, which takes place as part of the University of Mississippi’s month-long Food Day observation, will begin at 5:30 p.m. in 209 Bryant Hall. It is free and open to the public.

“The figure on the price tag is not the only cost tied to the food we choose,” said Ellen Olack, AmeriCorps VISTA in the Office of Sustainability and moderator of the discussion. “The panel is intended to open the discussion of issues surrounding food justice. The food we choose has an environmental cost, a health cost, and even a human cost.”


Plate Thoughtfully: Food Waste at UM

Posted on: October 12th, 2015 by lmphill2

by Kendall McDonald, Post Baccalaureate Fellow | October 12, 2015

NAPKIN_INSERT_4 copy (2)As part of the university’s Food Day observation in October, Office of Sustainability staff recently collected food waste data on two dining locations on campus: the Rebel Market and the Marketplace at the Residential Colleges. The measured amount of post-consumer waste (food left on plates by diners) was staggering. On average, diners at the Marketplace throw away 175 pounds of food per day—nearly 2.5 tons per month.  This is enough food to feed 60 people comfortably for the duration of that entire month.

Diners at the Rebel Market throw away 414 pounds of food waste per day, which equals nearly 6 tons of food waste per month. This is enough food to comfortably feed 140 people for the duration of that month, or one hungry student for nearly the entire duration of their time at the University of Mississippi—over 3.5 years. Meanwhile, the Ole Miss Food Bank continues to serve students on campus who have trouble stocking their pantries adequately.


UM Breaks Ground on Campus Community Garden

Posted on: September 16th, 2015 by lmphill2

by Lindsey Abernathy, Project Coordinator | September 16, 2015

DSC_0755On September 1, more than 20 volunteers gathered to sow the first seeds of fall in the newly established University of Mississippi campus garden. The garden provides an opportunity for students, faculty and staff to learn gardening skills and grow food on campus.

“I think it’s important to have a garden on campus,” said Ellen Olack, who is serving as the AmeriCorps VISTA in the UM Office of Sustainability.” We’re all from different places and have had different experiences, so having a place on campus where we learn real life skills like growing our own food is very beneficial to all students, faculty and staff.”

Olack organized the groundbreaking and is spearheading the establishment of the UM Garden Club, which will maintain the garden throughout the academic year. The longterm goal of the garden is to grow fresh produce for the UM Food Bank.


No Car? No Problem: A Guide to Going Carless in and around Oxford

Posted on: September 15th, 2015 by lmphill2

by Ellen Olack, AmeriCorps VISTA | September 14, 2015  Many students, faculty and staff take advantage of the bicycle friendly roadways leading to the UM campus. Photo by Robert Jordan/Ole Miss Communications

College comes with many expenses—tuition, books, housing, groceries, etc. Luckily for me, a car was not one of them. People are always shocked to learn that I do not have a car, but in Oxford it’s easy! I don’t have to worry about car notes, insurance, gas, repairs or parking decals, which can accumulate to cost the average college student between $1,000 to $3,000 dollars annually.

My ideal mode of transportation, both living on and off campus, is biking. Registration with the UM Bike Shop was free and lasts for four years. For those who are bikeless and carless, walking is also a form of free transportation. However, some days the weather is not permitting. My apartment complex has a convenient bus stop to get me where I need to go on stormy days whether it be to campus for work or the farmers market for groceries. NextBus, the free OUT Bus phone app is very helpful in determining arrival times. The OUT Bus is convenient and free when you show your Ole Miss student, faculty or staff ID. Each bus is equipped with a bike rack which is great if you plan to return home after hours, wish to bike around campus without commuting or if you’re ever caught biking in a rain shower.


Sustainability at Ole Miss: A Year in Review

Posted on: July 6th, 2015 by lmphill2

by Grace Haines, Green Student Intern | July 6, 2015

From increases in sustainable projects and campus events to new collaboration between administrators, faculty, staff and student leaders, the University of Mississippi made impressive strides in the 2014-2015 academic year. Check out a few highlights from the year:

Engaging Campus Leaders – The UM Sustainability Broad Council, including representatives from the Chancellor’s Office, the Department of Athletics, and Ole Miss Dining Services, as well as the Associated Student Body and the Graduate Student Council, held its first-ever meeting in February. The council was established to further institutionalize sustainability and enact  measures recommended by the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), signed by Chancellor Dan Jones in April 2014. A collaboration of more than twenty different offices and organizations across campus, the Sustainability Broad Council will oversee the development climate action plan in the coming academic year.

Biking Boom – The UM biking community had a very active year with the formation of the Biking and Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC), aimed at improving and increasing safety for active transportation options on campus. The Departmental Bike program was launched, and various biking events were also held like Pedal and Picnic, bike maintenance workshops, and Bike Month in May to encourage the Ole Miss students, faculty and staff to choose two wheels over four.