Local Food in Dining Halls

Project members: Matthew Biette, Bo Cleveland

Dining Services spends an average of 25% of its food budget annually on Vermont grown/produced foods. Harvest season (late summer and early fall) are the easiest times to source these foods.  The winter is perhaps the most difficult time.  With the Environmental Grant, Dining Services were able to look at items normally out of our price range. The grants were used as the "extra" money to make up the gap from commercially available products in order to purchase heirloom potatoes and locally made pasta.

2009-2010 Grant Recipients

United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

Project member: Rhiya Trivedi

The deadline for the establishment of a post-2012 climate treaty was this December, at COP-15 in Copenhagen. With help from and EC Grant, Rhiya Trivedi joined 30 other committed Canadian youth to attend the 3-week long meeting to encourage greater action on climate change from the Canadian government (both domestic and international financing of adaptation, deforestation reduction, technology transfer and capacity building), and within the greater International Youth Delegation toward ensuring that the new climate treaty be the most just, equitable, and effective one possible. This was the first year ever that youth had official constituency status (YOUNGO’s – youth NGO’s), and so Rhiya and her colleagues aimed to achieve this ends through policy recommendations, interventions, protests, media attention, and communication with constituents in their home countries.

Solar Decathlon

Project members: Addison Godine, Joseph Baisch, Alex Jopek, Andrea Murray

A group of students from Middlebury College was selected to compete in the 2011 Solar Decathlon, a D.O.E.-sponsored competition to design and build a solar-powered house. EC Grant funds helped support this exciting achievement. The Solar Decathlon is a Department of Energy-sponsored biennial competition challenging colleges and universities worldwide to design and build a solar-powered house. Judges evaluate each house in ten different quantitative and qualitative categories—hence the name, “decathlon.”

Incorporating Microalgae as an Integrated Strategy for Heating, Wastewater Treatment, and Carbon Dioxide Mitigation in the Solar Decathlon House for 2011

Project members: Daniel Powers, Jay Saper

Bobby Levine’s '07 thesis demonstrated the tremendous potential benefits of the utilization of microalgae as a carbon neutral energy source.  By continuing his research the project's participants hoped to learn more about microalgae and put its promises into practice.  With this grant, they conducted research on the feasibility of using microalgae as the primary heating source of the Middlebury Solar Decathlon house.

Athletic Sustainability: Projects to Bring Athletics Forward

Project member: Andrew Gardner

Project Title:  Athletic Sustainability: Projects to Bring Athletics Forward:

  1. The first is a capital improvement to the facility brought to us by one Steven Hart, the soccer team, green liaison.   We would hope to install motion sensors in the more used facility spaces to reduce the amount of energy used in the facility.  The light switches run between $100 and $ $125 to install and we’d be looking at ten of them for a solid effect.
  2. The second are improvements for the tennis teams – the money goes to rehabilitate existing balls in lieu of replacing them.   The balls are re-gassed (making them competition ready again) and saving material.  This is a pilot program and as such wouldn’t be something the coaches would spend money on.  (Half of this fee goes to the men’s team / half to the women’s.) $300
  3. The third request would cover lodging for one night in Boston for three members of the green team to meet with the sustainability director for the Boston Red Sox.  This is an especially crucial request as baseball is the only Middlebury team without a green liaison and intersecting with sustainability on this level could help support a culture break through.  Total cost would be $500.  The grant would help to pay the travel and lodging costs of the athletes.
  4. The fourth request is for material support of improvements to recycling.  We’d like to hand out t-shirts to green liaisons at games to educate and inspire better recycling compliance.  Total cost is $140
  5. Finally, through a collaboration with Weybridge house, I hope to have a localvore dinner for the green liaisons in an attempt to educate on better food choices for athletes while traveling.  This would be a dinner for 50.  Total cost is $600. (Athletic department would cover half.)"
Carpet Recycling Pilot Project

Project members: Julie Hoyenski, Missy Beckwith, Mark Gleason

The pilot program will investigate ways for the College to recycle waste carpet rather than sending it to the landfill. This would be a research project during which we will work toward resolving the challenges of processing, storage, and shipping; and evaluate data for cost analysis in order to determine whether a long-term program can be either self-sustaining or achieved at minimal cost.

"Environmentality" Table-top Posters

Project member: Kate Lupo

In an effort to educate students, faculty and staff about environmental issues on campus and beyond, the SGA Committee for Environmental Affairs teamed up with Katie Scott in the Sustainability Office, to create a monthly “Environmentality” poster series on dining hall tables. Written by members of the SGA, these posters featured fun facts about sustainable buildings on campus, information about carbon neutrality and updates on Middlebury’s status as one of the most “green” campuses in the country. These posters kept the student body updated on Middlebury’s sustainability efforts and encouraged “green” habits among students (reducing shower time, driving less, etc).

Green Reception for the 2010 Spring Student Symposium

Project members: Colleen Converse, Jim Ralph, Pat Manley, Karen Guttentag, Kathy Skubikowski, Glenn Andres, Chuck Nunley, Shawna Shapiro, JoAnn Brewer, Beth Connor, Ian Martin

The 2010 Spring Student Symposium was be a campus-wide event on Friday, April 16, 2010. It was followed by a reception for over 400 people in the McCardell Bicentennial Great Hall. In the past, due to cost, the food was served on disposable products. In a continuing effort to make this year’s event as green as possible, the college committee on sustainability in catering was consulted and they recommended china be used instead of disposables. EC Grant funds were used to make up the price difference, making the more sustainable option of china feasible.

Raised Bed Garden

Project members: Missey Thompson, Edward Dolback, Debra Ekdahl, Dennis Rhueame

Participants created a 4’ x 12’ and 12” deep raised bed garden for growing perennial herbs and fresh vegetables. The garden is maintained by the Department of Public Safety staff.

The Race to Replace Vermont Yankee

Project members: Ben Wessel, Pier LaFarge, Maya Van Wodtke, Abigail Borah, Janet Bering, Sara Bachmann, Syd Schulz

The Race to Replace Vermont Yankee (VY) is a grassroots campaign that aims to bring the prospect of 100% clean electricity for Vermont to the forefront of the gubernatorial race scheduled to take place this fall. The Race hopes to raise the salience of Vermont’s energy future and the prospect for clean energy jobs in the election, and to motivate and mobilize legions of young clean energy voters statewide. The Race used EC Grant funds towards the culminating event of their spring campaign, a large bike mobilization from the statehouse steps in Montpelier to the Church Street shopping area in Burlington signifying the importance of the election in creating a clean energy future for the state. The campaign will also continue to be active throughout the summer.

Earth Day Film Festival

Project members: Lukas Strobl (representing the SGA Environmental Affairs Committee)

As part of their Earth Day awareness campaign, the SGA Environmental Affairs Committee ran a small film festival featuring some of the most relevant and popular films about environmental issues.

Promoting sustainable organic farming in Dominica (MAlt)

Project members: Sarah Barnhart, Kenneth Williams, Rachael Calendar, Stephanie Astaphan, Miles Abdilla, Christopher Free, Jenny Irwin, Alex Phillips, Yu-An Liu, Caitlin Ludlow, Matthew Steffins, Emily Scarisbrick

MAlt Dominica participants did hands-on work on two organic farms located on the rugged Southeast Coast of Dominica, learning about sustainable agricultural practices directly from the local farmers. Participants also volunteered at the Morne Jaune Primary School, building and cultivating an educational garden and leading Arts & Crafts and Sports after-school activities for the students.


The primary focuses of the project were sustainable agriculture and education, so the participants' time on the island was spent learning about the challenges and successes of the production process on organic farms throughout the Caribbean and transferring that knowledge to the wider community through the young, receptive primary school students.


You Light Up My Life: Occupancy Sensors at MCFA

Project members: Christa Clifford, George McPhail, Dan Stearns

EC grant funds were used to install occupancy sensors for lighting control in various spaces at the MCFA. Using wireless technology, an occupancy sensor detects when someone enters the room and automatically turns on the lights. On the flip side, when motion has not been detected for a certain amount of time, the lights automatically go off. The focus of this project was putting occupancy sensors in the bathrooms and music practice rooms.

College Lands Ecological Evaluation

Project members: Marc Lapin, Bill Hegman, Jordan Valen, Clare Crosby, Alex Oberg, Nan Jenks-Jay, Andi Lloyd, Tom Corbin, Tom McGinn

During the summer of 2009, two students and one faculty member began work on adding ecological information to the College Lands GIS database. Most of the college-owned parcels were evaluated with both field visits and GIS-based assessments using remotely-sensed data layers. The project had not yet, however, integrated the findings with the College Lands GIS that staff and students have been working on for several years. The EC grant funding allowed the participants to take the information learned from the ecological evaluation and make it available to the college community as GIS layers and maps. The major tasks included quality-control check of data, coding college parcel shapefiles with ecological information, and creating maps to display the different ecological values of discrete units of the lands. Among the ecological values that were identified are exemplary natural communities, rare plants, habitat for the federally threatened Indiana bat, habitat for globally declining grassland bird species, and other wildlife habitat and connectivity.

Lights Out Stickers

Project members: Spencer Ellis, Kate Lupo, Hannah Judge, Katie Scott

Stickers were placed on the light switches reminding students to turn the lights off when they are done. The stickers are 1”x2” vinyl decals, which are resistant to wear and water damage and read “Be BRIGHT turn OFF the LIGHT.” Some of the bathrooms and rooms on campus already had stickers encouraging students to turn off lights. However, they were not widespread at all, nor were they durable. Students do seem to notice them when they are there, so the project members believed that sending a more consistent message by having them in all bathrooms would be more effective. The initial focus was on the bathrooms, with the intent to move to dorm rooms as a secondary objective with remaining stickers.

Library Bench Plaque

Project members: Michael Sheridan, Meg Groves, Michael Roy, Thad Stowe

The wooden bench in the foyer to the Davis Family library is made from the wood of the Class of 1860 spruce tree that used to be in front of the library. Michael Sheridan helped connect LIS with Alumni Affairs and Facilities to turn the wood from the tree (which was dying and needed to be cut down anyway) into a bench. The bench is complete but was not labeled.  This project created a small sign, to be installed on the bench, telling this story.  This project is an example of how part of the campus landscape can acquire new social value.  It also demonstrates to alumni how Class Trees continue to be part of the campus.

Go Midd Go Green Bracelets

Project members: Stephen Hart, Carolyn Birsky, Tory Hayes, Cecilia Goldschmidt, Paola Cabonargi, Julia Kim, Michelle McCauley

Participating students were asked to sign a sustainability pledge to decrease their waste by changing their actions.  They were offered a choice between reducing water waste, food waste, electricity waste, and recycling more and they signed a paper leaf representing the commitment they made.  They then received a free "Go Midd Go Green" bracelet that they wore as a reminder of the commitment to sustainability that they made.

New Partners for Smart Growth Conference

Project members: Michaela Skiles, Aseem Mulji, Jue Yang, Elsa Belmont Flores

New Partners for Smart Growth Conference - We are a group of four students planning to attend the New Partners for Smart Growth conference in Seattle, WA from February 4th to the 6th.  We have a shared interest in issues of urban and rural planning for sustainability, although we come from a diverse range of academic backgrounds (our majors include Geography, Architecture, Math, and Environmental Studies).  Attending the conference will broaden and deepen our understanding of the possibilities of smart growth, which will both contribute to our studies at Middlebury and inform us about possibilities for projects involving both the town and the College.  Any EC grant money we receive would help us attend the conference by covering some of our transportation.

Bike Rental Project

Project members: Christopher H. DiOrio, Stephen M. Heck, Jesse M. Gubb, Alexander L. Abarbanel-Grossman, Wayne Darling

Bike Rental Project at the Bike Shop - To heighten the sustainability of the Middlebury College campus we would like to increase the amount of bicycle usage.  Many students do not have the money or the time to purchase and maintain bicycles during the school year.  Therefore we would like to start a bicycle rental project in which students could pay a fee to use a bicycle during each semester of the school year.  Bicycles would be stored and maintained by the staff of the Campus Bike Shop during the winter and summer.

Weybridge House summer food preservation internship

Project member: Amanda Warren

Weybridge House summer food preservation internship  - Although there are many avenues for practicing environmental activism, Weybridge House believes that purposeful eating is as an exciting and essential vehicle for reducing our carbon footprint and revitalizing the Vermont economy. During the 2009-2010 academic year Weybridge residents have been cooking and food eating exclusively from within the state of Vermont all of which was purchased and preserved (via freezing, canning and drying) by Weybridge members over the 2009 growing season.  Although Weybridge is experiencing great success for this project currently, this success is a result of generous volunteer labor from house members in the summer and fall.  The continuing success of Weybridge House’s commitment to local eating depends on funding for summer interns.

Old Courthouse Carbon Reduction/Air Quality Improvement Project

Project member: Robert Keren

Old Courthouse Carbon Reduction/Air Quality Improvement Project - The employees in the Old Courthouse have launched a project (with EC support in 2009) to create a “gardener’s potting station” in the basement of our building, stock it with clay pots and potting soil, share cuttings with each other and with the Greenhouse curator Patti Padua, and increase the number and quality of the plants in our office spaces. This request is for additional clay pots and clay bases, and 50 pounds of potting soil.

It is Tough to Tie a Clothesline Outside in the Winter

Project members: Sam Koplinka-Loehr, Jay Saper, Nial Rele (Stewart 4 FYC)

It is Tough to Tie a Clothesline Outside in the Winter (TTCOW) -  With TTCOW we wish to instate a drying rack sharing program so that more students will utilize an alternative to the power hungry drying machine.  To ensure that the program is a success we wish to initially keep it localized to the Stewart Residential Hall where all of us project collaborators reside.

Educational Signage for Middlebury’s Pollinator Garden

Project members: Emily May, Tim Parsons, Dan Kane, Helen Young

Educational Signage for Middlebury’s Pollinator Garden - In Spring 2008, students installed a “pollinator garden” filled with perennial native plants designed to provide foraging and habitat resources for native pollinators (bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds) outside of Bicentennial Hall, with funding from an Environmental Council grant. The garden is an excellent demonstration project, but lacks the educational signage necessary to raise awareness about its nature and purpose. We are requesting funds to cover the installation of garden signage.

Bread Loaf Campus Weather Station

Project members: Justin Allen, Luther Tenny

Bread Loaf Campus Weather Station - A real-time weather station located in the field on Bread Loaf Campus will have multiple uses not only for Facilities Services, but for the Rickert Ski Touring Center, Bread Loaf School of English, Bread Loaf Writers Conference, classes and research, and for participating in global research projects.

Franklin Environmental Center at Hillcrest

531 College Street
Middlebury College
Middlebury, VT 05753