Mahaney Center for the Arts Goes Green

In keeping with the College’s commitment to environmental stewardship, the Mahaney Center for the Arts (MCA) has made many changes to lessen the Arts’ resource footprint over the past several years.


 artscalcover0910All major Arts publications, including the Arts Calendar, the Arts at Middlebury Newsletter, Performing Arts Series programs, and posters are now printed on environmentally-friendly paper. The Mohawk Options paper is 100 percent post-consumer recycled content, process chlorine free, and manufactured with wind power. The environmental savings over the course of one year are impressive: over 72 trees, 30,000 gallons of wastewater, and 51,000,000 BTUs of energy.

We’re also tracking the distribution of our publications carefully, and making sure we only order what we’ll use. Rather than sending publications to everyone on campus, we now send paper publications only to those who have bought a ticket or otherwise expressed an interest in the arts. Many of our patrons have already made the switch to our electronic mailing list; our weekly email blast, “ArtsMail,” was redesigned in fall 2008 and now has over 4,500 subscribers. Would you like to join a mailing list or switch from paper to electronic? Send us an email here.



The MCA has always observed the College’s standard recycling policies. But in 2006, with help from an Environmental Council grant, we purchased special recycling cans (pictured) for each performance space, to encourage audience members to recycle their unwanted programs after the show. The cans’ design echoes the look of the recent Recyclemania campaign on campus, so they also help raise awareness of Middlebury’s commitment to environmental excellence.


Task lighting in several locations was refitted with compact fluorescent bulbs to save energy.In 2007, a new solar-powered light was installed on the eastern face of the MCA to light the exterior ARTS banner in the evenings. An Environmental Council Sustainability grant supported the solar light project.

Occupancy Sensors

In fall 2009, the MCA was awarded an environmental council grant to install occupancy sensors in practice rooms, restrooms, and corridors. A recent energy audit suggested that the sensors would pay for themselves and start saving energy expenses within two years.


Indoor Greenscape

In spring 2012, the MCA was awarded an environmental council grant to add more than a dozen indoor plants to the "greenscape" of the lobbies. These new plants help scrub the air, absorb carbon dioxide, and add to the natural beauty of our space. We chose low-maintenance varieties of plants to conserve resources.


Do Your Part

We're encouraging our patrons to help us "go green" by considering these strategies:
  • Carpool when attending arts events

  • Share a program with a friend, and recycle it after the event

  • Pick up your tickets at the box office, instead of having them mailed

  • Let us know if there are any problems with your mailing address, or if you’d prefer to be on our electronic mailing list instead.


Do you have ideas for other ways the Mahaney Center for the Arts can “go green”?

Contact Liza Sacheli at 802-443-3169 or



Environmental Council

1. Purposes

To promote environmental awareness among faculty, staff, and students.

b. To make policy recommendations to the president of the College designed to:

i. ensure a safe and healthy environment for all who live and work on the College campus.

ii. promote environmentally sound ecological (air, land, and water) stewardship practices.

iii. promote throughout the College community conservation of resources, energy efficiency, waste reduction and recycling, pollution prevention, increased reliance on renewable resources, and other measures consistent with sustainable living.

iv. further long-range environmental planning by the College.

v. assist the College in carrying out its civic responsibilities in the area of the environment.

c. oversee a biannual College-wide assessment process to ensure strong environmental performance and share the assessment with members of the College community.

d. encourage faculty to provide students opportunities within the framework of academic courses to conduct research on campus and local environmental issues; and to ensure that such research is shared with the Environmental Council and appropriate officials within and outside the College so that it can be used to formulate improved policies and programs.

e. design and coordinate environmental programs on campus as directed by the president.

2. Membership

Members are appointed to the Environmental Council as follows (continuing membership is encouraged):

a. Dean of Environmental Affairs will appoint a chair person or two co-chairs.

b. Director of Sustainability Integration Office will automatically be vice chair and project coordinator.

c. At least seven student representatives will be selected by the Office of Sustainability Integration by the beginning of the fall semester drawn from a pool of students who respond to a call for membership made to all students prior to the beginning of Fall semester. If replacements are needed in the spring this process will be repeated. The Student Government Association may also provide an at-large member of its Environmental Affairs Committee to sit on the Environmental Council.

d. Three or four staff representatives will be appointed by the Staff Council during the summer. The Environmental Council will supply the Staff Council with selection criteria and recommendations and staff will apply to the Staff Council during the summer.

e. Three or four faculty representatives will be appointed by the Faculty Council acting as Committee on Committees in part of the regular faculty committee appointment process. The Environmental Council will supply the Faculty Council with selection criteria and recommendations.

f.  Members of the town community, or alumni, may be appointed to subcommittees in an advisory capacity on an as-needed basis.

Members are expected to attend Environmental Council meetings on a regular basis and actively participate on one or more subcommittees.  Inactive members will be replaced.

<update 17-Mar-2010; wording modified to reflect revised policy approved by Environmental Council; rev. 8/12/15>