Energy Utilization and Energy Efficiency Projects to Help IC Achieve Sustainability Goals

Posted by Michelle Jones at 2:38PM
Eco Friendly

From large conferences or concerts, to small house party gatherings, there are a number of things that can be done to lesson the environmental impact your event will inevitably cause. This year Ithaca College will be hosting the ED Energy Conference on October 1st, where many of these planning tips will be put into place.

The average American generates 4.6 pounds of trash per day, and visitors at large public events (parades, festivals) generate about 2.44 pounds per visit (Greenprint Denver, 2008).


  • If it is not possible to use china for serving, use compostable or recyclable products
  • Don't buy one use items for give-aways, purchase items that can be reused (i.e. water bottles, flash drives, reusable bags) and are made with post consumer product (recycled materials)
  • Buy paper that is made with at least 30% post consumer product and print with soy based ink
  • If you do need name badges buy ones that are recyclable and made with post consumer product

Resource Management

  • Send invitations electronically, through email or a social networking website, instead of mailing them
  • No need to buy poster board for signs, use cardboard from old boxes or packaging that is going to be recycled
  • For conferences make sure to offer online registration, it is easier to manage and ‘required fields’ will ensure there is no missing information
  • Email attendee contact information to participating vendors (many conferences print this information in the conference program)


  • Encourage caterers to make just enough food for everyone and look into donating leftovers to a local food pantry
  • Have all food catered (or cooked/made) so there is no waste from individually packaged products
  • Make sure to provide water pitchers with glass, compostable, or recyclable cups to prevent water bottle waste
  • Only provide compost or recycling bins near areas where food is being served (if you have all compostable or recyclable serving items)
  • Make posters with pictures to direct people where each item goes and if possible have volunteers stationed at each waste station to make sure everything is sorted correctly


  • It is very important that everyone involved in the event knows about your efforts for reducing the environmental impact
  • Make sure to advertise the event as ‘sustainable’ to vendors, attendees, caterers, and any other involved parties
  • There should be instructions on how attendees can contribute toward the sustainability effort on the invitations, in the program, and on the website (i.e. ask attendees to bring their water bottles or travel mugs)
  • Make sure to recommend certified ‘Green’ hotels in the area, and restaurants that serve local, organic food items
  • Keep track of how much waste was diverted from the landfill and how much paper you saved, any achievements should be documented and advertised


  • Let anyone attending the event know about public transportation options in the area, or suggest carpooling
  • If there is going to be a shuttle from the parking lot to the event make sure it is an energy efficient vehicle

It seems like extra work, but it will save a great deal of time and money. Once online registrations, and email lists have been made they will always be there for future events. The money saved can even be put toward upgrading to renewable energy sources or buying carbon offsets.
For more information on Sustainable Event Planning I highly suggest reading through Denver’s Sustainable Event Planning Guide.

Global Business Travel Association, (GBTA). (2007). Green Meeting Guidelines. Retrieved January 11, 2012, from
Greenprint Denver, City and Count of Denver (2008). Sustainable Event Planning Guide. Greenprint Denver: Building a Sustainable City Together, Today. Retrieved January 10, 2012, from


Patricia Santelli '12
Environmental Science
Energy Management Intern

Posted by Michelle Jones at 4:48PM
Cold Wash Sticker

Recently, Cold Wash stickers have been placed on all the washing machines on campus, pointing to the “bright colors” cycle, which washes with cold water. It has been brought to our attention that not everyone knows which cycle selection is cold wash. Also, we would like to inform students about the benefits of washing their clothes with cold water.

Here are a few reasons to wash with cold water:
• Colors won’t bleed together, so you can wash all your clothes at once! Throw in your whites, colors, darks, anything you want!
• You won’t shrink your clothes! Ever wash a new pair of jeans or sweater on hot and have it come out too small to wear again?
• Your clothes will last longer! Cold water is less abrasive on your clothes so they won’t fade or pill as quickly!
• Detergent works just as well with cold water as it does with warm or hot water. Whether you wash on warm or cold your clothes will still come out clean!
• IT SAVES ENERGY! Want to reduce your carbon footprint? Wash on cold to save on heating water with natural gas!

So, make sure to select “bright colors” when you are washing your clothes on campus. About 90% of the energy used by washing clothes goes just to heat the water. Both your clothes and the environment will benefit from your cold wash choice.

Other Energy Saving Tips:
• Make sure you wash a full load! Since you can mix your clothes if you wash them on cold you should be able to condense your laundry into a smaller number of large loads.
• Try drying some of your clothes in your room! Especially in the winter, they will help humidify the room so it is not so dry.

Patricia Santelli '12
Environmental Science
Energy Management Intern

Posted by Michelle Jones at 9:49AM

This year on August 10th, Ithaca College held its 4th annual EdEnergy Conference in Campus Center. In past years the conference has been a half day event, with fewer vendors participating. This year there was a total of 46 vendors and over 250 participants in attendance for a full day of energy education with multiple tracks. Helping to plan the event was definitely a challenge, but it was a great learning experience and all worthwhile when the evaluation forms came in with comments stating: “The preparation for the event was evident, and information for vendors was well put together.”

There were three seminar categories that included, The Life Cycle of Energy Management, Operational Best Practices, and Vendor Product and Services. Participants were from businesses including: educational, health care, hospitality, manufacturing, government, engineering, and transportation industries. Seminars were meant to help participants learn how to save money on energy costs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions at their facilities. The conference turned out to be a great place for networking and learning about the energy industry.

I was unable to attend many of the sessions, because I was working the event, but the few I did attend were very interesting and I learned something new at each of them. Next year, the EdEnergy Conference will be held on October 1st, 2012 in Campus Center, giving Ithaca College students the opportunity to participate in the event. I highly recommend students to stop in, speak with some of the vendors, and attend some of the seminar sessions.

Our online evaluations revealed that many participants were very satisfied with the seminars that were held. One said “I attended four seminars. All seminars were well presented. I thought the content of all seminars was great!” Another person stated that they were “looking forward to next year’s topics.”

The evaluation forms turned out to be a great asset. There were many positive comments as well as comments on ways to improve for next year. Many vendors and participants were concerned with the placement of the coffee, water, and soda (in the back of the speaker seminar rooms). For next year we will make sure to place these items in the vendor booth area, so they are more accessible to everyone. Another concern was the Welcome meeting location. Many participants were confused as to where Textor Hall was, and it was rather far from the exhibit hall. Next year the Welcome will be right in the vendor booth area, and there will be better signage to direct people to each seminar location.

For a list of the vendors and seminar descriptions please visit our website at:

Patricia Santelli '12
Environmental Science
Energy Management Intern

Posted by Michelle Jones at 10:57AM
Peggy Ryan Williams Center: LEED Platinum

Leardership in Energy and Environmental Design

The Park Center for Business and Sustainable Enterprise opened in spring 2008 and was one of the first 100 buildings in the world to receive platinum LEED certification. Platinum is the highest rating a building can achieve under LEED standards. Not long after the Business School received its LEED platinum certification the Peggy Ryan William Center was built, and received its platinum certification in late 2010.

These buildings have come equipped with new technologies that students, staff, and maintenance crews have had to adapt to and learn to use. Along with LEED certification, there needs to be education about how occupants can work with the building. In the Peggy Ryan Williams Center, facilities staff has had to learn about the ground source heating system that they had no previous experience with, as well as the outside air ventilation system that is also new technology.

Along with the building itself being sustainable, the facilities department has been working toward implementing operational best practices to make sure that everything about the building is sustainable. Lisa Belokur, Director of Facilities Services, has implemented microfiber cloths for cleaning instead of disposable wipes and water cleaning technology using the Ionator.

With these new technologies there have been some challenges to overcome, but with the help of the occupants and facilities staff, we will hopefully have these buildings running as efficient as possible.

Patricia Santelli '12
Environmental Science
Energy Management Intern

Posted by Michelle Jones at 9:27AM
WorkFit-S Sit-Stand Workstation

Employees who work at a computer for several hours each day are at risk for a variety of repetitive stress injuries (RSIs) related to monitor, keyboard, and mouse usage. Many people underestimate the time they spend sitting every day. The average person in the United States sits for 7.7 hours a day.

Studies have found that the mechanisms of sitting are completely different from those for walking or exercising. Sitting for long periods causes a completely different set of problems than lack of exercise would. So exercising to make up for sitting all day will not help the problems you attain from that sedentary behavior.

Ergotron has come out with the WorkFit-S, which is a docking system that attaches to your office desk and holds the monitors, keyboard, and mouse. This can be lifted up or down depending on if you would like to be sitting or standing while you work. Workers are able to alternate sitting and standing throughout the day, which helps reduce back and neck pain, improves energy, productivity, and is quick and easy.

Here at Ithaca College, Brian Scholten, who works in the office of registrar in the Peggy Ryan Williams Center, has purchased a WorkFit-S. These are the questions that I asked him about his new workstation and the answers he provided:

Have you felt any mental or physical differences since the new workstation has been installed?
Yes. The new work station has allowed me to stand most of the day and the result has been that I've strengthened my back muscles and have more energy. It's the norm for me to stand at work now; I don't sit much unless I have to attend a meeting.

How much did the equipment cost?
The work station I'm currently using is one I'm borrowing but I recently purchased my own work station. The cost is about $400.00.

How easy it is to use?
It is very easy to use. All I have to do is adjust it up or down with my hand depending on whether I'm going to sit or stand. That's all there is to it.

Would you recommend this product to others?
Yes. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that I believe these work stations that allow people to stand at work will be the wave of the future. There is quite a bit of information out there now that indicates sitting for long periods of time is unhealthy but standing is not only healthy it helps you burn calories.

Patricia Santelli '12
Environmental Science
Energy Management Intern

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