New Compost System

New Compost System

We are building a new compost system for the SUNY ESF campus!! Check for completion pics soon!!

Green Campus Initiative Fall 2013 Forum : Biomass Energy in the Northeast – Past, Present, Future

For our Fall 2013 Forum we focused on biomass energy and its potential for widespread usage in the Northeast region of the United States. It was moderated by Rose Petersky, our energy chair, and it was a great success! There was about 20 in attendance and some great food. The speakers who came were Mike Kelleher the Executive Director of Energy & Sustainability at SUNY ESF , Tim Volk Senior Research Associate and faculty in the department of Forest and Natural Resources Management, and Alice Brumbach of the New York Biomass Energy Alliance, you can check out their website at .


Here are our discussion points and answers from each speaker:

What do you or your company do?

Ms. Brumbach works for the NY Biomass Energy Alliance (NYBEA) and they network, provide outreach, and do event planning for potential of biomass with stakeholders, policy makers, and residents. Tim Volk is  involved in research of willow biomass, commercialization of the biomass economy, and its application. Mike Kelleher teaches and work on research projects on biomass. He also worked at major utilities and is interested in gasification,as his house runs on biomass for heating purposes.


Can biomass be sustainable on large scale? – Maybe the size of the city of syracuse approximately?

Tim Volk stated that in a  sustainable way, research says biomass is one part of energy solution, can approximately be  20% of energy in Onondaga County, and Mr. Kelleher stated that we should seek feasibility of biomass energy in a certain area, and utilization. For example, he stated heating more feasible than electricity for biomass energy usage.


How would you/your industry contributing to future without fossil fuels?

Mr. Kelleher is utilizing solar energy,as well as wood gasification (Biomass Energy)  for heat at home. Tim Volk is introducing more education to students, and more publication. He wants to let them to know what biomass is. Landowners will also be growing willow for biomass, and he asks the question what are challenges of harvesting. Mr. Volk and Ms. Brumbach stated that the government needs to approve biomass as a renewable to obtain government subsidies. The NYBEA supports different sectors of the industry. Also they all agreed that to keep from using too much fossil fuels, biomass production should be in a small distance  from where it would be utilized, like a 25 mile radius.


What do you think represents successful biomass facility?

They agreed that education and outreach to the surrounding community and sectors alike would allow for success. Continuing the thought was Mr. Volk who stated that economic viable, community benefit, and clear education, being environmentally sound, illustrating improvement of system that was/is in place, and minimize negative environmental  impact. Mr. Kelleher stated that smaller systems and less travel would make it successful, adhering to less output of greenhouse gas with movement of materials.


Career prospects in the biomass industry?

Mr. Volk states that uncertainty from policies is causing need for investment for growth. He states that the Northeast seems to be more feasible as 80% of jobs in one study from production and harvesting of biomass. Mr. Kelleher states that there are careers out there, one would  need specialty mechanisation experience. Ms. Brumbach stated that anyone interested should have an engineering background.


What has changed in the industry  in the past 5 years?

They all stated that there was more capital investment, and now there is less support for the industry. The NYBEA is a small and unified group working to get more support for biomass. Mr. Volk states that systems are being put into place, but there are more publications criticising the industry instead of supporting it.

Lets all do our research and continue the push for biomass and other sustainable energies for the future!!

“Carbon Nation” screening and Fossil Fuel Divestment Campaign

Roughly 40 people showed up this past Thursday night for the screening of the film “Carbon Nation” (perhaps due to the advertisement of free food prepared with dedication by Green Campus Initiative members). The movie’s message, along the lines of “even if you don’t believe in human induced climate change, be sustainable because it will cost you less” presented solutions to climate change, managing to do so with an overall upbeat tone! Some of the information and statistics thrown at the camera could have seemed questionable, however the ideas presented were eye-opening to general public. It might not have been completely adequate for a science school’s students’ demand for the full story.

After the film, 3 students involved in the Fossil Fuel Divestment Campaign used this opportunity to explain what the campaign was about and to help spread information concerning the weekly meetings around campus.

Following Bill McKibben’s talk at Syracuse University back in October, a few ESF students with the Green Campus Initiative joined the Syracuse Eco-Reps and the SU USGBC to launch, a campaign inclusive of both Syracuse University and SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry.

Our campaign of highly motivated and energetic group of students are currently focusing on aspects such as; contacting the administrations to make them aware of our goals, putting up flyers to plant the seeds of an idea in students’ heads and working on gathering information about both schools. The campaign is very exciting because if ESF managed to divest its entire endowment from fossil fuel corporations, it would be the first SUNY school to do so. Being part of the SUNY system will inevitably make this process challenging in terms of the conflict of interests for those managing investments.  Right now, focus is on recruiting people to grow the movement.  Thursday night’s recruitment was successful, collecting petition signatures with a number of new people attending the Friday meeting following Thursday night’s events."CArbon Nation" screening and FFDC 11/29/2012

Results from Earth Week Waste Audit

Earth Week may be over at SUNY-ESF, but though the fun has ended to be replaced by finals, that means the results are in from GCI’s Waste Audit! Here are the results, formatted to graphs for your viewing pleasure!ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage

Great Success from State of Our Campuses Forum!

Thanks to panel members from ESF, Syracuse University, Onondoga Community College, and SUNY Morrisville, GCI’s State of Our Campuses Forum when splendidly!

More thanks go to Lauren Alteio for her hard work organizing, with the help of the rest of GCI. Also thanks to our local businesses and organizations for taking part in our after-forum social! Food provided by A La Mode Wraps & the Syracuse Real Food Co-op were scrumptious, so a great thanks to them as well!

Election Results for Next Academic Year (2012-2013)

Congratulations to our new and returning execs & chairs!

Here are the results:

President: Emily Bielejec
Vice President: Meg Callaghan
Secretary: Maureen Hofman
Treasurer: Ross Mazur
USA Representative: Matthew Gretton
Energy Chair: Ryan Smith
Special Events Chair: Lauren Alteio
Recycling Chair: Leah Davis
Historian: Alexis Zambalas
Composting Chair: Binyamin Lightfoot
Notebook Chair: Isabella Garramone
Gardening Co-Chairs: Noah Pasqua-Godkin, Ross Mazur
Zero Waste Chair: Frannie Monasterio

GCI Holds Elections

Hey GCI-ers, Get out the vote at our next meeting, this Thursday March 27th – 7pm in Moon 19! We will be voting for officers for the next academic year including the role of president, vice president, treasurer, secretary, recycling chair, compost chair, garden chair, notebook chair, zero waste chair, energy chair, USA representative and historian! So many positions to fill for next year!

“Fresh” Trailer – Come See the Movie on Wednesday with GCI!

Documentary Night This Wednesday!

Join GCI in a viewing of “Fresh,” a film on organic and local foods featuring Michael Pollan, among others.

Wednesday, November 9th
Nifkin Lounge

This is a Zero Waste event, so bring your own plates/mugs!

Hey Everybody!

Join us tonight for a general meeting!

GCI is a student club at SUNY ESF dedicated to making our campus greener and more sustainable. GCI meets every Thursday at 7:00 pm in 19 Moon Library (downstairs). New members and ideas for a greener campus always welcome! Bring a friend!