SASsy Sustainability Update: Students go Scripps green

By Lauren Mitten ‘15SAS Sustainability Chair

I am thrilled to be your SAS Sustainability Chair this semester! In case you didn’t know, there are tons of people who care about sustainability at Scripps, and I’m here to update you on some of their efforts on campus.

Major players: The Environmental Club is a student group dedicated to promoting sustainability on campus. FMI contact Yvonna Leung, President, or Mieke Ruina, Vice President.

The Sustainability Committee is a committee made up of students, faculty, and staff who all work on generating recommendations for LBV and creating our own initiatives. FMI contact Lola Trafecanty, Director of Grounds, or Claire Bridge, Executive Assistant to the President.

Finally, there’s me, your SAS Sustainability Chair. Hit me up any time at with questions, concerns or suggestions.

Recycling: You’ve probably noticed the blue recycling bin in your dorm room. If you’re not already doing so, USE IT! The light blue dumpsters outside go to the city of Claremont, and in them you can recycle metal, glass, Styrofoam, and plastics. Put all paper products into the dark blue dumpsters. We process those on campus, which reduces transportation emissions and brings some money back to Scripps.

Fruit pickers: I am excited to remind you that there are fruit pickers available for checkout in the Field House. You can trade your Scripps ID in for a bright orange stick with some spikes on the end and then go snag all the oranges, oro blanco grapefruits, and loquats you can eat.

Garden: The student garden behind Browning (sponsored by the Environmental Club) is currently full of lots of little plants and some freshly planted beds. If you would like to help out with the garden or get the gate code, email

Composting: We currently have pre-consumer dining hall composting, which is primarily used at some social justice garden sites off campus. We also have small-scale compost in the student garden, and I encourage you all to collect your food scraps (except meat and dairy) and place them in the bins on the East side of the garden. I’m also liaising with some senior EA majors working on a feasibility study of campus wide composting to see if that’s something SAS or the Sustainability Committee could help implement.

PowerDown: Leah Hochberg did a wonderful job organizing the Scripps PowerDown Challenge. Scripps didn’t beat the other 5Cs, but I look forward to the rematch next year. Remember to keep lowering your energy usage even though the competition is over!

Food rescue: Have you ever wondered what happens to leftover dining hall food? A large portion is packaged up and delivered to a local food shelf. CMS Food Rescue, coordinated by yours truly and staffed by an amazing contingent of volunteers, is the mastermind behind this wonderful, waste-reducing and hungry-people-feeding initiative. I’m looking for a coordinator (I’ll be abroad) and volunteers for next semester, so if this sort of work sounds exciting, shoot me an email.

New dormitory: Remember the new dorm LEED debate from last fall? Right now, the dorm is on hold at the end of the design development stage as Scripps looks for the funding to move forward. Joanne Coville, VP for Financial Affairs, told me that the Board of Trustees plans to reevaluate the dorm plans in 6–12 months. Currently, the BOT is interested in LEED, but worried about the costs. When the BOT does begin to reevaluate it will be important to speak out if you want sustainability to be a priority in the new dorm!

In the meantime, a group of students is working on fundraising for LEED certification and increased sustainability. We’re setting up an endowment for sustainability in the new dorm and will be actively fundraising soon. FMI contact Emily Jovais.

Divestment: There is a movement on many college campuses to divest endowments from fossil fuel companies in an effort to weaken the hold fossil fuel companies have on our government and economy, with the long term goal of mitigating climate change. Scripps will be holding a panel discussion about what divestment would mean for us on Thursday, April 11 at 7:00 p.m, which you should all come to so you can weight in on this important issue.

Stay Green, Scripps: As you can see, lots of people are doing lots of great work on sustainability, but as a student body we also have lots of work to do. We all need to do our part, from taking shorter showers and turning off our lights to getting involved in these projects and starting new ones. We have a beautiful campus and a beautiful world; let’s take care of them together.