Events and Campaigns
Water Wars is an annual competition to encourage students to decrease their use of water. Residence halls compete against one another for four weeks every autumn to see which dorm can reduce its water use the most. In 2010, the winning dorm, Gilpatrick House, decreased its water usage by over 10%.
Sustainability Video Contest
In the Spring of 2011, the Office of Sustainability created Denison's first annual sustainability video contest. Leading up to Earth Day, students, faculty, and staff created short 2-3 minute videos on a topic related to campus sustainability. These videos were uploaded to YouTube and the whole campus community voted for their favorite video.
This contest is now a yearly event, with the goal of promoting sustainability. For rules and more information, see this guide [pdf].
As part of the 2012 competition, students participated in a trash sort to remove recyclable items from one day's trash that were incorrectly thrown away and then displayed them on the academic quad outside the student union. In 2012, Denison finished second among Ohio colleges in recycling per capita, and 22nd nationally with a recycled material amount of 34.92 lbs/person. Over the course of the competition Denison collected a total of 101,013 pounds of recyclables on campus, an increase of nearly 20,000 lbs from the previous year.
Consumption Lecture Series
The college and its student organizations are committed to bringing esteemed lecturers to campus. Each year the college choses a campus theme, and for the 2009-2010 academic year the theme was consumption. In the past, noted speakers have included Jeff Corwin of Animal Planet lecturing on animal conservation, and Francis Moore Lappe, speaking about agricultural sustainability and world hunger. During Spring 2010, author Michael Pollan visited Denison to speak about sustainable eating and critical consumption. In addition to speaking for well over two hours, he also met with individual classes, and ate dinner with students at the Homestead.
Earth Day Celebration
To celebrate Earth Day, Green Team sponsored an entire week of environmental festivities, including an open-air bluegrass concert by Denison’s Lemon Grass band, a film screening, a recycled clothing exchange, and a celebration on the Academic Quad. Earth Day 2010 was especially significant at Denison as the President of the College signed the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment. The ceremony opened with Tod Frolking, professor of geosciences, recounting the history of Earth Day, and concluded with President Knobel signing the commitment, which dedicates Denison to reducing carbon emissions.
Initiated in spring 2010, Denison students, faculty, and staff established a campus community garden. Financed by the John R. Hunting Environmental Venture Fund, the garden is divided into thirty 4x24 foot raised beds to grow organic produce during the summer and fall. In addition to providing students and the Denison community the chance to grow their own food, the gardens are intended to advance awareness and knowledge of food production and sustainable agriculture. Organizers of the garden teamed up with the student organization, People Endorsing Agricultural Sustainability (PEAS) and have held planting workshops and potlucks at the garden during the summer and fall months. PEAS is currently creating a rooftop garden above the Curtis Dining Hall, where herbs and other produce will be grown to be used in the dining halls.