Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 76.45
Liaison Ryan Ihrke
Submission Date Oct. 17, 2014
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Green Mountain College
EN-4: Outreach Materials and Publications

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Aaron Witham
Director of Sustainability
Sustainability Office
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution produce the following outreach materials and/or publications that foster sustainability learning and knowledge? :
Yes or No
A central sustainability website that consolidates information about the institution’s sustainability efforts Yes
A sustainability newsletter Yes
Social media platforms that focus specifically on campus sustainability Yes
A vehicle to publish and disseminate student research on sustainability No
Building signage that highlights green building features Yes
Food service area signage and/or brochures that include information about sustainable food systems Yes
Signage on the grounds about sustainable groundskeeping and/or landscaping strategies employed Yes
A sustainability walking map or tour Yes
A guide for commuters about how to use alternative methods of transportation Yes
Navigation and educational tools for bicyclists and pedestrians No
A guide for green living and incorporating sustainability into the residential experience Yes
Regular coverage of sustainability in the main student newspaper, either through a regular column or a reporter assigned to the sustainability beat Yes
Other sustainability publications or outreach materials not covered above Yes

A brief description of the central sustainability website:

Created by the Sustainability Office, this website consolidates the Living and Learning, Facilities and Operations, and the Leadership and Outreach domains of sustainability on the Green Mountain College Campus. It highlights new events and initiatives related to sustainability such as the biomass facility, climate neutrality, student run projects through the Student Campus Greening Fund, and sustainability policies, awards and accolades. The sustainability website was created to reflect the STARS Reporting Tool outline in order to standardize the campus sustainability information tracked.


The website URL for the central sustainability website:
A brief description of the sustainability newsletter:

The GMC Journal is a weekly electronic newsletter sent to the GMC community with a bi-weekly column dedicated to sustainability. It keeps faculty, staff and students up to date about sustainability issues, events, initiatives, and advice.


The website URL for the sustainability newsletter:
A brief description of the social media platforms that focus specifically on campus sustainability:

The Sustainability Office actively maintains a Facebook account and Twitter account where it promotes sustainability initiatives, events, and awards. Additionally, students regularly cover the topic of sustainability in the student run blog: the Rope Swing.

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Green-Mountain-College-Sustainability-Office/193935597346955

Twitter account: https://twitter.com/sustyGMC

Rope Swing blog: http://theropeswing.greenmtn.edu/


The website URL of the primary social media platform that focuses on sustainability:
A brief description of the vehicle to publish and disseminate student research on sustainability:

One of the Environmental Liberal Arts core curriculum classes required of all upperclassmen is A Delicate Balance. For this class, students have to take on a major sustainability project that requires substantial research. This research is made publicly available in three ways. First, there is a Delicate Balance poster symposium at the end of every semester that takes place in the student center. A majority of the residents on campus walk through the poster session. Second, after the class is over, the final reports and abstracts are put into a database that is available under the My GMC webportal that the campus uses for logistics. Staff interested in a project can view the abstracts and request more information from the administrator in the Dean's Office. New Delicate Balance students in future semesters can also view the abstracts to help get project ideas. Additionally, staff and faculty may add project ideas to the database so that future students may decide to take them on. Third, a description of the most significant Delicate Balance projects is published on the sustainability website along with the students names so that people interested in the research can reach out to those students.


The website URL for the vehicle to publish and disseminate student research on sustainability:
A brief description of building signage that highlights green building features :

A live energy dashboard in the student center displays electricity and heat use in residence halls, along with information about the sustainability aspects of the electricity and heat sources. The biomass co-generation facility also has an educational sign outside, purchased by students and faculty who came up with the initial idea for the project. The sign not only explains the technology in the facility, but also tells the story of student activism and cross-campus collaboration that made the conversion from a #6 fossil fuel oil heating facility to a renewable fuel facility a reality. Signs are also available for other major projects on campus, such as the transformation of the Two Editor's Inn into a model of energy efficiency for old buildings. The Two Editor's Inn was designed by students working through a media internship.

A three-panel time-line in the Student Center gives a history of sustainability at GMC, beginning in 1996, when the Environmental Mission of the College was adopted, and leading to Climate Neutrality in 2011.

GMC Eco-Spots are located in Sage Hall (A LEED Gold building), highlighting green features such as recycling, vending misers, lighting projects, locally sourced furniture, water saving devices, and thermal envelope improvements. A new student-driven project is underway in 2014 to place eco-spots in other buildings as well. These eco-spots would consist of a plastic paper holder so that the information displayed could be updated periodically without removing the installation.


The website URL for building signage that highlights green building features :
A brief description of food service area signage and/or brochures that include information about sustainable food systems:

A brochure from the on-campus farm describes the farm’s sustainable food system, including details of how it operates, as well as information about the CSA (community-supported agriculture) share that it offers. An online newsletter also shares the activities on the farm to the broader community.

Signage related to trayless dining, food conservation, compost, and origin of food is provided by the College's food service provider, Chartwells. Labels above food choices designate locally sourced food and produce from GMC's Cerridwen Farm to encourage sustainable choices.

Signage for composting food scraps is placed in the dining hall above the trash and compost receptacles. These signs are used to prevent unwanted materials in the compost piles by informing students, staff, faculty, and visitors about the proper procedures for separating compost contents and ensuring better quality of compost.

Students in the Slow Foods and Center of the Plate Club are working on a project to install an electronic dashboard in the dining hall that would show the energy use and greenhouse gas emissions associated with the food being served. A class taught by Kenneth Mulder in 2013 also created signage that the dining hall can use to show embodied food energy as it translates to driving a vehicle.


The website URL for food service area signage and/or brochures that include information about sustainable food systems:
A brief description of signage on the grounds about sustainable groundskeeping and/or landscaping strategies:

Green Mountain College has eight natural areas devoted to preserving native plants and educating the community about ecological processes. The natural areas crew posted signage in 2010 highlighting native plant gardens that were paid for and planted by various student groups on campus (e.g. Student Campus Greening Fund, a Botany Class). This signage still highlights the college's goal to increase native species throughout the campus.

With assistance from the National Park Service Rivers and Trails program and the support of the Town of Poultney, VT, a walking trail was developed by the Poultney Mettowee Natural Resources Conservation District that connects the various educational, recreational and environmentally important sites in the town. The trail system has now become a major focus of the Poultney 2020 redevelopment effort, and several staff and students are serving on the parks and recreation committee, which is working to clear the town trails system, install better signage, and thoroughly map all the trails. Additionally, at various locations on the GMC campus along the Poultney River, permanent wooden signs have been placed to inform visitors and students about the characteristics of the location and the environmental management it receives.

A natural areas boardwalk was also constructed by students in 2014 to minimize damage to the grounds on a well-traveled path to the river. This boardwalk will have a sign explaining the environmental benefits of the project.


The website URL for signage on the grounds about sustainable groundskeeping and/or landscaping strategies:
A brief description of the sustainability walking map or tour:

The sustainability tour is available as a video on Youtube. It is disseminated widely through orientations for new students and through the sustainability website.


The website URL of the sustainability walking map or tour:
A brief description of the guide for commuters about how to use alternative methods of transportation:

The GMC sustainability website offers an online resource guide for alternative transportation provided to the Green Mountain community. This site includes information on the free shuttle, various bus routes, train information, carpool matching services and Zipcar registration.

A more detailed version of this is available in hard copy, offering specific tips for driving more sustainably and how to maximize alternative modes. Copies of this are given to commuters during commuter orientation at the start of each school year, and copies are also available in residence life, auxiliary services, and the sustainability office.


The website URL for the guide for commuters about how to use alternative methods of transportation:
A brief description of the navigation and educational tools for bicyclists and pedestrians:
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The website URL for navigation and educational tools for bicyclists and pedestrians:
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A brief description of the guide for green living and incorporating sustainability into the residential experience:

The Green Guide to GMC for students is published online here (http://greenmtn.edu/flipbooks/green_guide/index.html) and is also made available to new students during new student orientation. To minimize paper, the url for the website version is printed on a small strip of paper and handed out to the majority of students.

Since 2013, there is also a guide for new employees that has sections outlining the major sustainability systems on campus, such as zero-sort recycling, e-waste recycling, composting, the reuse stores (Freepo and Freestore), and the Green Job Corps (the sustainability oriented work study program). Since 2014, a special version of this guide was created for the two permanent sub-contractors on campus, Chartwells (Dining Services), and DTZ (Facilities). These contractors have a copy of the guide on file and that guide is given to new employees.


The website URL for the guide for green living and incorporating sustainability into the residential experience:
A brief description of regular coverage of sustainability in the main student newspaper, either through a regular column or a reporter assigned to the sustainability beat:

A sustainability-related article written by the sustainability office’s events and communication specialist is published every issue of The Mountaineer, GMC's student-run campus newspaper. Some recent publications and topics include the following:

•Do it in the Dark competition
•GMC Invests in Energy Efficiency Projects
•Sustainable Transportation Options at GMC
•New Composting System Encourages Student Involvement
•UN Climate Change Conference at a Glance
•Diversification of Energy Sources: A 2008 Investor’s Perspective Today
•Green Mountain College Biomass Facility Update
•Tips for Greening your Dorm Room


The website URL for regular coverage of sustainability in the main student newspaper, either through a regular column or a reporter assigned to the sustainability beat:
A brief description of another sustainability publication or outreach material not covered above (1st material):

The sustainability office creates and disseminates a monthly newsletter called “College and Main” showcasing issues, projects, and events that are newsworthy to a general audience, including residents in the surrounding communities. In an effort to reach as many residents as possible, including low-income residents, the publication is disseminated mostly in hard-copy format to the local restaurants, laundromats, hardware stores, and grocery stores. The primary goal of the newsletter is to strengthen social sustainability between the College and the Town and create a sense of shared community and shared pride in sustainability achievements.


The website URL for this material (1st material):
Does the institution produce another sustainability publication or outreach material not covered above? (2nd material):
Yes

A brief description of this material (2nd material):

The Sustainability Office collaborates with the Sustainability 2020 task force, the Student Campus Greening Fund, the Communications Office and other groups to create videos on sustainability topics. In 2013, a series of four videos were created to highlight the Sustainability 2020 metrics (http://www.greenmtn.edu/sustainability-2020/measuring-progress.aspx) and the another video was created to highlight the efforts of the Student Campus Greening Fund (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UI6Dpph0aQs). In the summer of 2013, a sustainability orientation video was created offering a virtual tour of the sustainability systems on campus (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aMDhOqFmNLc). In the 2013-2014 academic year, several other videos have been created, including one about the solar garage (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-wb40vADjGY), one about the tiny house that the REED program built (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=11fBm6yoDj8), one about the Thanks and Giving service day (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nO9t2YpHiTU), one about the Trek Your Trash competition (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hSRz6mgeaiY), one about the campaign to ban bottled water (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MB4Kza-teIA), one about the student-driven transformation of Two Editors Inn into a model of energy efficiency (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3x0LTXh7p40) and many others.


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Does the institution produce another sustainability publication or outreach material not covered above? (3rd material):
No

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Does the institution produce another sustainability publication or outreach material not covered above? (4th material):
No

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Does the institution produce another sustainability publication or outreach material not covered above? (5th material):
No

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Does the institution produce another sustainability publication or outreach material not covered above? (6th material):
No

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Does the institution produce another sustainability publication or outreach material not covered above? (7th material):
No

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Does the institution produce another sustainability publication or outreach material not covered above? (8th material):
No

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The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.