Greening Reunion & Commencement
You will notice a new color standing out against the traditional black and red regalia decorating the 176th graduating class during its commencement ceremony this year: Green. A symbol of our dedication to producing an increasingly sustainable Reunion & Commencement Weekend, all graduating seniors, graduate students, alumni and their families, as well as faculty and staff members, will have the opportunity to don green ribbons indicating their commitment to the Wesleyan Community Climate Agreement and to leading a more environmentally conscientious and sustainable lifestyle in future pursuits.
Behind this emblematic gesture, a number of environmental initiatives will be implemented throughout the four-day weekend:
- Most printed materials will be printed on at least 30% post consumer and wind generated electricity paper.
- Bon Appétit, Wesleyan’s campus dining service, is committed to providing food that is fresh, seasonal and minimally processed, and will purchase up to 20 percent of the food used throughout weekend from local farmers and other artisans located within a 150 mile radius of the University, utilizing organic products whenever possible.
- Recycling resources will be widely available throughout campus, rental items and décor will be reduced significantly over previous years, and the university with collect diploma covers and nametag holders for reuse.
- Bon Appétit will collect waste for compost in all of its kitchens, and composting will take place at Wesleyan’s Long Lane Farm.
- Some disposable plastic ware will be replaced with eco-friendly bio-ware, made from renewable sources like corn, sugarcane, and potato starch that break down in a way that is not as harmful to the environment.
- Guests will have the opportunity to purchase carbon offsets to negate the greenhouse gases emitted as a result of their travel to Wesleyan via Carbonfund.org.
- Alumni and students will be able to utilize a ride-share tool via WesLink, in order to facilitate connections and encourage carpooling to and from campus.
- Many of the communications sent about the weekend will be in electronic format, greatly reducing the total amount of paper used.
- Hybrid vehicles and golf carts will be utilized in place of some conventional shuttle vehicles for transporting guests around campus.
- Extra meals from several large events will be donated to Wesleyan’s Food Not Bombs organization for use in local food kitchens.
Additionally, Wesleyan and Bon Appétit care about what you put into your body and its effect on your wellbeing. This weekend we’ve worked hard to provide you with food that is fresh, seasonal, and minimally processed. Fruits and vegetables purchased whole and naturally ripe contain the most nutrients and simply taste better. Meat and poultry raised without antibiotic or growth hormones are better for your body. When possible, we’re providing you with organic options along with other healthy choices. We understand that the effects of our choices extend well beyond the walls of our cafes at Wesleyan, and we’ve committed to purchasing up to 20 percent of the foods used this weekend from local farmers and other artisans located within a 150 mile radius of the University. By buying directly from these producers we can support sustainable farming practices that nourish and replenish the local land. We can also be sure that the profits are kept with the local grower, not a distant importer, and thus returned back to the community. We’re mindful of the impact we make on the environment. Recycling is no longer a choice; it’s a necessity, and you will find the opportunity to recycle at most every event this weekend. All of Bon Appetit’s kitchens are stocked with composting bins and all composting is done at Wesleyan’s Long Lane Farm. Most disposable ware that you will use this weekend is eco-friendly and either compostable or biodegradable. We recognize the power and importance of food. It brings people together, creates a sense of place and a feeling of kinship all of which will be very evident this weekend. Enjoy your visit to Wesleyan and remember that this weekend’s wonderful food will not only nourish your body but also the community and the environment.
Enjoy your visit to Wesleyan and remember that this weekend’s wonderful food will not only nourish your body but also the community and the environment.
To offset your carbon emissions when traveling to Reunion & Commencement Weekend this year, please visit the Carbonfund.org web site! Use their Auto and Airline calculators to estimate the amount of carbon you will produce in traveling to and from Middletown, and make a donation to Carbonfund’s carbon-reducing projects to offset your impact.
Ways to Reduce Your Impact
- Take advantage of natural light! Open the shades during the day for lighting and heating your room, close them at night to keep heat in.
- Bring blankets and warm clothing with you for the evening, and keep your thermostat at 68 degrees.
- Walk to events around campus, or utilize the campus shuttle rather than driving your own vehicle. For each gallon of gas you burn, 20 pounds of heat-trapping CO2 is released into the atmosphere.
- Bring a reusable travel mug or thermos for water instead of drinking bottled water.
- Be sure to place recyclable items in their proper receptacles around campus.
- Purchase carbon offsets to negate the greenhouse gas emission produced throughout your travel. Visit Carbonfund.org for details.
- Turn off your lights when not needed, and unplug appliances, computers, and cell phone chargers when not in use.
- Carpool to and from campus. If you have an extra seat, offer it to another R&C guest! Alumni can use WesLink to connect with others who are looking for rides or have them to give.