Happy December everyone! We are so proud of everyone's hard work this semester, and hope you are looking forward to winter break as much as we are! We have so many things to celebrate from November like Auraria Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week (AHHA), and want to end the year on a fantastic note! Keep scrolling to learn more about having a sustainable holiday season, events on campus, and more!
We want to answer your inquires about making campus more sustainable, as well as leading a more eco friendly life. We encourage all of you to submit questions you may have about the environment and sustainable living. You can submit them by DMing us on any form of social media, or emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org. At the end of each month we will reveal which question was selected by the staff and address it in the upcoming newsletter!
Thank you to @sherbear98 for this month’s burning question! Their question, “Can I throw away batteries? Some packages say you can but I have also heard it is toxic” prompted us to do some further research to see what can be disposed of safely on our campus and at home.
To answer their question right off the bat, the only batteries acceptable to place in a trash bin as a last resort are single-use alkaline and zinc-carbon. These are common batteries seen in sizes like AA, AAA, and 9V which are used in a variety of devices from television remotes to calculators. All other batteries should be recycled or disposed of responsible through a proper authority.
The reason it’s important to recycle batteries is because they contain metals and chemicals that are detrimental to human and environmental health. Mercury, lead, cadmium, nickel, and silver are common elements found in batteries which pose a threat to ecology. In addition to the health component of battery recycling, there’s also a material recovery component that creates a secondary market for critical minerals for production in new goods instead of extracting virgin minerals.
We also have a Hard2Recycle initiative on campus supported by BlueStar Recycling which provides disposal services for electronic waste such as old charging cords, batteries, hardware pieces, etc.! We hope this helps you know which batteries can be disposed of responsibly. Thank you for your question!
We would also like to thank @nherrin20 for their question on hand driers versus composting paper towels. They asked “Is it more sustainable/energy efficient to use the hand drier or compost your paper towels?” and we found out that high speed hand driers are the best if there is only one round per person. It is important to note that while composting paper towels is an excellent practice in sustainability, not all restroom paper towels are made of recycled materials or are able to be composted in all states.
To equal the energy used by a single cycle from the hand driers, everyone who uses paper towels would have to commit to one sheet made from highly recycled content that were immediately composted. All in all, both options are sustainable if used correctly and responsibly!
The 2021 Auraria Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week was a success! Big thank you to our partners We Don’t Waste and SECORE Cares; they provided information about food waste and free groceries to over 200 students. Throughout the week, we had four full days of programming that included resources from all three institutions as well as Denver Human Services for students and community members struggling with hunger or housing. This included support for individuals looking to sign up for SNAP Benefits as well as many other programs. Together, the campus collected 473 pounds of clothing for the Clothing Swap; the remaining clothes were donated to local organizations that provide support for the houseless population of the Denver Metropolitan Area (Urban Peak.) Volunteers also came together to make blankets that were donated to individuals involved in transitional housing across the Front Range and Western Slopes. We are so thrilled that we had the opportunity to host the 7th Annual AHHA Week, and look forward to building off of theses successes in 2022!
The Displaced Aurarians Scholarship Program as recently expanded to include eligibility for all direct descendants of of Aurarians impacted by the relocated from 1955 to 1973. We encourage everyone who satisfies the requirements to apply, and reach out to their affiliated schools' Displaced Aurarian Scholarship Information support center for more information.
Come volunteer with us for our December Bike Count! We're going to go out twice in once day to collect data on how many bikes are in and around campus. This helps us gather information about how many people are using alternative transportation to reduce their carbon footprint. Meet at Tivoli 267 (10am and/or 2pm) and join our staff member for this super fun opportunity! Click the photo above to go to our sign up sheet!
Come see YOUR student fees put to work by helping us measure the positive impacts of the newly-added compost bin through a waste audit. We need help collecting this data, so come get messy with some fellow trash fans and compost connoisseurs! Sign up and join us between 11:30am - 1:30pm on December 8th in the ASCP Office (Tivoli 267). Click the photo above to go to our sign up sheet!
Say “hello” to our wonderful staff from left to right and top to bottom:
Interested in learning more about how we all help to reduce the ecological impact and dependence on fossil fuels? Check out our team page!
Come one, come all—events are in full swing! We're excited to announce upcoming volunteer activities, educational workshops, and opportunities to connect with our greater campus community. Come help the ASCP and our partner organizations support things like the campus' zero waste vision, transition to alternative transportation, and survey student sustainability interests. Register for events by clicking the links below or contacting email@example.com.