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logo-continued.jpg (10441 bytes) a r c h i v e s
New Recycling Coordinator for Airport and Beltline Campuses

Replacing Thomas Meaders seemed to be an impossible task, but the MTC Green Team has found a new recycling coordinator, Aaron Buller. Aaron is working on his Associate in Arts degree and hopes to be a history teacher one day; Ben Franklin is one of his favorite characters from American history.

Aaron has already made a positive impression on faculty and staff who have met him. Jeanne West, administrative assistant for the Paralegal Program on Airport Campus, commented on Aaron’s reliability and good manners. So if you have paper that needs to be picked up, look for Aaron Buller.

Faculty and Staff Honor Thomas Meaders at Retreat

For over three years, Thomas Meaders has been the friendly face of MTC recycling on both Airport and Beltline Campus. Thomas graduated with honors in May, 2006. For most of his tenure as recycling coordinator, Thomas received work study funding as well as numerous scholarship funds he earned for his outstanding academic work. However, Thomas was no longer eligible for work study monies the final semester he attended MTC. With no replacement in sight, it appeared that the recycling program at MTC would come to a dead stop. Thomas, however, was unwilling to allow the recycling program he had helped develop and manage to die. He volunteered to continue recycling on both campuses until a new recycling coordinator was found. Even when Green Team member Helen Kingkade expressed doubts in finding a replacement, Thomas had faith. Fortunately, Thomas’ instincts proved correct, and Aaron Buller was hired the third week in April.

From January 2006 to April 2006, Thomas devoted over 160 hours of his own time and energy to continue the recycling program, not to mention the gas he spent traveling from Airport to Beltline Campus. During this time, and during his entire tenure as recycling coordinator, Thomas has been punctual, personable, reliable, resourceful and generous. Faculty and Staff Councils and MTC President Dr. Sonny White recognized Thomas’ efforts with a plaque during the May 19th Retreat. Thomas received a well-deserved standing ovation. Thank you, Thomas, on behalf of the Green Team and the entire college, and good luck as you continue to pursue your educational goals at Columbia College!

43 Tons a Year!!
The Green Team's 2005 Report on
Paper Recycling at MTC


Average Monthly Collection
one cart=200 lbs.

Annual Average Tonnage


19 roll carts

23 Tons


9 roll carts

10 Tons


2 roll carts

2 Tons


7 roll carts*

8 Tons

MTC Total

37 roll carts

43 Tons

* With special thanks to the Northeast Campus recyclers. For the last two months their average has jumped to 15 roll carts.

A Celebration of Water!
What Goes Up Must Flow Down

Riverfront Park
Saturday, April 2, 2005
1 p.m.-5 p.m.
Free; Fee for boat trips and museum admission

Everyone loves the river; it's our regional trademark.  But there's more than friendliness flowing past the Three Rivers Greenway.  This inaugural educational event is sponsored by the City of Columbia in partnership with the River Alliance, Department of Health and Environmental Control, Department of Natural Resources, the Coastal Conservation League, American Rivers, the State Museum, EdVenture, Riverbanks Zoo, Congaree Land Trust, SC Wildlife Federation, and Trout Unlimited, with more to come!

Visit newly remodeled Riverfront Park to enjoy an afternoon of hands on activities, including canoe and kayak trips, guided interpretative walks, and aquatic exploration.  Come prepared to have fun, explore, and learn about the importance of the Riverbanks Region's most precious resource.

Contact Karen Kustafik for more information.

Saturday, September 18th
Riverfront Park

The Green Team encourages everyone to join in this annual nationwide beach and river cleanup day. Wear long pants, sturdy shoes and bring work gloves. Meet at 9 a.m. in the parking lot by the Old Red School House.

For more information, contact the site coordinator Karen Kustafik of the City of Columbia's Parks and Recreation Department (255-8163). Karen, a former MTC student, is the site coordinator.

recycleproducts.jpg (9152 bytes)How to Recycle a Dead Mouse (and Other Technology Hardware)

We've all got them--that old mouse in the desk draw, the keyboard that got fried when you spilled a Coke on it, broken printers in the closet, old scanners, fax machines, personal computers, desk-top copiers, monitors, digital cameras, and cellular phones that never actually worked. So how do you dispose of this personal high-tech junk in an environmentally safe way? 

Great news! From now until Labor Day, Office Depot is accepting these old items for recycling. There really aren't many opportunities like this, and we need to be sure to get the word out! Please help the Green Team by emailing friends and co-workers about this opportunity. For directions on dropping items off, visit the Office Depot website.) This offer applies only for your own hardware, not for equipment belonging to the college. If it is time to recycle school-owned equipment, contact your department chair or supervisor for the proper procedure.

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If you’ve driven to the MTC Beltline Campus recently, you’ve probably noticed an attractive new building on Beltline Boulevard. The Cox and Dinkins Office Building has received recognition for more than its appealing appearance: the building is one of a few in the state that has been registered by the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating system. LEED evaluates the environmental standards of a building, rating it on accepted environmental and energy principles.

cox-dinkins-small (Copy 1).jpg (43587 bytes)Besides having air conditioning and furnace units that meet exceptional efficiency standards (SEER ratings of up to 14.0), a large portion of the building is constructed of recycled material. The handsome wood floors are made from pine which was originally part of an old plantation; the carpet squares are made from recycled materials and can be recycled again when and if they need to be replaced. All the lighting is controlled by motion sensors. And in another significant nod toward the future, there's even a daycare center tucked under eaves upstairs.

Cox and Dinkins is hoping to lead by example. Their philosophy is this is the right thing to do, and it ultimately saves money. At Dr. Russell’s suggestion, a walking tour of the building will be held during the afternoon of Fall In Service.

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MTC Green Team Gets Political

When the Democratic primaries were held in Columbia, MTC Green Team members hit the pavement, with an important message: America needs clean energy. The Green Team was contracted by newenergyfuture.org, a State Public Interest Research Group. The group is nonpartisan; their interest is getting the message that clean energy alternatives need to be considered to all political candidates. More information about the group can be found at www.newenergyfuture.org/

The End of Environmental Law as We Know it:
What Comes Next?

Professor Patrick A. Parenteau
Vermont Law School

October 14, 2003, 7:30 PM
Room 428 Gambrell Hall

Reception to follow in Room 429
Free and open to the public

Professor Patrick A. Parenteau, Vermont Law School professor and former Director of the school’s Environmental Law Center, will speak in Room 428 Gambrell Hall at 7:30 pm on Tuesday, October 14.

Professor Parenteau received his B.S. in business administration from Regis College, his J.D. from Creighton University, and his L.L.M. from George Washington University. He has served as the Commissioner of the Vermont Department of Environmental Control, the Vice President for Conservation of the National Wildlife Federation, and Regional Counsel for U.S. EPA Region I. In addition, he has served as special counsel to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, has been of counsel to the firm of Perkins Coie in Portland, Oregon, and has served as an adjunct and visiting professor at several law schools. Professor Parenteau’s many specialties include environmental policy and litigation, citizens’ suits, endangered species and biological diversity, water quality and wetlands, land use, and property rights and takings.

A frequent speaker, Professor Parenteau’s style has been described as "irrepressible and animated." Professor Parenteau is regularly asked to testify before the United States Congress and other governmental bodies. His breadth of experience allows him to illustrate his points with examples ranging from the spotted owl case to the Tellico Dam decision.

The presentation is free and open to the public, but please call or email Gayle Crutchlow (803-777-9911) to reserve a seat. For questions about Professor Parenteau’s talk, please call Kim Diana Connolly, USC School of Law, 803-777-6880.

Sponsored by the USC School of the Environment, School of Law and Sustainable Universities Initiative, the presentation is free and open to the public, but please call (803.777.9911) or email Gayle Crutchlow (gcrutchlow@environ.sc.edu) to let us know you're coming.

mtcgreen.jpg (3439 bytes)Full Recycling Program
Begins in January 2003

Thanks to MTC’s Green Team, all campuses will once again have a full paper-recycling program beginning in January.
     This is a giant step in the Green Team’s program to create a greener campus. Over a year ago, the team began testing options and seeking funds to help finance the new system. Using the services of Paper Stock (a local recycling company) and a grant from DHEC, the new system is without cost to the college. Its success, however, will be due in large part to the hard work of the people in Operations (especially Tim McLellan) and the active support of Dr. Russell.
     The Green Team will be presenting details on the role of faculty, staff, and students at Spring inservice.

More Green Team Players

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As the MTC Green Team makes the transition from volunteer recycling effors to a full fledged, sustainable recycling system, several people have been key to streamlining the process. First, Dr. Barry Russell has offered his full support. Second, Tim McLellan from Operations has stepped up to the plate to become our new recycling manager. Last, but certainly not least, is Thomas Meader, an MTC work study student. Thomas has not only made sure paper is being properly recycled at the Airport Campus, he has helped inventory our bins and carts to assess our future recycling needs and has represented our college in a Chamber of Commerce meeting in the community.
     Thomas was born in a taxicab in New York City and lived there (in the city, that is) until he joined the army and completed a tour of duty in Vietnam. Since then he has had a variety of interesting jobs including working with the mentally handicapped, with the U.S. Postal service and as a manager with Tri-State Newspaper. Thomas has returned to college to finish a degree in accounting.

earthday2002-2a.jpg (50221 bytes)Skits for America Recycles Day

MTC Speech and Theatre students celebrated America Recycles Day with their second annual Environmental skit contest. To a packed house, twenty six students performed in seven scenes in the Health Science Auditorium on Wednesday, November 13 at 7 p.m. Three distinguished judges helped select the top three skits. The judges were: Holly Storey, from DHEC, Jane Hiller from PaperStock Recycling, and Steve Valder, Ecology instructor at MTC.

First place went to "A Day in the Life of a Tree," written and performed by David Bost, Greg Grant, Jamie Johnson, John Plowden, Matthew Pound, and Shamonte Stroman. "Moving Back to Nature" took second place. The skit was written by Nikki Bass and Helen Kingkade and performed by Heather Sturgess, Andy Lyle, Kristin Taylor, Katherine Hart,  and Justin Lee. Third place went to the "Nightly News" which revolved around a videotape of students littering on Campus. Kenny Upton, Melissa Christopher and Danny Bellino created the video, and Marie Dickerson played the newscaster who interviewed Travis Hines.

S E V E N  T O N S  O F  P A P E R
R E C Y C L E D !
The Green Team Celebrates a Very Green First Year!

The Green Team began its pilot recycling project in the fall semester of 2001. At that time, we ordered six recycling carts. But recycling really caught on! And we had to get two more carts. Each cart holds approximately 100 lbs. Since the project began, at least seven tons of paper have been recycled by the two campuses. The college also recycled 1400 lbs. of phone books in February.

New bins are being ordered with grant money. With the project's growth, the college will not only reduce unnecessary waste in landfills—it will actually save money. MTC pays for waste pickup, and less waste means less disposal costs.

Since the Airport Campus is on Paperstock Dealers’ recycling route (they handle recycling for Lexington School District), Airport Campus has the option of recycling office paper, newspaper, and plastic and aluminum. Beltline Campus recycles office paper only.

Currently, new bins are being ordered for both campuses so less paper will be wasted and more money will be saved. Please do your part by recycling paper from your office and classroom in the nearest blue bin.

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Columbia Businesses Reward "the Greenest
of them all" at MTC

Mirror, mirror on the wall—who’s the greenest of them all? If you came to Spring In Service at MTC, you know the answer. Laura Mattingly and Oliver Truitt tied as Greenest Staff. Both have been proactive in collecting office paper for recycling. Dave Pritchard was named Greenest Faculty for building a trailer to collect aluminum cans. Terry Bradwell and Gene Bishop joined in by building a cage for the trailor (see earlier article). Dr. Barry Russell received the Greenest Administrator award for his support and encouragement of the Green Team as well as his philosophy of using technology to save energy (see earlier article). Thanks to all the winners for inspiring us to be a little greener!
     Some were green with envy because the gifts were so generous! Lexington Dry Cleaners, who have adopted a new Green Earth cleaning system, gave each winner a twenty-five dollar gift certificate. Each winner also received a gift coupon for two from the Basil Pot. Rosewood Market and EarthFare supplied gift bags filled with organic delectables, and Rosewood Market also gave gift certificates for each winner. Thanks to these businesses for their dedication to the environment and their support for our Green Team projects.
     If you want to win, there’ll be more exciting prizes for Spring 2003!
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art-berry3.jpg (33869 bytes)Green Art Awards

Colin Dodd gave his art students a general assignment—make a collage of the rain forest. He was deliberately not specific; he wanted to see what images and ideas students would chose to accentuate. Some students focused on vanishing plant life, some on endangered animal species; others focused on indigenous people in the rain forest.
     Judges Linda Porter and Douglas Capps selected two winners. Amanda Berry took first place, and Katharine Gambrell placed second. In their comments, one of the judges observed, "I liked the vertical lines in Berry’s piece. They appear to represent the past (vegetation) and the future (clearing) as signs of man’s impact in conflict with nature. The artwork seems to emphasize the point that if deforestation and agricultural use of the rain forest continues, it could be extinct by the year 2030." Another commented, "I like the energy created by the boy with the slingshot. The scene in the background is broken like a fence; each slat giving a partial view of a vanishing world." Gambrell’s piece was selected for its use of color, texture, and repetition in the pattern. The judges also liked the fact that the collages portrayed the vast diversity of the species in the rainforest.
     These two pieces and other contest entries are included in our
photo album.
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Justin Lee as "Woody"



Campus buzzed with activity on November 14th and 15th—art students put finishing touches on collages; others rehearsed environmental skits; Associate of Arts student Charles Dipietro set up the stage for his band, My Blind Luck; nine speech students practiced for the Green Speech contest; and Col 105 students prepared posters, sold tee shirts, and collected signatures for America Recycles pledge cards.
     A distinguished panel of judges adjudicated the events. Richard Chesley from DHEC and Mary Pat Baldauf from Keep America Beautiful joined Linda Porter, MTC’s Sustainable Universities Initiative fellow, to judge skit night on November 14. Jane Hiller, from Paper Stock Recycling and Holly Storey from DHEC joined Linda on November 15 to judge the speech contest.


Winners on skit night included Christina Williams and Taz Aziz, who took first place for a script written by Christina entitled "A Brand New SUV." The scene shows a young couple debating the advantages and disadvantages of the car. While she argues that an SUV pollutes the environment, he tries to watch a football game.
     Nikki Bass and Brian Wolfe tied for second place with their script "Don’t Disrespect my Street!" in which a pair of mobsters challenge shoppers who litter. The skit also starred Michelle Pichardo, Eric Martin, Andrea Grinstead, and Jennifer Mundy. "The Hikers" by Helen Kingkade tied for second place. This scene was about a young couple who hike in the woods and meet up with an animated mountain range, an anthropomorphic "Old Man River," and a real life heap of garbage who teaches them a lesson. The skit starred Michael Draper, Amber Hernandez, Gia Hughes, Cullen Johnson, Natalie McCoy, Dallas Sherman, Omi Taylor, and Malav Trivedi.
     Third place went to "Captain Planet" by Curtis Burch. The skit depicted two wily businessmen who plan to dump medical waste into the ocean until stopped by Captain Planet. Michael Draper and Malav Trivedi played the businessmen, and Burch saved the day as the Captain.
     Other skits included "Go Fish" by Gia Hughes, Michael Patel, and Malav Trivedi. In this scene, two pot smokers fish in a river, oblivious to the fact they were polluting it until a mermaid comes out of the water and gives them a lecture. Michael Draper, Eric Martin, and Michelle Pichardo wrote a script "Save a Tree" based on idea by Justin Lee. The scene depicted Lee as "Woody," a man who lived in a tree for 456 days to defend it from Dentopik, a toothpick manufacturer headed by Ms. Abigail Winters (Michelle Pichardo). The two meet on a television show called Talk of America, and the host, (Michael Draper), convinces them to fist fight for the tree. The skit also starred Jennifer Mundy and Andrea Grinstead.
     The evening also included video clips entitled "Good Idea, Bad Idea," which featured information about saving water while brushing your teeth, recycling motor oil, and taking care of your house plants. The show ended with a rousing performance by the band "My Blind Luck."

Ryan LuGozzo



Winners of the speech contest were: First place, Ryan LoGuzzo with a speech about the advantages of alternative farming practices; second place, Jefferson Roberts, who discussed the need to recycle motor oil, and tying for third place were Cherokee Gordon, with a speech about the problem with littering and Cherie Curtis, who advocated sustainable practices by indigenous people in the rainforest.

Dee Bostic’s College 105 students collected over a hundred pledges to recycle and raised $26 for the Friends of the Congaree Swamp through tee shirt sales and collecting donations at the events. The tee shirts were designed by Green Team member Elena Martinez Vidal and will also be available at Spring In Service.

Photo Album of "America Recycles" Day at Midlands Tech.

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Recycling Project Grows

The Green Team deliberately began its pilot project in recycling slowly. The question was: would MTC faculty and staff support the project? The answer: a resounding "yes!" Faculty and staff on both campuses had actually been hoarding office paper, refusing to throw it in the garbage. So when the carts arrived from Paper Stock Dealers, they were quickly filled.

But Dave Pritchard was concerned about aluminum cans. Although Dave was aware that several faculty members were recycling aluminum cans independently, he wanted to find a way to collect the cans on a larger scale—and to get students involved. Dave had a small trailer that he could hitch to the back of his truck, but it was not designed for carrying cans. Dave consulted with Gene Bishop and Terry Bradwell from Heating and Air Conditioning and together they constructed a cage for the trailer to hold hundreds of aluminum cans. Dave has parked the trailer behind the Granby building on Airport Campus, but he’s also willing to drive the trailer to different buildings for monthly pickups.

Dave is no stranger to recycling aluminum. He and his two sons collected all the aluminum cans after several USC football games. "That was hard work," said Dave. "One time we were there for almost seven hours."

But thanks to Terry and Gene’s ingenuity, aluminum recycling should be much easier on Airport Campus.back to Green home page

Our Community
Green Partners

The MTC Green Team has discovered great friends and supporters both within the college and in the community. Local DHEC representative Holly Storey has definitely been a green angel. She has provided useful information and prizes for our Earth Day celebration and for the America Recycles Celebration on November 14 and 15. It was Holly’s suggestion to call Paper Stock Recycling Company to start collecting white paper from both Airport and Beltline campuses. Holly lives a model green life: each week she finds she has twice as much recyclable garbage as regular trash. She also believes in buying recycled products and can tell you where to find them.

MTC’s Student Advisory Board has formed a one year partnership with Keep America Beautiful. Teams of students, staff, and faculty have adopted a segment of roadway by the Beltline Campus and have already helped with two cleanups there as well as participating in River Sweep. Keep America Beautiful provides volunteers with brightly colored orange safety vests, snacks, and tee shirts. Keep America Beautiful director Mary Pat Baldauf will serve as a judge for the environmental skits presented by MTC’s Technique Club on November 14.

Local businesses have also been wonderfully supportive. The Basil Pot restaurant in downtown Columbia has pledged their support by offering coupons to winners of the Greenest Faculty, Staff and Administrator awards. The Basil Pot offers an enticing variety of healthy foods including vegetarian, fish and poultry breakfasts, lunches and dinners at a reasonable price seven days a week. The Basil Pot is located at 928 Main Street.

The Rosewood Market and Deli, Columbia owned health food store serving the community for twenty years, has also chipped in with prizes for contest winners. The Rosewood Market offers organic, macro and vegetarian foods, as well as a large stock of vitamins, minerals, cosmetics and books. They also serve hot lunches both indoors and outdoors. Owner Basil Garzia has long supported the environment. When paving a parking lot for his store, he refused to allow an oak and two pecans to be cut down to allow for more parking spaces. He contacted a consultant from the National Arbor Day Foundation and then hired a consultant to build around the trees. The Rosewood Market and Deli is located on 2803 Rosewood Drive.

Columbia’s growing health conscious community affords several healthy options. Earth Fare, a North Carolina based chain, came to Columbia just over a year ago. They also offer a variety of health foods, supplements, cosmetics and gifts. Earth Fare has an in store restaurant where customers can pay for hot meals by the ounce–that way nothing gets wasted. Located on 3312 Devine Street, Earth Fare will also provide gifts for winners of the MTC Green contest.

Lexington Dry Cleaners has adopted a new GreenEarth dry cleaning program, which is nontoxic and chemically inert. They are the first cleaners in Columbia to adopt this revolutionary new dry cleaning solution. A family owned business that has been operating in the Midlands since 1945, Lexington Dry Cleaners has donated dry cleaning gift certificates for MTC Green contest winners.

The MTC bookstore has supported green efforts for years (see our "Green Friend" report on Dave Hammond). Besides buying recycled paper to test on campus copy machines, Sandra Franklin and Dave Hammond are going to complete the gift packages provided by our community partners with their own special contribution.

The Green Team wishes to thank all our community partners for their support.back to Green home page

Recycling Revived at Midlands Tech

Recycling was holding on by a thread this summer at MTC. The only thing definitely being recycled was cardboard. Now, thanks to the Green Team project and SUI funds (see Linda Porter's earlier article), paper is once again being recycled at MTC.
     On Airport Campus, two carts are located in the Academic Center—one in the library and one in the Learning Center. Another is located on the first floor of the Robinson building. On the Beltline Campus, carts are located on the fourth floor of LET (adjacent to the fourth floor elevator), in the library, and on the fourth floor of Wade Martin.
     Smaller blue bins located by most copy machines will be emptied into the carts. These bins are for white paper, computer paper, and notebook paper (staples are okay). No newspaper or envelopes, please.
     Although Paper Stock Dealers has agreed to collect paper free of charge, checking the bins and filling the carts depends on volunteers at the college. A big thanks to the following green binmeisters: Ellison Robinson and Mitzi Trigg for LET; Travis Gordon, Stan Frick, Laurie Cox, and Ari Derrick for Wade Martin; J.W. Brown for the Beltline library; Ann Osborn, Cathy Eckman, and Laura Baker for the Airport library; Laura Mattingly and Alfred Pritchard for the Learning Centers; Linda Porter, Elena Martinez Vidal, and Helen Kingkade for Robinson. These volunteers will have to check the bins frequently, empty the bins into the large cart, and work with Paper Stock Dealers to schedule pickups when the carts are full. Contact any of them if you want to help.
     If you are interested in recycling and do not have a bin in your building, you can adopt a bin. Contact
Helen Kingkade to set it up.
     For more good news about using recycled paper at the college, check out the efforts of two of our new "green friends" Gwen Creech and Dave Hammond.

Why Recycle Paper?

  • For every ton of paper that is recycled, 17 trees are saved.
  • For every ton of paper that is recycled, 7,000 gallons of water are saved.
  • For every ton of paper that is recycled, enough energy is saved to provide power for an average home for six months! When prices of gasoline are soaring, and various states experiencing blackouts and brownouts, conserving energy is a wise decision.
  • According to DHEC’s Office of Solid Waste Reduction and Recycling, the average American uses nearly 700 pounds of paper a year. Forty percent of our nations’ garbage is made up of paper products. Why fill our landfills with paper when it can be easily reused?        back to Green home page


Igniting the Initiative:
Lighting the Way to Sustainability

The Sustainable Universities Initiative (SUI) is a privately funded, unified effort of Clemson University, the Medical University of South Carolina, and the University of South Carolina. According to Sustainable Universities Project Director and Dean of USC School of the Environment, Dr. Bruce Coull, "The Initiative is focused on making our students more aware of their responsibilities to the earth and society. At the same time, we are attempting to make our own institutions better models of environmental stewardship."

In August 2000, the Initiative expanded with Phase II, which included universities and colleges throughout the state. Campus SUI Environmental fellows for 2000-2001 are at Coastal Carolina University, College of Charleston, Francis Marion University, Lander University, SC State University, Winthrop University, Central Carolina Technical College, Midlands Technical College, Spartanburg Technical College, Tri-County Technical College, Trident Technical College, and Williamsburg Technical College. Each Environmental Fellow may apply for a $5000 management grant to support campus activities relating to environmental sustainability.

Mini-grants in the amount of $3000 to $10,000 may be awarded to faculty for projects promoting environmental sustainability. The campus SUI Environmental Fellow will have the applications and guidelines for mini-grant proposals. This site will provide information regarding the mini-grants when available. The funds may be used for release time, equipment purchases, curriculum development, or specific student oriented projects. In December 2000, Helen Kingkade’s "Project Green Team" was a recipient of a $5000 mini-grant and is funded through December 2001.

As the SUI Environmental Fellow, I endeavor to keep the college aware of workshops, seminars, special events, and grant opportunities relating to important environmental issues. If you have knowledge of additional opportunities to enhance our awareness of environmental issues, please forward to me at PorterL@midlandstech.com.

Visit the home page for SUI at http://www.sc.edu/sustainableu/ . Thanks to the Green Team for igniting the initiative at MTC. Your help is needed to keep the flame burning!     back to Green home page

Lighting — Too Much
of a Good Thing? 

Light is a necessity on our planet. Both plant and animal life require light to thrive. Perhaps because of this, ‘light’ is used metaphorically to represent positive concepts–truth, knowledge and morality-- to name a few. Darkness, by contrast, is often associated with negative attributes, such as ignorance, crime and evil. Alison St. Claire thinks its time to take a closer look at light and darkness, and perhaps reevaluate some of these assignations. Recently bothered by an overabundance of light in her neighborhood, Alison decided to do a little research on the internet. She discovered the website of the International Dark Sky Association, a non profit organization whose mission is "to preserve and protect the nighttime environment and our heritage of dark skies through quality outdoor lighting." The IDSA claims the dusk to dawn lighting used throughout the United States to promote a sense of security is an enormous waste of energy, and a waste of money.

According to the website, wasted night lighting adds up to a whopping billion dollars annually. Cities, businesses and individuals often invest in night lighting in order to feel safe. Yet according to the IDSA, there is a "paucity of data" to show any correlation between crime and darkness. In fact, the opposite is true. More crime occurs during daylight hours.

The IDSA is not opposed to the use of security lights at night; it is opposed to the wasteful use of light. An example of wasted light is light that extends up towards the night sky instead of focusing on a specific area that needs lighting. This kind of misuse of light causes light pollution – easily identified as a layer of unnecessary pink glow that shrouds cities at night.

Astronomy instructor Jeff Hopkins battles light pollution when teaching the lab sections of his courses. Students often have to drive miles out of the city to get a clear impression of the night sky. Telescopes are often rendered ineffective because of light pollution.

Light pollution at night can also be a problem for sea turtles in South Carolina. The bright night lights can distract and mislead turtles from finding and following the moon.

If you are interested in ways you can check whether your neighborhood is wasting light, check out the IDSA website at http://www.darksky.org/ida/index.html Another resource can be found at http://members.aol.com/ctstarwchr/LiteLynx.htm#index

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Green Technologies at Midlands Technical College

Midlands Technical College is committed to environmental awareness and restraint in its use of natural resources. As an educational institution, the college accepts responsibility for demonstrating the importance of good stewardship of the environment.
     Two clear instances of the college's ability to reduce the use of valuable  resources are its limiting the use of paper and fuel. Through the use of e-mails, Internet and distance learning technologies, the college is able to reduce its reliance on paper. Through distance learning technologies and the ability to conduct virtual meetings and classes, college associates and students can reduce their use of fossil fuels.
     I commend the college community for its efforts, both individual and collective, to preserve our natural resources. These efforts not only make a difference in the short term, they provide examples to our students and community that will make a significant difference over time.
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The MTC Green Team

In Fall of 2000, MTC Sustainable Universities Initiative Fellow, Linda Porter, notified faculty about available grants to raise environmental awareness on campus. Linda, who teaches biology, was particularly interested in communicating across disciplines. She contacted Helen Kingkade, who teaches theatre and speech and sponsors MTC drama club, Technique. Helen applied for the grant in December, received notification of approval in January, and in March, the Green Team was formed. Members include Travis Gordon (English Department), Elena Martinez Vidal (Speech and Theatre), and Linda and Helen.
     In April, the Green Team sponsored an Earth Day celebration at Airport Campus. Five students enrolled in Acting for Camera wrote and performed public service announcements designed to raise environmental awareness. The public service announcements were shown during the acting class premiere in April. Columbia advertising agency Newman, Saylor and Gregory selected Courtney Hyde’s message about the danger of mercury thermometers as the winner. Dr. Barry Russell, Dr. Nancy Kreml, Travis Gordon. and Elena Martinez Vidal joined over ninety students attending the premiere.
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MTC Celebrates Earth Day 2001

On Friday, April 20th, over fifty students, faculty and staff participated in an Earth Day celebration on Airport Campus in the student commons. The event featured information booths designed by students and faculty, including Anne Fletcher’s booth on composting, Tiffany Spradley’s booth about the commercial uses of hemp, Angela Braun’s booth about global warming, and Morgan McGriff’s booth about multiple uses of recycled aluminum.
     Music was provided by biology instructor Tom Reeves, who was accompanied by students Chad Call and Todd Nelson. The trio played guitar and sang a medley of songs from the sixties and seventies, as well as original material. Stephanie Sanders played the fiddle. There was a ‘toss the recyclables’ game with prizes for those who could get their item in the recycling bin in two turns or less. Prizes were provided by DHEC.
Raffle tickets were sold at a dollar a piece to raise money to save the rainforests. Adam Browder won the raffle and was given a twenty dollar gift certificate to Body Rites, provided by owner at the suggestion of MTC student Tara Kuhns. The sale of raffle tickets raised thirty five dollars which was sent to the Rainforest Action Network. Check out their website and find out seven simple things you can do to save the rainforest.

Earth day website: http://earthday.wilderness.org/
Rainforest Action Network: http://www.ran.org/info_center/factsheets/olc.html

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Green Team StartsRecycling Program

Thanks to support from our grant, the Green Team will begin a new recycling program this fall semester. Although start-up money is available from the Sustainable Universities Initiative, this new program will be run entirely by student, faculty, and staff volunteers. Please read further to learn how the program will be run and how you can join in. What happened to the old recycling program? Who do you contact to help out?
     With recent budget cuts, the college had to make some difficult choices. The school will continue to collect for recycling all cardboard on Beltline and Airport campuses but can no longer afford to recycle paper and aluminum. Although the
Green Team is unable to take over all the recycling services previously offered by the college, members of the team felt strongly that continuing parts of the earlier program would be a priority for the year.
     Using start-up money from the Sustainable Universities Grant, the Green Team is launching a pilot project to recycle white paper. The team will be placing six bins at the following locations: on Airport, the bins will be located in Robinson Hall, in the Academic Center, and in Granby Hall; on Beltline, in Wade Martin, the LET building, and in the library. The small blue recycling boxes will still be kept near the copying machines. The blue boxes can then be dumped into the larger bins. The Green Team needs your help to coordinate collection. The Paper Stock company picks up the bins free of charge when they are full and brought to a central collection site. If you are willing to help with coordinating bin collection, please contact Helen Kingkade at KingkadeH@midlandstech.com.
     So what if you are not in one of the buildings chosen for the pilot project but would like to be included. DHEC offers mini grants for this purpose. The grants are for $500 (a bin costs $100–but must be bought in sets of 3).
The grant deadline is October 1, 2001. To get an application, or for more information, you may call Tina Lindler at 803-896-4235 or go to www.scdhec.net/recycle. In order to qualify for the grant, proof must be provided that MTC recycles oil. We do, and Tim McLellan has graciously agreed to write a letter of verification.   back to Green home page


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