As part of the Association of Bowdoin Friends’ community lecture series, Keisha Payson, the director of sustainability, discussed the College’s plan to decarbonize by 2042 in Moulton Main Lounge yesterday. She spoke on what the College has already achieved and on the difficulties that lie ahead.
Last Monday, the Brunswick Town Council unanimously approved a new year-long position on the Brunswick Conservation Commission specifically for Bowdoin students. The position builds on another student committee position added to the Town Commons committee this summer, which is held by Charlotte Iannone ’26.
As the Mail Center’s start-of-semester bustle of move-in boxes, Amazon packages and textbooks seems to slow down, a new problem arises: getting rid of all the boxes. Starting this month, the Mail Center’s newly-hired student “sustainability analysts” will work to combat its growing amount of packaging waste.
Campus has been feeling electric lately—Bowdoin Facilities Management is aiming to switch entirely to electric vehicles and equipment by 2028. Facilities started this initiative two years ago as a part of Bowdoin’s broader Climate Action Plan for the campus to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2042, and it has made significant strides towards this goal since then.
Quarters and swipes no more—Bowdoin is officially offering free laundry this year, and a Bowdoin Student Government (BSG) initiative means access to free laundry detergent is on the horizon. This summer, the Office of Sustainability spearheaded the replacement of all the laundry machines across campus, some of which were over 10 years old.
How to get from place A to place B may seem like a mundane consideration, but a panel hosted by the Office of Sustainability asked the Bowdoin community to approach choices about transportation more critically. The panel, “Wheels in Motion: Exploring Transportation for a Sustainable Future,” was the second in a series of sustainability-focused panel discussions organized by the Office of Sustainability’s Civic Engagement team.
Environmental conservation appears a simple enough concept until one must reconcile it with other considerations like development, justice for Indigenous lands and the economic interests of Americans whose income stems from the depletion of natural resources.
Last Friday, members of the Bowdoin community gathered in a bustling Smith Union for the Blueberry Extravaganza. The event intended to educate students about pollination, sustainability, general wellness and, of course, blueberries—one of Maine’s most important crops.
On Monday afternoon, President Clayton Rose announced the College’s “Sustainable Bowdoin 2042” plan in a message to the campus community. The plan aims to transition the College to entirely clean energy over the next two decades.
Last week, the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) recognized Bowdoin in the organization’s annual Sustainable Campus Index. The College received a gold Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS) rating. As established by the Sustainable Campus index, STARS is a robust and widely-used system by higher education institutions.
The Bowdoin Sustainability Office is building on its work from last semester to promote environmental awareness and sustainable practices in an extraordinary campus environment. COVID-19 guidelines restricting in-person dining and large gatherings have created new challenges for the office in reducing waste, organizing programming and spreading its messaging to the student body.