FAQs about Eco-Reps

Got questions about what it’s like to be an Eco-Rep? Are you an Eco-Rep that may be stuck on planning an event? Not sure what to do next? If you’re looking for answers, you’ve come to the right place! I have assembled several questions I, or other people have asked about Eco-Reps and I’m here to answer them for you.

Q: So what is Eco-Reps? What’s the point of the program?

A: Eco-Reps is a volunteer leadership peer education program for sustainability. The overarching goal of the program is help Dickinsonians gain a better understanding of sustainability and how to connect these opportunities to their lives.

. We represent a number of diverse spaces on campus and we’re still trying to expand. Volunteers engage their communities in a number of ways to educate on sustainable practices.

Q: What are the responsibilities of an Eco-Rep?

A: Eco-Reps don’t have a lot of “required” responsibilities, as it is a volunteer leadership position. Eco-Reps must turn in a place audit every two weeks for their communities and they should attend 3 mandatory meetings per semester and make an effort to attend Sustain IT workshops to further their own sustainability education. Eco-Reps also must host one event or campaign per semester and they can work together with each other and RAs. For more information, check out the responsibilities page for Eco-Reps and take a look at the 2016-17 Eco-Reps Manual.

Q: Why do Eco-Reps have to do audits?

A: The place audits are collected and digitized by the Eco-Reps Coordinator (me) in an Excel spreadsheet and some of that data is used to compare waste habits of various buildings from year to year. However, the audits are mainly for the Coordinator to follow what is happening for the spaces being represented and see whether Eco-Reps are fulfilling their responsibilities. The audits are also to help Eco-Reps think more critically about their place and what they can do to improve different aspects of it.

Q: What characteristics does a good event have?

A: The purpose of the events is to put an Eco-Rep in a more visible position within the community. It allows them to engage directly with the people they represent and educate them about what Eco-Reps do and what non-Eco-Reps can do. A good event is planned far in advance and advertised effectively. Many residence hall Eco-Reps will team up with their RAs to expand their budget and potentially attract more people to the event. Ideas for events can often be difficult to come up with, but there is a list of sample ideas in the manual at the above link.

Q: Who can be an Eco-Rep?

A: Anyone! No, really. This semester we have Eco-Reps in nearly every residence hall and we have student Eco-Reps representing clubs and sports teams. We also have some faculty and staff Eco-Reps as well. Anyone at Dickinson can choose to be an Eco-Rep in almost any space. Spend a lot of time in Rector? Think of becoming an Eco-Rep for the building! We would love to get more clubs and centers on campus involved in the program. If you’re interested in applying for the Spring semester, check out the application online at www.dickinson.edu/ecoreps and email me with any questions at brangwya@dickinson.edu.


Stay green,

Amanda B

A Call to Action: Apply to be an Eco-Rep for 2016-17!

An example of what YOU can do as an Eco-Rep in your community!

We need you, yes you, to apply to become an Eco-Rep. Are you passionate about sustainability? Are you looking for a way to connect with Dickinson? Do you carry a reusable water bottle with you everywhere you go? Well, the Eco-Rep program could be the perfect opportunity for you to grow as a leader.
No longer restricted to the residential halls, the Eco-Reps are now represented across Dickinson. Faculty, staff, and students are encouraged to apply to represent a “place” they feel connected to on the Dickinson campus. The Eco-Reps are a passionate group of peer-educators who are interested in sustainability across campus through community engagement and education.

Our beloved Green Devil showing their frustration with the disorderly recycling in the Adams Hall.

As an Eco-Rep you will…
– Attend CSE’s sustainability workshop series, Sustain-ITs, to learn how to become a peer educator.
– Organize and plan one event per semester, with CSE funding! (If applicable to your “place”)
– Volunteer 3-4 hours of your week engaging with members of your “place”
– Build lasting relationships with people who share similar interests

Sound interesting? That’s because it is!

Applications can be found here. If you have any questions about the application process please reach out to Lindsey Lyons at Lyonsli@Dickinson.edu or myself, Ivy Gilbert, at Gilberti@Dickinson.edu.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Caf Plastics?

As a fellow Dickinson College Dining Service Caf worker and an Eco-Rep, I have notice some small changes we could make with the Dining Service operations to be more sustainable! For one of my shifts I worked at the breakfast bar, refilling the numerous cereal opinions and breads. If you are curious, croissants and plain bagels are the “cool” carbs on campus. After refilling them, I realized there was no recycling bin around the area to put the plastic bags! Normally, all the plastics are placed in the trash, doomed to a life at the landfill. On my shift, I decided to collect all the plastics and bring them to the CSE office to be recycled. In addition, this collection could potentially stress the need for a plastic bag recycling bin in the Caf, not only for the breakfast bar by-products, but also for the plastic wrap used by the athletes for icing after practice. If a plastic bag recycling bin was placed and used in the Caf, the amount of waste going to landfills could (would) be reduced. Small things add up, and can really make an impact. Let’s hope some changes can be made soon!


Jessica Huang, 2019

Eco-Reps 2K16… Roll Out!

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(*Disclaimer out of date Eco-Rep logo photographed)

“New semester, new me” a common phrase you will hear as students wander the Dickinson campus trying to find places to exhibit their passions and make a name for themselves. Here at the Center for Sustainability Education, we provide a platform for students, faculty and staff to become peer educators. Over the weekend we trained and empowered 31 individuals, showing them how they can educate their communities and act as vehicles of change.

Over local pizza we discovered common passions. Exploring who are valuable partners across campus and different pathways Eco-Reps can take to accomplish goals. At the end of the night Eco-Reps were collaborating, proposing creative event ideas and exchanging positive feedback and words of affirmation. Volunteers left training excited to engage their communities.

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Watch out Dickinson College. The Eco-Reps this semester are a strong and clever bunch. You will be seeing them in residents halls, behind the the peddler, even in the halls of the library. What does this say? Well. Dickinsonians are embracing sustainability.

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Interested in partaking in peer education and being a contributing member of a supportive and active community? Consider becoming an Eco-Rep for something that means a lot to you. Have a favorite academic building? Become the Eco-Rep for that area. Bothered by your floor mates poor management of the recycling bin? Become an Eco-Rep. That simple.

Application can be found here @ http://www.dickinson.edu/info/20052/sustainability/2977/eco-reps/3

The current list of Eco-Reps can be found on our website as well: http://www.dickinson.edu/info/20052/sustainability/2977/eco-reps/5

Sustainably yours,

Ivy Jo

Turning Pintrest into a Sustainability Project

D.I.Y. Dickinson, a phrase that plastered Dickinson campus from the bathroom stalls to the side of the HUB. D.I.Y. or Do It Yourself embraces a born again arts and crafts movement that challenges individuals to make practical items using their own hands. D.I.Y. projects were made popular through Pintrest, an upbeat website filled with clever crafts using household items. The Eco-Reps saw just how popular Pintrest has become and decided to combine quirky crafts with upcycling. Upcycling and crafts are worthy bedfellows as the materials traditionally seen as waste, with a little bit of effort, can be transformed into treasures. As it can be seen, waste minimization is valued here at Dickinson.

On November 18th the Eco-Reps teamed up with the Makery; an artistic space founded on providing students the materials to make, along with WDCV the voice of Dickinson College and took to Britton Plaza with the goal of showing the campus just how easy it is to make cool things from waste items. Activities included were warping old records into bowls, transforming broken mugs into planters, turning unwanted Tee-shirts into totebags, and a plethora of jewelry crafts using e-waste. The Eco-Reps and their co-sponsors over the course of the two-hour event saw a wide demographic of students , faculty, and staff engage in the activities and leave with smiling faces.

Later that night The Center for Sustainability Education hosted a Sustain IT Workshop in Landis House with Jasmin Parra ‘17, visiting as part of the Eco-League. Parra taught a group of seven how to crochet used plastic bags into bags. The group was comprised of students and staff who by the end of the night all left with a new skill and perspective on the value of items destined for the landfill.

The success of these two events only reflects the willingness of the Dickinson community to learn how to live sustainably. As a person who grew up turning old paper cups into cootie catchers, watching people who had never considered a broken mug a treasure have that epiphany made all the work leading up to the event worthwhile. The message of D.I.Y. Dickinson goes beyond making fun trinkets, and on November 18th students and faculty took time out of their day to embrace sustainable creativity.

If you enjoyed upcycling, check out the Makery a space that exists year round to foster sustainable art.

Reinventing Eco-Reps: Sustain It Workshop Series

When asked “who are the Dickinson College Eco-Reps?” the popular opinion on campus is “that one kid who takes the compost out in my dorm, right?” Wrong. Eco Reps are so much more.

The Eco Rep program highlights empowered and educated individuals striving to become peer educators across campus. Get lost there? Not a problem. This year The Center For Sustainability Education is rolling out a new program for the Eco-Reps; reinventing the way the campus views the volunteer habit changers. As part of the program, “Eco-Reps” now encompasses students, faculty, staff, clubs, organizations, special interest housing, offices, sports, etc. It is a no-brainer. The mission of the program is to try and educate the campus on sustainable practices in an attempt to change habits, why not create an inclusive environment for anyone with a green bone in their body to become an empowered leader?

The program is two months in and Dickinson is responding well. A series of lectures have replaced mundane meetings notorious for sucking the fun and motivation out of the passionate student body. These lectures are titled the “Sustain It” workshops and highlight frequently asked questions, misconceptions, and even help students turn programming into effective campus climate changers. Our first workshop was on October 21st and was titled “Single Steam Recycling: The Whole Story” helping Eco Reps AND non-Eco-Reps understand where the recycling goes and the process Dickinson is tied into.

What is Single Stream Recycling, Dickinson asks? You know in the HUB how there are different sized slots in the recycling bins, one for paper, plastic, glass? Single Stream Recycling says that the material does not matter for it all goes to the same facility! Those traces of food in the bottom of the parfait container? No worries the facility we partner with is sophisticated enough to overcome the left over gunk. We learned in the workshop that the waste goes from Dickinson’s facilities (when the large bin is full) to Waste Management in York, PA or Waste Management in Philadelphia, PA. From here the materials are sorted and then sold on the recyclables market, nifty.

Cardboard is a different story. When collected and broken down the corrugated cardboard is taken to Project S.H.A.R.E., a local food pantry, where is it bailed and sold on the market. Profits are then used to buy food for the pantry and waste is turned into a way to alleviate the stress of poverty on the community.

Second guessing what you can and can’t recycle, we can help you there as well.

The campus is well postered and on these posters/ stickers it is outlined what should go in the bin. This applies to composting as well. While Eco-Reps should not be known for being the kids who take the compost out, it is still one of their responsibilities. Composting is BIG on campus, with all the collected food waste being transported to the Dickinson Farm for compost.

With all this information now at the hands of those who attended the meeting (and you by extension), where do we go from here? The audience was asked to answer reflection questions and come up with personal goals for spreading the word. The community members came up with some clever ways to address the problems with education such as “Educate First-Years through mandatory orientation workshops,” “Educate R.A. staff and other members with influence,” “Personally become an active advocate.” All fantastic action statements to hear from a newly empowered audience.

In conclusion, the next workshop will highlight how to program in a way that leads to action and will be held on the November 8th in Kaufman 178. Swing by and join the movement.

Here is a link to the powerpoint from the presentation, check it out:

Sustain IT- Recycling

Energy Challenge 2015

2015 Dickinson Energy Challenge Announced: March 16 – April 6, 2015
The 2015 Energy Challenge is being hosted March 16 – April 6, 2015. The theme of the challenge is Spark the Change, and the goal is to reduce energy consumption across Dickinson’s campus. We are striving to reduce our emissions, by changing behavior to reduce electricity consumption. A residence hall competition will be hosted between 15 buildings (starting 3/16) to see who can reduce their consumption by the greatest percentage from baseline data. Prizes will be awarded for greatest reduction (electric heat & non-electric heat). Change your Facebook profile pic to show your commitment, come to our events throughout the challenge, and support the weekly themes:
  • Week 1: Unplugged
  • Week 2: Do it in the Dark
  • Week 3: Power Down and Go Outside
Kickoff Event: Desserts in the Dark, March 16, 7:00 pm on KW Lawn
Finale Event: Bonfire, April 10, 8:00 pm on Morgan Field
We can do this Dickinson. Do you have WATT it takes?
Check out the Energy Challenge Promo Video:

Contact sustainability@dickinson.edu for more information.

Eco-Rep Meeting

Our volunteers meet bi-weekly to touch base on the status of composting and recycling in the residential buildings and to brainstorm event ideas. Our past meeting we also filmed our organization’s pledge for the Energy Challenge—stay tuned for the release of the promo video. Before filming we all grabbed dry-erase markers and wrote on the board words that come to mind when we think of “Eco-Reps”. Check out our word mural that we created for the backdrop of our video:

ecorep mural

Round table brainstorming: