What We're Doing
What is sustainability?
Everything that we need for our survival relates or depends directly on our environment. We need to think about the environmental, economic, and social stand-point of everything we do in order to ensure a healthy planet for future generations. Sustainability starts with you!
Climate Leadership Commitment
Lasell's Climate Action Plan, created as a part of the Carbon Commitment the college signed, outlines where we are and where we plan to go in the future regarding sustainability and our carbon footprint.
What is climate change? Let Bill Nye explain it to you!
There are several sources on the web that will allow you to measure your carbon footprint (the impact of human activity on the environment). Here are two online carbon footprint calculators to try:
Parking garage LED relamping and lighting controls
LED's and lighting controls are installed in all parking garages, resulting in an estimated reduction of approximately 88,000 kwh.
Energy efficient condensing boilers
Over ninety six efficent boilers have been installed in projects such as,
- Irwin House
- Carpenter House
- Dean's Cottage
- Hamel House
- North Hall
Energy star appliances
As part of a new campus standard, Energy Star rated appliances such as refrigerators, air conditioners, and dehumidifiers are installed in all new projects. This helps Lasell save in energy use, greenhouse gas reductions and also dramatic money savings.
Variable frequency drives (VFD’s) & electrically
VFD's and ECM's are installed in all new projects to reduce greenhouse gases.
Every vending and snack machine on campus uses an EnergyMiser to conserve energy. This occupancy-based technology reduces power consumption and costs by 25% on non-refrigerated snack machines and up to 46% on refrigerated vending machines*.
*Statistics obtained from EnergyMisers
Single Stream Recycling
In an effort to increase recycling rates, Lasell implemeted a single stream recycling system on campus. Single stream recycling enables students, faculty, staff, and visitors to place mixed paper, cardboard, plastic, aluminum, tin, and glass containers in the same recycling bin.
For recycling guidelines click here!
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Why should I recycle?
Recycling has many environmental benefits:
- Protects and expands jobs and increases competitiveness within the U.S.
- Reduces the need for sending materials to landfills
- Saves energy
- Decreases emissions of greenhouse gases
- Conserves natural resources such as water and minerals
- Helps save the environment for future generations
2. Do cans and bottles need to be rinsed out before being recycled?
All bottles and cans with left over contents should be emptied out and rinsed if possible. What if you're out and have no way to rinse your recyclables? No worries! Just empty your bottle or can of contents to the best of your ability; this is to make sure liquids dont leak from bottles and cans, resulting in being deemed "useless recyclables".
3. What do the numbers on plastic products stand for?
There are seven different numbers that you will find labeled on the bottlom of all plastic products. These numbers are used as a way to help categorize and identify which type of plastic it is made of. Click the image below to find out what products are usually made from which plastic:
Where does Lasell's food waste go?
The organic material produced in the dining hall is picked up regularly by our hauler Save That Stuff and transported to one of three compost sites: Brick Ends Farm in South Hamilton, MA, Rocky Hill Farm in Saugus, MA, or Hidden Acres Farm in Medway, MA. Once there, it's mixed with leaf and yard debris and composted into a high value, nutrient rich compost for use by area landscapers and others.
For composting guidelines click here!
Source Separated Recycling
Batteries contain heavy metals and if not properly recycled, these can leach into the soil through landfills and potentially contaminate our water supplies. Recycling tubes can be found in the laundry rooms of each larger residence hall and at the IT helpdesk. Once enough batteries are collected, they are packaged and shipped off to Battery Solutions in Howell, Michigan to be appropriately disposed of.
Benefits of reycling used batteries:
- All hazardous materials are recycled properly
- Recycled materials can be used to make new products
- Reduces the amount of waste sent to landfills
- Saves energy
Lbs of batteries recycled (to date): 151
Want to learn more about how battery recycling works? Click here to find out!
Metal & Appliance Recycling
Throughout the year, we collect appliances and any metal that is no longer of use (old metal desks, chairs, cabinets, etc...) and bring them to the Wellesley Recycling and Disposal Facility.
Between 2010 - 2016, we diverted 166.89 tons of metal and applicances from landfills; that's 333,780 lbs! Click here to get a closer look at the yearly tonnage.
Total water consumed in FY2010 (baseline year): 16,399,542.86 gallons
Total water consumed in FY2016: 10,011,179.22 gallons
Reduction in use: 39%
How big is your water footprint? Find out here!
Water Bottle Filling Stations
Instead of using single use plastic bottles, bring a reusable bottle with you and refill on your way to class, a game, or just when leaving your room! Water bottle filling stations can be found in:
- Athletic Center
- Campus Center (New!)
- Edwards (gym)
- McClelland (New!)
- Woodland (New!)
- Yamawaki (New!)
Water Chestnut Removal from the Charles River
Lasell is partners with the Charles River Watershed Association and other organizations to remove invasive water chestnuts from the Charles River. We provide waste disposal services, a portable floating dock, and volunteers. This reduces the amount of invasive plants in the Charles River and also improves the river's ecosystem.
Green Building & Renovations
In the summer of 2013, Carpenter House underwent a complete restoration while still maintining it's historical intergrity. The project included insulating the entire shell, installing a new energy efficient heating system, LED lighting retrofits, installing lighting controls throughtout the house, and the restoring the historical features of the building. As a result, the comfort of the house has improved and the energy use was cut in half; saving Lasell money and assisting in the reduction of our carbon footprint. All construction debris were either separated and recycled on site or were sent to a recycling facility for sorting and recycling.
The worked performed on Carpenter House has resulted in a current Energy Star score of 88! Although the building is not eligible for Energy Star Certification, we are still able to recieve a score and any building that recieves a score over 75 is considered to be a "top performer".
Dean's Cottage also underwent a complete restoration that involved insulating the entire shell and installing a new energy efficient heating and cooling system that allowed us to eliminate window air conditioners.
Click here to learn more about the Carpenter House Renovation Dean's Cottage
Building and Grounds Barn
The Building and Grounds Barn, originally scheduled to be demolished in preparation for the construction of the new Donahue Center for Creative and Applied Arts, was instead deconstructed in June 2010 by The ReStore Inc.; a division of the western Massachusetts nonprofit Center for Ecological Technology. Lasell worked with ReStore Inc. to make sure any reusable materials found a "home". Overall, the barn deconstruction had a total of 45.23 tons of materials that were saved for reuse or recycling (which is about 83% of the original structure!)
74 Grove Street
74 Grove Street renovation is still in process. More information to come!
It's easy to make smart choices when you dine at Lasell College. Sodexo provides our students with an exceptional dining experience that benefits them and the planet!
Green With Envy
Valentine Dining Hall offers a To-Go meal option, which allows for a one time fee of $4.00 each. You can now be a part of your campus sustainable efforts by reducing waste and purchasing a reusable to-go container. Green to-go containers are located at the front desk upon entering Valentine Dining Hall. See your greeter for more details!
APEXTM Dishwashing System
Dining services now use Ecolab's ApexTM dishwashing system in an effort to increase sustainability on campus. Apex combines technology and products that are specifically designed to save water and energy. The dishwashing system greatly minimizes the impact of products on the environment.
As part of Lasell's sustainability efforts, we have also switched to trayless dining at Valentine Dining Hall. By doing so, we now have reduced waste up to thirty-five percent.
Xpress Napkin Holders
Xpressnap holders use up to about thirty percent less paper than your average napkin dispenser. The napkins are made from one hundred percent recycled paper and encourages you to use less napkins when dining. Xpressnap dispensers help the environment and also save costs!
Used Cooking Oil Recycling
Valentine Dining Hall recycles our used cooking oil through Mass Biofuel. The proceeds from the sale of the biofuel made from our used cooking oil help heat the Pine Street Inn homeless shelter in Boston. We are conserving valuable natural resources by doing so, while also helping those in need.
Max R Composting and Recycling Unit
This past November, we purchased a Max R composting and recycling unit for Valentine Dining Hall. Max R's products are made to be environmentally friendly, and will never need maintenance or painting. Their products are manufactured using one hundred percent renewable energy. Our unit was made from 110 recycled milk jugs and will now make it easier for students and faculty to sort their waste! Find out more information about our composting program under the "Composting" secton.
ChargePoint is here!
Lasell is now the proud owner of an electric vehicle charging station. To find out more information and how you can use it, click here
The shuttle is a way for students to travel outside of campus to local areas within Newton, making several stops around campus for pick up and drop offs. It takes students to Riverside Train Station, Starmarket, and CVS in West Newton.
In 2014, Lasell received a grant through the MA Clean Vehicle Project to convert four vehicles to hybrids. As of November 2016, XL Hybrids has successfully converted three of our vans and one shuttle.
When a college owned vehicle dies or is no longer needed, Lasell College donates it to a MA organization/charity. Organizations we have donated to:
- Brockton Blue Dog Shelter
- Watertown Boys and Girls Club
- Family ACCESS of Newton (formerly Newton Community Service Center)
Full Synthetic Bio-based Motor Oil
We have worked with our vehicle repair vendor, Regan's Service, to convert to bio-based motor oil for all Plant Operation vehicles; reducing our reliance on foreign oil.
Fuel Efficient Vehicles
New vehicle purchases are analyzed for the most fuel efficient option possible. Selections include the Ford Transit Connect (Plant Operations, IT, and the Mail Room) and Ford Fusion police cruiser (Campus Police). This reduces our fuel use and greenhouse gases and is overall more efficient in operation and saves money.
Example: Our 2013 Ford Transit Connect used by Plant Operation has great fuel efficiency compared to the 1998 Ford Explorer it replaced.
|2013 Ford Transit Connect||1998 Ford Explorer|
|22 City mpg, 27 Highway mpg||13 City mpg, 18 Highway mpg|
The college has recently purchased 5 new Polaris Gem electric vehicles. The incorporation of these vehicles has allowed us to also shift existing fleet vehicles around, resulting in the replacement of 5 gas-guzzling vehicles with more efficiant options!
Each year, departing college students leave belongings behind in their dorms; we put the items to good use by donating to local charities thanks to the Lasell Leftovers program.
At the end of the year, three bins are placed in the lobby of every residence hall/house for students to leave items they no longer need or want. After all students have left campus for the summer, Lasell College staff and faculty volunteer their time to sort through and box up the donated items for distribution to non-profit organizations. Items donated include: clothing, food, books, blankets, small appliances/househould items, and office supplies.Charities we have donated to:
- Big Brother Big Sister Foundation
- Newton Food Pantry
- Centre Street Food Pantry
- Household Goods Inc.
- Greater Boston Food Bank
- Angel Memorial (MSPCA)
- Extras for Creative Learning
- Ninos de Veracruz, Mexico