LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 18, 2009) − Several upcoming events emphasize the University of Kentucky's commitment to sustainability. They include:
Vandana Shiva, internationally renowned environmental leader, academician and author, will be the guest lecturer for the spring semester's Sustainability Lecture Series. Her presentation is scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 4, in Memorial Hall.
Shiva will address higher education's role in sustainability. The event is free and open to the public. "The spring installment of the Lecture Series presents another extraordinary opportunity to nurture a culture of sustainability here at UK," said Ann DeSanctis, student intern for the Sustainability Lecture Series. "Given Dr. Shiva's enormous accomplishments and groundbreaking work, we are very excited and honored to bring her to our campus."
After earning a doctorate in physics, Shiva worked in many fields ranging from eco-feminism to food issues. She is widely published on a variety of subjects, most notably ecology, health and sustainability. Shiva is also a founding member of Navdanya, an Indian research organization that promotes "peoples' rights to knowledge, biodiversity, water and food."
The UK President's Advisory Committee on Sustainability has scheduled the next in the Sustainability Brown Bag Lunch Series at noon Wednesday, Feb. 25, in the Center Theatre of the Student Center. The UK Tracy Farmer Center for the Environment will provide drinks and dessert. The lunchtime discussion will focus on the reasons sustainability is important and how it relates to the individual and the campus community.
The 2009 RecycleMania competition started in mid-January and schools from all over the country are competing. UK has had a history of success in this competition. UK has competed in each of the past three competitions and in 2008 won top honors among the competing SEC schools and finished 10th out of 66 public institutions reporting actual weights.
According to the organization's Web site, RecycleMania is a friendly competition and benchmarking tool for college and university recycling programs to promote waste reduction activities to their campus communities. Over a 10-week period, schools report recycling and trash data, which are then ranked according to who collects the largest amount of recyclables per capita, the largest amount of total recyclables, the least amount of trash per capita, or have the highest recycling rate. With each week’s reports and rankings, participating schools watch how their results fluctuate against other schools and use this to rally their campus communities to reduce and recycle more.
Some of the competition's overall goals are to heighten awareness of schools' waste management and recycling programs, and lower waste generated on-campus by reducing, reusing and recycling.
Currently, UK is recycling 3.24 pounds per person in the campus community, placing the university first among SEC schools, and ninth out of the 147 public universities participating in RecycleMania. The competition continues through March, so look for recycling receptacles located in convenient locations all over campus.