Archive for December, 2011

Reduce bottled water waste

How many of you drink single-serve water, such as Dasani? Well, in the United States we consume millions of bottles of water that equals billions of dollars. These plastic water bottles often end up as litter or in the landfill. Studies find that in fact only one in five bottles gets recycled. This costs America tons of money that could be spent elsewhere. The Ohio State University is one of the largest universities in the country, and if we can reduce our bottled water usage we could help set an example for the rest of the country. At most restaurants tap water is free, but most people would still rather pay a couple of dollars for bottled water. Yes, bottled water is more convenient and some say it tastes better, but in fact studies ha...    Read More »

Bring back the bobwhite

Ohio used to have more partridges — aka the native but declining northern bobwhite — in its pear trees. Today, researchers in our college are working to help the birds come back — to bring them home for the holidays, as it were, as well as throughout the year …

How local is local? Gardening at the RPAC

Ohio State has made great strides in making its dining facilities more sustainable, but what about its foods? Although Ohio State currently buys 30 percent of its food from local sources, there is room for OSU to incorporate more local, as well as organic foods. By integrating these sustainable foods into its dining operations, OSU can only further emphasize its commitment to ensure a more sustainable, eco-friendly campus. To help expand Ohio State’s dedication to sustainable practices, our group decided to research the possibility of restarting an organic garden at the university's Recreation and Physical Activity Center (RPAC). This garden would not only provide a limited supply of produce for RPAC's dining facility, Courtside Café,...    Read More »

Biphasic rain garden could reduce harmful runoff

Students in Ohio State's School of Environment and Natural Resources have a plan to improve one of the most polluted sections of the Olentangy River. By installing a rain garden next to Ohio Stadium, harmful chemicals from the stadium parking lot would be intercepted by the garden, improving the water quality of the river.

East campus is covered by 70 percent impervious surfaces. This means that large amounts of stormwater runoff enter the Olentangy. There is enough runoff on campus each year to fill 900,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

Using breaking stormwater management technology developed by professors at Ohio State, a biphasic rain garden could be installed near Ohio Stadium to reduce harmful runoff. A biphasic rai...    Read More »

Sustainable paths taken

Meet Quentin Wheeler, as featured by The Atlantic. He’s a professor in Arizona State’s School of Sustainability. A senior sustainability scientist at the Global Institute of Sustainability. And a three-degree graduate of Ohio State. What can an OSU undergrad class in entomology do for you? (Answer follows question #8.) Also, this repor … t: How Wheeler honored a comedian with a beetle, or maybe the other way around. (Photo by Charles Kazilek, ASU)

Potential for an Education, Outreach Center under university’s Framework Plan

Within its Framework Plan, the Ohio State University has visions of constructing a new “Science and Technology Gateway” on what is currently the St. John Arena land parcel, and relocating CFAES into the district within the next 10 to 20 years. This district would be designed so that it could maximize educational opportunities by using the adjacent river corridor to create a dynamic learning environment. A new Environment and Natural Resources facility will be located within the district (shown in the accompanying image). Aside from the traditional classroom and laboratory functions, this facility has the potential to integrate an Education and Outreach Center focused on local ecosystems and sustainability that can serve both the camp...    Read More »

‘Back to our roots’ with native landscaping

Although the striking image of bright blooming tulips that dot OSU’s campus during the spring is quite a sight, the short lifespan of these plants left some students curious about what to do with these flowerbeds for the other months of the year.  After noticing these empty spaces on our daily commutes, we chose to research the implication of installing native landscapes around campus and, in fact, ended up finding much more benefit than we originally thought possible. From providing basic needs for indigenous species, to potentially serving as a research space and even a field trip destination, all sorts of people and animals can enjoy local flora. Native landscaping can also aid the university not only in its public image, but also ...    Read More »