EvCC Greenhouse

It seems that everywhere you look on the EvCC campus there are beautiful plants and flowers, but did you know that many of those plants are started right here in the EvCC Greenhouse? The greenhouse was almost demolished in 2008, but thanks to capital funding the roof was redone, and the greenhouse is now better than ever!

A few starts and larger plants.

The EvCC Greenhouse is currently used by a variety of plant lovers.

The Students for Environmental Action (SEA) club grows plants in the greenhouse to sell at different events throughout the academic year to raise funds for club activities.

Classes such as Sustainable Food Systems utilize the greenhouse for various classroom assignments.

The EvCC Grounds Department utilizes the greenhouse and surrounding nursery area to care for numerous seasonal plants that they use around campus throughout the year. That’s why, no matter the season, our campus always looks its best!

Earth Week 2018: Plant Sale, Recycled Art and More!

Once again, EvCC took Earth Day to a new level, with an entire week of events planned and carried out on campus to bring awareness to issues surrounding the environment, climate change, and resource consumption. After another successful celebration, lets take a look back to see what went down.

Monday, April 16: Electric Vehicles!

Tesla parked in grass. Photo by Matt Henry on Unsplash

Partnering with the Engineering Department, the annual EV display is held the first day of each Earth Week. This event is always a hit with students, as they get the chance to see an in-depth tour of the vehicles and can even try out the drivers seat (without actually driving the vehicle…)

On display you can find EV’s ranging from high-end, expensive Tesla’s, to the more economical Chevrolet Volt, among others.

 

Tuesday, April 17: Plant Swap and Ciscoe Morris

The masterminds behind the Plant Sale, setting up prior to the event

Another favorite of the Earth Week series is the annual Plant Swap and Sale. Here, students, staff and community members can purchase garden starts, seeds, and even take home a vast variety of flowering plants and shrubs for FREE! Perhaps the best part of this event is the presentation given by the eccentric TV personality, Ciscoe Morris!

Top: Kimi Crombie (Administrative Services) posing with Ciscoe. Bottom: Michael Moore and Gwen Bennetts from Purple Cow Gardens

A special thanks this year to Michael Moore and Gwen Bennetts, for providing dozens of veggie starts from their local nursery, Purple Cow Gardens. Estimates of attendance at this event put the number of visitors at nearly 1500 students, employees and neighbors.

 

Wednesday, April 18: Sustainable Vendor Fair

Bagfoot and Sacksquatch pose in front of the Green Fee Initiative banner

The third event in the Earth Week series is the Sustainable Vendor Fair, in which business and community leaders who practice and advocate for sustainability and environmental stewardship are invited to set up booths to sell their products, educate students on their work, and recruit volunteers to help with environmental restoration projects. Some vendors this year were Costco, Everett Transit, and Sno-Isle Co-Op, with many more having been in attendance. Of course, it’s never a truly successful Earth Week without the appearances of Bagfoot and Sacksquatch.

These handmade costumes contain over 500 plastic bags, and are supposed to represent the number of bags an average American uses in a single year. This fun and creative gimmick is a great way to visualize how much plastic we as consumers use without even thinking about it!

 

Thursday, April 19: Electronics Recycling

To wrap up the week-long celebration, we invite 3R Technology to set up shop on campus and give employees and students the chance to recycle their old electronics for free. This year was record breaking, over 4000 lbs. of electronics recycled or safely disposed of!

Earth Art Competition

This years special event was the Earth Art competition. This is a challenge for students and employees to express their creativity and their resourcefulness by creating pieces of art made up of at least 75% recycled, upcycled, or reclaimed materials.

Our winners this year are:

1st Place: Annie Loomis

Annie Loomis won first prize with her piece, titled The Girl with the Newspaper Earring. On her registration form, she notes that most of this piece isn’t what it seems, and that “most of the girls face is actually made out of Mark Zuckerberg’s forehead.” Congrats, Annie!

2nd Place: Karalee Garcia

Karalee took 2nd place with her entry, which she dubbed “Make Tea Not War.” She explains that she is an avid tea drinker and, as such, produces a ton of waste, so this seemed to be a unique opportunity to make something positive with it. Congratulations, Karalee!

3rd Place: Jessica Hall

Jessica’s entry is called “My World,” and is made from a chair that she rescued from the side of the road. She though it would be perfect for this competition, and wanted to give it a new life. “The chair is now the atmosphere, and the center is my world: my family.” Thanks for participating, and congratulations Jessica!

In conclusion…

Thanks to all of you who helped us make Earth Week a success. We couldn’t do it without your generous support and time. Now it’s time to gear up and prepare for next years Earth Week Celebration, and if you’d like to be a part of that, email us at sustainability@everettcc.edu.

Keep on keeping green, everyone!

 

2018 EvCC Sustainability Pledge

We all know that its important to start your New Year off right. So, for January’s monthly Sustainability Outreach event, we decided to help students and staff with their New Years Resolution and encouraged them to pledge to reduce their consumption of disposable water bottles and plastic grocery bags. We even provided a reusable water bottle or reusable bag as an incentive. Thanks to all 47 students and staff who signed the pledge!

Now you may be wondering why this is important. Here are a few facts about the problems associated with the consumption of bottled drinks:

  • In the US, we use enough plastic bottles to circle the globe…twice…each week.
  • More water is wasted during the production process than ends up in the final product. The Pacific Institute estimates that for every liter sold, it represents 3 liters of water.
  • The plastic used for bottling in the US uses about 17 million barrels of crude oil. That’s enough to fuel 1.3 million cars for a full year.
  • The energy used to produce plastic bottles in the US is enough to power almost 200,000 homes.
  • The entire process of bottling and transporting the product produces about 2.5 million tons of carbon dioxide (a greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming)  annually, as estimated by the Pacific Institute.

We encourage you to do some research of your own and learn more about the dangers of using so much plastic, and maybe even find some great alternatives to purchasing bottled water.

If you are interested in signing this pledge but were not able to attend the event, click on the image below. We appreciate your support for sustainability!

 

Sustainable Tree Removal and Transplant by EvCC Grounds Dept

EvCC Grounds works hard to manage campus grounds with an eye towards sustainability.  This ethic was demonstrated recently when a tree located west of the Olympus building outgrew it’s location.

Rather than cutting down the tree, campus grounds employees John Syson, Brent Sall and Scotty Smith used campus equipment to relocate the beautiful Liquidambar Styraciflua or Liquid Amber (commonly known as an American Sweetgum).

At 30 inches in diameter and 30 feet tall, the average cost for a commercial move or purchase of a tree this size would have been  $1500.00 – $2000.00!  Grounds transplanted the tree for about $70.00.

The tree was removed from the Lot “A” west flower bed  and planted in Lot “C” on the hillside.

EvCC Offers Free Holiday Tree Recycling Jan 2 through Feb 2 2018

Trees can be dropped off between 7:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. on weekdays.  Trees must be free of decorations, tinsel and other non-biodegradable materials. No flocked trees will be accepted.

EvCC is located at 2000 Tower St. in Everett. Drop off trees in the marked area in parking lot F. To see the location of parking lot F, visit EverettCC.edu/Maps and click Campus Map.

EvCC has been recycling holiday trees since 2009. Last year, EvCC collected approximately more than 250 trees that were turned into woodchips on site and used for campus flower beds and mulch.

For more information, call 425-388-9512.

Annual Earth Week Celebration: Earth Art Competition

This year during Earth Week, EvCC Sustainability is partnering with the Art Department to host an Earth Art Competition. This competition is open to any currently enrolled EvCC student, staff or faculty. Prizes are as follows:

1st place: $300.00
2nd place: $200.00
Peoples Choice: $150.00

Competition rules:
1. 
Entries must be at least 75% reclaimed, recycled, upcycled or otherwise reused.
2. Entries must be ready to put on display in the Whitehorse Hall Critique Space by Tuesday, April 17. They will remain on display through Thursday April 19, the day in which the entries will be judged. Judging will take place between 1 pm and 3 pm on April 19.
3. All entries must be removed from the Whitehorse Hall Critique Space by 3:00 pm on Friday, April 20. Any entries left in the Critique Space beyond this time will become EvCC property and disposed of accordingly.

To sign up for this competition, follow this link and submit your entry form today!

Having trouble with the link?  Contact sustainability@everettcc.edu for other entry form options.

 

Utilities Trends Over the Years

This chart shows the year-to-year comparison of EvCC’s utilities consumption between 2015 and 2017. This chart tracks water, natural gas and electricity usage, as well as trash and recycling output. Lets do a break-down of each type of utility, and what this chart tells us about our usage.

Water

EvCC uses a lot of water. Water is used to irrigate flowerbeds and lawns, heating buildings, and of course, consumed by students and employees. Though there was a slight uptick in water usage between 2015 and 2016, the data for 2017 shows an approximately 30% reduction in water consumption. This is mostly due to a project taken on by Brent Sall from the Ground Crew, in which the valves on our irrigation system were updated in order to install a controller on each valve. This allows us to water our gardens and lawns more efficiently, reducing the amount of water needed.

Natural Gas

Natural gas powers the boilers on campus that provide the heat for all of our buildings. The unit of measurement for natural gas is therms, which is simply just a measurement of heat. It is equivalent to 1.055 × 108 joules. The data shows a steady decline in natural gas usage since 2016, a reduction of approximately 30%. Woo!

Electricity

Our electricity consumption, measured in kilowatt-hours (KWH) experienced a slight decline between 2015 and 2016, but after the opening of two new student housing buildings, our electricity consumption increased by approximately 50%. To address this, EvCC Sustainability plans to coordinate with Student Housing to implement energy savings practices, such as energy challenges for residents to participate in.

Trash and Recycle

Since co-mingled recycling came to campus in 2006, EvCC has managed to recycle the same, if not more, than it sends off to the landfill. During 2015 and 2016, most of EvCC’s solid waste output was recyclable material. But, once again, with the opening of Student Housing, the scales have tipped toward more landfill destined waste than recyclables. This may be due to a lack of education and outreach efforts to ensure our residents understand proper recycling practices. Just as EvCC Sustainability plans to address electricity consumption by working with Student Housing, we intend to work with them on reducing the amount of improperly disposed material as well.

The Takeaway

Sustainability is not a one-and-done project that can be left alone. It’s a continuous process of learning and collaborating to find innovative solutions that will further reduce our impact on the environment. And, we can’t do it alone! If you or your department is interested in finding ways to advance our sustainability mission, contact us at sustainability@everettcc.edu.

 

EvCC Wildlife Garden: 11/6/17 Update

Now that Phase 1 of this project is complete, it’s time to show off the hard work of our Grounds Crew. Take a look:

View of entire project site.

Close-up of the “Columbia Bowls,” basalt dishes that create ideal bird baths.

Flowering Dogwood

Vine Maple and Mountain Hemlocks

Three loads of compost and four loads of topsoil later, the results are better than we imagined! Currently the beds contain a mix of vine maples, one flowering dogwood, one rocky mountain fir tree, and a handful of mountain hemlocks. Phase two will consist of filling in the empty spaces between the trees with smaller shrubs, annuals and perennials.

And, just for fun, here’s John Syson celebrating by fishing out of the newly installed birdbaths.

John Syson, Grounds Crew Lead, fishing in the new bird baths

EvCC Wildlife Habitat Project: 10/18/17 Update

With the first frost upon us, the ground has been broken on the EvCC Wildlife Habitat project. Over the last few weeks, the turf has been killed but the grass and root material have been left in place in order to compost in the newly laid soil. This will provide additional organic matter and nutrients to the trees and shrubs that will soon be planted.

The next step taken was turning over the soil to break up the layer of roots near the surface, and fresh soil was incorporated to make the planting process easier. The next steps will be adding the plants and installing the bird baths, which will be constructed using Columbia Basalt dishes.

Columbia basalt dishes creates an ideal bird bath

Once the rest of the ground has been turned up and new soil laid on top, the rest of the project should be quickly coming to completion. Check back soon for more updates!

EvCC Grounds Crew laying new topsoil. (notice the steam rising in front of the tractor bucket)

UPCOMING EVENT: Energy Efficiency Fair by Snohomish County PUD

Purchase low cost energy efficiency appliances here on campus, on Wednesday October 18 from 11:30 am till 2:00 pm in the second floor hallway of Parks Student Union. The PUD team hosting this event will be selling a Home & Bath Savings Kit which includes 8 LEDs, 2 filament LEDs, a showerhead with smart adapter, and two faucet aerators for just $10.00 plus tax. This normally would cost $75.00 so don’t miss your chance to save up to $250.00 annually on energy costs for a fraction of the retail price. Also offered at this event is an LED flood light pack, that has the savings potential of up to $45.00 per year. Please read this flyer for more details.