EcoReps News

Managing sustainability for the campus is a big job. While there are plenty of long term goals, like carbon neutrality and behavioral shifts, there are plenty of day to day changes the EcoReps are involved in. In 2016, for example, students took up the mission of eliminating paper cups from Commons, and instead the College now provides every incoming student with a reusable mug. There are always new ways to shift our existing systems and avoid waste. Scroll to read about past and ongoing sustainability projects on campus!

  • Bates is Carbon Neutral!
    After nearly 20 years of hard work on campus, Bates College is now carbon neutral! By using renewable fuel oil (RFO) for heating, sustainably sourced electricity, raising campus awareness, behavioral shifts, and lots of small individual efforts, we have reduced our carbon footprint by 11,600 metric tons of CO2. Here’s to a green future for…
  • News from the EcoReps
    Managing sustainability for the campus is a big job. While there are plenty of long term goals, like carbon neutrality and behavioral shifts, there are plenty of day to day changes the EcoReps are involved in. In 2016, for example, students took up the mission of eliminating paper cups from Commons, and instead the College…
  • 2018 Garden Party
    The 2018 Garden Party served as the opening event for the Plot. Fresh tomatoes, homemade cookies, and other appetizers were served, and Bates’ own Take Note a cappella group performed.
  • The Bates Garden
    The Garden group hosted weekly meetings and open hours this year, opening up the Plot to the community for people interested in gardening, farming, and food systems.
  • Green Bikes
    This year, the Green Bike team has been busy keeping the collection of bikes online. They also have hosted open hours at the bike barn for the community.
  • Electric Cars
    In the Spring of 2018, Bates swapped out its vans for electric cars to run the community shuttle. Each day, the shuttle makes countless runs to various locations in the Lewiston/Auburn area. With several new Nissan Leafs, the impact of this service has been greatly reduced.
  • Hand Dryer Implementation
    Many buildings at Bates still use paper towels in the bathrooms. This year, EcoReps are hoping to implement high efficiency hand dryers to eliminate the energy and resource waste created by paper towels. The projects for the project are that over the next ten years, this implementation would save the campus over $200,000 and 42.8 tons of CO2…
  • Waste Audits
    Periodically, the waste and recycling team performs waste audits around campus. This consists of sorting through trash and recycling in order to analyze the waste habits on campus. These results help us to understand how to improve our sorting in order to prevent unnecessary landfill use and close wasteful loops through composting and recycling. These…
  • Outreach
    One of the main tasks for the Media and Outreach team is to create monthly newsletters that spread the word of sustainability around campus. Each month the newsletter carries a theme for a new project or update on campus sustainability. Click here for past newsletters, and follow us on social media for up-to-date info about sustainability initiatives…
  • Trashion Show
    This fall’s trashion show was one for the books. Contestants modeled dressed made out of plastic straws, plastic bags, packaging, and more. Read more here!
  • Eco Service Day
    Bates hosts a biannual Eco Service day, on which the campus pitches in for various projects. The Fall 2018 EcoService day went off without a hitch. Students, faculty, and other community members undertook a number of projects, including a cleanup of Mount David closing and winterizing the Plot a waste audit for various buildings on…
  • Expose Waste Photo Competition
    The Expose Waste Photo Contest is an event aimed at understanding the various ways in which our campus produces waste. Typically, waste is well hidden from the public eye, allowing for an out-of-site-out-of-mind problem. May the best submission win!
  • Farm Dinner
    This March, the events group hosted a Farm Dinner in the OIE (Office of Intercultural Education). It featured produce from Valley View Farm in Auburn, ME, and was open to all Bates students who, in turn, provided recipes and helped to prepare the meal.
  • Tomatoes are good
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  • Issue #15
    Dear Sustainable Abigail, I keep hearing rumors about a garden at Bates; what’s the deal with that? Do we have one now? Are we going to have one in the future?  Help! I am a huge gardener myself, and if there is an opportunity to get into that here I want to as soon as possible!…
  • Issue #14: Efficient Lighting?
    Hi Abby! One thing that I’ve been thinking about recently (especially with the recent change in daylight) is the way we use lighting on campus. Can we adjust the lights across campus to be more efficient? (i.e. do we really need ALL the lights on in Commons or the library or in academic buildings during…