Green Beat: Do you deserve a green star?

By Molly Sullivan

A star you can plant is the centerpiece of a new monthly environmental award for staff and students at Macalester. The Green Star Award, introduced this summer by the Sustainability Office, is awarded to people who help improve the college’s environmental sustainability.Sustainability Manager Suzanne Savanick Hansen awarded the first Green Star Award in June and has presented two others since then.

Hansen said that recipients of the Green Star Award are given a certificate of achievement and a star made of post-consumer recycled paper with seeds pressed into it.

“The star in and of itself is ‘green,’ which is a nice little feature,” Hansen said.

Carolyn Loeb ’08 won the first Green Star Award in June for collecting Macalester students’ used graduation caps and gowns and donating them to the Minnesota Internship Charter High School for future use, a project that is expected to continue in upcoming years.

Loeb collected 130 graduation gowns and 109 caps, or one-third of the gowns worn at graduation. It saved the high school nearly $2,000.

John Mountain, associate director of career development, aided Loeb in the cap and gown project. He said that Loeb did most of the work by pulling together everyone who helped with the project.

“I just wanted to support a good effort and provide the framework to keep it going in future years,” Mountain said.

More recently, Assistant Dean of Admissions Nancy Mackenzie, Lynette Lamb and Kim David in College Relations, and Danielle Nelson in Development all received a Green Star Award for increasing the use of post-consumer recycled paper on campus.

Not only is the use of recycled paper better for the environment, but it also costs the school less money, Hansen said.

Both Hansen and Mountain said that they hope Macalester students, faculty and staff keep up the “green” effort.

“Something like the cap and gown project has direct results and feeds into a greater need. It’s a no-brainer,” Mountain said.

Macalester community members are encouraged to nominate each other for their service to sustainability.

“If you see an impressive project going on, nominate them,” Hansen said. “We want to recognize people who have had an impact on sustainability here.”

Nominations for the award are taken online at: http://www.macalester.edu/sustainability.