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Meeting Notes, October 27th, 2008

Present: Rose Hilk, Nathan Mitchell, Elizabeth Richardson, Therese Ockenden

Announcements
Bernie has requested about 3 slides for the State of the Division address in January. We would like to have concrete measurements of progress. This could include paper and coffee orders. Elizabeth reminded us that in a time of staff cuts mentioning perks may be unwise. On the other hand, if expressed as cutting expenses that may not be as troubling.

Joe Larson (Walt’s supervisor from Managed Services) invited Nathan to attend the Dec 4th meeting of WBOB tenants to discuss our activities. Facilities Management is trying to cut utility use by 15%, and Joe is interested in setting up WBOB as a demonstration building.

Old Business:
Coffee

Rose will look into measuring coffee use. Orders are scheduled monthly, so the simplest measure may be to see how much stock is left when the next order arrives.

Space heaters
It may be that many space heaters are simply inherited with cubicles and go unused. If we inform people that they are against U policy they may go without a fuss.

Campus/Dept. Mailings
Letter rewrite to show Amy Short is still in progress.

Cleaning products
The new soap dispensers have arrived in the bathroom. This makes all cleaning products used by MSI ‘green.’ Ginger should be ordering 7th Generation products at this point as well. We don’t know what’s going on at the ECRC. We should inform Sarah Shorma that buying ‘green’ cleaning products through U Stores is an option. We could also inform Opus about what is being done in WBOB.

Computer Help Sessions
No further info has been reported

Free shelf
Rose would like to expand the free item exchange to the 3rd floor. She will discuss this possibility with Ginger. If it meets with administrative approval then she will try to arrange a shelf and instructions. The ECRC has a book and food share already.

Dishes
Sarah S. sent out an e-mail saying the ECRC has been going through plasticware at an alarming pace. Therese thought of bringing in old sets of flatware to sell for a quarter. The committee was unanimous in thinking it appropriate to stop ordering plasticware for staff use. We thought it would be a good idea to provide plenty of notice and explain the cost savings. Rose will investigate cost. We also like the idea of bringing in a supply of flatware for purchase or as gifts, so it feels like a change rather than taking something away. A key thought is that each person have one set of utensils, in order to keep the kitchen clean. Therese will discuss this with Sarah/Peg.

Energy conservation
Nathan will send an e-mail to Mark asking about the backup schedule.

Recruitment
Attendance has dwindled to a small group of regulars. This makes for a heavier burden on those few. We discussed ways to make it easier for others to get involved without making a commitment to the committee. Nathan is working on a task list that would allow people to sign up without coming to meetings. He will also check in with some of the people who expressed interest in the past. If you have ideas about this please share them with him.

Newsletter #2
Because of all the activities that are not directly related to energy conservation we thought that it would be more manageable to have an interim newsletter describing what we are doing. The energy conservation newsletter can be delayed until after Nathan meets with the tenant group. If we set a timeline of early January then we can ask Bernie to push it during the State of the Division address.

Our next meeting will be Monday. Nov. 17th from 12pm-1pm in WBOB 405. All are welcome.

Comments

I appreciate your efforts towards conservation. I noticed the line about removing space heaters. I agree with that approach. As an alternative, there are new quartz infrared heaters that consume a third of the energy and heat a larger area of space. They are the new green solution to heating.