Story | Here on Guilford’s campus, we’re using a 250-gallon container and a GeoTea system to create our compost tea. While regular compost contains millions of beneficial organisms, our compost tea contains billions.
Benefits | Just one application does the work of many applications of regular compost, saves money and labor, and gets the beneficial organisms into the soil and roots more quickly.
Story | Visit the on-campus bookstore in Founders, and you’ll see sustainable, environmentally-responsible products on many of the shelves. But it’s what you can’t immediately see—the huge offering of used books, books for rent, digital books and digital rentals—that has an even bigger impact on the lives, and bank accounts, of students and their parents.
Benefits | Used and rental books are a great example of reduce, reuse and recycle. They reduce waste going into landfills, reduce the use of energy and ink, save trees, and save money. Digital sales and rentals take the benefits even further, providing yet another level of financial and finite resource savings.
Story | In the past year our farm has nearly doubled in size, and has also extended its growing season by about eight weeks. For the past four years, Guilford College has been committed to buying as much local produce possible. Now even more of it will be grown in our very own backyard.
Benefits | The farm helps in the commitment to buying low-carbon, low-transportation produce for the dining hall. It’s also a fantastic educational tool and community builder.
Campus Bike Shop
Story | Pedal power is one of the healthiest modes of transportation for people and the planet. Whether you bring your own bike to campus or rent one from our on-campus bike shop—the benefits are almost endless. Our bike shop’s friendly staff is ready to help with on-the-spot repairs and bike rentals. Need small bike essentials like inner tubes, tires, pumps, chains, locks, and safety equipment? We’ve got you covered.
Benefits | Fosters and supports a biking culture and community on campus. More people biking and fewer driving cars means a smaller carbon footprint.
Story | For the past four years Guilford College has participated in RecyleMania, a friendly competition that helps colleges and universities benchmark their recycling efforts. During the 10-week competition schools report recycling and trash amounts each week, then use those numbers to rally students, faculty and staff on their
individual campuses to do even better the next week.
Benefits| As everyone on campus becomes more and more involved over the 10 weeks, we not only raise awareness of our recycling program but significantly lower the amount of waste we generate. Because the competition is almost three months long—and we participate each year—student, faculty and staff behavior is positively modified for the long term.
Story | When people are rushing between classes, trying to grab a quick bite to eat, they often don’t stop to think about what it means to toss something in the trash. So we created large, arresting signs for campus trash cans
that say “Landfill,” to remind people that they’re not just throwing stuff away, they’re adding to our state’s ever-growing trash heaps.
Benefits | The signs are a constant reminder for everyone to pause before tossing something into a trash can, and ask themselves, “Can it be recycled? Could it be used for composting? Could I have chosen another product that would be better for sustainability?” It only takes a second to make lasting change.
Story | Now in its third season, our Community Garden is a relaxed place where people from all walks of life come together to get dirt under their nails, grow awesome food, and experience the one-of-a-kind thrill of nurturing seeds into harvests. We share shovels, gardening tips, blisters and—best of all—delicious, organic fruits and vegetables grown in a true community.
Benefits | Our Community Garden stimulates social interaction, teaches sustainable gardening (we also bring our First Year Experience classes here to see sustainable practices in action), creates healthy food, and improves life for people in the garden.
Story | Three years ago we began a partnership with Meriwether Godsey to greatly reduce food service waste, change the way we purchase our food and materials, and create a more sustainable dining program. As part of that initiative we remodeled the kitchen with an incredibly efficient automatic dish washer, added an organic-waste capture system, eliminated trays, switched to biodegradable napkins, began purchasing more local and organic foods, and started collecting used cooking oil for conversion to biodiesel.
Benefits | Today, by composting pre- and post-consumer waste, the dining hall diverts thousands of pounds of waste from landfills every week. Depending on the growing season, up to 40% of the food purchased is either organic, local or both—reducing pesticide use and eliminating thousands of miles of highway transportation. And nearly 100% of our cooking oil is reclaimed for biodiesel.
Story | Our students challenged us to greatly reduce the amount of chemical cleaners we use around campus, and we listened. Today our cleaning crew carries handheld ionizers that convert regular tap water into a safe, chemical-free, germ-killing cleaner that does just as good a job yet doesn’t pollute the air or leave harmful residues on surfaces. For floors and other applications where the ionizers aren’t practical, we’re now using LOTUS Pro units to turn tap water into a cleaning powerhouse.
Benefits | Not only have we eliminated almost all of the issues of transporting, storing and working with chemical cleaners, we have reduced the risk of those chemicals getting into the water supply through drainage and runoff. We have also stopped purchasing expensive cleaners that are no longer necessary, saving money.
Story | It doesn’t take long for leftovers and scraps from meals to add up, and tons (literally) of our dining waste used to end up in landfills. Today, not only do we have two commercial-grade Earth Tubs to churn that waste into incredibly rich compost, but we also recently installed open-air compost rows at the farm. Together the tubs and rows create huge amounts of compost we can use around campus for landscaping and other soil-intensive projects. Some is even applied at the farm where we grow food for the dining hall—starting the continuous, cyclical process all over again.
Benefits | We’re diverting an average of 8,900 lbs of waste from area landfills every week. That’s an incredible amount of compost we can use on the farm, in the community garden and all around campus.