Tag Archive: Environment

  1. On Paper

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    Dear Rebecca,

    Can you please explain this new alien printer system to me? How do I use it, and, more importantly, what can I do about the guilty conscience it’s giving me?


    Printer-less Paul


    Dear Printer-less,

    I’m totally with you on this one.

    Initially, I, too, was wary of Blueprint. First of all, I was sad I never had a chance to say a real farewell to Uniprint. I hadn’t figured out how to install the Uniprint printer driver (or VPN, for that matter) until last reading week. And I was incredibly bummed when I got back to campus and realized all of last semester’s hard work was not going to pay off.

    Because there’s a new printer in town, folks, and this printer has a conscience. Those of you who have tried using Blueprint know what I mean. When you log on to your PaperCut user page, you see not only your running balance (in a convenient graph format, because who doesn’t love graphs?) but also the environmental impact of your printing decisions.

    After printing just a few dozen pages, I was shocked to realize how close I was to cutting down an entire tree. I was also burning light bulbs and using carbon, but I don’t really understand the carbon thing. So let’s focus on the trees.

    The good news for you is that I ran the numbers, and, if my amateur ratios are correct, you actually need to print approximately over 1400 pages to kill an entire tree. You on your own probably won’t do that, but if you click “Open Environmental Dashboard” under your environmental impact on PaperCut, you can see where Yale stands as an organization. As I write this, Yale has printed the equivalent of 310 trees. I know it is the beginning of the semester and so there are a lot of syllabi coming off the presses … but that’s a lot.

    So, what to do about your guilty conscience, Paul?

    You should do what we should have been doing all along. Remember that the decisions you make every day impact the environment. It isn’t just printing, but maybe Blueprint will be your starting point.

    But if Blueprint’s numbers don’t inspire you to act, then, as my friend who is both a FOOT leader and an EVST major suggest, go outside and breathe some fresh air. Appreciate how beautiful the world is and let that motivate you to be a little more sustainable in everything you do. Turn off your lights when you leave the room. Take shorter showers. Bring a reusable thermos to Blue State. Recycle as much as you possibly can. Remind your suitemates to do the same and double your impact.

    You could also plant trees to help offset your printing costs. I just Googled it and found this one organization that plants trees for 10 cents each. I made the minimum $5 donation. Of course, this doesn’t give me free reign to print 50 trees-worth of paper (there’s no way I need 70,000 pages this year, even with my thesis). But planting trees is better than not planting trees.

    Going Green,


    P.S.: Be sure to Google “Blueprint Yale,” not just “Blueprint” when you’re trying to find your printer page. Otherwise, you’ll end up on the website for that really expensive juice fast, feeling bad about the world we live in all over again.


    Dear Rebecca,

    I’ve chosen my classes. Now, how do I choose the right notebooks?

    Seeing dots and lines,

    Handwritten Harriet


    Dear Handwritten,

    It sometimes seems like notebook shopping is even harder than shopping for classes. The right notebook can make even a boring seminar an exciting time to practice your handwriting. And maybe you didn’t know this, but I am crazy about paper.

    I collect and impulse-buy notebooks like I am being paid to do so. My backpack is heavier after a trip to Muji than it is after a trip to Bass because I buy more notebooks than I could ever possibly use. (If you’re looking for the black market for Muji notebooks, you’ve found it right here.)

    So at the beginning of every semester, I’m less nervous about turning in my schedule than I am about figuring out what notebooks I should use for what classes. Because not all notebooks are created equal, and ,when you have two friends, also connoisseurs of the paper arts, who routinely gift you blank books, you end up with a lot of choices. You could say that my notebook stack is thicker than my Blue Book.

    Start off by thinking about how much you’ll be writing in the class. Is it a once-a-week seminar where you will be a casual note taker? Or is it a lecture in which you will write down the professor’s speeches verbatim? Will you be drawing graphs or doing math? Each of these classes calls for a different notebook. As you reflect, consider page count, binding and paper quality. And paper comes in grid, dots, lines, blank. Run through the possible scenarios. Think about colors. Do some soul searching.

    And you may be tempted to think that this is a Moleskine world, and we’re just living in it. But you’d be wrong. There are Muji, Whitelines, Fabriano and Rhodia options at your disposal. Even the notebooks with the Yale crest are perfect for some situations. Like when you want even your notes to be pretentious.

    This semester, it took me two days to choose my notebooks, because I had to sleep on my decision. Twice. Now, I’m pretty excited about the orange theme I’ve got going on. I’m into the A5 size because I’m taking mostly seminars and I don’t like having pages leftover. I’m even branching out with a reporter-style notebook for my thesis. Bold, I know.

    So take your time. Before you make any rash decisions, go to Hulls and leaf through their amazing notebook selection. Smell the pages. I do that, and they might think I’m weird, but they still don’t know my name, so I think I’m okay.

    Or you could ignore all this advice and do the environment a solid. If your seminar professors will allow it, go paperless. Personally, I like my handwriting too much to be able to do that, but I’d be impressed if you could.

    Happiest with a new set of blank pages,



    Contact Rebecca Levinsky at rebecca.levinsky@yale.edu .

  2. Office of Sustainability releases 2011 progress report

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    Yale is currently on track to meet the goals outlined in its 2010-2013 Sustainability Strategic Plan, according to an annual progress report released Monday by the Office of Sustainability.

    The report tracks progress made during the 2011 fiscal year, which ended on June 30, 2011. (Click here to read the report in full.) The University has made improvements in areas such as waste management and energy use, according to the report. But further developments are needed to achieve 100 percent Green certification among campus laboratories, as the University still needs to reduce use of single-occupancy vehicles and cut down on paper consumption.

    Julie Newman, director of the Office of Sustainability, said implementing new measures and collecting data to track progress is the result of “an ongoing engagement” of partnership and negotiation among various Yale departments, including Facilities, Transportation and Dining. The Office is currently collecting data for the 2012 fiscal year’s progress report.

  3. Magdanz ’12 wins Luce Scholarship

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    Reid Magdanz ’12, an environmental studies major, has been awarded a Luce Scholarship to spend a year working in Asia, Director for National Fellowships Katherine Dailinger said over the weekend.

    Alaska-native Magdanz will use the scholarship to work a one-year internship — he’s not sure where — in a part of Asia where preservation and industrial development interact with traditional ways of life.

    “I’m interested in how this subsistence way of life interacts with, and is threatened by, other uses of the land, including industrial development, conservation, recreational use, and sport hunting and fishing,” Magdanz said in a Sunday email. “My career interest lies in finding ways for all these uses to be accommodated, with a particular focus on preserving the subsistence way of life.”

    Magdanz is one of 18 American students who won the Luce, which was established in 1974 to boost interest in Asia among non-Asia specialists. In all, 143 candidates were nominated by 62 different colleges and universities.

  4. Believe in People hits classroom in LC

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    Believe in People has left his mark inside a Yale building.

    New Haven’s favorite anonymous graffiti artist went to work this weekend in Room 211 of Linsly-Chittenden Hall. By the morning he had produced an image on the room’s back wall of a young person struggling with his decision to pursue a career in finance. The young man in the image has repeatedly written that he will only work in finance for one year. Seven lines in, the writer changes his tone, and says he will only work finance for two years.

    A tipster said a graffiti stencil outline was in place in the room by 3:30 p.m. on Saturday. According to a 3 a.m. tweet from Believe in People himself, several Yale students stumbled across the artist at work this morning — and encouraged him to keep going.

    Though Yale administrators have taken a firm stand against BiP’s graffitti in the past, the art had not been removed as of 1:00 p.m. today.

  5. Waterfowl conservation posters appear on campus

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    If you’ve been wading through campus the last few days, you have probably seen one of the posters pictured above. Maybe you thought it meant Alfred Hitchcock was prescient and the Ducks are staging a takeover, or maybe you thought it was finally time for the hunt. Regardless, Cross Campus decided to investigate.

    Turns out Ducks Unlimited is a global leader in the waterfowl conservation movement; according to its website, Ducks Unlimited “does more than any other organization to put ducks in the sky.” Now they’re trying to get more Yalies to sign up. Ducks Unlimited President Ari Epsohl ’12 said the Yale chapter of Ducks Unlimited, started in 2010, already includes around 25 undergraduates. The group meets monthly and holds an annual banquet with around 100 guests.

    “The poster campaign was designed to find people on campus who recognize the Ducks Unlimited logo, so that they too could join the group,” Opsahl said in an email.

    Opsahl said he hopes the poster campaign will inspire Yalies to “hop on the internet and find out” what all this duck business is about, so we guess this post means they were successful.

  6. Yale-NUS announces two joint degree programs

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    Students at the Singaporean liberal arts college Yale is building in tandem with the National University of Singapore will be able to earn a Yale diploma through a joint degree program, Yale-NUS College announced in a Thursday press release.

    Interested Yale-NUS students will be able to apply to pursue either a second bachelor’s degree in Law or a master’s degree in environmental studies. The law degree will be awarded by NUS, but the environmental studies master’s degree will bear Yale’s name, and students in the environmental studies program will have to spend three semesters at Yale — one semester in their junior year, and a full year in New Haven after graduation.

    Students who pursue a Bachelor of Laws Honours Degree at Yale-NUS will receive professional legal training through resources available from the NUS law school. Graduates of the program will be able to practice law in Singapore, if admitted to the nation’s bar.

    “The two new degree programs we have developed combine the breadth and depth of liberal arts education with the depth that comes with specializations, whether in Law or environmental studies,” Lily Kong, the vice president for academic affairs at Yale-NUS, said in the press release.

    Yale-NUS will begin its first round of admissions in February, the press release stated.