Archive for Good Stuff

Miller Creek Disc Golf Course PUBLIC MEETING

The City of Duluth is offering a public meeting to lay out plans on potential re-vegetation project for the Miller Creek Disc Golf Course.  They will also be discussing the possibility of moving baskets located in sensitive areas near Miller Creek.  The meeting will be held at Lake Superior College in their Atrium at 11:00-noon on Friday, April 29th.  Check out the DGC Public Meeting poster and article in the Duluth News Tribune for more info! If you have an opinion on the future of the course, now’s the time to voice it!

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Lake Superior College Shreds Landfill Load


Lake Superior College Shreds Landfill Load

April 14, 2011

Lake Superior College has been a member of Minnesota Waste Wise since 2008.  In 2008 and 2011, Waste Wise conducted site visits and made many valuable suggestions including strategies to reduce our solid waste.  This has prompted LSC to evaluate waste hauler contracts, establish a waste tracking system, and examine our overall solid waste system handling from purchasing to disposal.  Also, as a member of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), and as a signatory of the American Colleges and Universities Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), LSC will submit its Sustainability Plan of Action in May 2011 which outlines the campus’s goal to reduce solid waste, purchasing and food waste by 50% by 2030.  In conjunction with this Sustainability Plan, LSC is in the process of creating a campus-wide sustainable purchasing policy which will include tips on helping campus purchasing agents make product choices with less overall environmental impact, and at the same time, reduce the amount of single-life packing material that reaches our campus.

What do you do with large chunks of unavoidable styrofoam that ships along with fragile equipment as packaging?  It can’t be recycled, it isn’t biodegradable, its combusted bi-product is toxic to respiratory systems and the atmosphere, and it stays in landfills for centuries taking up almost 30% of landfill space in the United States.  LSC’s Integrated Manufacturing Program has created a solution that that will make this product reusable to community members and businesses alike.

This year’s Integrated Manufacturing Team, including students Nathan Zobel, Pete Alms and David Hauff, took their styrofoam shredder to the two-day SkillsUSA competition in Bloomington, Minnesota.  The project competed in the Community Service category and won a gold medal, advancing them to the National SkillsUSA competition in Kansas City, Missouri this June.  The machine, designed as a prototype for a new and improved machine already in production, has been in service at LSC for four years.  Designing and building the shredder, though, is only half the story.  The machine has shredded over 8,000 cubic feet of large styrofoam packing material over its life and the team has spent over 160 hours shredding campus styro and also material dropped off by the public.

But they didn’t stop there!  Throughout the four years of service, the Integrated Manufacturing team has been taking notes on design shortfalls of the current machine.  The team is utilizing their CAD/CAM design knowledge, machine skills, previous experience, and is also adapting and developing trouble-shooting skills to produce a machine that will give them a more usable end-product with consistent-sized pieces, and, “with the new design the shredded pieces will be more uniform and have less static…” says team member Zobel.  This will make the material more appealing to commercial businesses and the more efficient machine design will mean they can take in more from the community; thereby diverting even more of this nuisance material from the landfill.  Besides the shredded material’s obvious use as packing material, individuals have found use for it as filler for bean bag chairs, dog beds and outdoor planters.

This project not only serves to promote our Integrated Manufacturing program through college publications, but when the new machine is completed, it will also serve as a tangible community outreach project for the college with on-line advertising of shredded styrofoam. “At the same time, the project will help us to reach our college’s sustainability goals by keeping styrofoam out of landfills,” says Deanne Roquet, LSC’s Environmental Council Chairperson.

This project is an excellent example of hands-on classroom learning and fills a very necessary niche within the campus and ultimately the community, as no place else in the region has the capacity to manage the product after its initial purpose has been exhausted.

For more information on this or any of Lake Superior College’s Sustainability initiatives, email Kristi Heintz at


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LSC is an AASHE Member, see how this benefits YOU!

Dear Campus Colleagues:

LSC has been member of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) for years and we’ve recently renewed our membership.  AASHE is an organization of colleges and universities that are working to advance sustainability in higher education.  You can see our school’s name on AASHE’s list of campus members.

I’m writing to let you know about some of the benefits of AASHE membership.  First, AASHE membership covers everyone on campus.  As members, we all have access to AASHE’s online resources and opportunities for networking, information sharing, collaboration, and professional development.  

Here are more details about AASHE’s member benefits, services and programs:

Individual Member Accounts
Anyone at our institution can create their own account to access member-only pages on AASHE’s website and receive member discounts.  To create an individual account, go to create member account and complete the user profile using your campus email address.  After you receive your password by email, go to the login page, enter your email address (username) and new password, and you will have access to all locked resources. Email if you have any difficulty with this process.  

AASHE Newsletters
We can subscribe to any AASHE newsletters.  AASHE Bulletin is a weekly e-newsletter with the latest campus sustainability news, resources, opportunities, and events.  AASHE Events notifies you about AASHE’s annual conference, workshop, webinars and other AASHE-hosted events.  AASHE Announcements contains updates on important organizational news. STARS Update keeps you current on activities related to the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System program.

Online Resources
AASHE’s online Resource Center includes assessment tools, policy and program databases, best practices, campus profiles, how-to guides, reports, discussion forums, and other resources. Many of these are member-only so you’ll need an individual member account to access them (see above).

Professional Development
AASHE holds or co-sponsors workshops, webinars and conference calls throughout the year, plus an annual conference that brings together every sector of higher education as well as business, government, and non-profit participants.  These events offer opportunities to connect with our colleagues at regional, national, and international levels to share resources. As members we receive discounts on all AASHE events.  Check the AASHE calendar for upcoming events.  

Product and Service Discounts
AASHE business and non-profit members offer occasional product and service discounts for AASHE members. To access the list of discount offers, you must have an individual member account (see above).

STARS Registration Discount
As a member, our institution receives a reduced fee for participating in AASHE’s Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS), a standardized, self-administered assessment tool for campuses to benchmark their sustainability progress and compare with others.

Publicity and Recognition
We can submit campus sustainability news and job postings to the AASHE Bulletin (be sure to read the submission guidelines first).  The Bulletin informs over 10,000 subscribers about campus sustainability news, resources, and opportunities.  We can also submit a photo and text for the member spotlight, which highlights efforts at individual campuses and is featured on AASHE’s website and Bulletin.

Professional Awards
Our campus can submit applications for any of AASHE’s awards, including the Campus Sustainability Case Study Award, Student Sustainability Leadership Award, and Student Sustainability Research Award.

Sustainability Officers Directory
AASHE maintains an online directory of campus sustainability/environmental officers to enable us to find and reach out to colleagues doing similar work at other institutions.  It’s a member-only resource, so you’ll need an individual account to access it (see above).

Discussion Forums
Anyone with an individual website account can participate in AASHE’s Campus Sustainability Discussion Forums (read the FAQs and Instructions first). The aim of the forums is to provide a central place for sharing ideas and best practices and for finding answers to questions on topics related to sustainability and higher education.  It’s a great way to gain knowledge from our peers that will help advance our sustainability work.

AASHE Staff Blog
AASHE’s “Campus Sustainability Perspectives” blog features opinions and reports by staff and guests related to campus sustainability. You can read the blog, comment on posts, and request to submit your own items as a guest blogger.  There is also a chronological archive page and a comprehensive list of blogs that are related to campus sustainability.

AASHE Member Logo
We can post the “AASHE Member” logo on our website to emphasize our commitment to sustainability. The logo may also be used on any signage, reports, brochures, and publicity or display materials.  Be sure to read the usage guidelines first.

Governance, Councils, Committees
Anyone from our campus can participate on AASHE’s committees, councils, working groups, and board.

If you have any questions about AASHE or our benefits as a member, email Again, every individual on our campus can take advantage of these membership benefits from AASHE, so be sure to set up an account!

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