Filed under: Green education, Recent news | Tags: berkeley model united nations, converge magazine, higher education, sustainability blog
I’m excited to announce that we’ve been featured by Converge Magazine as one of six must-read higher-education sustainability blogs! Converge covers a variety of stories pertaining to technology in education, and a recent article by Jessica Napier discusses the increasing importance of sustainability in higher education institutions. This blog is among the top six!
I definitely recommend that you check out the other blogs featured on there – there is some pretty interesting content! Thanks to Jessica and Converge magazine for featuring us.
Filed under: Event Planning, Green education, Waste diversion | Tags: berkeley model united nations, BMUN 57, recycling, sustainability, Waste diversion
I’m very pleased to report that the sustainability measures taken at BMUN 57 were a success! While it took a lot of planning and behind-the-scenes work by BMUN staff to keep things running smoothly, I can definitively say that this year’s conference was the most sustainable in the history of BMUN.
We diverted 8 bins of food waste, dozens of bags full of note-paper, and plenty of soda cans and bottles during committee sessions. We also made use of sustainable non-plastic materials like the compostable cups that most of you may have encountered at the delegate dance and in the hallways of MLK. We nixed the waste of virtually thousands of pieces of paper that would have been used for printing proposed resolutions by projecting them all electronically, and we eliminated the paper and shipping necessary to send in position papers by allowing electronic submissions. All of this adds up!
Did you know that in the United States we recycle enough paper to supply about 38% of the total fiber needed for our paper products? That’s a pretty big number. And for every ton of paper that’s recycled, we save 3 cubic yards of landfill space! Also, every aluminum can that is recycled saves enough energy to power a TV for 3 hours! These things are worth it when you consider the energy savings and the future benefit to our planet.
But I think the biggest positive outcome of this year’s sustainable conference was the increased awareness that we’ve brought to the issue of global sustainability. Those of you that have been following this blog all year have learned many ways to reduce your impact on the world – and it can be doing something as small as recycling an aluminum can, or keeping the plastic fruit labels out of our drains. There are plenty of important ways to introduce sustainability to your own life.
For those of you at the opening ceremonies, we were lucky to hear from Professor Kate O’Neill, who talked a bit about the role of the United Nations in addressing environmental issues as diverse as climate change and electronic waste. I hope that you will all continue learning about international environmental politics, because these issues are becoming increasingly important in our modern world.
I’ll be maintaining the blog less frequently in the next few months as the semester wraps up and I’ll be graduating in May. But look for an update soon on our Kiva donation recipients. And thanks to everyone who donated – we raised about $1,400 for the cause!
I welcome any questions, comments, or thoughts on this year’s sustainability endeavors. They will certainly be carried on at next year’s conference – BMUN 58 – with Brian Huang leading as the club’s new Secretary General.
Thanks for reading, everyone, and good luck pursuing sustainability in your own lives!
Filed under: Event Planning, General, Waste diversion, Water | Tags: berkeley model united nations, BMUN 57 conference, BMUN canteen, BMUN Sustainability, stainless steel canteen
We are so excited to see you in just a few days! All of us here in BMUN have been busily preparing for your arrival. Like I mentioned last week, the sustainability staff has been preparing in lots of ways for this conference, too, and I wanted to take a moment just to remind you to bring your reusable canteen, or alternatively to bring $10 to buy one of BMUN’s stylish blue stainless steel bottles! There’s me on the left holding one.
There will be signs directing you to water fountains on campus where you can fill up during the conference weekend. We will not be selling water bottles at the dance, and we encourage all of you to participate in our greening activities by avoiding the use of individual plastic bottles over the weekend if you can help it. We’re hoping to achieve a 75% waste diversion rate – help us reach our target! We’ll be dividing our trash into recyclables, compost and waste, and you’ll learn how to sort these things if you’re not sure.
Can’t wait for BMUN 57!
Filed under: Green education, Sustainable purchases, Waste diversion, Water | Tags: electronic device recycling, energy saving advice, green laundry, green laundry detergent, green lifestyle tips
Hello, my name is Stephanie Chen, and I’m on the sustainability staff for Berkeley Model United Nations’ 57th session. I’m writing today to share with you some easy ways to green your lifestyle!
As the conference approaches and you are packing clean clothing for committee, I wanted to let you know there are ways that you can green your laundry routine! Why not try out the following:
o Wash clothes in warm or cold water, rather than hot water, to save energy
o Air dry your clothes the old-fashioned way, either on a line or directly on hangers that you can set out to dry (Air drying your clothes saves you and your family money AND reduces your annual carbon output by “as much as recycling your paper, plastic and metal for an entire year” – can you believe it?!)
o Buy laundry detergents from brands such as Seventh Generation that are “free and clear” of dyes and perfumes, which are potential skin irritants and allergens (Buying “green” detergents is also doing your part to make sure fewer contaminants such as alkylphenol ethoxylates and chlorine bleach pass from our waterways and sewers to rivers and oceans!)
Here are some helpful websites where you can read more about being sustainable around the home:
Lastly, if you’ve ever wondered where you can take that random old TV set or cell phone or car tire to recycle (because these things can’t just be tossed into the regular garbage!), visit www.earth911.com to find out where the recycling centers are in your neighborhood!
Less than a week till the conference – see you soon!
Filed under: Green education | Tags: BMUN, BMUN WTC, ecotourism, green travel, international environmentalism, travel tips, World Tourism Committee
Hi everyone, I’m Rachel Whyte. I’m on the sustainability staff, and am here today to share with you an interesting new trend in world travel, known as eco-tourism. I like to think of Berkeley Model United Nations as not only an amazing MUN conference, but also as a convergence of global thinkers, visionaries and wanderers all in one place. In fact, I bet that between all of our students, faculty members and members, we have traveled to most of the 192 member nations of the UN. So when I heard that we were creating a new World Tourism Committee, I thought that this was probably the most relevant committee to our current lives. For example, while I might not be working for the World Health Organization this summer, I will most definitely be flying to Guatemala to visit my Aunt Maritza.
In honor of my trip and the creation of our new World Tourism Committee, AND in further celebration of BMUN’s going green, I have decided to share with you some ways in which you can make your summer’s travels a little easier on the planet.
Environmentally friendly travel, better known as ecotourism, is defined by The International Ecotourism Society (TIES) as, “responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people,” and in its purest form, ecotourism should try to minimize the cultural and environmental impact of its operations as much as possible. These operations can come in many forms, ranging from hotels to travel agencies to tours. On a global scale, ecotourism is the fastest growing branch of the tourist industry. Although this may seem as like a great development, some of these new operations are using techniques like green washing to appear ecologically friendly, when in reality they are far from it.
Intrigued? Check out the International Eco-Tourism Society’s Five Easy Steps to eco-friendly travel.
Here is another website I found helpful: The Discovery Channel’s Planet Green travel tips.
And just in case the articles are not cool enough, here’s a quiz! Take it to find out if you are a “green globetrotter…”
Filed under: Event Planning, Sustainable purchases, Waste diversion | Tags: berkeley model united nations, BMUN 57, composting, sustainability, Waste diversion
As the conference quickly approaches, we on the sustainability staff have been doing lots of things to prepare. We’re expecting record numbers of delegates this year – our current numbers stand around 1,600! Some of the big things we’ve been working on include:
*placing orders through the university for recycling and compost bins at each building on campus that we’ll be occupying
*obtaining discounts for sustainable restaurants located around the Berkeley campus
*making signs that will direct attendees to the nearest water fountains and recycling bins, as we’re making a big push to eliminate bottled water from the conference and improve our waste diversion efforts
*renting out projectors for resolutions (rather than mass-copying multiple resolutions for each committee)
*purchasing additional compostable materials for the advisor and secretariat lounges so that all of our food waste can be composted
World Centric is the local source of our biocompostable products – check out my previous blog on their services here. You’ll surely notice them next to the water stations in Pauley Ballroom, the big room in MLK where opening and closing ceremonies are held. Usually, compostable products are marked with a recycling symbol that has a zero on the inside, since the product is made to break down within 180 days of use in a composting facility. There’s also a newer symbol that’s been introduced in European products and may make its way to the US soon, which looks like a ribbon-loop with a leaf growing out of it (see the image to the left)
We’re working hard to make the 57th year of this conference BMUN’s most sustainable yet!
Filed under: Event Planning, Recent news | Tags: berkeley model UN dance, BMUN 57, BMUN dance, going green, jungle
Just a quick note to share with you the exciting news about the delegate dance. This year’s theme is “Welcome to the Jungle!” which fits in well with Berkeley Model United Nation’s 57th session emphasis on going green.
I encourage you all to think creatively and bring a costume! It should be fun There’s going to be a casino and a DJ, and a decorated picture booth. Hope to see you there!