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!
Filed under: Green education, Recent news, Waste diversion, Water | Tags: bay, drains, fruit labels, ocean, plastic
Here’s an interesting story I learned about just recently. You know those little fruit labels stuck on bananas and the other small labels stuck on other packaged foods? Apparently they get washed down home sink drains pretty frequently. Small bits of plastic from the corners of packaged goods also sometimes get washed down. When this happens, they are really hard to filter out of the wastewater system: they get attached to screens and filters, block up pipes, and sometimes, they make it through all the filtration and end up in your local bay. They pollute the ocean and can even kill fish! One thing that makes small bits of plastic more problematic than other things that are rinsed down the drain, for example, is that some plastic neither sinks nor floats, making it hard to capture. Small stickers, big problem.
This is one environmental issue that has a pretty easy solution on our end as consumers. Try to make a conscious effort to remove these stickers from your fruits and veggies before you peel or rinse them in the kitchen sink, and make sure to dispose of all plastics before putting food waste in the sink. Thanks to the UC Berkeley Office of Sustainability for this tip!
Filed under: Green education, Recent news | Tags: berkeley model UN, berkeley model united nations, BMUN, charitable cause, kiva
I am happy to announce that BMUN 57′s charitable cause at this year’s conference will be Kiva!
Kiva is a micro-finance lending platform that connects donors to real individuals in need of funding for projects of economic growth. The money thatwe collect at the conference is going to be divided into three parts, which we will distribute to people in three different countries. We’re going to emphasize individuals who are pursuing sustainability and environmental activities, in coordination with our recent efforts to “go green” this year! Some examples of who we might fund include a rice farmer in Cambodia, a farm supplier in Nicaragua, or a plantation producer on the island of Samoa.
There is a chance that the delegation that your high school is representing may be donating to someone in that very same country! But the very best thing about this year’s charitable cause is that the money you donate will double its impact every year, because the money exists as a “loan” to the entrepreneur to whom we lend, and when the money is paid back to BMUN’s charity account, we get the chance to re-lend it to someone new next year! We chose this organization because of the fusion between sustainability and internationalism.
Be sure to check back to this blog after the conference to learn more about the people to whom we will donate! You will be able to see their pictures, check out their profiles, and learn what they are using the money for. Can’t wait until you know? Check out Kiva.org right now and see what kind of entrepreneurs are out there!
We hope that you’ll consider donating a small amount during the conference in order to support our cause this year. Looking forward to meeting you all soon!