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: General, Green education, Waste diversion | Tags: annie leonard, the story of stuff, trash, video, waste, waste reduction
I stumbled across a pretty cool video today called “The Story of Stuff.” It’s a pretty brief video at 20 minutes long, and you can watch it online instantly at this website. It’s gives a super-informative look at all the ways we consume in today’s society, and especially here in America. Tracing the path from extraction (of natural resources) to production (of stuff) to distribution throughout the world to consumption and ending in disposal, it provides a pretty strong critique of the consumerism that has come to define us, and ends by suggesting some alternative models to consumption. If you feel like you already know a lot about, say, extraction of natural resources, you can skip around to the parts of the consumer cycle that interest you, or that you might not know that much about. While some parts might seem outside of the mainstream to the average viewer (especially the consumption section!), the narrator makes some great points, and I definitely recommend you check it out.
This video emphasizes a really important aspect of BMUN’s sustainability measures that we’ve been working on: waste diversion and a reduction in our overall consumption. By reducing the amount of paper printed for position papers that are read a few times and then trashed, and by diverting recyclables from landfills, we are cutting down on our overall consumption. It’s something that you might not think is all that big of a deal in our personal lives, but consider this one statistic I picked up in the video: the average American produces 4.5 pounds of trash a day. That’s 1642.5 pounds a year! Per person! I don’t even want to think about multiplying that number by 300 million, the approximate number of American citizens. If we can work to divert or reduce that number at a personal level, imagine the savings!
It’s the little things we do that count, but working to consider the bigger issues can’t hurt either. When you see a business that you think could be doing something to improve its sustainability, don’t be shy! You can talk to a manager, or write a letter to the company. Oftentimes they appreciate the recommendation, and if you emphasize your concern about sustainability in terms of your patronage, they will surely take note. Think about what you can do to improve your own sustainability, and work in increasing concentric circles to spread the word to family, friends and the businesses you visit regularly. These are just a few ways to consider sustainability in your own life!
Filed under: Event Planning, General, Waste diversion | Tags: berkeley model united nations, compost, recycle, reduce reuse recycle, sustainability, waste reduction
Hello, readers! I apologize for the lack of posting over the last few weeks – the internet at my house has been out for about two weeks and I have nearly been driven mad without regular access! In any case, I have much news to share with you pertaining to sustainability. Look for many more updates from me in the next few weeks as school comes back into session and the conference date is fast approaching.
I want to take this post to share with everyone just a few of the measures BMUN 57 will be taking during the conference that I am spearheading as the club’s sustainability coordinator. Most of these measures fall under the sustainability mantra of “reduce, reuse, recycle” that you may be familiar with.
I’d also like to open the floor to anyone who has other suggestions about how we can incorporate a more sustainable lifestyle into the conference itself. Please post a reply if you’ve got any ideas of your own! Or email me at
1) Projecting MUN resolutions instead of printing them – to conserve printing loads of paper that would be used once or twice and then scrapped
2) Requiring online submission of position papers – for the same reason as listed above
3) Making available compost and recycling bins at major points of access throughout the conference weekend
4) Encouraging the use of tap water: with our customized BMUN canteens and with signs letting delegates know where the nearest water fountain can be found
5) Supporting local, eco-friendly restaurants
To read more, check out the full explanations on BMUN’s page here.
Filed under: General, Green education | Tags: Berkeley Project, BMUN Sustainability, Claremont Canyon Conservancy, community events, community service, UC Berkeley, volunteering
Hello everyone. I’m sorry for not posting in a while. With the Thanksgiving vacation this week, and finals approaching, I have been a bit lax in keeping up with the blog. Today I wanted to let you know about a really great community service day that Berkeley Model United Nations members participated in on November 15th, 2008. It’s called the Berkeley Project and is a community-wide volunteer day in which thousands of people are dispersed to tons of locations across the East Bay for projects ranging from gardening and landscaping to mural decoration and public works projects. The project is in its third year, having been pioneered in 2006 by two Berkeley undergraduate students – read the story here.
Our group of 15 volunteers was assigned to a site in the Berkeley Hills called the Claremont Canyon Conservancy. It’s a beautiful area, which I had never had the pleasure of visiting before, and we were lucky to have a beautiful sunny day in which to work. We split into small groups with some other volunteers, and were working on landscaping projects – mostly removing an invasive weed called the French broom which is displacing many locally growing plants in certain areas of the canyon. (Check out a really big one that Rachel removed to the left!) Some of us also reseeded a cleared area with California native plants. And in this picture below, we are spreading out bark across a hillside to prevent erosion.
We had a great time! I’ve included a few of the best pictures from the event here. For those of you living in or near the Bay Area, I encourage you to consider participating in the Berkeley Project day that’s happening in the spring of 2009. They haven’t set a date yet, but check back on their website for more details next year.
Here’s one last image that our media editor and photographer Francis put together.
Filed under: General | Tags: berkeley model united nations, going green, stumble, StumbleUpon, sustainability
It appears that our website is starting to pick up in traffic so I wanted to take a minute to acknowledge StumbleUpon – a cool website that links you to related websites to explore the vast scope of the world wide web. So, for example, if you’re reading about water bottles and their impact on the environment, and then click on StumbleUpon, you might link up to my recent blog posting on water bottles! Pretty neat.
If you’re new to this site, check out the About section to find out more about the Berkeley Model United Nations, and what we’re doing to promote sustainability within our club on the UC Berkeley campus. Thanks for visiting!
Filed under: General | Tags: berkeley model united nations, sustainability, welcome
I’m Marie Logan, Sustainability Coordinator for Berkeley Model United Nations’ 57th session. I’m here to share with you everything about our “going green” initiative that will be a big part of this year’s club and conference.
We are planning to emphasize sustainability throughout BMUN’s 57th session by raising members’ and participants’ consciousness of the many ways that their choices affect the natural environment — from the ways we choose to dispose of trash, plastics and electronic waste, to the types of food and water that we consume regularly, the ways we travel and how we think about our place in the natural world. We hope that you will embrace this goal with us as we work to achieve a more sustainable conference.
Check back here often for mini-updates throughout the year about our progress, challenges, new thoughts, and interesting tidbits on sustainability. There will be lots of links to other organizations that are doing great things to make our world a greener and more sustainable place! You’ll be hearing from me, and occasionally from my staff, as we discover new and interesting things about sustainability, and share with you the many ways you can live more sustainably no matter where you are in the world.
I’m so glad you’re interested in our mission, and as always, I welcome any questions, comments, or recommendations to our postings. Just write me a comment after any of my postings! I look forward to sharing with you all this year. –Marie