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: 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: 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!
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 | 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