Barnard has awesome sustainable initiatives as well as janitorial services!

This Monday evening started with a presentation from the Director of Sustainability and Climate Action, Sandra Goldmark, and Director of Custodial Services, Lino Machado. SGA learned that the day-to-day priorities of the sustainability department include finding pathways to net-zero carbon emissions, sustainability requirements in our curriculum, efforts to create a circular campus, a type of framework designed to reduce emissions and waste, and tracking data regarding waste. In all of these fields, Barnard is extremely successful. Barnard’s emissions are incomparable, coming in at approximately a third of the waste of other campuses. Efforts to create a circular campus similarly have been going well! With improvements in tracking, Morningside area alliances, and community sharing Barnard can create an environment where fewer resources are wasted.

Additionally, Altschul Hall is moving toward electrification to further reduce carbon emissions which is a huge investment for Barnard. Overall, there is a long road to reach net-zero, but the circulatory system mentioned earlier is going to ultimately be the key to creating a cohesive college environment that is climate-friendly.

Moving to the custodial services aspect, Lino presented the department through Q&A. Emily Ndiokho (BC ‘22) wondered about the partnership with sustainability and custodial service, and Lino responded with information regarding our yellow composting bins. The staff is trying to make composting information more accessible by creating better signage and bins on campus in public spaces. They’re always trying to educate our greater community about the roles of different materials while composting. To reiterate, compost is for food and paper and everything else must be recycled or thrown in landfill bins. The next question was regarding the life cycle process of work orders. Work orders go through priorities where vital things (floods, fire alarms, light safety, etc.) get fixed immediately and everything else goes through the mailboxes and daily routes for tradesmen. Vivian Todd (BC ‘23) then asked why the supply of menstrual products in non-residential buildings is occasionally priced whereas others are free. Barnard intends to create free products, but sometimes staff runs out of products and the dispensers don’t work which is an issue the custodial staff has been working on. Finally, SGA discussed the prospect of when the Futter tent could be removed. Unfortunately, there is still a need for a consistent outdoor space but there are talks about removing the tent which will be fully repotted with organic care and will be transformed into a beautiful green space with landscaping from local florists!

And with that, signing off with a piece of good luck on midterms blessing! See you next week :)

Header via Bwog Artist Ava Morouse