Sustainability Month on Campus to Feature Speakers, Activities, Events

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October will be celebrated as Sustainability Month on campus with film screenings, special presentations, group discussions, student activities and a Halloween reuse clothing sale. The events are organized by multiple departments and cover a variety of issues related to sustainability.

Scheduled events include:

Screening of “INHABIT: A Permaculture Perspective,”Thursday, Oct. 1, 7 p.m., 26th floor Du Bois Library. Focused mostly on the Northeastern and Midwestern regions of the U.S., “INHABIT” provides an intimate look at permaculture people and their practices. Learn how permaculture, a design practice, is a response to local and global challenges from issues of food, water, and medicine, to governance, economy, and culture. The film is a call to action and a glimpse into what's possible for a new way of being and a new way of healing the Earth and one another. Opening remarks from Lisa Depiano, Stockbridge School of Agriculture, and permaculture instructor. A brief discussion will follow the film. Space is limited. Arrive early to guarantee a seat.

Free popcorn and beverages (in the spirit of reducing waste, bring a bowl, cup and napkin, if possible.) The event is made possible by the Library Sustainability Fund. For more information, contact Madeleine Charney, sustainability studies librarian, 577-0784.

EPA Game Day Challenge - Take a Minute...Man and Recycle! Saturday, Oct. 3 and Saturday, Oct. 17, four hours before each football game. McGuirk Alumni Stadium. UMass Amherst is working to be more sustainable by participating in the EPA Game Day Challenge. During tailgating at McGuirk Alumni Stadium recycling bins are available to decrease the amount of waste that is sent to landfills. Student volunteers will be on site to assist tailgaters in making the campus greener.

Annual Eco-Rep Trash Sort, Tuesday, Oct. 13, 10 a.m.–2 p.m., Student Union lawn. Undergraduates from the UMass Eco-Rep program will don protective suits and sort through trash that has been taken from all the residential areas on campus. The goal of the Eco-Rep Trash Sort is to separate actual trash from materials that could have been recycled. Once sorted, the Eco-Reps will be able to put a number on the percentage of material that could have been diverted from the landfill.The event raises awareness about what we throw away and demonstrate how the new implementation of Single Stream Recycling across campus can make recycling an everyday activity.

“Passive House: Conservation-focused Design,”Thursday, Oct. 15, 3 p.m., Massachusetts Room, Mullins Center. Amy Finlayson, project manager with the state Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance, discusses the principles of Passive House and how they can be applied to public projects in the Commonwealth. Passive House is a voluntary performance-based design standard focused on significant energy efficiency, ecological impact, cost savings and thermal comfort using quantifiable data. Finlayson is a registered architect with Passive House certification and has more than 18 years of experience in multiple sectors of architecture. Her primary interests are energy conservation and design. After 12 years practicing high-end residential architecture, she has shifted her career path to capital projects for the Commonwealth to have a greater impact on the way we approach design and energy conservation. She would like to see the Passive House approach implemented on all Commonwealth capital projects. She is currently the project manager for the proposed Child Care Center at Greenfield Community College, which is on track for Passive House certification. There is no building typology; the Passive House standard can be applied across the building industry successfully. Because of the unique and focused criteria for Passive House, it can complement or coincide with additional green building standards such as LEED. The primary characteristics of Passive House design are energy efficiency, occupant health and comfort, predictable performance for long-term planning and maintenance, and resiliency. Each of those categories is imperative for public projects and will be discussed in the presentation. Seating is limited, RSVP to

“Talking Truth:  Finding Your Voice around the Climate Crisis,”Friday, Oct. 16, 12:30 p.m., TBA. An open discussion focused on climate disruption as it relates to teaching, learning and personal agency.There are no prerequisites or implied commitments. The simple mission: to honestly discuss and collaborate on how to respond to the disturbing and urgent global challenge that looms before us. Countering this reality, participants will tap into the hope and optimism, joy and connection of finding our individual and collective voices in our workplace as well as our lives.

The event is trans-institutional: All campus voices—students, staff, librarians and faculty—are welcome and needed. For a general sense of participation, RSVP to For more information, contact Madeleine Charneyor Kris Nelson.

Sustainable Halloween Costume Sale, Thursday, Oct. 22, 5-10 p.m. & Friday, Oct. 23, 10 a.m.-10 p.m., 162 Campus Center. A Halloween sale of reused clothing. Save money and be sustainable at the same time. Choose from the “pre-assembled” assortment of fabulous costumes or personalize your own in the do-it-yourself section. Show your creativity during the #UMassHalloween Instagram event.

Garlic Planting Day, Friday, Oct. 23, 9:30-11:30 a.m., Franklin Permaculture Gardens. Get your hands dirty by joining the UMass Permaculture team in planting garlic bulbs. Learn more about how food is grown and celebrate UMass Amherst’s diverse locally grown campus food gardens.

“Campus Green Building Resources: LEED and Beyond,” Monday, Oct. 26, 1 p.m., 917 Campus Center, and Friday, Oct. 30, 9 a.m., 911 Campus Center. Ludmilla Pavlova-Gillham, senior campus planner, will review the commitment UMass Amherst has made to sustainable design and construction and the range of sustainability/LEED resources available to campus staff, faculty and students as they work on planning, designing and constructing a sustainable campus. To learn more, email

Integrative Learning Center Tour, Wednesday, Oct. 28, 5 p.m. in East Lobby of ILC. Presented by Campus Planning, U.S. Green Building Council of Massachusetts, West Branch, and the UMass Green Building Council/USGBC student group. The Integrative Learning Center is a LEED Gold certified facility that opened last fall. A tour of the building will explore the remarkable new facility and review sustainability features such as landscaping and rainwater management, energy use reductions, natural ventilation, and many other strategies. Following the tour, there will be a reception at 6 p.m. in the Green Room at Campus Planning in the Physical Plant Building. The reception is an opportunity to network with a diverse group of like-minded individuals and to provide emerging professionals in the UMGBC student group to meet with seasoned practitioners. For more information and to RSVP, contact

The month wraps up with two events at the Boston Public Market, a 28,000-square-foot, self-sustaining market at 100 Hanover St. in Boston featuring all locally sourced food.

On Oct. 17 at 2 p.m., there will be a screening of “Fish Meat,” a documentary about fish farming co-produced by Andy Danylchuk of the environmental conservation department.

Wesley Autio, director of the Stockbridge School of Agriculture, will present “All About Apples” on Oct. 22 at 2 p.m.

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