ASU Green Devils honored for sustainability habits
Every Monday is “Sustainability Monday” for Angie Laskarides.
Armed with plenty of no-cost, easy-to-use resources, the program coordinator senior sends an email to her colleagues from the Lodestar Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Innovation with topics that include: how to tap into ASU’s sustainability initiatives; where to obtain online sustainability literacy training; and details about the Staff Council used book collection and resale event.
Laskarides does this as a member of the Green Devil Network, which consists of 34 staff, faculty and administrators from 28 departments and colleges. These individuals are making a difference by promoting a culture of sustainability at Arizona State University.
Green Devils will be honored for their achievements during a Green Devil Network Recognition and Celebration event, June 24, in the Memorial Union.
Collectively, the Green Devils are striving to empower over 1,000 of their colleagues to incorporate sustainability into everyday workplace decisions through peer-to-peer education, support and collaboration.
The ASU Staff Council Sustainability Committee, with the sponsorship of University Sustainability Practices, developed the Green Devil Network to create awareness for ASU employees about actions they can take to incorporate sustainability in their offices or departments. Green Devils set an example through their actions, as well as pass on tools to make it easy for their colleagues to adopt waste and energy reduction practices.
Their advocacy and actions help the university achieve its four overarching sustainability goals: carbon neutrality, zero solid and water waste, active engagement and principled practice.
“We are very proud of the work the Green Devils have accomplished this year,” said Betty Lombardo, manager of University Sustainability Practices and co-chair of the Sustainability Committee along with Ground Services recycling technician Lucas Mariacher. “We didn’t advertise, but the level of interest and excitement the Green Devil Network has generated is fantastic.”
Here are examples of what some Green Devils have done this year.
Jeff Rensel, associate director of the Memorial Union, has been focused on reducing waste.
“The Memorial Union provides training to all staff members regarding the blue commingled recycling program, recycles outdated and used banners, and is going paperless through the use of iPads for second floor operations,” Rensel said.
Tammy Piper, administrative secretary for the Department of Animal Care and Technologies, has led her team to receive Green Office Program Level One and Green Labs Program certifications. The ASU Green Office Program and Green Labs Program include several sustainability focus areas for offices and labs to implement into their workspaces such as green procurement, paper conservation, alternative transportation, green chemistry, lab energy efficiency and lab water efficiency.
“Sustainability is included in new employee training for staff and students alike,” said Piper, who brings the tips and information she gleans from Green Devil Network meetings to her green team of 37 staff located throughout campus.
Jillian Farland, graduate academic success specialist in the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, said, “I am eager to continue introducing green practices into my workplace. I frequently sport my Green Devil polo to promote my support of our planet Earth and to ignite conversations about how we can all do our part – at ASU and beyond.”
Joel Hansen, a carpenter for Carpentry Services, hasn’t taken an elevator in nearly a year.
“I have been taking the stairs since September of 2014, and I regularly turn out lights that are not in use throughout campus,” he said.
This Green Devil belongs to a Facilities Management service center that has earned Master-Level Green Shop certification.
“We went from paper work orders to tablets,” Hansen said.
Heather Irish, grant administration specialist senior for the Rob and Melani Walton Sustainability Solutions Initiatives, holds Walton Green Devil team meetings. The team has agreed to remove most landfill and recycling bins from cubicles, and use centrally-located bins instead.
“My office stores all documents electronically, printing only those that are required for processing. I have also presented a ‘how to implement paperless filing’ class to ASU Consortium Club members and a couple individual offices,” Irish said.
The Light Bender
Victoria Palmenberg, specialist senior in Transfer Systems Development, is all about turning the lights off.
“Our office uses only half of our overhead lighting. Offices with windows take advantage of natural light, and those without windows use desk lamps,” Palmenberg said.
The Dish on a Green Team
Danielle Silvas, Carrie Hudiburgh and Jill Cline from the Office of Research and Sponsored Projects have formed a Centerpoint Green Team.
“My department participates in the 'Blue Bag' program. Lots of people in the office have been recycling their otherwise ‘hard‐to‐recycle’ items,” Silvas said. “We have also made changes in the way we purchase supplies, and have brought in real plates and cutlery so we can phase out plastic and paper.”
The Team Builder
Catherine Armstrong, project coordinator for OKED’s Operations Project Management Office, best describes the member benefits of the Green Devil Network.
“I’m grateful for the resources, support and legitimacy the Green Devil Network provides our efforts,” Armstrong says.
“The uniting power of an impactful grassroots effort on a group of individuals that serves different job functions cannot be overstated. Our local Green Devils are capturing a synergy that is being transferred to other projects, resulting in better team collaboration and comradery,” said Sarah Kern, grant and contract officer senior for the Office of Research and Sponsored Projects Administration as well as an active member of the Centerpoint Green Team. “The energy created by successfully executing small steps toward a large goal is growing exponentially. I am proud to lend my support to such a significant endeavor.”
Learn more about the ASU Staff Council, the Green Devil Network and ASU sustainability programs:
Story provided by the ASU Staff Council Sustainability Committee