Wesleyan’s Green Team Raises Awareness of Sustainability Efforts on Campus

Current Green Team members, pictured here holding their reusable mugs, include, from left, Roslyn Carrier-Brault, Chemistry Department; Dawn Alger, Theater Department; Valerie Marinelli, College of the Environment; Liz Tinker, English Department; Anika Dane, Molecular Biology and Biochemistry Department; and Blanche Meslin, Biology Department.

Green Team members, pictured here holding their reusable mugs, include, from left, Roslyn Carrier-Brault, Chemistry Department; Dawn Alger, Theater Department; Valerie Marinelli, College of the Environment; Liz Tinker, English Department; Anika Dane, Molecular Biology and Biochemistry Department; and Blanche Meslin, Biology Department.

During the academic year, Wesleyan’s Green Team is researching, communicating and implementing effective strategies that increase sustainability within their own departments and the university.

Since 2014, the team has started sharing a “Green Minute” at Administrative Assistant meetings; purchased utensils to distribute to staff at annual meetings; installed a water cooler in Woodhead Lounge; encourages staff to bring their own cup or mug to meetings; received funding to install cabinets to house dishes in Woodhead Lounge to be used for key events; and encouraged the placement of houseplants in office spaces.

They’re currently focusing their efforts on managing waste sustainability, making sustainable purchases, reducing energy in their departments and encouraging colleagues to shift the culture of their areas and be sustainable.

“I truly enjoy working with my peers to raise awareness of the sustainability efforts on campus,” said Green Team member Valerie Marinelli, administrative assistant for the College of the Environment. “I especially like working on projects with practical solutions that result in reducing waste and saving money to make the University a better place.”

The Green Team shares their efforts, goals and ideas with Provost Joyce Jacobsen and the Office of Academic Affairs. Academic Affairs has been supportive of the Green Team since its beginning in 2014.

Wesleyan employees, from left, Jayana Mitchell, Anika Dane, Dawn Alger, Valerie Marinelli, Bill Nelligan, Jen Kleindienst, Anita Deeg-Carlin, Blanche Meslin and Roslyn Carrier-Brault, helped coordinate the installation of a new water filtering system in Woodhead Lounge. The water system eliminates the need to have bottled water provided at meetings held in the popular campus event space. (Photo by Olivia Drake)

Wesleyan employees, from left, Jayana Mitchell, Anika Dane, Dawn Alger, Valerie Marinelli, Bill Nelligan, Jen Kleindienst, Anita Deeg-Carlin, Blanche Meslin and Roslyn Carrier-Brault, helped coordinate the installation of a new water filtering system in Woodhead Lounge. The water system eliminates the need to have bottled water provided at meetings held in the popular campus event space.

Blanche Meslin, administrative assistant in the Biology Department, created a portable trash container for her desk. During an administrative assistants meeting on Jan. 14, the Green Team members encouraged their colleagues to replace individual garbage containers with portable desk models. Meslin created the garbage container with a used coffee can. "If you have some garbage, you collect it in this small container and at the end of the workday, you carry it to one communal trash can that is shared by your entire office or department. But, really, it takes me several days to fill this little can up," Meslin said. “It makes you more aware of what should go into the recycle bin and reduces the amount of plastic garbage bags used."

Blanche Meslin, administrative assistant in the Biology Department, created a portable trash container for her desk. During an Academic Administrative Assistants meeting on Jan. 14, the Green Team members encouraged their colleagues to replace individual garbage containers with portable desk models. Meslin created the garbage container with a used coffee can.
“Since I removed my garbage can, I have been using this desktop can for my trash. I discard the contents at the end of the day into a larger communal bin,” Meslin said. “It makes you more aware of what should go into the recycle bin and reduces the amount of plastic garbage bags used.”

The Green Team is always open to new members. For more information on the Green Team, e-mail Anika Dane or Blanche Meslin. Also, visit the Green Team’s Green Tips page for ideas on how to make your office more sustainable!