Hezekiah Eibert ’15 – This summer I am the Sustainability Intern for Wabash College, through Sodexo. To describe my position as quickly as possible, my job is to make Wabash green (environmentally friendly).
I started working right away this summer, with the first day of my internship being May the 6th, and boy did I hit the ground running. Within the first two weeks, I had found over $6,000.00 in savings for the college, restructured our fallen bike rental program, and created a community service event for freshman orientation next year.
I haven’t stopped there. Tim Riley, Wabash’s ground manager, and I recently took a road trip to Ohio to visit Oberlin, Kenyon and Denison. Oberlin, being ranked fourth in the nation when compared to other colleges in terms of environmental friendliness, had a lot to show us. From its 10-acre solar array to its state of the arc water and electricity monitoring system in all their buildings to their free store and so much more. From Kenyon we saw an impressive disposal system that removed liquid from the food and created a pulp like substance that is put into their compost, a campus wide electric usage monitoring system, a recycling facility, and electric golf carts being widely used. Denison held the biggest gem of them all, The Homestead. I didn’t want to leave. The off the grid living area is truly impressive, and to quote the Denison website “The Homestead is a living-learning experience unique among American colleges and universities. It is a student-run intentional community with a focus on ecological sustainability. Twelve students per semester live and work together in pursuit of a more ecologically sustainable lifestyle. Homesteaders also work to promote their projects, lifestyle, and ideals to non-members.”
Along with the Homestead Denison held a rooftop solar array, a great campus garden, as well as their own recycling center. Now, simply copying these amazing things from these other colleges would not work for us. Wabash is so wonderfully different from every other college in the nation and the longer I stay here the more I realize this. We are also spoiled when it comes to recycling. Unlike these three colleges that are leaders in sustainability that all have multi-stream recycling, we have single stream. Simply put, this means that while they all have to separate each type of recyclable material, we only have to put all recyclable material in one bin. We have all the supplies to have a very successful program and we just need our Responsible Wabash men to step up to the plate and make a slight change to yield a large impact on our community and our world.
But back to what I’m doing. We are currently looking into electric golf carts and cars, restructuring our community garden (to raised beds), a solar roof for the Allen Center, a electricity monitoring system for our buildings (at least our newer ones), a bike rental system, a free store, and much more. I am so excited to be bringing these crucial changes to Wabash College and hopefully I’ll be able to leave a positive legacy behind and make some long standing changes. I’ll do my best to lay the ground work, but at the end of the day I need the Wabash community, students, staff and faculty alike, to stand together and help push the college into the future.
Live Ever Die Never, Wabash Always Fights,