Free compost buckets on the Main Green today

Tomorrow, SCRAP will hold a compost bucket giveaway on the Main Green from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

SCRAP is a member of emPOWER, Brown’s umbrella association of environmental student groups. In 2009, several undergraduates started SCRAP to encourage the University and its students to adopt good composting practices.

The group plans to give away around 60 buckets to students this afternoon. To save the buckets from fates as secondary trashcans (a possibility that may keep members of SCRAP up late at night), representatives from the group will be available to discuss the benefits and challenges of composting. Willing participants will also have the option of playing a pretend teach-me-how-to-compost game to prepare for the real thing.

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Beyond Beyond the Bottle: DCI Product Design Challenge 2012

Last year, Decor Craft Inc (DCI) partnered with A Better World by Design and brought us the DCI Product Design Challenge – and now they’re back with the 2nd annual Product Design Challenge!

The goal of the challenge is to move design toward products that engage with and attempt to resolve real problems facing our world. Here’s this year’s challenge:

“In today’s society, many people are spending more time indoors than ever before and missing the beauty outside. Submit an idea for a product that will encourage people to re-engage with the great outdoors.” (DCI/BWxD)

The challenge is open to designers around the world from any field, so jump on it, kids! It’s a pretty amazing opportunity to develop and submit an idea, and if doing that for its own sake isn’t enticing enough, the first place winner receives $1,000 and the opportunity to have their product distributed by DCI and showcased at the Better World by Design conference in the fall!

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Remember that time it snowed two months too soon?

It’s climate change, betches! I don’t mean to sound excited about that, but for any non-believers out there — the snow that fell on Saturday, October 29th better have rocked your world. And if that wasn’t enough to get you thinking, this snowfall was NYC’s earliest since 1869. In the dialogue about climate change, there’s a lot of emphasis on the global warming bit, but the truth is that our climate is changing in a lot of other extreme ways, too. In case you haven’t noticed, winters have been colder and longer in the past few years. Remember how long it took to whip out our short shorts last spring? Hate to break it to ya, but chances are that it’ll be the same deal this year. So why, exactly, is global warming causing fucking freezing cold winters that start in October? Let me break it down for you:

Note: this is the oversimplified version of the explanation, get at me for the dirty deetz. 

1. ice caps are melting because of higher global temperatures

2. as ice sheets melt, less of the heat on earth can be reflected back out

3. wait doesn’t that mean it’s getting hotter?  Continue Reading

Beyond Beyond the Bottle: You don’t need a Nalgene

Beyond Beyond the Bottle is a new weekly column that discusses environmental sustainability in the context of life here at Brown. It’s about incorporating environmental awareness into our every day actions in simple, realistic ways with the potential for big impact. Beyond Beyond the Bottle aims to prove that we don’t have to inconvenience ourselves to lead more sustainable lives.

I care about aesthetics. I will notice when you wear a new shirt or when you re-arrange those photos on your wall. I will also always notice those big, inconvenient-looking plastic Nalgenes some choose to carry around. I appreciate that they are a reusable alternative — I really, deep down in my heart do — but my inner aesthete cannot help but cringe. This post is for all of you who haven’t bought a water bottle because the Nalgene look is just not your thing. You have cooler other options, I swear.

Disclaimer: To the Nalgene lovers out there – I don’t mean to offend. You rock them in a way most can’t, that’s all. Now, a run-down on reusable water bottles! Continue Reading

Beyond Beyond the Bottle: THE RED CUP

The ubiquitous red cup. An icon in the undergraduate community and the universal sign that it’s party time. Intended to conceal whatever you’re illegally chugging away at, but let’s be real – who doesn’t already know?

I happen to be the girl who clutches her red Solo cup, dragging it from party to party to make sure I don’t waste more than one in a night. I’m not enough of a weirdo environmentalist to carry around my own glass but I do have some issues with the unreal number of Solo cups we go through. And in fact, so does Brown. Continue Reading