For years the Department of Recreation, Parks, and Tourism Management (RPTM) ordered more than 60 dozen alkaline batteries annually at the cost of approximately $1,000 to power equipment such as cameras, voice recorders, wireless keyboards, computer mice, and calculators. Researchers from the acoustics lab often utilized high-tech headphones and virtual reality devices that required long-lasting batteries for research that analyzed the effects of sounds in state parks.

Gennifer Deibler, RPTM's budget assistant, found an option that was both cost saving and sustainable: rechargeable batteries (specifically Panasonic Eneloop batteries). 
The department made an initial investment in  2013 in rechargeable
batteries for approximately $500.  Since then, they have not needed 
to order any additional  batteries and have saved over $3,500.

Jessica Fatica, human resources consultant in the Dean's office and Green Team member, has won the newly established Staff Excellence in Sustainability Award for the College of Liberal Arts.
In her human resources role, she directly supports the needs of approximately 300 full-time staff and assists in supporting more than 700 full-time faculty members. In her Green Team role, Fatica has been an active member of the College of the Liberal Arts Green Team steering committee that provides guidance and support to department level Green Teams in order to promote their growth, foster collaboration between teams, and integrate them into University level sustainability initiatives.
"One of Jessica's greatest strengths is how she leads by example," said Chris Hort, facilities manager in the College. "Not only does she educate her colleagues and coordinate sustainability efforts, she also practices what she preaches."
Fatica implements college guidelines for purchasing and using compostable tableware at all college meetings and events, coordinates and organizes an annual ice cream social highlighting recycling and composting efforts across campus, and recruits Green Teams members for an annual stream clean-up day working with Clearwater Conservancy.

"She's a sustainability champion through her actions as much as her words," said Hort. "On more than one occasion, we've seen her pull aluminum cans and glass bottles out of a compost bin and place them in the appropriate recycling receptacle. That's commitment!"

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) brings together community members and farmers in a relationship of mutual support. By purchasing a CSA share, you help to provide financial support to a local farm, and in return you receive a weekly share of the harvest during the growing season.

Every CSA program is a little different. Some farms produce all the products they offer in a share, while other CSAs involve multiple farms working together to provide a wider range of products. You might be surprised to learn that you can find local food all year round as some CSAs offer a special winter share. Use this guide to find and support your local CSA this summer.

Climate change is one of today's most debated topics, not only in America but around the world. This series features firsthand accounts from people who have been affected by the occurrence, with a team of correspondents from the entertainment and news industries traveling around the world to r eport on effects of global warming and what people are doing to find solutions for it. Among the stories told are Oscar-winner Matt Damon's reporting on the health impact of heat waves around the globe, Golden Globe-winner Michael C. Hall's traveling to Bangladesh to get a vision of the future, and Emmy-winning journalist Lesley Stahl's heading to Greenland to examine the fate of the Arctic.

Although we've just received a blanket of snow, spring is just around the corner and your plants deserve some nourishment after the long winter. Penn State Office of the Physical Plant has turned the campus' leftover food and prep waste into nutrient rich compost at the University's facility near Innovation Park. Anyone can purchase this material for $21 per cubic yard at Lion Surplus, located behind the Law School on Services Road between the hours of 6:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The compost is not bagged, so bring your containers or a truck. Call Lion Surplus at 814-865-4371 with any questions.

Upcoming Events

State College Friends School
All Day

112 Walker Building, University Park
4-5 p.m


Widener University Commonwealth Law School
All Day


112 Walker Building, University Park
4-5 p.m.


State College Municipal Building
5-7 p.m.

Check out our calendar for more sustainability-related events.
Lydia Vandenbergh | Penn State's Sustainability Institute
108 Land and Water Building, University Park, PA 16802
 (814) 863-4893 |