Archives for posts with tag: sustainability

Ted Wilinski

By Ted Wilinski, MATC automated building systems instructor

MATC will host the 14th annual Sustainability Summit at the Downtown Milwaukee Campus May 3-4. The theme of this year’s summit is “Building a Sustainable Future: Making it Work!  The event is free and includes a job fair from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on May 3.

The summit will feature speakers and breakout sessions that address emerging global realities. Topics include energy, water, lifestyle, business, workforce, education, energy efficiency, financing, green agriculture, green building, green business and manufacturing, green careers, innovation, recycling, renewables, social responsibility and transportation.

Among the major speakers are Dr. Vicki J. Martin, MATC president; Peter Feigin, Milwaukee Bucks president; Will Allen, founder and CEO of Growing Power; Dr. Mark Mone, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee chancellor; Richard Appaiah Otoo, chief manager, Ghana Water Company, Ltd.; Stephen Hargarten, associate dean, Office of Global Health at the Medical College of Wisconsin; and Momodu Maligi, minister of water resources, Sierra Leone.

For a complete listing of speakers, events, and to register, visit the summit website at http://www.sustainabilitysummit.us/

There are many actions we can all take at a personal level to help reduce costs and our carbon footprints. Here are some suggestions:

 If you are not using it, turn it off:

  • space heaters
  • extra refrigerators or freezers
  • televisions
  • lights
  • Always use the energy saving mode on your computers (for monitor and the CPU), and always turn both off when not in use! The saving mode is available for those times you forget.

Transition lighting to LEDs: 

  • You may prefer warm white to soft white or day bright bulbs, because they are are closer to color of incandescent lights.
  • If choosing lighting by color temperature, the lower the number (3000K or less), the closer to an incandescent bulb color.
  • Often, the less expensive bulbs don’t “put out as much light” as people are used to seeing. You may need to buy a 75W equivalent as opposed to 60W equivalent to get the same effect.
  • Sometimes the less expensive bulbs hum, although this problem is becoming less prevalent.

Other lighting tips:

  • Use motion sensors.
  • Use photo sensors on outside lights.

Water savings:

  • Use rain barrels instead of city or well water for watering plants in the summer.
  • Let yard go dry. Dry grass naturally goes dormant.
  • Install low-flow toilets. These work well and are quieter than the old style units.
  • Buy high-efficiency dishwashers and washing machines. This saves both water and energy.
  • Use low-flow shower heads.
  • Limit the time you are in the shower to less than 10 minutes.

Saving on heat and air conditioning:

  • Seal all leaks around doors, windows, foundation, etc.
  • Space heaters – When using space heaters in the house, use only electric heaters for safety. Use them sparingly. These are best used when staying in one room, so you can keep the rest of the home at a cooler temperature.

Appliances:

  • Always try to buy high-efficiency Energy Star appliances.

Solar power:

  • Consider using solar power after making your home as energy efficient as possible. Many financing options are available and the price has dropped tremendously.

 

 

Jack Kaestner

By Jack Kaestner, MATC culinary arts instructor 

The phrase “farm to table” has become popular in recent years to describe restaurant or home cooks creating menus based on food obtained from local farms or farmers markets. Now another phrase is gaining traction – “garbage to garden.”

Many organizations, including local, state, national and international governments, are beginning to focus on food waste. As much as 35 percent of the food grown is never eaten. Some edible food is going to waste because people say, “It looks weird or has a blemish.” Businesses and organizations regularly dispose of a great deal of prepared foods left over from events.

Recent new initiatives are helping divert tons of waste to local food pantries. Major league sports teams have been leaders in the field of diverting edible food to the needy.

The other component to food waste is inedible – vegetable peelings, fruit rinds, coffee grounds and bones from meats. Between 30-35 percent of our solid waste is food waste. With landfill space at a premium and restrictions on dumping garbage in the oceans, there is a new interest in reducing overall solid waste. Governments across the world are passing laws to eliminate and/or reduce food waste.

 

Compost Source Corner Compost Trio

(left to right) Recent culinary arts graduates Tinnetta Garner, Delaney Trezise and Josh Faye worked on the composting project during the Spring 2016 semester. 

 

Culinary Arts Partners with Building Services

In January 2016, funded by a Faculty Innovation Grant and with assistance from Ginny Routhe, MATC’s sustainability manager, MATC’s Culinary Arts and Building Services departments implemented a food-composting program in the culinary labs, 6th Street Café, Cuisine Restaurant and the cafeteria prep kitchen on the Downtown Milwaukee Campus. We partnered with “Compost Crusader” and “The Farm,” which haul away and compost the college’s food waste, along with paper towels and other compostables.

After trial and error, we are now able to divert about 1,500 pounds of food waste per week during the academic year. We are able to compost onion skins; egg shells; vegetable trimmings; chicken, beef and fish bones; waxed food boxes; paper products; and table scraps.

Students and staff in Cuisine Restaurant are composting almost 80 percent of their waste. This is a learning experience for students and instructors alike. This fundamental change in handling our food waste will help MATC in its sustainability efforts. It also helps our students because our industry is looking for professionals who are knowledgeable about composting.

Compost Source Corner Horticulture Student and Instructor

MATC landscape horticulture instructor Laurie Weiss (left) works with a student on the new raised garden beds at the Mequon Campus.

Composting Source Corner raised bed

Finished compost from the MATC food waste was used to fertilize garden beds for use by a class studying organic vegetable and herb production at the Mequon Campus this summer.

 

Compost Nourishes MATC Landscape Horticulture Gardens

For every 20,000 pounds of food waste MATC sends to be composted, the college receives one yard of finished compost. Compost can be donated to local community gardens to help feed others. In June, the Culinary Arts department partnered with MATC’s Landscape Horticulture program. Compost was delivered to the greenhouses at the Mequon Campus and used in the new raised garden beds by a class studying organic vegetable and herb production held this summer.

Hopefully, this will inspire you to start composting. If you can’t start your own program, consider encouraging your local municipality or homeowners association to start a community composting program. Several industrial composters in the Milwaukee area handle organic waste from local business and groups.

Here are resources about composting:

Milwaukee – Recycling Organics

Major League Sport Teams and C

Eartheasy – Composting

Athens-Clarke Georgia – Composting

Commercial Composting for Large Scale

Home Composting Cornell University

Major League Sport Teams and Composting

For more information about MATC’s culinary arts associate degree program, visit: http://www.matc.edu/business/degrees/culinary-arts.cfm

For additional information on MATC’s culinary management program, see: http://www.matc.edu/business/degrees/culinary-management.cfm

For more on MATC’s landscape horticulture associate degree, visit: http://www.matc.edu/tas/degrees/landscape-horticulture.cfm