electric car chargers
Geese on PSCC Hardin Valley
Division Street Campus photo of recycling container

Earth Day 2015

Earth Day graphicPSCC Earth Day 2015 will be celebrated
all week April 20-24, 2015.


Monday, April 20, 11:45am-12:45pm, Goins Auditorium. Melissa Lapsa, Leader of the Sustainable Campus Initiative (SCI) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), presents highlights from Sustainable Campus Initiative and Building Technologies Research Integration Center.The mission at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), the largest science and energy laboratory in the US Department of Energy (DOE) system, is to deliver scientific discoveries and technical breakthroughs that will accelerate the development and deployment of solutions in clean energy and global security and, in doing so, create economic opportunity for the nation. Much of the research and development (R&D) conducted at ORNL is focused on DOE’s goal of transforming the nation’s energy system and securing US leadership in clean energy technologies.  By combining the outcomes of this R&D with a commitment to sustainability in all of our activities, we are making progress in transforming the laboratory’s physical environment and meeting DOE goals for energy management and environmental performance. Ms. Lapsa will share highlights from both ORNL’s Sustainable Campus Initiative and Building Technologies Research Integration Center. Ms. Lapsa received her M.B.A. from Western Illinois University and her B.A. from St. Mary’s University. She currently serves as Group Leader for the Whole-Building and Community Integration group at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Ms. Lapsa has over 20 years experience conducting market research, policy analysis, and institutional and consumer behavior research aimed at deploying cost-effective energy efficient technologies. Select publications include: “Making Homes Part of the Climate Solution: Policy Options to Promote Energy Efficiency,” ORNL/TM-2009/104, June 2009; and "Market Assessment for “Healthy Air” HVAC System in California, “ (Sponsored by the California Energy Commission) ORNL/TM-2006/412, and Conference Proceedings, 9th IEA Heat Pump Conference, May 2008. In addition, Ms. Lapsa leads ORNL’s Sustainable Campus Initiative , whose goal is to integrate energy and resource efficiency, cutting-edge technologies, operational and business processes, and institutional behavior to achieve sustainability at work, home, and in the community. From 1996-1998, Ms. Lapsa was on assignment from ORNL to the Netherlands Agency for Energy and the Environment (SenterNOVEM).

Tuesday, April 21, 10:30-11:30am, Goins auditorium. Screening of the movie “Inhabit”. Humanity is more than ever threatened by its own actions; we hear a lot about the need to minimize footprints and to reduce our impact. But what if our footprints were beneficial? What if we could meet human needs while increasing the health and well-being of our planet? This is the premise behind permaculture: a design process based on the replication of patterns found in nature. “Inhabit” explores the many environmental issues facing us today, examines solutions that are being applied using the ecological design lens of permaculture, and provides an intimate look at permaculture peoples and practices ranging from rural, suburban, and urban landscapes. Immediately following the movie, Knoxville Permaculture Guild members will be on hand to answer any questions the audience might have. Sustainability table outside the auditorium with FREE popcorn and student giveaways and prize drawings.

Wednesday April 22, 2:00-3:00pm, Cafeteria Annex. Todd Montgomery, Education Manager at The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee, tells us about the sanctuary’s founding and its mission, and he will give us an update on the residents at the sanctuary. The sanctuary, founded in 1995, is the nation’s largest natural habitat refuge developed specifically for African and Asian elephants. The Sanctuary provides captive elephants a natural habitat, individualizes care, and the opportunity to live out their lives in a safe haven dedicated to the well-being. Todd has a degree in Anthropology and has worked for the elephants since January, 2013. Sustainability table outside the cafeteria annex with FREE popcorn and student giveaways and prize drawings. Todd Montgomery's talk was recorded and can be found here.

Thursday, April 23, noon-1:00pm, Cafeteria Annex. Scott Hacker, Trane Account Manager, presents “Plant Your Seed in the Growing Field of Green Careers”. Scott will tell us about his experience of being right out of college and going into a “green” industry. Trane offers a broad range of energy-efficient heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems; dehumidifying and air cleaning products; service and parts support; advanced building controls and financing solutions. Their systems and services have leading positions in premium commercial, residential, institutional and industrial markets; a reputation for reliability, high quality and product innovation; and a powerful distribution network. Scott graduated from Missouri S&T in 2012 and is a current graduate student at University of Tennessee (UT)-Knoxville. Sustainability table outside the auditorium with FREE popcorn and student giveaways and prize drawings.

Friday, April 24, 10:00-11:00am, Goins Auditorium. On National Arbor Day, David Vandergriff, Extension Agent at the UT-Knoxville Extension Office and only one of two certified arborists in the state of Tennessee, talks with us about the importance of urban forests. An urban forest is a forest or a collection of trees that grow within a city, town, or a suburb. Urban forests play an important role in ecology of human habitats in many ways: they filter air, water, sunlight, and provide shelter to animals and recreational area for people. They moderate local climate, slowing wind and storm water, and shading homes and businesses to conserve energy. The UT Extension Office serves the citizens of Knox County with educational programs in the areas of Agriculture, Family and Consumer Sciences, Community Resource Development, and 4-H Youth Development. They’re an outreach branch of the UT Institute of Agriculture, providing research-based solutions and information to the citizens of our state.

David is a Horticultural and Urban Forestry Extension Agent with UT/TSU Extension in Knox County and has worked as an Extension Agent for 23 years in Florida, Virginia, and for the last 17 years in Tennessee. David earned his BS and MS degree from the University of Tennessee in the Department of Ornamental Horticulture and Landscape Design. Prior to beginning his Extension career he owned a landscape business, greenhouse and nursery in Knoxville for 15 years. David is a Certified Professional Horticulturist, Board Certified Master Arborist, is International Society of Arboriculture Tree Risk Assessment Qualified, is a member of The American Society of Consulting Arborists and currently serves as Co-Chair of the Knoxville Tree Board. David is a Knoxville native growing up in Fountain City and Inskip and he and his wife Debbie live in Halls and spend weekends in Sharps Chapel near Norris Lake. His daughter Melanie, husband Oz, and grandkids Zoe and Link live in Austin, Texas where he and Debbie look forward to spending more time after retirement. Sustainability table outside the auditorium with FREE popcorn and student giveaways and prize drawings. FREE bare root seedling trees until they run out!


Monday, April 20, 11:00am-1:00pm, Goins Rotunda. “Meatless Monday” exhibit. Meatless Monday is an international movement designed to make people aware of the environmental, health, and humanitarian benefits of going meatless for even one day a week. PSCC Nutrition students will provide information about these benefits as well as give away refrigerator magnets and healthy fruit to students.

Tuesday, April 21, 10:00am-1:00pm, behind the McWherter Building on the street and sidewalk. “Fuel Up For Earth Day!” Exhibits include energy efficient vehicles such as a Tesla, electric lawnmowers, and homemade electric vehicles. Speak with owners and car dealerships about their energy efficient vehicles. Learn about Smart Trips, a PSCC partner in providing information about ride shares (and giving prizes for using it!) and other more efficient ways to get to and from work, school, and home. Exhibits provided by the Knoxville Electric Vehicle Association, East Tennessee Clean Fuels Coalition, and individuals interested in reducing the use of petroleum and the cost of getting where they need to go.

Tuesday, April 21, 1:30-3:00pm, 1st Floor, McWherter. Student Snack Pack! The PSCC Sustainable Campus Initiative will provide FREE organic treats and beverages for students. Eating in a more healthy way helps us learn and study better and be even more prepared for upcoming finals! Sustainability table nearby with student giveaways and prize drawings.

Wednesday, April 22, Earth Day, College Center. At 10:00am, Hardin Valley Thunder will provide some beautiful music and around noon PSCC President Dr. L. Anthony Wise will talk with us about what Earth Week means at PSCC. From 10:00am-1:00pm, visit exhibitors including student clubs, an e-cycle table (bring your e-cycle items and the PSCC Association of Network and System Administrators club will recycle them for you!), Soles4Souls (bring used shoes in good condition to donate!), local businesses, community non-profits, crafters, gardeners, and a light bulb exchange (bring in an old incandescent CFL or other odd light bulb and exchange it for an LED bulb!) There will be FREE Earth Week 2015 t-shirts, Endangered Species condoms, and PopCulture gourmet ice pops for students, and MUCH, MUCH MORE!

Thursday, April 23, 11:00am-1:00 pm, Courtyard. Recycle Sorting Contest. Watch as students, faculty, and staff compete to separate recycling items from landfill and other items as quick as they can! Everyone is welcome to compete and prizes will be awarded to students with the fastest times. Get ready to put on a Tyvek suit and a pair of gloves, dig right in, and start sorting! (Or, just stand back and enjoy the spectacle!)

Friday, April 24, National Arbor Day Celebration, 10:00am-noon, LOCATION CHANGED TO GOINS ROTUNDA. Students, stop by our table, make a pine cone bird feeder, and pick up some heirloom, old time, heritage seeds! We believe everyone should have the chance to experience the past by growing plants like the ones in our grandparents’ gardens. This corresponds with the current movement in the gardening world to go back to locally hand-grown and selected seeds, not seeds sourced by huge multinational companies often affiliated with chemical companies or that produce and sell genetically modified organism seeds.


Blount County Campus

Tuesday, April 21, 12:30-1:30pm, West Auditorium. Screening of the movie “Bag It”. This film focuses on the politics of bags, single-use disposables, waste, and recycling and the health of ourselves and our oceans. In the U.S. alone, an estimated 12 million barrels of oil is used annually to make the plastic bags that Americans consume. The U.S.  International Trade Commission reported that 102 billion plastic bags were used in the U.S. in 2009. These bags, even when properly disposed of, are easily windblown and often wind up in waterways or on the landscape, becoming eyesores and degrading soil and water quality as they break down into toxic bits. Their manufacture, transportation, and disposal require large quantities of non-renewable resources and release equally large amounts of global-warming gases. Learn how governments and individuals around the world have taken action to ban or restrict the use of plastic bags.

Wednesday, April 22, 1:00-2:30pm, West Auditorium. Tom Werkema presents “Climate Change: The Knowns and Unknowns”. Mr. Werkema will review the current understanding of the science of climate change, both the "knowns" and the "unknowns."  The current international Kyoto Protocol negotiations and the industry relevant issues, as well as positions by the significant parties, will be discussed.  In addition, current U.S. voluntary programs (including President Bush’s programs), current U.S. state and federal initiatives, European Union Commission-derived programs, member state programs, Canadian programs, and possible impacts on U.S. industry will all be reviewed. Mr. Werkema is an internationally-known expert on climate change and ozone depletion science and politics and was recognized for his contribution to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Nobel Peace Prize award, shared with Al Gore. Click here to be directely to his PowerPoint presentation.

Division Street Campus

Tuesday, 4/21, 12:30-1:30pm. DV117/Student Lounge. Screening of the movie “Tapped”. This award-winning, entertaining yet educational, film examines the role of the bottled water industry and its effects on our health, climate change, pollution, and our reliance on oil. The filmmakers focus on industry giants such as PepsiCo and Nestlé Waters, visiting a town containing a Nestlé factory as well as running tests on the bottles the company uses for its products. Their results show "several potentially harmful chemicals, some known carcinogens". The documentary also focuses on the amount of plastic bottles that are recycled, noting that "Forty percent of bottled water is really just filtered tap water, and every day we throw away 30 million single-serve bottles of water.”

Wednesday, April 22, 11:00am-noon. DV117/Student Lounge. Janice Gangwer, UT Extension Master Gardener, presents “Bug me. Really. Please bug me!” Why would you want bugs in your yard?  Which ones?  You’ll learn about beneficial insects and how to attract them to your yard by making homes for them.

Magnolia Avenue Campus

Tuesday April 21, 12:30-1:30pm, Community Room. Josh Cunningham with the Tennessee Clean Water Network presents “Making Tap Water Sexy and Available.” In a time when our landfills are gaining waste while our waistlines are gaining weight, the importance of utilizing convenient tap water as an environmental and public health resource has never been more important. Learn more about work being done to combat diabetes, obesity, and plastic waste in Tennessee and what you can do to help.

Wednesday, April 22, 9:40am-11:00am, Community Room. Screening of the film “Food, Inc.”.  This is an American documentary directed by Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Robert Kenner. The film examines the industrial production of meat (chicken, beef, and pork), looks at the industrial production of grains and vegetables (primarily corn and soy beans), and discusses the economic and legal power, such as food labeling regulations of the major food companies, the profits of which are based on supplying cheap but contaminated food, the heavy use of petroleum-based chemicals (largely pesticides and fertilizers), and the promotion of unhealthy food consumption habits by the American public. It shows how more companies are transitioning towards organic foods as that industry is booming in the recent health movement.

Strawberry Plains Campus

Wednesday April 22, Noon – 1:15pm. Room 2620. Screening of the movie “Addicted to Plastic”. This Canadian documentary focuses on modern society's “addiction” to plastic: our prolific use of this product, its effects on the earth and on us, and where our unwanted plastic ends up (often in "plastic oceans"). How can we change the situation for the better? A clean environment depends on us!

Click here to watch “Food and Climate Security: What Can We Do?” by Peter Bane

Thanks to the following who donated student door prizes:

Carnathan Apiaries (2 jars of honey) - Matthew Cofer

Copper Cellar Family of Resturants (4 Copper cards) - Angela Tindas, Harrison Smith, Mobin Araghi, & Rebecca Freetige

Double Dogs (200 $5 off purchase of $25 coupons & a FREE dinner for 4) - $5 off coupons given out with every door prize & the dinner for 4 was won by - Jessica Brewer

Earth Fare (1 $50 gift card) - Abby Russell

Erie Insurance (Eco Bag) - David Erada

Five Star Food Service/PSCC cafeteria (2 $10 food vouchers) - Foster Granon

Fresh Market (1 $50 gift card) - Sai Madhuri

Green Mountain Coffee (Keurig) - Trey Popwell

Knox County Engineering & Public Works (1 can crusher & recycle bin) - Felicia Myer & Chris Pratt

Knoxville Zoo (2 Knoxville Zoo day passes work) - Stacey Sandovel

McDonalds (2 $10 gift cards) - Bobbi Romana & Rebekah Robbins

Neebo bookstore (PSCC blue coffee mug, 4 pkgs tea, strawberry tote bag, "Tigana" book) - Joyselle Garcia

PSCC Sustainable Campus Initative & Common Book Committee ("The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2013" & Sustainability tote bag) - Chelsey Winston

PSCC Sustainable Campus Initative & Foundations Office (1 insulated blue carry bag & Sustainability tote bag) - Benjamin Meeks

Regions (1 green bicycle) - Caleb Blance

WBIR Channel 10 (weather alert radio & carry bag) - Emily Price

Wendys (frosty coupons) - draw and handed out to every 7th person that visited the Sustainability table