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Read the College's
Climate Action Plan (PDF)

 

Contact Us:

Sustainability Fellow
Jennifer Walker
jawalker1@smcm.edu 
240-895-2093

Spotlight: The Campus Community Farm

organic produce raised at the farm

The Campus Community Farm was established in the spring of 2010 on a 1/4 acre of the Bean Farm in Historic St. Mary's City. Cultivated and harvested by students, much of the produce is served to the campus community in the Great Room. Anyone interested in joining the club and learning to organically garden should contact Tess Wier (tewier@smcm.edu) for information. You can also check out the farm's blog.

The Blue Crab  Callinectes sapidus

Callinectes sapidus; the Blue Crab (image thanks to National Geographic)

The blue crab's scientific name literally means "of a beautiful flavor" in Latin. In recent years, the crab's population in the Bay are at historic lows due to overharvesting, dead zones and other water quality issues. Work to save the Bay so we can keep enjoying the beautiful flavor of the blue crab.

About Food at St. Mary's 

REUSABLE TO-GO BOXES! 

Students enjoying the nice weather and their reusable to-go boxes

In an effort to both expand our campus “green” initiatives and provide more environmentally friendly options to the St. Mary's community, the Student Environmental Action Coalition and the Sustainability Committee have partnered with Bon Appetit to bring reusable to-go containers to campus!

ABOUT THE PROGRAM
In the Spring of 2011, 400 participants enrolled in a reusable to-go box pilot program, which ran from February until the end of the semester. The program has continued this year allowing for 400 additional participants to sign up. 

In this program, each participant is issued an oyster shell token card, which can be exchanged for a container at the Great Room, the Upper Deck or the Pub. Participants cannot receive another reusable box or token until the first box or token is returned. However, all participants will still be able to use disposable boxes if needed.

Participants should be sure to scrape their boxes clean prior to returning them. All boxes will also be thoroughly washed and sterilized using the Great Room's dish washers before redistribution.

PARTICIPATING IN THE PROGRAM
Starting the Fall '12 semester all incoming first year students will be provided a reusable to-go container token card during orientation. College staff will also table outside the Great Room during the first two weeks of the fall semester to sign up additional participants. The program is open to all students, faculty, and staff. If your box or token is unreasonably damaged or lost, or if you were otherwise unable to sign up for the program, please contact Luke Mowbray at lmmowbray@smcm.edu.

WHY SWITCH CONTAINERS? 
The College currently uses approximately 90,000 disposable polystyrene foam containers during the academic year. These un-recycled, non-biodegradable containers require high quantities of toxic chemicals to produce and often become persistent pollutants after their initial use. By integrating reusable to-go containers into our dining facilities, St. Mary’s reduces the impacts of both the production and waste caused by non-reusable containers.

ABOUT OUR DINING SERVICES
Bon Appetit has a strong commitment to sustainable dining and food production. Check out the company's website to learn more about the carbon footprint of our food.

ABOUT OUR COFFEE
The coffee sold at our campus cafes is certified as fairly traded, shade-grown and organic. Fairly traded products guarantee that farmers are paid a fair wage for their product. This certification (also available for teas, chocolates, sugar, and beans,)  ensures that certain measures were taken to protect the environment and that the coffee doesn't come from a genetically modified organism (GMO).

Meanwhile, USDA organic certification proves that no pesticides were used during cultivation of the coffee, which helps to protect farmers and their watersheds and tropical mountain habitats. Growing coffee in the shade also serves to cool off workers, while the canopy above provides a natural habitat for thousands of migratory bird species.