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December 18, 2019

Attendance:  Karen Soenen, Mindy Richlen, Stephanie Murphy, Alex Bocconelli, Jed Goldstone, Pam Polloni, Faith Duffy, Mai Maheigan, Danie Kinkade, Stephanie Madsen

#1  Single Use Plastic letter – We had a thorough discussion of the positive impact the letter is having, and ways we can improve behaviors at WHOI including asking Poland Springs to take all plastic cups away from water stations, contacting caterers with the news, asking people in your own department to help with the cause. We also selected dates, times and representatives for each Alt Plastic Pop Up.  Our goal is to educate not shame, and Pop Ups allow us to showcase compostable products and re-usable items (such as magnetic chalkboard name tags, cloth lunch bags)


  • send our Plastics Letter to all WHOI caterers (list is located on STF website)- SM
  • add reusable chalkboard name tags to our list of alternative items on STF website (All.-send me screenshot of cool items to share)
  • Let Steph know if you can help with the Alt Plastic Pop Ups - Dates listed below (All)
  • Add dates to STF’s calendar (SM- done)
  • Continue to educate colleagues about composting and recycling. Write Headlines entries (send to group for edits then submit to Joanne Tromp - All - Steph needs help with this)
  • Schedule Pop Ups in May ( a future meeting)

Alt Plastic Pop Up Schedule:  Please let me know if you’d like to help out on one of the days listed below and whether you can stay one hour or two.  I have bins of cool alternative products, compostable items, and reusable cutlery. I’ll ask Whoi Services to set up long tables to showcase our items.

Wednesday, Jan 29 - Clark Lobby 11:00-1:00 (Faith, Mai, Steph)

Thursday, Feb 6 - Redfield Lobby 10:00-12:00 (Mindy, Jed, Steph)

Thursday Feb 27 - McLean Lobby 11:00-1:00 (Pam, Steph)

Thursday March 12 -Smith Lobby 11:00 - 1:00 (Alex, Jed + Steph)

Thursday March 19 - Buttery 11:00-1:00 (Faith + Steph)

Offer these Alt Plastic Showcases again in May when more people are at WHOI.

#2  Sustainability Plan – Seb’s BOSS Meeting was a great success and we are forming working groups based on emerging topics including Energy - Net Zero, Waste - solid + water, and Transportation - commuters, ships, Electric Vehicle fleet

  • Working group follow up meetings will occur in February once Sebastien is back from cruise. (dates tbd)

2A:  Stephanie Murphy attended the EL Harvey Recycling Facility in Middleboro and summarized her observations - take away, contaminated bins can ruin a whole truckload of recyclables...and be sure to educate people that compostable cups are not recyclable (they too are considerate contaminants)


  • schedule working group meetings (SM + SB)
  • help create focus items for our net zero sustainability plan (Working Groups)

#3  ENGIE presentation- is net-zero a possibility for WHOI? Can a vendor design a program for us?


  • schedule ENGIE’s net zero presentation - date tbd (SM)
  • Energy Working Group attend presentation
  • investigate what other schools and Institutions are doing to achieve net zero (SM +)

 #4  Composting at the Shop Party – successes and challenges were discussed

  • Successes include the reusable steel cups (150 provided for free), one truckload composted, and no single use plastic water bottles (2.5 gal jugs + 5 gallon Poland springs water instead)
  • Challenges - composting all waste - we couldn't handle scope due to volume and resistance to new cleanup procedures (change is often difficult)


  • next year explore expanding composting efforts

#5 WSS Events

  • Green Driving Lunch n Learn – Anna Vanderspek from Green Energy Consumers Org (inquire with Anna if Friday, Feb 7th works- SM + and find room available on Room Scheduler (SM)
  • Beekeeping Meetings – Danie Kinkade summarized the bee keeping status and will reach out to Bee Group to schedule a follow up meeting. Items she addressed include:
    • generate an estimate for materials costs (we will buy boxes instead of make them)
    • Determine types of bees to purchase - Italian, Russian, Cornelian?
    • Set up Volunteer Calendar on Google Drive
    • Is there a deadline for ordering? If yes, we’ll need to expedite


  • MIT Sustainability Group Lunch n Learn - they are VERY active in the sustainability arena at MIT (AB will reach out to MIT person)
  • Send MIT weekly newsletter to STF members (AB - done)
  • Think of additional Lunch n Learns - (All- think about what interests you)
  • Contact Anna Vanderspek and schedule Drive Green Lunch n Learn

 We ran out of time:

Hold the next items until the January Meeting (Jan 15 at 1:10 in MRF 204)

  • Water kiosk ribbon cutting – Waterfront Park (date TBD)
  • Repair Café – schedule next one for spring

#6  New Business

*leaf blowing at WHOI