Class Presents Sustainability Project Proposals

Gillian Bissonnette, Allison McMahon, & Arman Ataman present the Emerson Community Garden Proposal.

Gillian Bissonnette, Allison McMahon, & Arman Ataman

Jon Honea’s Energy and Sustainability classes recently presented their service learning projects for this semester. The projects aim to help students understand the sustainability issues facing communities and develop realistic solutions to these challenges. Through this assignment, students identified key sustainability issues in the Emerson community, possible options to address the problems, important project stakeholders, and how to implement the changes they want to see.

Rebecca Nessi begins her group's presentation.

Rebecca Nessi begins her group's presentation.

Honea’s students presented their group action plans before spring break and received professor, peer, and community feedback on how they should continue their projects.Students have been busy contacting administrators to see how they can make these projects a reality while they continue to conduct research. The sustainability efforts presented range from partnering with food rescue agencies to recycle unused food on campus to installing a solar panel on one of Emerson’s buildings to reduce emissions and lower school-wide energy costs. Another group plans to use Twitter to publicize the location of food remaining after meetings and events to avoid waste, while others are investigating the recycling situation on campus to provide more bins and clear instructions for students, faculty, and staff use. Yet another group is investigating the possibilities for meeting the demand for an Emerson community garden.

Jon Honea delivers feedback to his students.

Jon Honea delivers feedback to his students.

Students will continue moving forward with these plans until their results and final report presentations are due at the end of the semester. Honea will turn over his students’ findings to the President’s Committee on Sustainability so the committee might analyze the data and harness the momentum of the students’ work.


Jon Honea is a Scientist-in-Residence in the Department of Communication Science & Disorders.

Sustainability Projects At a Glance

Emerson Community Garden ProposalEmerson College Community Garden

Students at Emerson College have demonstrated an interest in establishing a garden. This group has begun to research possible locations for a garden and the logistics of doing so on an urban campus.


Composting at Emerson College Proposal

Composting at Emerson College

This group wants enhance Emerson’s Dining Hall composting efforts by introducing it to other dining facilities around campus. They plan to test the idea by using the Green Living learning community as an example of the viability of dorm composting.


Food Rescue Proposal

Food Rescue

Students are researching ways to ensure that campus food is not wasted or thrown out by adopting a food rescue program. The group is looking to partner with a local food rescue agency, the school, and the city to find a safe way to recycle and donate Emerson’s leftover food.


Recycling Literacy Presentation

Recycling Literacy

This group’s goal is to increase recycling literacy to improve campus sustainability. One way they want to accomplish this is by making sure the recycling bins are clearly and properly labeled.



Photo Credits: Claude Bartholomew

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