Christy Perera: September 2011 Archives

Happy Birthday: recycles reaches the terrible twos!

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recycles, the University’s free bike share program, has now entered the era Dr. Spock would call the “terrible two’s.” But will they really be that terrible for a bike fleet 26 strong without the imminent threats of teething or failing Potty Training 101? We think not—perhaps the terrible two’s will bring forth another two, or even 20, years of recycles success! With over 1,500 active registered users and nearly 100 bike rentals per week, we’ve grown quite a lot in the past two years! To celebrate this memorable benchmark, UChicago’s Office of Sustainability is setting some new two-wheeled trends:

  • The recycles fleet is growing, with the addition two new bikes to the pack. These bikes are smaller, have female frames, and are ready for rental from the Regenstein.
  • The program has also expanded to two new groups of users! Starting now, UChicago alumni and temporary UChicago employees may register for recycles. All you need to register is a valid CNet ID, internet access, and two minutes!
  • Two for tea: Don’t forget to rent out the tandem bike (available at the Regenstein) for a clever, very UChicago (and very free) date!

Remember to lock up your recycles bike correctly and wear a helmet! Also, please keep in mind that bicycles must be returned by 6PM to most bike share locations during the fall to accommodate for daylight savings. Click here for fall operating hours.

Thanks to feedback from users, we’ve been able to climb to the top of the playground totem pole and develop the program to better accommodate users’ needs. We’d love to hear from you as we ride out the terrible two’s! Please email us with any thoughts about the program.

Ride safely and see you out there!

SAGE Advice: Back to School 2011

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Pedestrian zone - harper quad people.jpg

Back in middle school, I put “Back to School” on the list of horrible-four-letter-words-never-to-be-uttered-out-loud. Those three short words meant the end of the beautiful freedom of summer, the beginning of my least favorite kind of shopping (office supplies, backpacks, etc.) and the process of marking a new calendar (aka prison schedule) for the school year. These days, I look forward to seeing campus return to its bustling itself and watching (with a touch of envy) as first years move in and start their college lives. As you come back to campus this fall, here are some quick tips to make your moving-in less painful and more sustainable.

  • Coordinate with your roommates or suitemates: this will ensure your room isn’t cluttered with five printers and two mini fridges
  • Try to simplify your shopping list: rent microwaves, plan on using your house kitchen’s fridge instead of your own small fridge (those little guys are very energy inefficient), and use all the furniture provided for you in your dorm room. If you feel you need an extra table or lamp, check out marketplace (link), which also make you more financially efficient.
  • Don’t buy a bike: rent one through the recycles bike share program! DO bring a helmet though!
  • If you find yourself forced to buy a new appliance, go for Energy Star. These are much more energy efficient and comparable in price to those lacking the certification. Keep in mind that energy star means it’s more efficient per cubic foot, so the smaller the appliance, the better.
  • Less is more: you need less clothing, accessories, etc. than you think—this will make your move-in and move-out easier.
  • Dispose wisely: If you end up with surplus furniture, appliances, clothing, etc. make sure you dispose of them properly. Take a look at our recycling directory for more info.

    Whether you’re coming to campus after a summer hiatus or joining us for the first time, we welcome you to campus and hope your move-in goes smoothly. The weather should be glorious (hey, a girl can dream!) and the ambiance is sure to thrill even those who never left the “Back to School” Grinch phase.

From floor to bench: artistic repurposing at its best

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Once upon a time, in a land far far away (we’re talking on the other side of the Midway here), there lived many lovely slabs of concrete all nestled together forming the floor of Midway Studios. Thirty years of artists spilling or splashing paint on them made these six-inch thick slabs subtly colorful. After plans were drawn up for the new Logan Arts Center, an annex of the building previously used as a painting studio was torn down. While many doors and fixtures were donated to the Rebuilding Exchange, David Wolf, Director of the Visual Arts Resource Center, and a group of students and alumni saw potential in the paint-stained concrete floor. A demolition crew sawed the concrete into four-foot by one-foot slabs and saved them.


In order to determine new homes for these slabs, Wolf and Richard Bumstead, Associate Director of Campus Environment in Facilities Services, held a collaborative design session during Earth Week 2010. The workshop engaged students in drafting creative re-uses for the building materials.


The concrete slabs have very recently been repurposed as benches and a select few sit in front of the Young Memorial Building, home of Facilities Services, the Smart Museum Offices of the Director and Development and External Relations, and the University of Chicago Police Department Community Services Bureau. The sustainable seating borders the walkway to the building, where staff members take a minute to sit and make calls or enjoy the weather. Thanks to some clever reworking, these industrial chic benches give a whole new meaning to sitting on the floor.


Keep your eye out for these benches around campus - sustainable seating at its best!


First Photo courtesy of David Wolf

About this Archive

This page is a archive of recent entries written by Christy Perera in September 2011.

Christy Perera: August 2011 is the previous archive.

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