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Colorado School of Public Health News and Stories


Community    Students    Student and Alumni    Sustainability    ColoradoSPH at CSU    Community Health    One Health

Edible Bugs for Healthier and Greener Future: Master of Public Health Student's Capstone Sheds Light on Sustainable Food Systems

Bugs for dinner? It may sound like a scene straight out of a sci-fi movie, but edible bugs are making their way into the spotlight for a compelling reason: they may hold the key to a healthier and greener future. While the thought of eating insects may trigger apprehension for some, insects have been used for food and medicine by many cultures for centuries – up to 80 percent of the world's nations, particularly in tropical areas, eat insects. As our planet grapples with mounting challenges like climate change and food insecurity, the notion of turning to edible bugs as an eco-friendly option is capturing the attention of public health researchers, including Shaylee Warner, a recent graduate from the Colorado School of Public Health at Colorado State University.

Author Rachel Larson | Publish Date June 14, 2023
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Community    Community and Practice    Sustainability    Environment    Worker Health

Top Tips for How Academia Can Be More Sustainable

As global climate change continues to threaten the health of the planet and impact our lives, sustainable business practices are becoming increasingly important. As part of earning my Master’s in Public Health at the Colorado School of Public Health, I created and performed a sustainability audit of the Center for Health, Work & Environment. I specifically studied the travel practices of the Center, as travel is a significant producer of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions, one of the major contributing factors to climate change. As part of the Center’s mission to help organizations create sustainable workforces, it aims to promote the sustainability of the planet by lowering its own carbon footprint. 

Based on the results of my project, I’ve created the following tips for ways academic organizations can decrease their carbon footprint, specifically regarding travel practices. 

1. Perform an office carbon audit to measure your organization’s carbon footprint All types of organizations contribute to GHG emissions in a variety of ways. By identifying the various sources of carbon emissions and energy usage in the workplace, you can effectively create strategies for reduction. 

2. Conduct and promote travel in an eco-friendly manner Air travel is one of the fastest-growing sources of GHG emissions, resulting in a large environmental impact, and globally contributes to 2.8% of the world’s total CO2 emissions. Car travel also has a negative environmental impact. Flying direct and to the closest airport to your destination, taking public transportation or ride shares on trips, and incentivizing carpooling and public transportation are achievable ways to decrease the environmental impact of individual travel.   

3. Host virtual events Holding events is an integral part of conducting business, specifically in academic settings, and allows people to form and build relationships, network, and share knowledge. However, in-person events also leave behind a considerably large carbon footprint. Hosting virtual conferences and events can cater to a broader audience while lowering the carbon footprint associated with travel. Going virtual also offers a more time-and cost-efficient alternative for both hosts and attendees. Zoom's webinar function and Zoom breakout rooms are engaging ways to hold meetings in a virtual format, enabling more realistic and personable interactions between attendees. 

4. Redesign meetingsBy consolidating meeting days and allowing them to be hosted virtually, fewer employees are required to be present in the office throughout the week. Decreasing the number of days employees need to travel to the office decreases their commuter-related carbon emissions. Holding offsite meetings in a central location with close proximity to public transportation enables employees to travel via public transportation instead of driving. 

The American Public Transportation Association estimates that public transit saves roughly 1.4 billion gallons of gas annually, which translates to about 14 million tons of CO2. Traveling by bus is about 30% more emission-efficient than traveling by single-occupancy vehicle and traveling by rail is about 75% more emission-efficient than traveling by single-occupancy vehicle. 

5. Encourage remote work and telecommuting 
At the Center for Health, Work & Environment, employees commute roughly 2,000 miles per week, emitting an estimate of 1800 pounds of CO2. Encouraging employees in flexible roles to work from home a few days a week can greatly reduce the amount of CO2 emitted in commuting. Consider using online applications as a way to foster connectedness and communication while employees are not physically working together. Slack or Microsoft Teams are popular solutions that allow employees to continue inter-office communication in real-time while working remotely.   

6. Create a healthy meeting and event catering policy
A vegetarian diet greatly reduces an individual and organization’s carbon footprint. A meat-based diet contributes to over 50% of GHG contribution, while a vegetarian diet contributes to only about 9%. Consider offering only vegetarian meal options at employee gatherings or meetings of all sizes. Also consider ordering from local restaurants, which not only reduces travel time for food delivery (reducing GHG emissions) but is also an opportunity to support the local economy. Don’t forget to tell caterers when you do and don’t need items like plastic or compostable utensils, cups and plates to cut down on waste.

Author Laura Veith | Publish Date May 04, 2020
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Colorado School of Public Health In the News

Colorado Public Radio

Can Colorado teachers feel more prepared for school emergencies?

news outletColorado Public Radio
Publish DateFebruary 21, 2024

Between reading, writing, and arithmetic, there are also disease outbreaks, natural disasters, and acts of violence at schools. While school districts have security and drills for these events, educators often have unanswered questions and are left feeling anxious and overwhelmed. Two Anschutz researchers wanted to change that, starting with gathering school staff’s ideas and addressing their questions about safety.

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CSU Source

What do your blood test results mean? A toxicologist explains the basics of how to interpret them

news outletCSU Source
Publish DateFebruary 07, 2024

As a toxicologist, Brad Reisfeld, a ColoradoSPH professor at CSU, studies the effects of drugs and environmental contaminants on human health. As part of his work, he relies on various health-related biomarkers, many of which are measured using conventional blood tests. Understanding what common blood tests are intended to measure can help you better interpret the results.

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Wall Street Journal

Marijuana Messes With Your Driving for Longer Than You Think

news outletWall Street Journal
Publish DateFebruary 05, 2024

You may think you’re OK to drive an hour or two after you get high on marijuana. Researchers and doctors say you’re not. Pot affects you differently than alcohol, can linger in your system for longer, and it can be harder to figure out when it’s safe to drive. 

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CU Connections

Regents celebrate CU luminaries with slate of annual awards

news outletCU Connections
Publish DateFebruary 01, 2024

Ned Calonge received a Distinguished Service Award, which recognizes those persons whose achievements and contributions are particularly associated with the state and/or nation.

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