Episode 16: One Lab’s Trash is Another Lab’s Treasure: Reducing Waste and Increasing Reuse at Northwestern University

Julie Cahillane  (left)  Garry Cooper  (right)

Julie Cahillane (left) Garry Cooper (right)

Julie Cahillane
Sustainability Associate Director
Northwestern University

Garry Cooper, PhD
Rheaply, Inc.

Host: Dave Karlsgodt
Principal, Fovea, LLC

Production Assistance:
Kaia Findlay and Animesh Bapat

Any kindergartener can recite the lesson that ‘sharing is caring.’ For youngsters, this just means it’s nice to let someone else play with their favorite toy. But for Garry Cooper, sharing plays a crucial role in caring for the planet and finding solutions for waste reduction and efficient resource use.

Inspired by the copious amounts of wasted lab equipment he encountered as a Ph.D. student, Cooper founded Rheaply, Inc., a startup that now helps universities and other institutions across the world reuse and recycle by sharing unused and unwanted lab equipment with other labs. From glassware to antibodies, you’ll learn some of the logistics behind trading world class research equipment all with a focus on sustainability.

The success of Rheaply, Inc.’s pilot at Northwestern University is framed by Julie Cahillane, Sustainability Associate Director at Northwestern University. Her breakdown of the waste produced by research institutions showcases the important role of sustainability in labs across the nation. She’ll go into what it takes to institutionalize sustainability at the university level and teach you how your institution can empower people like Garry Cooper on your campus.

Episode 15: Landfill-gas flaring project at Central College of Pella, Iowa

Brian Campbell (left) Rob McKenna (right)

Brian Campbell (left)
Rob McKenna (right)

Guest: Brian Campbell
Director of Sustainability Education
Central College of Pella, Iowa

Special Guest and Co-host: Rob McKenna
Principal, Fovea, LLC

Host: Dave Karlsgodt
Principal, Fovea, LLC

In this episode you’ll hear an interview with Brian Campbell, Director of Sustainability Education at Central College in Pella Iowa. We discuss Central College’s recent climate action plan with a focus on a unique landfill-gas flaring project that came out of that planning effort. Rob McKenna, a principal at Fovea and the consultant who lead this climate action planning effort, joins both as guest and co-host.

Fovea would like to give a special shout out to Energy Strategies and MEP Associates who were our partners and collaborators on this project.


Second Nature Carbon Commitment Signatory Distribution

During this podcast, Rob McKenna discusses how Central College with roughly 10,000 MTCO2e / year has a typical emissions profile among signatories to the Second Nature Carbon Commitment.

Episode 10: Repairing our Relationship to Stuff – Barnard College’s Sandra Goldmark Discusses Sustainability in the Context of Reuse, Repair, and Design

Sandra Goldmark, Barnard College and Fix-up Repair.

Sandra Goldmark, Barnard College and Fix-up Repair.

Guest: Sandra Goldmark
Director, Sustainability and Environment and Associate Professor of Professional Practice in Theatre at Barnard College;
Co-Founder of Fixup.

Host: Dave Karlsgodt, Principal, Fovea, LLC

Production Assistance:
Sarah Barr and Cecilia Kane

Ever feel like you spend a fortune keeping up with the latest in tech, fashion, and other trends? Have more stuff at home than you know what to do with? In this episode, Sustainability Director at Barnard College Sandra Goldmark discusses our obsession with stuff, how overconsumption threatens our climate and natural resources, and how we might repair our global economic system to be better in-tune with our innate human values.

A set designer, Goldmark first noticed the scope of our problem with single use items in the context of theater where sets would be built, featured in a show for several nights, then go straight to the landfill. This inspired her to start a repair service called Fix-up. Business boomed and Goldmark learned people were willing to pay to get their old stuff fixed, sometimes as much as a new replacement would cost, prompting the very good question: why don’t major retailers offer product repairs?

Her work demonstrates how a practical repair service can prompt a deeper investigation into how our stuff defines our humanity, and how what we have says about who we are. A prime example of how a grassroots initiative can fill a gap in innovation, Goldmark challenges us to adopt an experimental approach to sustainability on both the individual and campus levels.

Join us this episode for a glimpse into Goldmark’s vision for a revamped global economy built on the principle of repair, beginning with fixing that old chair in your garage.

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Episode 10: Repairing our Relationship to Stuff - Transcript

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