Temple kicks off Campus Sustainability Week

The events will relate to the university’s plan to reduce its carbon emissions by 2050.

Though 3-D printing food is now possible, don’t expect to be able to buy a home food printer on Amazon any time soon, said Kyle Schwab, a first-year biomedical engineering graduate student.

Schwab, who received the Office of Sustainability’s annual Graduate Research Award Sustainability Program award of $3,000 for his research in July, spoke about the benefits and feasibility of 3-D printing technology for food, which creates small pieces of edible food by “rehydrating” food powders, to about a dozen students and faculty in the College of Engineering on Monday. 

“I’m researching the current applications and what people are doing,” Schwab said. “I’m researching the needs that are present in the world, and how this type of technology could be pushed forward to meet those needs.”

Schwab’s presentation, coupled with a tabling event outside the Student Center, kicked off The Office of Sustainability’s annual Campus Sustainability Week. The office will highlight Temple’s updated Climate Action Plan at a variety of events this week, organizers said.

“This is kind of the first time we’ve been able to jump into programming, knowing that our leadership has signed off on this commitment,” said Caroline Burkholder, the office’s sustainability manager. “We’re just diving in and giving a crash course on all the goals.”

The plan, released in April, coincides with Philadelphia’s goal to reduce carbon emissions by 80 percent by 2050. It recommends ways to improve energy efficiency in facilities and to teach the Temple community about sustainability goals. 

Campus Sustainability Week, dubbed “Act on Climate: The Road to 2050,” will feature a bike repair workshop, a documentary screening and panel on wild salmon extinction, and a tour of Temple Community Garden’s tiny house, which is the first building certified by the Living Building Challenge, an international green building certification program, in Philadelphia, among other events.

Each event connects with a specific goal outlined in the action plan, Burkholder said, highlighting its academic, cultural and operational aspects.

The Office of Sustainability is also launching Rad Dish 3.0, a peer discussion series on food and sustainability, she added. The first discussion is focused on low-carbon eating, and two others will be held this semester.

Danielle Whitesel, a sophomore biology major, said she has attended sustainability week last year and was excited they were holding a presentation about technology and the food system on Monday.

“It’s very important for us to be thinking of new ways, new like innovative ways, to supplement the food system because we have a population that is growing exponentially,” Whitesel said.

Kasey Bethea, a senior civil engineering major, said he was not originally interested in attending Monday’s 3-D printing event but that he was impressed with Schwab’s research.

“It is something that seems so complex, but he explained it in such a beautiful way,” Bethea said. “I feel like I could have brought my mom or my little cousin, and they could have easily understood it.”


Tuesday: Urban Riding Basics at Repair Clinic and Bike Studio in the Student Center at 6 p.m.

Wednesday: Temple Thrift at the Bell Tower from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m

“Artifishal” screening and panel at The Reel at 7 p.m.

Thursday: Green Transportation Celebration from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Bell Tower

Low Carbon Eating at Rad Dish Cafe in Ritter Hall at 4 p.m.

Friday: Green Grant Spotlight, Garden Tour and Tiny Open House: Regenerative Design 101 at Temple Community Garden at 3 p.m.

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