Projects and Events

Green Speakers

Tim DeChristopher-Spring 2014
Tim DeChristopher is the passionate Climate Activist and co-founder of the environmental group Peaceful Uprising.  On December 19, 2008 he protested a Bureau of Land Management oil and gas lease auction in Salt Lake City of 116 parcels of public land in Utah's redrock country to drill on public lands. He successfully bid on 14 parcels of land (totaling 22,500 acres) for $1.8 million with no intention to pay for them.  DeChristopher was removed from the auction by federal agents and taken into custody  He has become an American hero for his act of civil disobedience serving 21 months in prison for his actions in trying to prevent the catastrophic consequences of climate change.

Tim’s action garnered a great deal of media and public attention, and catalyzed an overwhelming influx of support and applause for his creative, effective, and nonviolent act of civil disobedience, which ultimately safeguarded thousands of acres of Utah public lands.

Tim founded Peaceful Uprising, a volunteer-based climate action group committed to defending a livable future from the fossil fuel industry.  In 2011, Tim was the focus of the award winning documentary Bidder 70 about his protest that landed him in jail for nearly 2 years.

We were thrilled to have Tim as our keynote speaker for Rider’s 2014 Earth Day Festival held in the Campus Mall on April 22, 2014. He gave a passionate and educational talk on the dangers of climate change and how it can and is affecting us personally. In addition, he shared his ideas of how as a community we can make a difference by participating in peaceful activism.

For more information about Bidder 70, go to

Adrian Grenier – Fall 2013
Not only is Adrian Grenier the star of the popular HBO series, Entourage, and known for his role in The Devil Wears Prada, he is also listed as one of the Top 10 “Green” Celebrities; a very appropriate title. Adrian Grenier has created a TV series called “Alter Eco”, a makeover series that shows viewers how to live an eco-friendly lifestyle. Because his career requires frequent travel, Adrian often buys carbon offsets to reduce his impact. Grenier has also created a green living platform called SHFT, that displays and sells high quality sustainable materials. With everything from clothing to home décor, SHFT makes it easy for people to see how they can be sustainable in every aspect of their lives, and do so with ease. Adrian Grenier is true to his “green” celebrity status when the work is done and it’s time to go home. His Brooklyn home uses solar panels, a green roof, and is insulated using recycled denim, and Grenier even drives a Prius hybrid car.

This October 24th, 2013 at Rider, Adrian Grenier was the keynote speaker to celebrate Campus Sustainability Day event being held the day before. Grenier spoke to students, faculty, and the local public about investing in our own personal environment. This means, taking care of ourselves and our inner environment, as well as our immediate surroundings. He spoke about making daily individual choices and how we can strive to reduce our own individual impact. A great quote by him reads, “If everyone just became a little more aware of his or her own personal impact on the earth, real change would ultimately result.” Grenier encouraged students to spend money and invest time in things that count: local food, volunteering, etc. His overarching method was one of positivity. You can always find a solution in your environment. If we all try to be sustainable in what we do and love, we’re on our way to a greener planet.

Rosario Dawson – Fall 2012
Discovered on the streets of New York, Rosario Dawson is an actress/singer who has been featured in various films such as Josie and the Pussycats, Men in Black II, 25th Hour, The Rundown, Alexander, Sin City, and Eagle. She displayed her musical talent in the film adaptation of the popular Broadway musical Rent. She also starred alongside Will Smith in Seven Pounds and was recently seen in Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief as Persephone. Dawson is also the star of an online sci-fi series, Gemini Division, which debuted in August 2008. She will next be seen in Frank Coraci’s The Zookeeper, co-starring Kevin James, and Tony Scott’s Unstoppable with Denzel Washington and Chris Pine. Dawson is heavily involved in politics as evident by the non-partisan organization she co-founded in 2004, Voto Latino, which works to promote an enfranchised America by leveraging celebrity voices, the latest technology and youth themselves to promote positive change. She serves on the board of directors for V-Day and Scenarios USA and has also lent her support to the following organizations: Amnesty International; Charity: Water; Declare Yourself; Global Cool; International Rescue Committee; Lower East Side Girls Club; ONE Campaign; Oxfam; Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG); Twenty Women For Darfur; Women’s Voices, Women Vote; and Youth AIDS. A native New Yorker, Dawson currently resides in Los Angeles.

Rosario Dawson was the keynote speaker for Rider University’s 5th annual Campus Sustainability Day event. She spoke to a group of over 500 students, faculty, staff and other community members in the Cavalla Room of the BLC about the importance of being mindful of the environment, finding your passion, and using your voice through purchasing power and voting.

Erin Brockovich - Spring 2012
Not only was she the subject of an Oscar-winning film, Erin Brockovich was a strong-minded activist, determined to bring justice to a case that exposed Pacific Gas & Electric for leaking toxins into the ground water of Hinkley, California. Working as secretary at a law firm, Erin discovered medical records proving that they had leaked toxins into Hinkley groundwater for 30 years, poisoning its residents. After tireless investigation the largest direct action lawsuit in US history was filed against PG&E. They were required to pay $333 million to Hinkley residents, making US history and making Erin Brockovich a household name. Through her newfound fame, Erin began to tackle other medical mysteries across the country, and became an environmental activist. Wrapping up our successful Earth Day, Erin participated in an interview with Rider News, followed by a Meet and Greet with the ESSC. To conclude her visit, Erin gave an empowering presentation on standing up for what you believe is right and how a single person can move the world.

Jeffrey Hollender - Spring 2012
Jeffrey Hollender began his green future over 20 years ago when he co-founded Seventh Generation, a natural product brand. He built his company on the basis of authenticity, transparency, and progressive business practices. Jeffrey’s goal is to help businesses recognize the effect they have on society and to give these companies assistance in adopting more sustainable business practices. To aid his efforts, Jeffrey authored six books, including a best seller. Currently filling his time as a speaker, consultant, and activist, Jeffrey is part of Greenpeace US, and co-creator of American Sustainable Business Council. To kick off our Earth Month festivities, Jeffrey came to Rider to speak on behalf of his accomplishments and followed his presentation with a challenging question and answer session that got the audience thinking about more ways they can make change.

Mark Dixon - Spring 2011
Mark Dixon created the documentary YERT along with his two friends, Ben and Julie. The three embarked on a year long road trip across the United States to look for the bad environmental damage, the good steps that Americans are taking, and the unique ways we can all tackle Climate Change. Mark and his fellow road trippers discovered that there are hundreds if not thousands of ways to reduce climate change as they spoke to Americans in all parts of the country. Mark continues to aid in environmental change by speaking across the country and urging everyone to take small steps in their lives to become greener. Mark enthusiastically spent the day at Rider, attending our Earth Day event, sharing a Meet and Greet dinner with our ESSC members, and presenting a stand out speech to the Rider community about his journey.

Colin Beavan - Spring 2010
In 2006 Colin Beavan decided that he would achieve his goal of making as little impact as possible for one year, while documenting his journey. By cutting out automated transportation, electricity, non-local food, and material items, Josh was able to claim his title as No Impact Man. Colin documented his experiment in an award winning blog,, a book, No Impact Man, and a documentary film of the same name. These efforts led to the creation of his non-profit organization, No Impact Project, to empower citizens to make better, more sustainable choices, thus lowering their environmental impact. Colin’s work caught the attention of major news outlets such as Good Morning America. Colin continues to encourage No Impact efforts by speaking nationwide and serving as an environmental blogger, author, and consultant.

Josh & Rebecca Tickell - Fall 2009
Josh Tickell’s radical efforts in his film Fuel reveal the dependency of America on oil and the problems that accompany this addiction. Raised in Louisiana, surrounded by all things oil, Josh witnessed first-hand how the oil companies control, deceive, and damage the country, Americans, and our environment. Finally Josh decided to take a stand. His goal was to attract national press and expose the harm that the oil giants were inflicting on Americans. Over the course of 11 years, he created the film Fuel which caught the attention of over 150 news giants such as: CNN, Good Morning America, The Huffington Post, etc. Josh and his wife/partner in crime Rebecca continue to raise awareness through promotion of their award-winning film Fuel and through speaking engagements across the country.

Tom Szaky - Fall 2008
Local entrepreneur, Tom Szaky is the creator of TerraCycle, an eco-friendly brand that creates consumer products from waste. TerraCycle began with the creation of Worm Poop, an all organic fertilizer, packaged in recycled soda bottles. Leading the world in the concept of upcycling, TerraCycle now runs out of a facility in Trenton, NJ which not only harvests Worm Poop, but various products created from waste materials, collected through their brigade program. Brigades let the public collect their non-recyclable items, such as: juice pouches, candy wrappers, chip bags, etc., to be sent to the TerraCycle facility for upcycling. Tom now spends his time managing TerraCycle and speaking on the importance of social responsibility.

Cranberry Fest

Cranberry Fest is an annual celebration honoring Andrew J. Rider, the founder and first president of the Trenton Business College, the forerunner to Rider University. It was Rider who introduced the cranberry to the queen of England, who subsequently dubbed him “The Cranberry King of New Jersey.” More recently, Cranberry Fest has earned significance as the yearly first gathering event of the academic year for the entire Lawrenceville campus community.

The Energy and Sustainability Committee once again participated in Cranberry Fest on September 14, 2010. Students visiting the ESSC’s table received information about how they can reduce their impact on the environment while living on campus. There were also plenty of free giveaways and students were giving the opportunity to sign up for Sustainable Rider, the student run group on campus dedicated to promoting sustainability.

Cranberry Fest celebrated its 30th year anniversary on Thursday, September 10, 2009 (see News@Rider). The ESSC had an information and giveaway table in Daly’s. Students were able to learn about the ESSC and sign-up for Sustainable Rider, a volunteer group for students on campus. There were many giveaways including temporary tattoos with the “Broncs Go Green” symbol, recycled plastic tote bags, and “Green Living” wheels. Brochures were distributed with information on the first “Green Film Series” to take place through the course of the 2009-2010 academic year.

This was the first year that the Energy and Sustainability Steering Committee participated in Cranberry Fest on Thursday, September 4, 2008. Students were well-informed on how to live “green” while away from home with help from “Green Residence Hall Tips” that were distributed. Broncs Go Green 32oz water bottles were giveaways that were so popular, they gone well before the event was over.

Climate Ride

In 2010, the Brita Climate Ride, a 300 mile bicycle journey meant to raise awareness for clean energy and climate issues, will begin in Eureka, California. This unfortunately means that Rider students and faculty will not be able to attend the event this year. However, the ESSC still supports the Climate Ride’s cause to promote energy innovation and climate leadership.

This year Climate Ride was on Sunday, September 27, 2009. A bus left both the Lawrenceville and Princeton Campuses to greet the riders in Lambertville, NJ for their annual 300-mile ride. One of the riders in 2009 was Professor Alexander Grushow of the Chemistry department (see Rider News). Rider students and staff met the riders in Lambertville again, and all received a Broncs Go Green t-shirt for participation. Rider’s ESSC supported Climate Ride Organizers, Clean Air – Cool Planet, an organization that promotes solutions to climate change. For more information about Climate Ride, click here.

Brita Climate Ride 2008 was on Sunday, September 21, 2008 and the ESSC from Rider met the riders in Lambertville, NJ on their 5-day journey from New York City to Washington, DC. This trip for the riders was meant to raise an awareness of climate-issues in clean energy and a green economy, especially to our national leaders in Washington. A bus left both campuses that morning where students and staff had the opportunity to see the D&R Canal along the Delaware River where they were given the opportunity to bring their own bikes and go for a ride on the path with the Climate Riders. This event was one of the first green events featured in The Rider News.

Campus Sustainability Day

Rider’s third celebration of Campus Sustainability Day took place on October 20, 2010 on the Cranberry’s Patio. Those who came to the event received apple cider and apples, from the local organic family farm Terhune, in a free reusable “Broncs Go Green” mug, which was made out of recycled plastic. There were also pumpkin painting and a clothing swap where participants could receive a free Broncs Go Green t-shirt in exchange for a donated item of clothing that went to Homefront, NJ. Finally, there was an informational table about the World Wildlife Federation that accepted donations on behalf of endangered species, a Sustainable Rider table, and music from the Bronc 107.7.

As Rider’s green efforts got bigger, so did National Campus Sustainability Day 2009. It was celebrated by the Eco-Reps and the ESSC on October 21, 2009. The theme was Energy, in conjunction with the installation of the first wave of Energy Meters on the Lawrenceville Campus. With this, there was information available to students, staff, and visitors in the SRC Lobby. Sustainability Coordinator, Melissa Greenberg was featured on the Rider University Television Network speaking about the event. There were tables involving, saving energy in recycling, biodiesel, EnergyStar, solar panels, light bulbs, and giveaways of reusable coffee mugs, allowing students to save on paper cups at Starbucks and Java City on campus. It also coincided with The Green Film Series’ presentation of Fuel. Filmmaker Josh Tickell and his wife, Rebecca Harrell, were on hand to speak about making the film and what we can do as the youth of America and how we can “change your fuel, change the world.” You can listen to their podcast about fuel here. The Big Green Energy Bus, part of the Fuel education program, was on-campus to enable education and show students hands-on activities with saving energy. It is powered by solar panels on the roof as well as a bio-diesel generator for extra energy. This was a great opportunity for members of the community to learn about sustainable bio-fuels and energy usage.

The first National Campus Sustainability Day was celebrated by the ESSC on October 22, 2008 in the Student Recreation Center lobby area and themed around water usage. There were different games, displays, interactive pieces, and prizes for all who attended. Sustainable Rider built a water bottle sculpture which showed how much water the average American uses in one day. One of Professor Laura Hyatt’s science classes had a mock of the Game of Life to show the carbon footprint of each person and how simple life choices affect that footprint both positively and negatively. UNICCO had a display on the green cleaning efforts at Rider and there was also a trivia wheel on going green. This event was one of the first events on the Lawrenceville Campus outside of Earth Day that had a sustainability theme and was featured in the Rider News. The featured speaker at National Campus Sustainability Day 2008 was Tom Szaky, the founder of TerraCycle, Inc. His company, TerraCycle, Inc., has found unique ways to utilize the waste stream from schools and homes in taking different kinds of trash, such as drink pouches, and reusing them into products, such as bags and lunch boxes.

Earth Hour

Earth Hour is a climate awareness campaign organized by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). WWF’s mission is to stop the degradation of the Earth’s natural environment and build a future where people live in harmony with nature. Earth Hour started in 2007 in Sydney, Australia when 5.5 million homes and business turned off their lights for one hour to make a stand against climate change. The following year over 50 million individuals across 35 countries participated. Global landmarks such as the, Sydney Harbour Bridge, The CN Tower in Toronto, The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, and Rome’s Colosseum, all stood in darkness, as symbols of hope for a cause that grows more urgent by the hour. In March 2009, hundreds of millions of people and over 4000 cities in 88 countries all switched off to show their support making Earth Hour 2009 the world’s largest global climate change initiative. Will you take the pledge this year and make Earth Hour 2010 even more colossal?

Earth Hour will take place on Saturday, March 26, 2011 from 8:30-9:30 p.m. To join the movement and pledge to turn-off your lights for one hour go to: And join the Lawrenceville Eco-Reps on facebook for updates for the event on-campus.

Earth Day

Earth Day celebrated on April 22 of each year marks the anniversary of the birth of the modern environmental movement in 1970. On that first Earth Day, 20 million Americans took to the streets, parks, and auditoriums to make a statement about living a healthy, sustainable lifestyle for the environment.

Meet Mark Dixon from the feature film YERT
*View the trailer here
April 20 @ 6 p.m. in SWG 115

Watch a special showing of Dixon’s film “YERT” on:
Thursday 4/14 @ 11:30 a.m.
Sunday 4/17 @ 2 p.m.
Tuesday 4/19 @ 6 p.m.

Once again Rider is gearing up to celebrate Earth Day. This year, we will have our celebration on Wednesday, April 20th.
Lawrenceville Campus: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Cranberry’s Patio

(Rain location: The SRC Lobby)

Music, Games & Giveaways
Take a turn on the human-powered sit and spin ride
Test your golf skills with the Putting Challenge
Bring a small container to pot your own plant
Play the quiz wheel for a chance to win a prize
Learn about Sustainable Rider, Greeks Go Green, Powershift, and solar energy
Westminster Campus: April 9, 12:00-5:00 p.m.

Earth Day/Spring Fling

Rider University celebrated Earth Day on April 22nd, 2010 on the Cranberry Patio with a variety of tables offering information on the history of Earth Day, the student organization “Sustainable Rider”, and games such as the ever popular “Quiz Wheel” and a recycling game bean bag toss with prizes. Since the trade-up table was so popular last year it made a repeat appearance. Anyone visiting the event could bring up a single use plastic bottle or bag and trade it up for a reusable bag or BPA-free bottle. Students, faculty, staff, and visiting children had a blast potting there own seeds in biodegradable cups. Students pledged at the annual “pledge tree” to reduce their impact on the environment through changes in there everyday lives. A Rider News Eco-Rep Corner discussed Earth Day. Leading up to and on Earth Day, the film “No Impact Man” (view trailer) was shown in the BLC theater. Also on Earth Day following the showing of the film, the real “No Impact Man” Colin Beavan spoke on his experience through his year-long project and what’s like after trying to continue making no net impact on the environment.

Earth Day was celebrated on April 22, 2009 on the patio in front of Cranberry’s on the Lawrenceville Campus. Many events were held to involve students in an effort to educate them on living sustainably. Students were guided to start at a “pledge tree” to sign an environmental pledge and then received bingo cards. The bingo cards were stamped at each table then submitted in a drawing to win one of two bicycles. At Lawrenceville, there was a quiz wheel, “Eco” game, and recycling table to test their knowledge and win prizes. A Trade-Up station allowed for the trading in of a single-use plastic bag for a recycled plastic reusable “Broncs Go Green” tote bag and one single-use bottle for a reusable “Broncs Go Green” bottle. A leadership table was manned by Kathleen DiMaiuta and Chris Shepherd who attended Power Shift 2009 in Washington, DC and Dr. Alexander Grushow, head of the Chemistry Department who planned on participating in Climate Ride 2009. “Greeks Go Green” had a clothing drive to benefit Homefront, in Trenton, NJ and Moore Library held a book collection for Better World Books. The Latin American Students Organization (LASO) had a “Pot Your Own Plant” table in which they provided soil, seeds, and water and students brought their own containers, such as yogurt cups, tin cans, etc., to put their to-be plant in. A trash display was collected by the grounds keepers to show how much litter accumulates on Rider University’s campus over one week’s time. A Rider News article documented the Lawrenceville event.

Westminster Spring Fling

At the Westminster campus on April 24th, 2010, the WM Eco-Reps sponsored Spring Fling taking place on the Great Plains. There were several fun activities, information tables, and food for the Rider community to enjoy. People signed in for the event and were presented with a Spring Fling 2010 t-shirt to remember the event and learned about green performance venues in the surround area. There was a table on water and energy conservation where if students could identify a new fact they learned and how they could apply it to their lives they were presented with a reusable BPA-free water bottle. At the World Wildlife Fund information table, students could learn more about WWF and what they do to support endangered animals. With a small donation that would go toward adopting a tiger, people received a temporary tattoo. Through the day 107.7, the Bronc, provided music and student groups performed on the stage at the top of the lawn. There was a human-powered carnival ride that instead of requiring electricity was completely powered by the participants riding it. Also, free Henna tattoos and Maui Waui smoothies were provided with compostable cups.

In 2009, the Princeton campus also had green festivities. There was a Trade-Up location and similar games with giveaways and prizes. The Westminster Eco-Reps also held an essay contest where the winner was chosen by impartial parties to receive a bike to help reduce that person’s transportation impact on the environment. At the tables, there was a “pledge tree” where students could sign up and pledge to reduce their impact. There was also a recycling table where students could learn about recycling on campus and what types of waste went into what color cans in the trash rooms. At the trade up table, students were able to trade in plastic bags for canvas Broncs Go Green bag and plastic water bottles for a Broncs Go Green reusable water bottle. At another table, there was a suggestions box for how to make the campus greener and an education station to learn about Earth Day. There was a similar “Pot Your Own Plant” table and a book collection for Better World Books. There was other eco games, including a Jeopardy themed game.

Don’t Trash it, Recycle it

As part of the annual move out, lots of waste is generated by students who do not wish to lug items home after a long year of on campus living. To combat this waste from going into the landfill, students, starting in spring 2008, initiated efforts to create a collection drive. In 2008, this student run effort came to be known as Don’t Trash it, Recycle It. It was part of LDP, Leadership Development Program, with some involvement from Sustainable Rider volunteers. All items were donated to Homefront in Trenton, NJ, where they are put into a free-cycle store for unfortunate families in the area. In 2009 and 2010, the effort to combat student waste was continued by the ESSC and the Eco-Reps on campus, with a lot of cooperative effort from LDP, when the Second Annual Don’t Trash it, Recycle it was held. The Eco-Reps are planning on holding this program again for the end of the 2011 school year in an effort to streamline the move-out process while helping both the environment and the surrounding communities.


RecycleMania was started in February 2001 when Ed Newman (Ohio University) and Stacy Edmonds Wheeler (Miami University) decided to do something to increase recycling in the residence and dining halls on their campuses. During this 10 week competition, the two campuses battled it out to see which school could recycle the most. Rider has participated in RecycleMania in since 2008 and the Eco-Reps are preparing to participate again in 2011. The 10 week competition starts in the middle of January. The competition runs for ten weeks with standings updates each week. The first two weeks of the competition are benchmark weeks were schools get acquainted with the rules of the competition and benchmark statuses are set for each participating institution. The next eight weeks comprise the actual competition where schools aim to increase recycling participation, decrease waste disposal, or targeted materials. The winning university is the school which is best able throughout the competition to accomplish reducing waste and increasing recycling on their campus.

Battle of the Buildings

Battle of the Buildings (BOB) is a competition held on the Rider campus, generally during the spring semester, between each residence hall. Numerous events are held throughout the competition with each residence hall competing. When a residence hall wins a competition, they are awarded points towards their total score. In the end, the residence hall with the most points receives a prize for all of its residences provided by the Residence Hall Association. During Battle of the Buildings, the event that Eco-Reps take part in is the Energy Meter competition. Energy meters were installed in all of the residence halls on campus in 2009 and 2010. During a week which residents are not informed of, benchmark results are determined for the energy usage of each residence hall. After these results are determined, residents are encouraged to do what they can in their residence halls to reduce their energy usage, such as unplugging appliances, shutting of lights, or turning off computers. At the end of that week, the energy usage during that week is determined with the energy meter and whichever building is able to reduce their energy usage from the benchmark week to the results week the most gets points towards their score for BOB.