‘Green’ Initiatives Make Every Day Earth Day at Georgia Southern University
Georgia Southern’s school colors are blue and white, but the University’s students, faculty and staff take a number of steps each day to make the campus “green.”
While Georgia Southern will observe Earth Day next week, the University is involved in initiatives throughout the year to inspire awareness and appreciation for the environment. The Center for Sustainability in the Allen E. Paulson College of Science and Technology and the Environmental Sustainability Division of the University’s Environmental Safety Services both coordinate programs and host events to promote “living green.”
“Georgia Southern is making great strides to improve campus sustainability. The Center for Sustainability has provided grants to improve bicycling opportunities on campus for students and faculty, has funded research on biofuels and solar energy, and has even funded the development of an outdoor classroom at Portal High School to teach students about sustainability,” said Lissa Leege, director of the Center for Sustainability.
Recent initiatives at Georgia Southern range from implementing a campus-wide recycling awareness program to using cleaner-burning Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) to fuel the University’s transit buses. Following are just some of Georgia Southern’s sustainability steps:
- Students have “re-lamped” the campus by replacing incandescent bulbs with energy-efficient Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) provided by Georgia Power. More than 1,000 CFLs have been installed in buildings throughout campus since the project began last year. Each CFL will save about $20 over its lifetime while using about 75 percent less energy and lasting about 10 times longer than an incandescent bulb.
- The Recreation Activity Center earned Georgia Southern’s first LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification by the U.S. Green Building Council. Buildings must meet strict standards regarding energy efficiency and environmental responsibility in order to be LEED certified.
- Georgia Southern University is in the design phase of a joint effort with the City of Statesboro to deliver reuse water to the campus for irrigation, which will replace an estimated 300,000 gallons per month currently pumped from the aquifer.
- The Center for Sustainability’s Sustainability Seminar Series has featured internationally-recognized speakers such as Ed Begley Jr., Jeff Seabright, Hunter Lovins and Majora Carter. The Center also hosted an energy panel featuring Congressman John Barrow and experts on energy and environmental issues.
- Georgia Southern has partnered with Keep Bulloch Beautiful on several community-wide events such as the Rivers Alive Cleanup, America Recycles Day and an Arbor Day celebration. The Environmental Sustainability Division and KBB handed out recycling bags to tailgaters at Paulson Stadium during the 2009 football season and collected an average of 1,500 pounds of material at each of Georgia Southern’s five home games.
“We have seen tremendous results from the campus community,” said Monique Dipple, manager of the Environmental Sustainability Division. “Thanks to an extraordinary degree of collaboration among students, faculty, staff and administrators, the entire campus community is engaged an active dialogue about sustainability that has resulted in changes in our relations and operations.
“Students have also had the opportunity to learn about the importance of creating and supporting a new green economy,” Dipple continued. “The University has taken a proactive approach to sustainability and we are pursuing several initiatives to help reduce our environmental and financial impact. In the long run, this will create a more efficient campus.”
Georgia Southern University, a Carnegie Doctoral/Research University, offers 115 degree programs serving 19,000 students. Through eight colleges, the University offers bachelors, masters and doctoral degree programs built on more than a century of academic achievement. The University, one of Georgia’s largest, is a top choice of Georgia’s HOPE scholars and is recognized for its student-centered approach to education. Visit: www.georgiasouthern.edu.