Campus displays ‘green’ efforts at Sustainability Day
Published: Monday, October 29, 2012
Updated: Monday, October 29, 2012 11:10
As president of Students 4 the Environment, junior Kathleen Grimes says she tries to raise awareness of environmental topics and at Campus Sustainability Day on Wednesday there was a new focus on sustainability.
Sustainability is the idea that humans depend on the natural environment for survival and must maintain conditions to ensure resources are available for current and future generations, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
Campus Sustainability Day was sponsored by the university’s Sustainability Task Force as a celebration of environmentally conscious decisions and information. Highlights included a no-waste breakfast, presentation on sustainable infrastructure from Peter Krawchyk, a keynote presentation on toxic chemicals and health from professor McKay Jenkins, a green expo and live music.
The event was the result of several years of university changes. President Patrick Harker’s 2008 Path to Prominence named concern for the environment as one of the goals.
One year later, on Earth Day 2009, further plans were announced: the university pledged to cut carbon emissions by 20 percent by the year 2020. This Climate Action Plan set interval targets for carbon emissions, including 5 percent by 2012 and 10 percent by 2015.
Grimes and other students have been working to accomplish these goals through methods and initiatives displayed during Campus Sustainability Day.
“By making a presence on the green at the expo, we were able to make students more aware of the projects currently going on at the school,” Grimes says.
One of these projects is the wind turbine at the Hugh R. Sharp Campus, in Lewes, Del. which has produced 9.5 million kilowatt hours of electricity since its installation in March 2010. There are also solar panels on the roofs of the Delaware Field House, Clayton Hall and the Dairy Farm.
RSOs have taken on projects as well. Sophomore Becky Bronstein, who is in SGA’s Green Senate, is working to to spread the word about pesticides on the green.
“We are now participating in a campaign known as ‘Green the Green’ to encourage [the university] to use organic methods instead,” Bronstein says.
Junior Amy Snelling, chair of the Delaware Environmental Institute says overuse of bottled water is an important issue.