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Sustainability Goals

What we’ doing now - Building sustainability goals

The college’s sustainability committee, composed of concerned faculty and staff, meets quarterly to devise ways of becoming more green. The committee met in late March and agreed to order recycling bins for residence halls and install new bike racks this summer. The committee will be carefully weighing the pros and cons of cement vs. permeable surfaces.

Nathan Means, assistant professor of biology and a fervent environmentalist, is a driving force on the committee. “Energy and water-use efficiency, xeriscaping [gardening in ways that reduce or eliminate irrigation, especially with native plants], a higher rate of recycling and better air quality are vital goals for the Columbia College campus and the planet,” he said. “And I think the development of a sustainability curricula is an exciting development I hope will come to fruition.”

Dr. Terry Smith, executive vice president and dean for academic affairs, is another driving green force. “I am very committed to this personally,” Smith said. “I'm a life-long green; my parents, sister and I were green before it had a name.”

Sustainability times 11

New structures/renovations
Utilization of energy-efficient design
Installation of energy-efficient lighting
Use of alternative and renewable energy sources
Intra-education of projects and ideas
Generation of a web page with tips, ideas and projects
Energy efficiency/conservation – building and renovation projects
Efficiency in lighting
Efficiency in HVAC
Use of utility company efficiency incentives
Windows for Hughes Hall
Waste/sewage
Water use efficiency in restrooms
Water use efficiency in residence halls
Landscaping and other campus needs
Proper disposal of hazardous materials
Landscape
Native plants
Campus garden
Minimal public exposure to pesticides
Reducing noise, dust and exhaust from equipment
Composting of leaves, grass and woody debris
Food service
Reduction of single-use dinnerware
Purchase of local and organic foods
Use of disposed food (for compost or livestock feed)
Curriculum
Specialized majors in sustainability curricula
Sustainability diffused throughout curricula
Sustainability-related faculty research/publications
Integration of sustainability to freshman experience and education
Lead through ECO (student organization) and implemented through the Introduction to Columbia College course
Solid waste
Attaining a high rate of recycling
Maximizing paper recycling
Waste minimization
Procurement
Purchase of recycled paper
Using contracts to minimize environmental impact
Level of campus awareness of role of purchasing
Transportation
Institution-owned vehicle fuel efficiency
Accessibility of public transportation
Avoidance of institution-owned fueled-vehicle use
Indoor air quality
Smoke-free campus
Freedom from indoor pesticide exposure
Regular replacement of ventilation filters