Go Green: Not Just A Slogan Anymore

Blue recycling bins have been placed in several places around the school to help encourage students to recycle.  Jake Buntjer/UVU Review
Blue recycling bins have been placed in several places around the school to help encourage students to recycle. Jake Buntjer/UVU Review

As part of a 26 year history of sustainability efforts, UVU has created a Sustainability Committee and has launched a Go Green campaign to raise environmental awareness across campus.

This aim has been behind the design and construction of the library and will likely continue with the addition of the new science building.

There have been mixed opinions on the benefit of implementing these practices into the new buildings. According to Student Body President Richard Portwood, the campus wide savings have been minimal—amounting to less than 1% in energy cost reduction.

Growth and expansion were not taken into account.However. The best metric to examine energy consumption is on a per capita basis, which has decreased significantly, explained Denny Rucker, chair of the sustainability committee.

Both Portwood and Rucker are committed to continuing the school’s Go Green campaign because they say it is necessary and right.

The Go Green campaign is a way to raise awareness on campus of the school’s commitment to environmental sustainability. For Rucker, sustainability is the smart use of natural resources and preserving the environment so it can be enjoyed by future generations.

During the 2009-2010 school year, a survey was circulated around campus asking if students would support a modest increase in student fees to apply toward further sustainability measures. While some students have not been supportive of the campaign or the sustainability plan, the majority of students are willing to embrace current measures and support future efforts toward reducing the school’s environmental footprint.

“[We must] keep going. When new buildings come around, we can make [them] economical and green,”  said Rucker.

This will be achievable by raising campus awareness to the cause. Paper recycling bins have been placed in various locations across campus with plastics recycling bins being the newest addition. Recycling paper has been made easier with the introduction of a new baler on campus.  Cardboard and paper can be gathered and processed in bulk, which allows for greater volumes of paper to be recycled while simultaneously reducing recycling costs.  Recycled products have been used in various ways across campus, ranging from the carpet in the library to the notebooks sold in the bookstore.

While these measures are small, they will be a tremendous leap toward realizing community stewardship and sustainable design and operation.

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