Wednesday, March 21, 2012

How sustainable is our campus?

My next blog assignment for my environmental science class, I had to access some factors that would determine how "green" our Riverside City College campus is. I will also be disclosing some research information on other campus's sustainability programs. Lastly, I will give a detailed assessment plans for one of the factors I described. The first factor I noticed was the amount of waste produced by the campus. Whether it's from the cafeteria, the bookstore, restrooms or classrooms, they all produce waste, especially from packaging. The cafeteria uses large amounts of styrofoam, paper, and plastics for serving their meals to students. There is also the amount of paper that gets thrown away in the trash. Restrooms can be assessed by the amount of harmful chemicals used for cleaning. Another factor to access is the amount of energy used to run classrooms, whether in use or not and determine if there is alternatives such as solar panels.

In the Summer of 2009, RCC's Chancellor Gregory Gray launched its "Green Initiatives" and their committee's mission is:
  • To ensure that RCCD’s curriculum sensitizes and prepares students to live as environmentally responsible citizens
  • To develop courses and programs that enable students to participate directly in the green economy
  • To enhance RCCD’s organizational capacity and practices as a socially responsible institution of higher learning.

One of the campus sustainability programs that stood out during my research was UC Santa Barbara's Green Campus Program. Some of their projects in progress include conducting energy audits for buildings, and actively involving students to reduce their energy uses through education. Another is the IPAN power strips which have been installed that have a sensor that shuts down when it isn't being in use. Another program in progress is teaching the UCSB community about the importance of water conservation.

An assessment plan for one of the factors at RCC would be to encourage students to REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE. Most people in general typically do not recycle because they feel they to not have the time to go to recycling centers. If RCC had it's very own recycling drop off center, students and the RCC community would have assess to recycling all their old papers, notes, and other things that could be recycled. Working with the Chancellor Gregory Gray and its Green Committee members, through education, we can implement a "greener" campus.

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