BATON ROUGE, LA. (NBC33) — In recognition of the growth LSU has achieved in sustainability initiatives since the inception of the Campus Committee for Sustainability, or CCS, in 2008, the university will recognize National Campus Sustainability Day on Wednesday, Oct. 26.
Campus Sustainability Day is a nationwide initiative of the Society for College and University Planning. The CCS is promoting awareness of the day as a time to reflect on LSU’s growth as a sustainable university, and to recognize new ways that the university can continue improvement in this area.
“Becoming more sustainable is a smart choice in so many ways,” said Denise Scribner-Newell, LSU campus sustainability manager. “It saves money and attracts more students. Studies show that approximately 65 percent of potential college students are looking for a university engaged in sustainable practices.”
In conjunction with National Campus Sustainability Day on Oct. 26, a bike auction will be held on Tower Drive between Coates Hall and Free Speech Alley from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The Office of Parking, Traffic and Transportation has collected bikes that were left abandoned on campus over the summer and these are going to be auctioned. Pictures of the bikes and their starting prices will be placed on the Student Government Facebook event page prior to the event.
Since the committee was created in 2008, the university has made many significant strides in becoming a greener, more environmentally friendly campus. Recycling at football games and during large campus events, such as Fall Fest, the annual student welcome back celebration, is at an all-time high. More than 1,100 bike racks have been installed since last year in order to encourage cycling as an emission-free mode of transportation. The annual UNPLUG event, which pits on-campus resident students against each other in an energy-conservation competition, has been a great success, saving the university money in electricity consumption and also winning public relations awards for its innovative nature. Software managing energy consumption through campus computer use has been installed, and the university is entering its second year as an AASHE, the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, member. AASHE provides resources, professional development and a network of support to enable institutions of higher education to model and advance sustainability in everything they do, from governance and operations to education and research.
“Everyone can participate in sustainable activities at LSU – there’s something for just about every interest group,” said Scribner-Newell. “It starts with small steps … take a class, make more sustainable food choices or join a group. Just get involved, and you’ll make a difference.”
Additional accomplishments include:
• Integration of sustainability-related coursework – 13 percent of LSU courses now have a sustainability aspect;
• University’s first LEED-certified building is under design at the Hilltop Arboretum – construction in 2012 will include sustainable landscape program, cisterns to collect and reuse rainwater, and green power;
• Competitive success: to date the annual residence hall UNPLUG competition has saved the university more than 380,000 kwh, which translates to approximately $26,600;
• LSU listed in Princeton Review’s Spring 2011 Guide to 310 Green Colleges;
• Environmental Leadership Program, or ELP, honored the university with a Leadership Award in Pollution Prevention for the 2010 Game Day Challenge and for outreach through its sustainability website;
• Entergy installed two electric vehicle car chargers on LSU’s campus, which provide free power to students, faculty and staff who own electric vehicles. This also enables university researchers to collect usage data and conduct critical research about the chargers’ impact on consumers and the electric grid;
• Dining Halls enacted Project Green Plate program, resulting in a 20 percent reduction of waste;
• Chick-n-Grill (formerly Pierre’s Landing) on campus is one of only three Certified Green Restaurants in Louisiana.