WHAT DOES SUSTAINABILITY MEAN ON CAMPUS?


To be sustainable on campus it involves each individual to become more self sufficient in terms of internal systems. The campus needs to function with more closed systems and be more interactive within the campus. For example: we need to make our own products to sell and trade.

A balance needs to be found between the environment, financial factors, feasibility and incentives. Education should be a huge component and focus for a sustainable campus. For example: a WHMIS type of course that deals with the environment should be made compulsory for all entering students.

Some main concentrations for ways to achieve a sustainable campus would include the following:

TRANSPORTATION:

This would consider CO2 emissions, excessive driving, alternative vehicles, better communication between ticket people and tow trucks, maintenance of vehicles and the number of people per vehicle. Along with promotion of bikes, with better bike paths, bike racks and other such incentives. Furthermore, there could be increased parking fees (to discourage driving), and alternative fuel types. For example: An increase in octane and propane types of fuel for maintenance vehicles. Also, the ban on roller blades should be lifted and the use of rollerblades should be allowed in University policy.

LANDSCAPING:

Landscaping would include University grounds and maintenance. Some factors to consider would be snow removal and salting. Fewer chemicals should be used on the grass and more trees should be planted for wind breaks (between MC and BMH for example). The trees should be placed strategically to still ensure safe pathways and good security. More Darney gardens and vegetable gardens should be considered. All leaves should be composted on campus and used as a fertilizer for the gardens. Also, more riparian edgery should be placed along Laurel Creek to discourage the habitation of ducks along the Creek due to the effects of their excrement.

WATER:

The campus should try and make all water usage a closed system, with a water treatment plant on campus. Through implementing this, more efficient facilities would be achieved and there would be an increase in the taste and quality of fountain water. This way students and staff would no longer have to by bottled water. Furthermore, one would become more aware of water waste because every drop of water used would have to be treated and reused again.

ENERGY:

Alternative sources of energy production could be implemented on campus to ensure that production is equal to or greater then consumption. This would be a closed system within the University with the flexibility of selling extra energy to other sources. Various alternative sources could include: wind, solar or other types of energy. Through producing our own energy it is more likely that we will assess and be aware of what is being used. Furthermore, there could be increased conservation efforts and less need for energy.

Another way to conserve energy is though the lighting on campus. At night, motion sensors could be used to reduce the amount of lighting required and therefore reduce energy.

WASTE:

Chemical wastes would require strict monitoring and penalties for chemical disposal. There would be incentives for reuse, and more convenient facilities for reuse. Education about chemical disposal facilities would be mandatory. Careful storage and buffering of chemicals would also be necessary.

Solid waste management includes composting, reduction of waste in cafeterias and other campus buildings through increased recycling. Furthermore, the reuse and salvaging of material such as old computers, machine equipment and other types of material should be implemented.

AIR QUALITY:

The air quality of the University will be improved when all of the other factors are considered and implemented. There should be a CO2 budget of a certain amount in ppm (parts per million) in a building. Air Quality within the buildings on campus should be increased through ventilation so there is not an excess of humidity or dryness. Furthermore, a comfortable temperature is important for the human environment.

BUSINESSES:

All business on campus should try and buy locally to promote sustainability. Additionally, the campus should encourage local businesses rather than large chain businesses to become involved on campus.

UW will be sustainable when all of our criteria have been met and implemented. Along with continuing reevaluation of projects and incentives. Furthermore, when all campus activities have no impact on the natural environment, UW will be sustainable. Last of all sustainability will be achieved when we can ensure there will be no future complications and problems.

Through developing a more sustainable UW we would increase our public image. This would in turn cause an increase in student enrollment, a more relaxed environment, and in turn a healthier human environment. With self reliant systems on campus it would decrease tuition and other major costs with in the university. A closed system university would be healthier to the community, the students and the staff alike.