The Higher Education Associations’ Sustainability Consortium established the national event in 2002 to encourage colleges and universities to develop events on campus and elsewhere that engage faculty, staff, and students in an exchange of ideas and knowledge from across all departments, disciplines and communities.
To inform others about their role in making the University more sustainable, the WVU Student Government Association will have information tables set up from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. near the main entrances of the Mountainlair, Towers and the Engineering Sciences building (on the Evansdale Campus). Faculty, staff and students are encouraged to learn more about the WVU campus sustainability pledge and sign up at these locations.
Those who take the pledge agree to examine the social and ecological consequences of their actions, reduce personal consumption and wasteful behaviors, engage in sustainable campus and community activities and encourage others to follow their example. To learn more about the WVU campus sustainability pledge, go to https://finance.wvu.edu/sustainability/login.cfm.
“Sustainability is the new reality that calls for a paradigm-shift in thinking and action to integrate the economic, environmental, and social dimensions into our everyday life and institutional practices,” said Clement Solomon, director of the WVU Office of Sustainability. “The key to defining and designing our future is to be systemic and considering the big picture within the context of our campus, local community, state and beyond.”
SGA Governor Taylor Richmond helped organize a group of volunteers to tend the Campus Sustainability Day pledge tables on the three WVU campuses.
“It’s important to have students take this pledge because we, as students, need to understand that the responsibility for the University to change can’t always wait on buildings to be renovated or built to better code,” Richmond said. “We need to show that we care and are willing to make a difference. Everyone can make small adjustments in their lives and collectively make a great change.”
Other National Campus Sustainability Day activities at WVU include:
• A home energy audit demonstration will provide homeowners with energy-saving techniques at the old WVU Nursery School near Towers on Wednesday, Oct. 21 from 2-4:30 p.m.
• A free webcast called “Sustainability Strategies for Vibrant Campus Communities” will be aired from 1-2:30 p.m. at the National Research Center for Coal and Energy Room 101B, hosted by Andy Revkin, science reporter for The New York Times. Web cast presenters include leaders who are actively involved with environmental change on their campuses and also within national organizations and networks. Seating is limited to about 60 spots. For details on the webcast, visit http://www.scup.org/page/profdev/notravel/2009/csd/7
• WVU’s annual campus conservation competition Ecolympics began Oct. 5 and also continues through National Campus Sustainability Day until Oct. 30. Occupants of residence halls and facilities compete to see which building accumulates the most aluminum cans, #1 plastic bottles and paper products in their facility’s indoor recycling bins. Facilities Management staff collects and tracks each building’s recyclables. Winners are determined each week by dividing the total weight of recyclables by the number of building occupants.
The University was recently recognized for its improved environmental efforts by the Sustainable Endowments Institute, which gave the University a ‘B’ grade in its annual College Sustainability Report Card at http://greenreportcard.org. The institute charts campus operations and endowment practices of colleges and universities across the U.S. and Canada; WVU received a ‘C+’ grade last year.
For more information about sustainable efforts at WVU, go to http://wecan.wvu.edu.
CONTACT: Clement Solomon, Office of Sustainability