Keen on green
Carbon emissions prevention at CU
By Clare Lane Campus Press Staff Writer
Carbon emissions, a factor in global warming, has become the biggest issue at hand for environmental go-getters especially at CU.
CU prides itself on being one of the greenest campuses in the nation. Every day outside of the UMC there are a handful of environmental friendly organizations enthusiastic about getting more students involved to save the planet for another day.
One group in particular, CU Engineering, made up of students taking senior-level environmental engineering courses, have been assisting the state of Colorado in developing a “zero waste” policy as well as creating a process to treat and reuse the byproducts of bio-diesel production.
Professor Angela Bielefeldt, director of the Environmental Engineering Program since September of 2006 has been leading CU students over the past year in working on service projects to protect the environment.
“With projections that the environmental engineering profession will experience significant growth over the next 10 years, we need to attract more students into environmental engineering, Bielefeldt said. “I hope that these real, hands-on projects will help our students gain confidence in their abilities to learn on their own.”
All students and staff involved in taking action towards helping CU to stay green rely on “The Blueprint,” an informative magazine released in 2006 by The Environmental Center that gives up-to-date approaches and strategies geared at reducing the overall ecological footprint of the campus.
Included in the revised “Blueprint” are tips on green building, environmental justice, campus food services and water conservation.
“Over the last three years, energy has been reduced 4 to 5 percent per square foot per year,” Dave Newport , director of the Environmental Center said.
Reducing carbon emissions on a 24,000-plus populated campus however, does not come cheap. One of the main goals of “The Blueprint” is to save money.
Through taking institutional incentives, creating environmental literacy and making efforts to increase environmentally responsible purchasing, CU could take down the fiscal barriers preventing it from developing cost savings, Newport said.
“Spending $500,000 on efficiency saves $2-3 million on consumption,” Newport said.
Regents say that waste costs are escalating at approximately 20 percent per academic year.
“The Blueprint” suggests that the university try to eliminate the lack of equality in waste diversion rates among campus groups.
According to The Blueprint, “Never before has the opportunity for innovation and leadership offered such substantial and needed rewards.”
Newport agrees that organization is the key to CU reaching its the ultimate green goal.
“We need leadership in energy and environmental design,” he said.
With a $300 increase in student fees from Chancellor G.P. “Bud” Peterson, CU is on the road to reducing the size of emission.
“There is always way more we could be doing, and as soon as we figure out what that is, we’re going to do it,” Newport said.
Contact Campus Press Staff Writer Clare Lane email@example.com