2008 Sustainability Award winners recognized
CU presented its 2008 Sustainability Awards on Friday to the individuals and departments who make a noticeable difference towards sustainable action around the CU campus.
Three groups or individuals received honorable mentions on recycled paper and seven groups or individuals were the 2008 recipients of the eleventh annual ceremony. The winners received a green plaque made entirely of recycled materials.
Chancellor Bud Peterson, who opened the ceremony, said CU has taken a national leadership position for sustainability.
“The remarkable accomplishments of energy reduction efforts around campus have been made possible by students groups, staff and faculty,” Peterson said.
Peterson said last year, students, staff and faculty rode the RTD buses over three million times with the CU Buff One Card pass. Additionally, electrical consumption has been reduced by 13 percent and portable water has been reduced by 30 percent per square foot in the past seven years around campus.
Peterson said there are nine buildings in Colorado that are Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design certified and three of them are public and on the CU campus.
Environmental Center Director Dave Newport presented the honorable mentions and sustainability awards after saying as of Friday morning, 521 universities across the nation have signed a pledge towards carbon neutrality.
Among the three honorable mentions recipients, senior Sarah Haynes, an environmental studies major, was acknowledged for her diligent efforts for the Environmental Board as their Outreach Coordinator.
“I have seen Sarah stop someone in the hall, particularly freshman, talk to them about their studies and have them change majors that very day,” Newport said of Haynes’ persuasion skills.
Six individuals and one group received the 2008 Sustainability Awards.
John Zhai, a civil, environmental and architectural engineering professor and James White, an environmental studies and geological sciences professor and director of Arctic and Alpine research, received Green Faculty awards.
Zhai has been developing and teaching green core classes for engineering and architecture students for the past few years.
White, who was unable to attend the ceremony because he is working on an ice core project in Greenland, had his Executive Assistant Marcia Kelly accept the award in his place.
“It is amazing to watch him; no one is more passionate about environmental issues,” Kelly said.
UMC Food Service employee Brian Zublin received the Individual Award for Recycling. Zublin has been involved in a composting project for the UMC kitchen and recycles avidly around the Alferd Packer Grill and Baby Doe’s.
“Recycling is not in his job description; it is by choice,” Newport said of Zublin’s diligent recycling efforts. “It is his life.”
Ethan Van Duzer, a 2006 CU business graduate, received the Outstanding Alumni award. Although he was not present, Van Duzer was a semi-finalist for creating a one-minute film for an international film competition called “Film Your Issue 2007.”
As an avid cyclist who has never had a driver’s license and does not own a car, Van Duzer’s film, “Give a Hoot,” explains how his love of cycling evolved into a “conscious decision to consume more moderately, while at the same time act environmentally responsible.”
The Computers for Youth group received the Social Justice award. CU mentors and students were recognized for helping 28 students from a middle school in North Denver refurbish computers.
“This group is helping young kids realize that college is obtainable,” Newport said.
In addition to the Sustainability Awards, Newport presented the first annual Green Office Awards.
Recipients of the Green Office Awards were faculty and staff who have had a prominent role in the local and global community.
The six departments, Bursars, Career Services, Continuing Education, SERIES, Kittredge Honors Program and Parking and Transportation Services, were represented by an Eco-leader at the ceremony.
UCSU Tri-Executive senior Hadley Brown said the student government worked very closely with the Environmental Center this semester.
“Our totally student driven Environmental Justice Steering Committee has been a huge success,” Brown said. “What we do with it here on campus impacts other communities.”
Brown said environmental sustainability and social justice go together.
“Too often, people draw a line between the two subjects but they really go hand in hand,” Brown said.
As Chancellor Peterson said in his opening speech, “it seems like everyone in Boulder is interested in sustainable energy and renewable resources,” CU students, staff and faculty as well as Boulder community members are continually taking steps to become increasingly more sustainable in every way possible.
Contact Campus Press Staff Writer Heather Koski at firstname.lastname@example.org