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Campus Continues Going Green — and Saving Green

 Kevin Kloos with Go Green recycling bins
Facilities Director Kevin Kloos prior to distribution of  campus recycling bins

Summer 2009--SUNY Fredonia continues to make major strides in achieving a more environmentally responsible campus. Led by its Sustainability Committee, a more than 20-member group representing a cross-section of faculty, administration and students, the university has implemented numerous products, programs, systems and behavior changes across campus that are making a real difference.

“We are committed to environmental stewardship and sustainability,” said Tracy Bennett, vice president for Administration and chair of the Sustainability Committee. “It’s our job to explore the ecological impact of our university’s activities and services, in order to reduce the impact our daily lifestyles have on our world.”

Vice President Bennett added that it’s the students who, in many ways, have really led the charge on campus.

“They walk through the door with a certain level of expectation as to how a campus should act toward the environment,” Bennett added. “They expect us to have good initiatives and educational programs in place, and they’re right there with us, ready to help spread the word. It’s very rewarding to work hand-in-hand with your students to enact the kinds of difference-making changes that we have.”

Moreover, while the list of accomplishments at the right is certainly impressive, it’s far from fully inclusive, and the Sustainability Committee, Bennett assured, is far from finished.

“The coming year will provide many new ideas and opportunities to find and implement additional changes that will make a true impact on our environment as well as the fiscal well being of the SUNY Fredonia community.”
To learn more about Fredonia’s sustainable initiatives, visit, and if you have any suggestions, contact Sarah Laurie in our Environmental Health and Safety Office at

Recent Highlights:

  • More than 4,000 recycling receptacles were installed in residence hall rooms, faculty/staff offices and lecture halls as part of a new combined recycling program. The new “one-stop-drop” system eliminates the need for users to sift and sort through items, saving them time while further reducing waste.
  • Plastic bag recycling receptacles have also been added and reusable bags are available at the book and convenience stores on campus. In addition, reusable bags were given away as gifts to alumni returning for Homecoming 2008.
  • Re-use opportunities are now regularly considered during all construction projects, salvaging everything from old doors and used tires to scrap metal and construction debris.
  • All new facilities are being built following LEED construction standards, providing greater energy efficiency and water conservation, healthier work environments and longer-lasting structures.
  • Fredonia’s Undergraduate and Graduate catalogs — formerly 270-page and 152-page books, respectively, with more than 24,000 copies printed — have now been converted to an entirely online document. Plans are underway to implement a similar solution for the campus office/phone directory.
  • Energy conservation initiatives have included a new satellite boiler system, automatic timers and occupancy sensors for lighting and thermostat use, and campaigns to encourage students and staff to turn off and unplug laptops, printers, cell phone chargers and other electronics when not in use.
  • Campus dining halls have steadily increased the choices available to vegetarians and vegans, earning Fredonia special recognition in a recent national competition as being among the top 12 most vegetarian-friendly universities in the nation.
  • The campus has switched to a new EPA-approved ice melt product in the winter that is not only easier on the roads, sidewalks and vegetation (making it less expensive in the long run), it’s also gentler on community members’ clothing and cars.
  • Landscape crews have also begun a tree inventory and assessment system, in addition to planting over 100 new trees and installing perennial planting beds across campus.
  • Custodial crews now use environmentally friendly cleaning chemicals, as well as tissue and paper towel products, that are Green Sealed Certified. They have also installed touch-less paper towel dispensers and converted all buildings to foam soap, which reduces waste, boxes and shipping materials while providing more uses per roll/container.
  • Fredonia’s second annual Earth Week was held in April. It featured a week-long slate of events that included several guest lecturers, an Eco-friendly Fashion Show and an Electronics Recycling Day that produced more than 30,000 pounds (1.5 tractor trailer loads) of materials which otherwise would have gone to a landfill.

posted @ Wednesday, August 19, 2009 1:14 PM by Christine Davis Mantai

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