Wednesday, June 1, 2011

It Is Easy being Green

"It seems you blend in with so many other ordinary things
And people tend to pass you over'
Cause you're not standing out
Like flashy sparkles in the water
Or stars in the sky"
(Relive your childhood: watch the video)

Being green has a much different connotation today than when Kermit the Frog promoted the color back in the '70’s.

Being green is now all the rage-and rightly so. Like the saying goes we do not inherit this earth from our parents, we borrow it from our children. So we’d better be taking care of it.

I’m proud to be affiliated with a university that has long been committed to sustainability practices. But not in ways that necessarily make a big splash. As Mustaq Ahmed, Bluffton’s director of buildings and grounds says, “We believe that the greenest electron is the one not generated.”

So Bluffton continually becomes more “green” by becoming more environmentally efficient.

Each year B&G takes steps to lessen Bluffton’s carbon footprint. Last year nearly 300 lighting fixtures were replaced and high efficiency lights and motion sensors installed in Musselman Library. The project was a cooperative venture between American Electric Power and Bluffton called GRIDSMART. The annual electric bill for lighting at the library dropped by $3,000 and energy consumption was reduced by about 35 percent.

The most visible “green” change in 2010-11 was that The Commons became a trayless facility, reducing food waste and water usage.

This year we are again participating in the GRIDSMART program in Sauder Visual Arts and Riley Court complex. Current lighting will be replaced with high efficiency light for an annual saving of approximately $6,000 a year.

Lamps that light our sidewalks on campus are being replaced in phases with LED lights that are brighter yet produce less light pollution and use 70 percent less energy than conventional bulbs.

In addition, the new Health and Fitness Education Center will be the first building on campus to be LEED certified silver or better.

As Kermit said,

"I am green, and it'll do fine
It's beautiful,
and I think it's what I want to be"

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