Campus & Community / Magazine Feature

Sustainability efforts green the campus

April may be designated as Earth Month, but at the University of Denver, the Sustainability Council and the Center for Sustainability work year-round to make campus green. The Sustainability Council, made up of administrators, faculty, students and staff, partners with facilities management, student housing, dining services, parking and transportation, marketing and other divisions with an eye toward reducing DU’s carbon footprint and encouraging sustainability. The council and its member divisions have successfully developed recycling and food-composting programs, encouraged bicycle sharing, established a fleet of natural gas-fueled vehicles, hosted awareness events and encouraged development of a sustainability minor.

Here are some of the new sustainability efforts on campus.


Electric vehicle charging station

In November 2012, the Sustainability Council voted to add an electric vehicle (EV) charging station on campus. “It is estimated that there are 10 electric vehicles driven to campus daily, and the station will allow them to charge while on campus,” says Jessica Morton, a student member of the Sustainability Council. “Also, we hope that the station will attract EV drivers on I-25 to visit campus if they need to charge their cars.” The equipment has arrived on campus and will be set up in lot 316, on the west side of Sturm Hall. The station is projected to be up and running by the end of April.


Zero-waste hockey games

The Reduce, Reuse, Recycle committee, led by Sustainability Council student member Megan Marshall, began zero-waste hockey games in the 2012–13 season. The program places volunteers at strategic points throughout the concourse to help hockey fans be more environmentally conscious by diverting waste from landfills to recycling or composting. This season, the committee focused on the concourse and successfully diverted 47 percent of waste away from landfills. Next season, Marshall plans to expand to the stadium, collecting waste left in the stands after games. She also hopes to train concession and back-of-house workers to discard waste in the appropriate bins. The effort is slated to extend to basketball games in 2013–14.


Nagel Hall LEED Gold

Nagel Hall received a LEED gold rating in March (LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design and is a program that rates buildings for their green qualities.) It is the only residence hall on campus to receive a LEED rating. The building has several sustainable features, including dual-flush water-saving toilets and low-flow showerheads. The Anderson Academic Commons is working toward LEED certification as well.


Community-supported agriculture

The Center for Sustainability has partnered with well@du (the employee wellness program) to bring a community-supported agriculture (CSA) fruit and vegetable pickup to campus for DU employees. CSAs allow participants to receive fresh, local, in-season produce on a weekly basis. Learn more about the University’s CSA program.


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