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College recognized for Earth-friendly efforts

By Carolyn McMenemon
On May 3, 2011

  • Thompson Hall was the first on-campus construction project to receive Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) SILVER certification, meaning that the building contains environmentally-friendly technology. Olivia Burton

For the second consecutive year, The College at Brockport was named one of the top environmntally-friendly colleges in the U.S. Every year, The Princeton Review features colleges nationwide that have green practices on campus.  

Due to its green commitment, Brockport has earned its place in The Princeton Review's Guide to 311 Green Colleges: 2011 edition.

The guide highlights various green programs and initiatives that Brockport has started. One of the bigger green initiatives is the building of the Townhomes, which received a silver rating in sustainable technology from the U.S. Green Building Council. The Townhomes use geothermal heat pumps for heating and cooling, as well as specialized insulation that helps to decrease energy use. The complex also features two storm water ponds that help reduce waste runoff into local streams and creeks.

"The College at Brockport strives to create an environmentally-friendly atmosphere in which our students can learn, live and grow," said Brockport President John Halstead in a press release. "We're honored and delighted to have again been recognized for these efforts."

Brockport's on-campus dining is another area that sets the college's green initiatives apart from other colleges. About 15 percent of the food used in on-campus dining locations comes from local farmers.

The guide also highlights that 75 percent of Brockport's cleaning products are green certified. The green seal on cleaning products means that they are certified as being less harmful to the environment. Products that are green-certified contain less chemicals and toxins that can be harmful to both humans and the environment.

In 2004, the Green Campus Initiative was started — creating many of the green programs that Brockport offers. Since the start, it is estimated that Brockport has invested about $12 million toward green initiatives. This money has all gone towards programs and services to help promote living a green lifestyle on and off campus.

Residential Life has also began to help the campus go green. Not only do they encourage the involvement in activities such as a 10-week "Recyclemania" competition, Res.idential Life has also formed a living learning community specifically for students interested in a green lifestyle.

The Green House is designed for freshmen and transfer students who are interested in taking environmental initiative. Students in this community are encouraged through various programming to "go green" in their lifestyle.

Brianna Sepulveda is the Resident Assistant (RA) in charge of the Green House Living Learning Community. This is the first year for this living-learning community.

"My goal this year was to create a community for students that had an interest in green living to see what was happening in our community and what is happening regionally and globally," Sepulveda said.

Students involved with the community participate in various events that help to promote a green lifestyle and a greener Brockport campus.     

"We have been going green for some time now," Halstead said in a press conference with a journalism class. "It's good for the environment and it is part of student life."

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