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 Tuesday, July 10, 2007 IssueFaculty/Staff E-Newsletter


Greening the campus: how you can help
By Dana Silva, sophomore, School of Journalism and Mass Communication

CU-Boulder is improving current environmental conditions nationally and locally with the help of everyone in the community.

New developments and programs are arising on campus to inform people about growing environmental concerns. The Environmental Center and the Buff Energy Star award are examples of ways CU-Boulder is making a difference.

"These programs are designed so people can be a part of environmental issues and set the bar higher for CU," said Marianne Martin, associate director of the Environmental Center.

The Environmental Center's current project is the Green Office Program. The program, specifically designed for faculty and staff, focuses on sustainability issues around campus.

"The Green Office Program is a way for offices and departments to make sure their operations are green as they can be," Martin said.

To become Green Office certified, departments need to complete an office check-up focusing on office recycling habits, waste reduction and energy, and appoint an Eco-Leader to head the program for the department. Finally, a presentation on various environmental concerns is arranged.

"It doesn't involve much time to participate," Martin said. "For example, an Eco-Leader's responsibility is to review one email a month and pass it along to colleagues."

The Green Office Program is a helpful guide around the workplace, giving people tips on how to easily conserve energy like copying double-sided and recycling paper. The program serves to inform faculty and staff about ways they can help.

"It is relevant to the community," Martin said "It provides new information. People tend to learn a lot and make a connection."

Another important program CU offers is the Buff Star Energy Award, which offers $1,000 to a building department that takes action to save energy. If a building reduces the energy by five percent, the department is eligible.

"The Buff Star Energy Award is a way to recruit and partner with people on campus to conserve energy," said Moe Tabrizi, campus conservation officer. "It has been a huge success. We have seen a downward trend of energy consumption year after year in spite of growth." Putting your computer to sleep when away and closing doors and windows are easy ways to qualify for the Buff Star Energy Award and help conserve campus energy.

"It makes a difference if people are mindful of what they are doing," Tabrizi said. "If your office has a window, take advantage of the daylight and turn off unnecessary lights. It's a simple, no-sacrifice way of conserving energy."

The involvement of every member of the CU community is crucial in fighting for an environmental-friendly campus. To learn how to participate in the Green Office Program and others like it, visit the Environmental Center website.

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