Environmental Susiatinability on Campus and at Home

David Ellis, Staff Writer

Over the past few years, Hudson Valley has been taking environmental sustainability into consideration, noted by the work of the Environmental Sustainability Committee and the completion of the Science Center, among other actions taken.

The Science Center, which was completed in 2013, has a silver LEED certification and a co-generation plant. Recycling and other eco-initiatives have been introduced around the entire campus.

The Environmental Sustainability Committee is an organization on campus in charge of campus-wide recycling initiatives.

“All students are encouraged to recycle on campus. Recycling bins are set out throughout [the] campus and are marked for what should be placed in them,” said Laurie Vivekanand, director of Environmental Health and Safety and chair of the Environmental Sustainability Committee.

“Bins are marked for paper or for glass, plastic, metal. Textbooks can be recycled in collection bins in the Campus Center or the large green Book Barn located in I-Lot,” said Vivekanand.

Both on and off campus, students are encouraged to reduce their environmental footprints by avoiding disposable products, buying products in bulk with less packaging and minimizing the amounts of paper they are using. Most of the computer labs and classrooms use shared printers that are set up to print double sided.

Most of the electricity on campus is generated by the college’s cogeneration plant. The plant also outputs a portion of the heating and cooling infrastructure.

Food grease from the kitchens is collected for reuse as heating oil and electricity generation. Lighting in many of the campus buildings has been upgraded with energy efficient bulbs and most lights and computers are turned off when rooms are not in use.

“Green infrastructure stormwater controls such as rain gardens, retention ponds and cyclone separators have been installed to prevent dirt and sediment from reaching waterways,” said Vivekanand.

The parking garage has charging stations for electric vehicles on campus.

According to Vivekanand, the Sustainability Committee is responsible for promoting sustainability at Hudson Valley by “encouraging the conservation and efficient use of natural resources on campus.”

“The committee offers opportunities for students to be involved with sustainability activities on campus such as nature trail maintenance, native plant plot care, campus clean ups and Earth Month activities,” said Vivekanand.

In celebration of Earth Month this April, there will be sustainability-themed Voices lectures and an electronics waste collection event.

The committee is currently in the planning process for an Earth Day Fair that will be held on Wednesday, Apr. 30.

“Plans for the fair include local and sustainable vendors, demonstrations and exhibits by local conservation groups and a plant and seed swap,” said Vivekanand.

In order to minimize carbon emissions, students can take part in the CDTA free ridership program, carpool and keep their car tires properly inflated.

“To conserve energy, consider using Energy Star light bulbs, closing curtains, using ceiling fans, changing filters on air conditioners and furnaces, or keeping the dryer lint trap clean,” said Vivekanand.

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