Whitman College, a private liberal arts college located in Walla Walla, Washington is committed to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and reducing their overall carbon footprint. They have a $25,000 revolving finances that support sustainability throughout the campus.
Every year the campus posts a green report card on their website which gives an up to date status of all of the efforts being made to create an earth-friendly campus environment. Since 2008, Whitman College has reduced their gas emissions by twenty two percent. The ongoing efforts have included light sensors, heat recovery systems as well as a lighting system that offers high efficiency. The solar panels that are located on site generates around three percent of their electricity needs and offers the purchase of renewable energy credit to add another thirty percent of the electricity.
Whitman has established a criteria requirement that any and all new construction meets the LEED standards. Almost all buildings have an energy management system and for the topic of water conservation they have low-flow shower heads and faucets.
Dining areas are notorious on typical campus for being centers of waste. Whitman has redirected this idea so that they support local and organic items with twenty two percent of their budget and also include some produce that they supply from their own student-operated, on-site gardens. They use only antibiotic-free and hormone-free milk and eggs from cage-free chickens. Almost all of the beef purchased is from pasture raised cattle and they take great pride in purchasing coffee from fair trade organizations. When the topic of seafood arises, they are taken from sustainably harvested locations. Approximately fifty percent of the dining service waste is now used in compost bins in the residence halls.
When you take a tour of the campus you will notice that there are very few parking spaces but a lot of bike racks. The campus is both pedestrian and bike friendly, with ninety percent of the students commuting to campus through the use of eco-friendly transportation methods.
It’s not just the school administration that dictates going green. There is a student internship program with student involvement for on-campus sustainability programs. Ten students actually live in an Environmental House where they learn and get involved in a variety of campus programs. These programs can include inventory of gas emissions, composting and gardening.
In an overall picture, the college uses the expert services of investment managers with a main focus of positive environmental directions and additional sustainability concepts.
Whitman College has set an example for colleges and universities around the world. They have taken the lead in not only implementing green programs but in the continuation of new projects and educating students so that the green factor becomes part of their lifestyle. Ecology and looking out for the earth takes a front row seat in every aspect of the campus existence and Whitman should be congratulated for a job well done with a bright light on the future endeavors.
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