Fairfield University, CT Green Initiative
Source File: http://www.fairfield.edu/green_fairfield_doing.html
What is Fairfield doing?
The short answer? A lot. Fairfield University promotes environmental awareness through academics, campus energy use, everyday practice - really, any way we can. As a member of the global community and as a Jesuit institution, it's part of our mission to protect and preserve our planet. Don't believe us?
"Faced with the widespread destruction of the environment, people everywhere are coming to understand that we cannot continue to use the goods of the earth as we have in the past. A new ecological awareness is beginning to emerge... The ecological crisis is a moral issue."-Pope John Paul II
A lot of what the University does isn't as flashy as, say, a Live Earth concert. But any and all efforts make a difference. Here's a rundown of some of the green highlights at Fairfield:
Academics and Student Activities. In 2006, 17 environmental economics students embarked on a campus-wide inventory and environmental policy review. They offered University officials recommendations and their research became the basis for Fairfield University's Green Movement Initiative.
Currently called Environmental Studies, this evolving program and minor teaches the value of enviro-friendly living, offers a plethora of research and study abroad opportunities, and - if that isn't enough - gives students a nifty way to weave an intriguing theme of environmental awareness through their core requirements. Want to know more? Visit Environmental Studies.
Conservation. One of the biggest environmental efforts comes in the form of the massive COGEN project, a combined heat and power plant, behind the Fairfield Prep buildings. The plant - one of very few on U.S. college campuses - will produce its own electricity via turbine.
That's a really big deal that hasn't gone unnoticed. Planners at Boston College called Fairfield for tips on building their own power generator, and a team from a Shelton corporate campus stopped by to tour the facility. Only 40 other colleges in the country use this particular turbine, and Fairfield is just the second Jesuit institution to go the self-powered route.
In recent years Campus Operations made a concerted push toward all things green. What does that mean for you? Well, you can flush your potty with pride, for one thing! Water-conserving plumbing includes 506 Flushometers, 783 toilets, 231 urinals, and 545 showerheads across campus.
And you can feel a little better about turning on a light switch: A full 7,700 lighting fixtures are outfitted with energy-efficient lamps and electronic starters, and another 800 LED exit signs light a much cooler way out.
Popcorn anyone? Energy-efficient micro/fridges are available in townhouses and dorms, and the fridge shuts off when the microwave's in use. And energy-efficient top-loading washers are not far behind.
Plump My Ride
Fairfield employees who grab some friends and carpool to work don't have to pay the annual parking fee, and there are tax benefits for using public transportation, too. For details, call Human Resources at ext. 4080.
On campus, Fairfield plans to replace its 125-vehicle fleet with biodiesel-powered buses and new hybrids, like this one that Custodian Services Administrator Eddie Rivera tools around in now.
Facilities. Fairfield now builds facilities with an eye to energy efficiency, recycling, and high marks from Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED), a rating system of the U.S. Green Building Council that promotes responsible building practices. Read More: Fairfield University receives $2.3 million grant for CHP power plant.
Expect even more innovative plans at the new Jesuit residence planned for the hill behind Bellarmine Lawn.
What's to Come. Fairfield's green initiative is - and probably always will be - a work in progress. That's a good thing. This campus is committed to investigating new ways of protecting and better understanding our world.
To that end, you can expect the following in the coming years:
- More recycling opportunities and efforts
- Additional environmentally focused academic initiatives and student activities
- Green building projects
- Innovative landscaping
- More ways to live and work green across campus