Editor in chief
This fall, colleges all over Oregon are being commended for their innovations in sustainability, while Linfield’s good intentions have yet to take effect.
According to a recent article in The Oregonian, Willamette University was the first university recognized in the nation by the National Wildlife Federation for being involved in sustainable activities. Likewise, the University of Oregon was ranked as one of the top green universities in the nation by The Princeton Review, and Oregon State University received a similar honor from the Kaplan College Guide.
Last spring, on Earth Day, Linfield President Thomas Hellie signed the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment and thus made a visible commitment and goal for Linfield. Although most higher education institution presidents in Oregon have signed Climate Commitment, this pact only targets greenhouse gas emissions and carbon neutrality.
The Advisory Committee on the Environment and Sustainability is a temporary group created last year by Hellie to assess the ACUPCC. This year the committee was given $8,000 to further the college’s sustainability goals, junior Duncan Reid, member of the ACES committee, said.
Some of the funds have been allocated for bike racks and for the winner of the ACES logo contest, which ends in December.
Reid said the committee’s main issue right now is figuring out how to take action on the ideas it has. The renovations of Northup Hall are planned to be Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design standards, which ACES is working on how to go about.
Gordon Kroemer, director of environment, health and safety, said Linfield has always been an advocate for reducing, reusing, recycling and disposing of properly. In his position, Kroemer is responsible for taking items such as leftover chemicals from a chemistry class or outdated slide projectors. He said the biggest issue is incorporating sustainable practices into everyday life.
“It’s a matter of looking at what you get and saying ‘Do I need to use this,’” Kroemer said.
Reid said ACES is working with McMinnville Water and Light to raise funds for the renovations by having student groups hand out compact fluorescent light bulbs.
“We can all do small things that add up,” Kroemer said.
The Greenfield club has been working with Western Oregon Waste and Linfield Facility Services to launch its latest project: a recycling center.
The new center opened the beginning of November, Reid said, and is located in Withnell Commons. Headed by Greenfield recycling coordinator junior Kari Pierce, the center allows students to recycle plastic bags, rechargeable batteries, light bulbs, electronics and ink cartridges.