Tag Archives: Green
As I walk home, I notice that there are always sprinklers on. This is not a once in a while deal. Water is continuously being wasted as the sprinklers are being used to water the grass.
Gallons and gallons of water are being wasted as the sprinklers are left on at random times to do nothing but water the already watered down grass. I understand that there hasn’t been that much rain lately, but when the grass is already green as it can get, how much more water can someone put on it?
According to the Oregon Water Resources Department, one should only water their lawn once a week and in the morning before 10 a.m. This is not being followed at Linfield because the sprinklers have been on at least every other night.
Also, the Water Resource Department says not to water late in the day because it can “promote fungus and other lawn diseases.” This is a safety precaution that should be followed otherwise the growing process of the plants will be affected. The time frame provided by the resources department should be followed rather than ignored. This is not just an environmental issue, but it can also effect students. It may be said that Linfield’s beauty is its campus but the beauty will be lost if there are threats of someone getting lawn disease from walking around in the fungus infested grass.
The plants are in danger here. By being overwatered, plants are more likely to die than the plants that are being under watered. If one wants the plants to stay green and survive, then treatment should be taken when watering them.
I understand that the school would like to keep the grass green but there should be conversation of this resource. This act is not just affecting the school’s grass, but it is also making an impact on the supply of clean water that we have. According to Water Aid America, 97.5 percent of the water on Earth is salt water, which means the supply of clean water is rather low. Shouldn’t we conserve some of the wasted water used on overwatered plants?
Linfield is beautiful, however, there is such thing as watering something a little too much. The school should take into consideration the correct ways of watering a lawn and all the health and environmental hazards will be lowered. Wasted water should be preserved not used to just provide a scenic view.
Ivanna Tucker/Features editor
Ivanna Tucker can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In September, students picked produce from the Linfield Community Garden. In October, compost bins for students to put in their kitchen and assorted wastes were made available. In November, vegetation sprouted on the eco-roof of the bike shelter between Elkinton and Terrell halls. What will happen next?
These projects were supported by Linfield’s Strategic Climate Action Plan. Finalized in early September as part of The American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), the plan was implemented to “balance leadership in sustainability and climate change action with the academic and financial integrity of the institution,” according to the official copy of the plan.
This strategic 28-page plan reviews Linfield’s sustainability achievements during the past 12 years, introduces current factors and ongoing projects to reduce the college’s greenhouse gas emissions and identifies potential opportunities to reduce carbon emissions.
“The plan is a framework for what we actually do,” John Hall, sustainability coordinator and director of capital planning & development, said.
As defined by the GHG (greenhouse gas) Protocol, a standard for emissions reporting, emissions sources are
divided into three scopes. Each scope takes behavioral and infrastructural sources into account (see figure below).
As part of its commitment to ACUPCC, Linfield aims to reduce the school’s emissions to below the baseline identified in Linfield’s 2007 greenhouse gas emissions inventory by Clean Air Cool Planet Campus Carbon calculator and initially contributed from the environmental studies senior capstone class. Eventually, Linfield anticipates that it will be zero.
“Those [strategies in the plan] are detailed in curriculum or facilities. House sustainability is a significant part of what we’ve been doing. We have saved both emissions and financial resources as we are progressing to the future, for example, renovating Northup Hall to LEED silver,” John McKeegan, Advisor to the President and Co-chair of Advisory Committee on the Environment and Sustainability, said.
The college calculated the efficiency for several potential projects. According to the official documents, one of the projects will remove outdated control systems and replace them with campus standard system which will potentially result in $19,369 annual savings.
Hall said that some of the renovations to T.J. Day Hall (formally Northup Hall) include environmentally friendly technology, such as an energy-saving roof with solar panels to capture sunlight and convert it into electrical energy for the building.
Difficulty and possibility
Since it’s mostly responsible for the Strategic Climate Action Plan, ACES faces challenges with its implementation.
One of the biggest problems is the school’s reluctance toward devoting more resources to making this plan a reality, senior David Kellner-Rode, sustainability intern and a member of ACES, said in an e-mail.
“There are various ways for the college to actually achieve carbon neutrality, but it’s going to be a collaborated effort,” McKeegan said. “I identify alternative strategies [in the plan]. The community as a whole makes some fundamental decisions about which we want to pursue.”
Hall said besides requirements the college got to do including gas emission inventories and climate action plan, Linfield is still struggling as a
community to identify what sustainability means to ACES, what it means to Linfield, not just the 5 percent of students that advocate for it.
McKeegan said he doesn’t want the impression to prevail that Linfield is doing nothing. He also said one thing ACES didn’t do a good job of is letting people know that the college has urged for sustainable actions.
Belief in the future
Kellner-Rode leads three other students on a sustainability work study team that works on Linfield’s 2011 greenhouse gas emissions inventory and will release a new report next May.
“Hopefully, [the new greenhouse gas inventory] will give [people] a clear picture of where we are and whether initial projection that we are going to see is correct. Then we will decide potential strategies,” McKeegan said.
Hall praised Kellner-Rode and other students who are involved in increasing sustainability on campus. He said their passion helps push the process of the plan.
Hall said that strategic plan is the first step, and that the college needs to look at additional details to develop a specific action plan with one or two more steps.
“A good next step is to engage the Linfield community, and tell them the plan exists,” Kellner-Rode said.
by Jaffy Xiao/Features editor,
Jaffy Xiao can be reached at email@example.com.
Notable numbers from the Strategic Climate Action Plan:
In an effort to reduce energy consumption for heating, cooling, hot water production and lighting, Linfield has developed a Comprehensive Energy Conservation Plan, which has yielded extraordinary results. During the last 10 years, Linfield College has implemented many energy efficiency conservation projects saving $2.2 million in operating costs.
During the spring and summer of 2009, the college implemented lighting retrofits in many of its buildings. These retrofits included reducing the number of lamps in a fixture by half and installing high-quality reflectors. The combination of new, high-efficiency T8 lamps, new generation ballast and reflectors created significant savings along with the installation of double pane windows in the college apartments. Total electrical savings came to 528,009 Kilowatt hours per year.
Although Linfield has no Scope 2 emissions from purchased electricity as calculated by the Clean Air Cool Planet calculator, the college recognizes the benefit of reducing electricity usage. Regional and national sources of carbon neutral electricity are limited, and by reducing Linfield’s electricity usage, capacity is made available to others. Linfield has calculated that the use of hydroelectric and wind power instead of regional average electricity sources allows Linfield to avoid emissions of 4,800 MT carbon dioxide equivalent annually, or an increase of 60 percent of the emissions calculated. This knowledge will allow Linfield to demonstrate the impact of future reductions in electrical usage.
Linfield students have participated in so many cultural travel programs that 26 percent of Linfield’s GHG inventory comes from study abroad air travel. This is a higher emission impact compared with the average eight percent of emissions from air travel calculated by other colleges that have signed the ACUPCC.
Alternative Spring Break program participants proposed the idea before last Spring Break, but city permits did not go through for the project until April 2010. An eco-roof is covered in vegetation and is also known as a living roof.
“[The project’s] purpose is to educate students on issues and topics and provide new knowledge to hands-on service projects,” Community Service Coordinator Jessica Wade said.
Members of last year’s Alternative Spring Break group, faculty and several alumni met Nov. 5 and discussed the advantages of an eco-roof. Wade described it as a “comprehensive presentation.”
Dan Manning of Ecoroofs Everywhere and Rachel Burand, class of ’10, explained the benefits of eco-roofs at the meeting.
According to Ecoroof Everywhere’s website, the company “works with architects, landscape architects, engineers and contractors to design and build innovative storm water solutions.”
Burand’s senior thesis centered on green roofs in small communities.
“I was surprised at how quickly we were able to install the roof,” Wade said.
Senior David Kellner-Rode, sustainability intern and participant in the Alternative Spring Break program, said it took the group less than two hours to complete the roof on Nov. 5.
“I’ve put in 10 hours total working on the roof. Facilities [Services] reallyhelped us out with manpower and tools,” Kellner-Rode said.
Wade said she was excited about the finished product.
“My favorite part about the project was seeing all the volunteers smiling at the end of the day as they looked at what they achieved,” Wade said. “It was a long time in the making.”
Wade also stressed Facilities Service’s role in the process.
“Facilities Services was very supportive. Without their assistance the whole project wouldn’t be finished,” Wade said.
She also said the purpose of the project was to increase the “sought after” covered bike parking.
Wade and Kellner-Rode said the roof will be aesthetically pleasing as it grows, fills in and changes throughout the seasons. They will also put up educational signs explaining the advantages of an eco-roof.
“It was a great opportunity to bring together Linfield alumni, local community-based organizations, faculty, students as well as Facilities Services,” she said.
Kellner-Rode explained that water runs off of normal roofs into sewage systems, causing sewage overflows. Green roofs minimize storm runoff.
Eco-roofs also provide a habitat for birds, squirrels and various small animals.
“The roof is an educational outlet for the college. It is a physical representation of our commitment to the environment,” Wade said.
The Corporation for National Community Service funds Learn and Serve America, the program that funded the eco-roof. They have a relationship with the Oregon Campus Compact. Wade said the Oregon Campus Compact is “dedicated to strengthening civic servicesof higher education.”
There are 15 colleges in Oregon, Washington and Idaho that are a part of the Northwest Sustainability Initiative. Linfield is one of four in Oregon.
Kellner-Rode said the green roof will show prospective students that Linfield is an environmentally-friendly campus. He said he hopes it will attract the type of students who want to continue making changes here.
“Linfield has a lot of potential to be a green campus. The structure is a symbol of what we can become,” Kellner-Rode said.
Hillary Krippaehne/Copy editor
Hillary Krippaehne can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Linfield Community Garden was scarcely more than a fenced-in plot of dirt and rolled-up sod when Linfield students packed up their rooms and left for summer vacation in June. But the 40-by-50-foot garden transformed during the summer. The barely blooming space that students may remember now stands
overgrown, green and flourishing – almost in mockery of the surrounding yellow grass of Renshaw Field.
Much of the credit goes to Gardening Club members who volunteered to water and weed the garden during their summer vacations.
“People came over on a daily basis to check on it, watering in the mornings, in the evenings, weeding when it was necessary,” senior club member Katie Kann said during a Sept. 3 walk-through of the garden.
This garden walk was an opportunity for students to explore the garden, pick produce and learn about the club and organic gardening, Kann said.
Junior Grace Beckett said she had just purchased vegetables from Albertsons to make a stir-fry dinner when a friend texted her about the free produce that evening.
“Just from my perspective, having that one walk through and getting a couple free meals worth of really good food — That’s really cool,” Beckett, who is not a member of the Gardening Club, said. “That’s like gold to a college student. I don’t know if other people realize there’s this stash of food there.” And it certainly is a large stash.
“We have so much produce; we need people to help us eat it,” Kann said. Students may have noticed the corn stocks reaching over the garden’s fence. Inside the barrier hides a myriad of edible flora. Hand-painted wood signs mark rows of strawberries, carrots, cherry tomatoes, onions and more. The zucchini plants’ leaves are easily as wide as basketballs, and big, round cantaloupes are almost ready for harvest.
“We kind of wanted the shock of it to get more recruitment [for the club],” freshman Robin Fahy said. Fahy and his brother, sophomore Lester Maxwell, are the Gardening Club’s co-presidents. Junior Lily Ratliff, who founded the club last fall, is studying abroad in Costa Rica for Fall Semester.
“When she [Ratliff] was thinking about passing on the leadership, she knew that Lester and I had pretty close ties with gardening in our past,” Fahy said, referring to their dad, Michael Fahy, who is a painter, carpenter and gardener in Facilities Services.
And the shock value worked. Maxwell said that between the walk through and the Activities Fair, the club’s e-mail list grew to 100 members. The freshmen common reading, Michael Pollen’s “In Defense of Food,” also sparked a wide interest in organic gardening and, thus, club membership, she said. The brothers have big plans for the garden this year. In the winter, Maxwell said the club will plant hearty crops, such as broccoli, garlic and winter lettuce that can endure cold weather. But the majority of the crops will be ground cover, such as clover and rye grasses, which release nutrients to help balance nitrogen in the soil, he said.
Fahy and Maxwell agreed that the garden needs to be more of an inviting, community space. “People are so scared by that fenced-off area,” Maxwell said, explaining that a lot of produce goes to waste because students are not harvesting and eating the garden’s crops. To make it more accessible and approachable, Fahy said one of his goals is to develop the architectural landscape of the garden to fashion an outdoor oasis where people can go to eat and socialize. And the brothers said they plan to again harness the talents of seniors Sammi Mack and Libby Wilcox, who helped write a grant proposal that profited the club $2,000 from the ACES (Advisory Committee on the Environment and Sustainability) Committee’s Renewable Energy and Sustainability Fund last year. The garden also houses a compost machine, purchased with a $750 grant that Kann received last year from the sustainability fund. Maxwell said Kann plans to bolster the campus’s composting efforts this year by distributing five-gallon buckets to residents of the Hewlett-Packard apartments. Students can store compostable waste in the buckets before dumping it in the garden’s compost pile.
“It feels amazing to be a part of that entire student operative on campus,” Maxwell said. “It just shows the power of the student body on campus and what they can do, what they’re capable of.” The Gardening Club will be hosting a work party at 2 p.m. Sept. 12 in the garden for people interested in harvesting, weeding or just eating food. For more information about the gardening club, contact email@example.com.
Photos and story by Kelley Hungerford/Editor-in-chief
Kelley Hungerford can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.