Maroon and Gold goes green: What CMU is doing for Planet Earth

A couple of months ago, I posted about Grand Rapids, MI, Mayor George Heartwell's vision of making Grand Rapids a 100% green-powered city, despite inaction from Washington on the energy crisis. So when I read about my university's efforts to make the school more energy-efficient, my interest was piqued.

As a junior at Central Michigan University, I like to make sure that CMU's administration is not only spending my tuition dollars wisely, but also making this school a socially responsible institution - that is, one that encourages people not only to take action to improve our communities and our world, but one that actually does so itself.

From CMU's online newsroom:

The use of woodchips as a renewable fuel source for steam requirements saves the university up to $2 million annually in fuel costs. An additional $1 million or more, over the course of the four-year contract, will be saved as a result of a university contract with Wolverine Power Marketing Cooperative to purchase electricity.

Facilities management and residence life also are in the process of modifying nearly 11,000 bathroom fixtures by installing special water conservation aerators and discs in order to reduce water and sewer costs. The new faucet diffusers will reduce water flow from 2.0 gallons per minute to 0.5 g.p.m.

Last year, it was decided that all future new buildings and major renovations would follow the U.S. Green Building Council guidelines. The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program provides very specific guidelines that buildings must meet in order to become certified. According to Lawrence, the new education building will be the first on CMU's campus to follow the LEED criteria.
But it's not just the higher-ups at CMU who are doing their part for our environment - students, faculty, and staff are getting in on the act:
Meanwhile, recycling on-campus has doubled. In June 2007, CMU averaged 38 tons of recycling materials per month, a 19-ton increase from August 2003.
CMU: Saving tuition dollars and saving the environment at the same time.

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