Three new ‘green’ initiatives kick off the school year

Carleton’s beautiful campus will remain intact for generations to come thanks to the new sustainability office’s innovative plans to make it an environmentally-friendly place.

“We’re blessed with this great campus that we work, live and study on, and it’s our duty to do everything we can to preserve this great place,” says Murdo Murchison, the university’s sustainability officer.

Murchison and his team will kick off their action plan with three new initiatives this year.

First, Murchison will be setting up special waste recycling depots across campus, including the Atrium, the Ravens’ Roost located between the Stormont and Dundas residences, and in the maintenance building. These recycling depots will accept rechargeable and non-rechargeable batteries, printer cartridges and old cellphones.

“It’s not huge in the amount of waste, but things like batteries and toner cartridges have some nasty stuff in them. It can have a huge impact on the environment,” says Murchison.

Also, in conjunction with food and dining services, the sustainability office will be installing motion sensors on vending machines that shut down their lights when they’re not in use. Murchison says 195 vending machines across campus will be equipped with sensors — a move that will cut energy use and save the university an estimated $22,000 a year.

Finally, the sustainability office is joining forces with Housing and Conference Services to launch a green residence initiative called REWIRE. Students living in Lanark and Renfrew House will be competing against each other to save the most energy. Every month there will be a new challenge, like doing laundry in cold water and saving energy by turning off lights. Actual energy usage will be tracked for each residence and results shared each month.

“These small steps will really be helping the environment and will be helping Carleton University become more sustainable in the long term,” adds Murchison.

Murchison also says that he is working with student volunteers to ensure that a large amount of the waste generated during the residence move-in weekend is recycled.

The sustainability office was set up five months ago and is working to support the university’s Defining Dreams strategic plan.

“Sustainability is a focus for Carleton University,” says Murchison.

“Check out our website and stay tuned for other opportunities the university community can get engaged in. There’s some exciting initiatives on the way that are really going to help students, staff and faculty in greening their specific workplaces on campus.”

This entry was written by Kristy Strauss and posted in the issue. Tags applied to this article are: , . Leave a comment, bookmark the permalink or share the following short URL for this article via social media:

Kristy Strauss

By Kristy Strauss

Kristy Strauss graduated from Carleton's journalism program in 2009. She is a regular contributor to Carleton Now. She has worked as a reporter for the Kemptville Advance. She currently reports for EMC Ottawa South.

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