Fall term is about to commence, and again Towson University is gearing up for another academic year. Towson Goes Green is no exception, preparing TU’s greenest year yet! This year’s theme, “It’s easy being green,” aims to really drive home the truth that sustainability isn’t a deracinating paradigm shift despite its extensive plans for a (gasp!) better world.
Truth be told, self-sustaining buildings and cities envisioned by environmental visionaries seem daunting, if not intimidating, in their creation and implication. Dream big, right? But don’t disparage the present – the here and now.
The new LEED gold certified CLA building is an elegant fusion of technology and nature, not unlike sci-fi eco-future concepts. The technology in the building entails sensors to regulate lighting and Heating Ventilation Air Conditioning (HVAC) needs based on the building’s occupancy at any given time; there are also computer systems installed in classrooms to alleviate waste related to paper and course materials.
Nature works to cut down on the building’s energy consumption via rooftop vegetation, large windows and specially insulated floors, all of which work to regulate the internal climate and lighting. The windows allow the sun to warm and light the building, while the vegetation and floors temper the natural temperature ranges inside the building day and night, summer through winter. Similarly, the West Village Commons is also LEED gold certified and implements the same eco-technologies, and all future buildings will meet, at a minimum, LEED silver standards. A big effort up-front that will provide immediate as well as long term benefits with only minimal up-keep.
These facilities greatly alleviate TU’s carbon-footprint, which makes the individual efforts of faculty, staff and students even more effective! Towson’s Go Green initiative compliments this efficiency by working hard to make it easy to be green. The RecycAll program employs over 3,500 recycling containers on campus, so you are never hard-pressed to find one; the results speak for themselves with over 8,000 tons of material recycled in 2011.
Trayless Tuesdays conserve the resources required to clean a day’s worth of cafeteria trays, saving not only water, but reducing the amount of cleaning products used by TU. Fun events like RecycleMania and Earth Month provide a fun and social way for faculty, staff and students to get involved in and educated about Towson’s Green Initiative. For the green-thumb in need of a garden, TU tends its own vegetable garden on campus.
October plays host to our annual Sustainability Day, and it’s not just for students. Towson needs everyone to get involved, in any capacity. Begin setting personal recycling goals, or creating a plan to consume less at work or in class. If you are interested in working with Go Green or becoming part of the coordinating effort, check out the Go Green page. Remember, it’s easy being green, unless you are a frog.