Earlier this month, Keene State College announced that they were the first and only college or university in the country to heat a campus using 100 percent purified waste vegetable oil.
An article published in The Equinox two weeks ago spoke on behalf of this sustainable initiative.
KSC is the first to take this sort of green step moving forward, leaving behind a much lessened carbon footprint.
The college has taken many other steps in the right direction toward sustainability and reducing greenhouse gas emissions campus-wide. However, we at The Equinox feel as though other institutions across the nation should follow in line with this carbon neutral approach to heating campuses.
Global warming and climate change are real issues that need attention in order to find the best solutions to combat it. Although climate change may not directly be attributed to only humans, we do have a great enough influence on the way in which we pollute the very planet that sustains our existence.
As climate changes, we too need to change our ways and learn to adapt with innovative eco-friendly solutions before we’re in over our heads.
This could even be literal with the rate at which the polar ice caps are melting.
The earth has its own natural greenhouse effect, which in turn warms the surface and makes life as we know it possible. According to https://www.environment.gov.au, “The problem we now face is that human activities – particularly burning fossil fuels (coal, oil and natural gas), agriculture and land clearing – are increasing the concentrations of greenhouse gases. This is the enhanced greenhouse effect, which is contributing to warming of the Earth.”
If we are able to lessen our own environmental impact and move toward these eco-friendly alternatives, such as burning purified waste vegetable oil as opposed to fossil fuels, we can begin correcting the damage already done to the planet.
It’s quite remarkable to see that KSC is able to heat 36 percent of the college campus with this carbon neutral alternative.
This biofuel comes from a company called Lifecycle Renewables, which takes vegetable oil waste from cruise ships and restaurants then goes under a high filtration process.
The recycled oil then comes out clean and ready to be burned.
It’ll be interesting to see in the future how much higher a percentage the campus will be heated from this alternative heating fuel. By lessening our reliance on fossil fuels the campus will in turn be able to curve their emission output.
Through taking steps like this, the college is well on their way to meeting their sustainability and climate commitments.
Supervisor of Plumbing and Heating Plant Operations Bill Rymes said, “It’s the best environmental solution we could have,” in reference to the purified waste vegetable oil.
Aside from the new heating method the college has introduced, many other environmentally friendly things that are happening across campus. The college has taken an extra step in how it goes about recycling.
Recycling On Campus Keene State, or R.O.C.K.S, is a team of students who go around gathering and organizing anything and everything that can be recycled.
NextGen climate is also an organization on-campus, which is at many other schools across the nation, that promotes political action on climate issues.
KSC does a great amount to keep the conversations of climate change going and, in many ways, does its part in minimizing the school’s carbon footprint.
Despite the recent ongoing budget cuts, it’s great to see the college taking strides in the right direction with sustainable alternative measures.