Michael Woodworth

Equinox Staff


The world is becoming more environmentally aware and starting to take steps towards being green. With global warming supposedly looming, going green seems to be the only possible neutralizer.

“There’s a lot of people on the planet, we’ve got to face a lot more,” Campus Sustainability Officer Mary Jensen said.

The campus, home to roughly 5,000 students, has many different green initiatives in place. Whether it’s R.O.C.K.S. [Recycling on Campus Keene State] or the new Technology, Design, and Safety Center, sustainability is all over campus.

“It looks like they [the campus] make a point to recycle,” sophomore Ricky Bottenus said. He added that the green initiative is better than a lot of places. He noted the recycling bags that the residence halls and apartments receive at the beginning of the year.

[singlepic id=1599 w=320 h=240 float=right]

Sophomore Adam Rhan said the student body is trying to push environmental awareness, but it is a work in progress. He also said he is not personally aware of some initiatives but he has heard people talking about them.  “It [the student body] is not fully aware but it’s getting there,” he said.

According to Jensen, sustainability is listed as a value in the mission of KSC. She added that going green helps saves resources and money. Infrastructure at the college also shows signs of being green. The Media Arts Center (MAC) has most of its classrooms located on the outlying walls of the building to let in more natural sunlight. The Science Center has some solar panels on the roof to generate a little solar energy for the building.

According to Jensen, the new TDS building is an excellent example of a green building on campus. She went on to say that the building uses a solar thermal system for the hot water system and photovoltaics to generate electricity.

According to the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), KSC received a Silver rating of a possible Gold, Silver, Bronze and Reporter. 222 other colleges and universities around the country were featured on this list. The University of New Hampshire (UNH) received a Gold rating.

Some of the initiatives UNH is taking to become more environmentally aware include using grant money to prepare roads and bridges for the changing climate. UNH also turned off computers, lights and most electronics on campus during their Thanksgiving break in an effort to cut energy costs and save the school some money, according to their website.

Jonathan Frey, a junior at UNH, said he thinks the school is one of the best in New Hampshire,  “I don’t know too much about it but I know that we were one of the greenest colleges at some point,” he said.

Franklin Pierce University, 17 miles from KSC, has taken some initiatives as well. It uses recycled computers and has switched to greener cleaning products.

Some students at KSC, however, don’t feel as if this is as green as a campus as advertised.

“I see a lot more to the contrary,” sophomore Nikki Provensal said. She added that she doesn’t see many efforts being made to be a green campus.

“I don’t really see that many efforts,” sophomore Tom Eaton said. He noted that he stumbled upon a green initiative that, according to him, hasn’t been advertised well. He stumbled upon reusable binders that are found in the Elliot Center.

“You can cut back on productions [with the binders],” he said.

Although the TDS building is new, with a green approval from students, there are older initiatives that have been made in hopes of reducing the campus’s carbon footprint. In most residence halls, there is an option to use less water for waste. For liquid-based waste, the lever is pushed downwards while for solid waste, the lever is pushed upwards. This is an effort to lower water usage.

“It saves water,” junior Chloe Higley said. She added that she follows the water saving protocol when using those toilets.

Environmental problems are imperative to control, and this campus is taking steps forward to deal with it.


Michael Woodworth can be contacted at mwoodworth@keene-equinox.com

Share and Enjoy !