College joins schools in green initiative; ‘Green team’ aims to make campus environmentally sustainable

By Sarah Luckert
February 7, 2011

Colleges all over the United States are forming organizations called Green teams. The college has decided that in order to bring together all of the current sustainable actions and follow the three R’s, reduce, recycle and raise awareness, a Green team must exist.

The Green team is a group of faculty, staff and students that work together in order to keep our college green. With bi-weekly meetings on Wednesdays, the Green team members will work together in order to not only communicate about sustainability, but act on it as well.

“It’s really powerful having faculty, staff and students working together,” Dr. Caroline Nielsen, assistant professor of biology, said.

With an effective agenda for the last meeting, those who participated were informed about three branches of our college that were currently involved in sustainable actions.

Facilities, dining services and purchasing all presented short descriptions about how their departments were working towards our college’s more sustainable lifestyle.

This, however, was not the main purpose of the meeting. According to Nielsen, the main purpose of the meeting was to brainstorm and prioritize and figure out what they would like to work on next.

Knowing what Cabrini is already doing is important and bringing all of those current ideas and new ideas together is the main purpose of the Green team. Nielsen spoke to the journalism class in hopes of involving a large part of the spread of ideas through communication.

“You are the voice of campus,” Nielsen said when she spoke to the journalism students.

Nielsen told the class that bringing in different people who specialize in different areas is going to be a large part of this effort to make the college more sustainable.

“Colleges all over America are working on sustainability efforts,” Nielsen said.

Currently, the Green team has compiled a list of ideas that fall within two categories, projects and communication. Within these categories are numerous ideas that the team hopes to execute.

A large goal of the Green team is to find a project that students can work on that will have a large, positive impact but with a low cost.

“One of the biggest accomplishments that we have made in the past couple of years was in our energy consumption.” Howard Holden, director of facilities, said.

“Our department has been involved in converting to our fry oil into biodiesel fuel,” Drew Niemann, general manager of dining services, said.

“This year little Cabrini won the Green Spend,” Heather Cardamone, director of administrative services, said. “We spent more percentage wise than any other school on green products through Office Depot.”

The Green team is always looking for more members who have enthusiasm towards making the college a more sustainable institution.

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Sarah Luckert

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