Georgia Campus Sustainability Network Fall Conference – 09.14.2012

Call for Proposals: Georgia Campus Sustainability Network Fall Conference – 09.14.2012

Proposals are currently being accepted for one-hour panel sessions for the fall meeting of the Georgia Campus Sustainability Network (GCSN) meeting at Georgia State University, September 14, from 9am-3pm. Each session will be facilitated by a moderator, and include three panelists with technical and/or business expertise in the featured topical area. Panel discussion topics include:

Sustainability in the Curriculum: Integrating sustainability in higher education curriculums requires powerful shifts in pedagogical thinking. This panel session will focus on how to introduce sustainability themes into the classroom through traditional and non-traditional methods.

Funding your sustainability efforts: What means of funding are available to subsidize campus sustainability goals? This panel session will focus how schools across the state have found innovative ways to secure funding for “green” projects.

Engaging Students in Sustainability: How can faculty and administrators connect with students and provide support to help them transform their universities into models of sustainability? How can students work to make their campus more ecologically and socially sustainable? To provide some answers to these questions, this panel will feature 2 student presenters & 1 faculty/admin presenter.

Energy Conservation: Energy is an important economic issue on college campuses everywhere. This panel session will focus on innovative ways that schools have lowered GHG emissions and saved money through energy conservation measures.

Panelists will make relatively brief presentations (~ 15 minutes), allowing time for discussion with the audience. A proposal, one page maximum, should include:

• Name, affiliation, and email address of the person making the proposal
• Topic of interest
• Title for the proposed presentation
• A description of topic(s) and themes likely to be included in the presentation
• Brief Bio

All proposals must be submitted to shannan.george@life.edu no later than July 16, 2012.

Fill your water bottle from the fountain

Former GCSU Student Ben Pattison transferred to Georgia Tech and noticed these in his new dorms. They allow you to easily refill your water bottle from the water fountain! Which means you don’t need to use throw away plastic water bottles. Neat idea and he said they count the number of water bottles being filled each day

“This semester the count has averaged about 100 bottles a day. That’s a fairly large number of plastic water bottles not being used each day. It would be cool to see these at GCSU when I am visiting. Also I would say it definitely impacts student culture in regards to how conscious we are of our waste!”
-Ben Pattison

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GCSU Energy and Transportation Research Study 2010

A team of five GCSU marketing research students investigated issues of awareness of energy saving opportunities, attitude toward energy saving opportunities, energy saving behaviors, energy saving intentions. They also researched aware of alternative transportation opportunities, attitudes toward alternative transportation opportunities, alternative transportation behaviors, and alternative transportation intentions. The study included 183 usable surveys from students, 96 from faculty and staff and 45 that did not identify their status on campus.

Conclusions

Overall, the study concluded that though current students, staff and faculty at GCSU have a positive attitude towards energy efficiency and alternative transportation, they lack awareness as well as current behaviors and intentions in order to make sustainability a reality on the GCSU campus. The results also conclude that currently enrolled students, staff and faculty at GCSU are unwilling to contribute to the sustainability fund at this time.

Despite the lack of awareness, behaviors and intentions, the respondents to the survey did show that there is an interest in making GCSU a more eco-friendly campus.  Research concluded that students, faculty, and staff show an interest in recycling, abolishing energy hogs, provide bike lanes and more bike racks, and conserving energy by turning off lights and idle equipment while rooms remain unoccupied. These behaviors and interests are important to being energy efficient; however, students, faculty, and staff are not willing to change the temperatures in the rooms during the warmer and colder months to accommodate cheaper energy bills and are unwilling to leave their cars at home in favor of carpooling.

Recommendations of the Study

To increase awareness of alternative transportation and energy conservation, special classes and workshops can help promote safety for cyclists and the importance on reducing the amount of energy used by individuals around campus. By spreading awareness of alternative energy and energy conservation, behaviors should change and some intentions can be matched.

Allowing options for conserving energy, such as providing power strips that can easily be turned on and off, will encourage students in the dorms and classrooms to decrease their power usage. Cutting down usage will ultimately decrease the monthly energy bill on the GCSU campus. By offering bike lanes and more bike racks, students will be willing to use their bikes to ride to campus instead of drive their cars. Bike lanes will offer a safe route to class without interfering with traffic, where cyclists can get hit. Abolishing the fear of danger, attitudes toward alternative transportation will improve.

Water Surveys 2010 – 2011

In 2010/2011, two studies a year apart conducted by undergraduate marketing research students at GCSU addressed some of the same research questions – results follow each question:

1) What are the faculty and students’ levels of awareness about water usage at GCSU?

2010 – This was addressed in several ways to draw conclusions. However, one particularly disturbing finding was that out of 235 respondents (i.e., 116 students and 119 faculty and staff), 70.3% were unaware to completely unaware of any proposed water conservation efforts at GCSU. In other words, no matter what efforts are being conducted, they are not clearly visible to students, faculty or staff.

2011 – This was addressed in several ways; however, out of 71 students who participated (not conducted across faculty and staff), only 11.7% were aware to totally aware of any water conservation efforts at GCSU. Once again, it is noted that visibility of efforts should be a priority. By educating others about the efforts being taken, perhaps it will become viral and others will join the effort.

2) What are the faculty and students’ attitudes toward their role in water conservation while at GCSU?

2010 – 72.5% of GCSU respondents (i.e., faculty, staff and students) believe water conservation at GCSU to be important to extremely important. Of those responding to this survey 78.8% state that rain water harvesting is important to strongly important and 69.3% believe shower timers and dual flush toilets are somewhat important to important.

2011 – 60.3% of student respondents at GCSU believed that their individual actions were either important or extremely important as to water conservation.

3) What motivates faculty and students’ to conserve water while at GCSU?

2010 – 58.3% of 180 respondents were highly motivated by higher fees to conserve water, while 61.2% also reported concerns for the environment, and 63.1% were motivated by droughts as well.

However, drought conditions improved and as can be seen in 2011, they were not quite as motivated (yet it played a significant factor).

2011 – of the 68 who responded to this scale, 50% were somewhat motivated and 26.5% were motivated by general concerns for the environment to conserve water. Whereas, 39.7% were somewhat motivated and 38.2% were motivated by the drought to conserve water. High water fees somewhat motive 26.5% of the student respondents while 52.9% would definitely be motivated by higher fees. The stick not the carrot was the most significant motivator for these respondents.

4) What are faculty and students’ current water usage behaviors on GCSU property?

2010 – For those respondents living on campus, a typical shower was reported on average between six to 10 minutes. As to whether the respondents typically leave the water running while brushing their teach 77.8% reported that they do not. However when asked if they would report a leaking faucet on campus 32.2% said no.

2011 – data not collected

Georgia College Announces New Full-Time Director of Sustainability Search

In an effort to streamline sustainability efforts across campus, and respond to a demonstrated need to conserve energy and water, Georgia College has announced the creation of a new full-time position for an Assistant Director of Sustainability.  The position will be based in Plant Operations, reporting to the Facilities Director.

The summary of responsibilities for the position is: “to collaborate with University leaders, students, faculty, and staff to set and achieve the goals for the University Sustainability Strategy.  This position will lead and foster a campus culture that embraces sustainable policies, actions, and attitudes related to energy conservation and reduction of emissions as well as conservation of resources and waste reduction.  This position will partner with colleges and departments, administrative units and students and student groups to identify and complete projects that contribute to the University’s sustainability goals and foster behavior change.”

Tasks for the position will include Program Direction, University Sustainability Strategy, Development of Partnerships, and Resource Management.  The minimum qualifications include a Bachelor’s degree and 5-10 years experience.  Applicants may review the position and submit their information at GCSUjobs.com.

Good Jobs Green Jobs Regional Conference 2012

This was a great experience. I met a lot of great contacts and enourage you to go to www.greenjobsconfernce.org to check it out. There is also a Facebook. It is facebook.com/goodjobsgreenjobs. You can follow the conference on twitter @gjgjconference #gjgj2012.

The conference will be held in  in the West in Los Angeles, CA  March 15-16, Philadelphia, PA April 3-4, and in the Midwest in Detroit, MI May 10-11

While at this conference I met Bernie Burgerner with the Southeastern Green Chamber of Commerce.

I am quoting part of his email below:

“You can find more information on the Green Chamber and on our Greenhouse Accelerator on our website:  www.greencs.org.

Your ‘Shades of Green’ efforts look very interesting and seem to have found an appreciative audience.  We are all about creating green local jobs by helping green startups become successful, and we do this by accompanying the startups with a team of advisors for about two years, and by providing bridge loans of up to $50,000 – all pro bono (as a non-profit organization), applying the experience and know-how of our wide membership base.  We also take the ‘sustainability’ message to academic institutions – we spent time in the classrooms with Emory’s Goizueta Business School Executive MBA program and with GSU’s Global Partners’ MBA program.”
I plan to join the chamber as an individual. I think it is worth the money to have a voice in green jobs.
Dee