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.


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.

Single-stream Recycling

Beginning now, the GC recycling program is accepting single-stream recycling!  This means that you can mix your newspaper, mixed paper, aluminum cans, steel cans, and plastics #1 and #2 in the same bag to drop off at the recycling centers!

Blue bins are being converted to two separate collections: one for mixed paper/newspaper, and another for bottles/cans.  Cardboard should be broken down and stacked neatly behind the blue bins.

Energy and Water Meters Installed

Over the last two months, Plant Operations has installed 70 flow meters to measure electricity, natural gas, water, steam, and fuel oil usage for main campus buildings.  About half of the meters are electricity meters, making continuous measurements of energy usage for each building.  In the past, GC’s main campus was all one connected circuit, so we couldn’t determine how much electricity each building was using.

The meters are data-linked to our Siemens Apogee System software, which allows our energy technicians to constantly monitor and report usage.  The Sustainability Council Energy Workgroup will be meeting soon to draft a reporting plan that will serve to encourage the campus community to pay attention to their energy use and conserve where possible.

Clean Air Campaign

The Office of Human Resources & Employee Relations is excited to announce Georgia College’s recent partnership with the Clean Air Campaign initiative.

What is the Clean Air Campaign?

The Clean Air Campaign is a not-for-profit organization that motivates Georgians to take action to improve air quality and reduce traffic congestion. Their focus is on both congestion and air quality because they are linked—vehicle emissions are a major contributor to smog formation.

The Clean Air Campaign. . .

  • motivates commuters to use other ways to travel to work, events, and school, such as carpooling, teleworking, vanpooling, taking transit, biking and walking. We call these commute alternatives.
  • partners with employers to develop customized programs that motivate and make it easier for their employees to use commute alternatives.
  • works with schools to educate and involve our next generation of citizens to participate in solutions to our traffic and air pollution problems.

Formed in 1996 by government, business, civic, health, environmental and educational organizations, The Clean Air Campaign is one of 10 organizations in the region implementing strategies that improve mobility, also known as transportation demand management (TDM). The Clean Air Campaign also administers and provides marketing support for regional incentive programs, such as Commuter Rewards, that encourage commuters to use commute alternatives such as carpooling, transit, vanpooling, teleworking, biking and walking.

What is Commuter Rewards?

Commuter Rewards is a program that rewards commuters who carpool, ride transit, vanpool, telework, bicycle or walk to work. The concept is simple: Use a commute alternative. Log your commute. Earn cash. Win prizes. Register at http://www.logyourcommute.org. Below is a description of the commuter rewards that are available to you.

CASH FOR COMMUTERS: Start to carpool, telework, use transit, walk or bicycle to work and earn $3 a day, up to $100.

CARPOOL REWARDS: Carpools of 3 or more people who ride together and log enough trips each month can ear $40 or even $60 gas cards.

COMMUTER PRIZES: Random prizes of $25 are awarded to individuals who use alternative commute modes. This isn’t like the lottery – one in 20 participants wins each month! The more you log, the great your chances of winning.

RECOGNITION FOR CLEAN COMMUTING: Individuals who reach clean commuting milestones receive special recognition for doing their part to improve air quality.
Questions about the Clean Air Campaign initiative can be directed to Diane Kirkwood, diane.kirkwood@gcsu.edu, or Kimberly M. Tarver, kimberly.tarver@gcsu.edu.