It’s not so hard being green |

It’s not so hard being green

CMC CornerNancy GenovaGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado

Colorado Mountain College is going green! Environmental sustainability is in vogue, and it’s on the minds of many these days. Staff of the Roaring Fork Campus has made it one of our top four goals this year to implement more environmentally-aware practices and adopt greener products. We’re putting in place some of the best practices of other institutions, and finding innovative ways to make an impact through the efforts of every person at CMC. When we talk about going green, we’re not just talking about some obvious things like recycling, even though it’s an important component. We’re talking about everything from the quantity of paper we consume right down to the products we’ll use to wash our windows. Did you ever stop to think how much paper you could save just by doing something as simple as changing the margins on the documents you print? English Professor Tal Hardman reminds his essay writers that just by changing their margins to half an inch all the way around accommodates another 130 words (or 30 percent more) on their double-spaced assignments. And whenever possible, staff and faculty will reduce paper use by half if they duplex their documents.You’ll be receiving our spring semester class schedule in the mail soon, and you’ll notice changes in it as well. For quite a few years, we’ve been printing our class schedules on 40 percent post-consumer recycled paper using soy-based inks. But in the past two semesters, we’ve made it a priority to cut the page counts on these schedules (by as much as 30 percent last semester), through redesign and references to online sources of information.Sometimes the most obvious ways to conserve energy are ignored. We are making a pledge to develop better habits of turning off lights and computers when they’re not in use. Over the next year, our campus hopes to request an energy audit that will help us gather information about our current energy consumption and set goals that will help us to lower it.We think it’s fitting that Colorado Mountain College is joining the conscious effort to build sustainability. As we learn from other organizations that have made significant impacts upon their consumption, we in turn hope to become a green leader in our communities. And we want to ensure going green is not simply a trend of the times, but a lasting commitment to preserve our resources for the benefit of future generations.Nancy Genova is dean of Colorado Mountain College’s Roaring Fork Campus, with sites at Spring Valley, the Glenwood Center (behind City Market) and the Lappala Center in Carbondale.

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