Tuesday, April 13, 2010

We are Green(er)

These days, you may see a lot of English professors walking around with coffee mugs and reusable water bottles. At our last faculty meeting, the English Department welcomed visitors from the GW Office of Sustainability, part of the University's Sustainability Initiative. In addition to promoting research on sustainability, the initiative seeks to ensure that GW does as it says, by promoting green practices in campus facilities.

With the support of Office Supervisor Constance Kibler, English agreed to be one of the first units in the College to participate with the Sustainability Office's Green at Work program. Here are the results of our Green Office Assessment.

Here's what we're doing well:

- most faculty members use reusable mugs, cups, bags, containers, plates, etc.
- many faculty use surge protectors
- some faculty members double-side our printing jobs
- we turn off our office lights at the end of the day

Here are some action items for improvement:

- use natural light in offices when possible
- make better use of recycling bins
- set printer defaults to double-sided
- turn off electronics during breaks and vacations
- start printing to a central printer

The recycling bin issue a no-brainer, we realize, and so we've ordered blue bins for each of our individual offices. We hope to move to a central printing station in the main office soon.

Speaking of sustainability, did anyone catch the amusing paragraph in Monday's Hatchet story about the planned demolition of the residence hall at 2034 G Street to make room, in part, for a parking garage? According to the paper, "the University hopes to begin construction on the [new] parking garage as soon as possible, so that when the University Parking Garage on H Street is knocked down to construct the proposed Science and Engineering Complex, there will be another place for parking on the Foggy Bottom campus."

(Thanks to Creative Writing Prof. Tom Mallon for catching this!)

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We are Green(er)
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