Sustainability, or the conservation of environmental resources such as water and
energy, has become the pressing issue of the decade. From brushing your teeth to choosing
your lap top for school, the conservation of these resources impacts everything we
do in our daily lives. January began a new year, and new environmental strides for
Elizabeth City State University.
With the hiring of a sustainability director, and creation of the Office of Sustainability,
ECSU plans to be a key player in preserving North Eastern North Carolina and reducing
the University's Co2 emissions- one of the identified causes of the depletion of
the ozone layer. Co2 emissions can originate from multiple places such as car exhaust
During this preservation of North Carolina, we have expanded into national projects
and initiatives by strategically partnering with key organizations such as:
-The Association for the Advancement in Higher Education
-Green For All
-American College and University President's Climate Change
-United Negro College Fund: Building Green
Coupled with the University's individual plans, these partnerships have aided in promoting
sustainability in multiple arenas on campus, meeting and exceeding state mandates,
saving University resources, and most importantly reducing our environmental impact.
ECSU has a made a multitude of strides within the university as well. In being an
American College and University President's Climate Commitment signatory, ECSU agreed
to build a Sustainability Steering committee that orchestrates initiatives, policies,
and activities for the campus to become more environmentally friendly. The committee
oversees all internal sustainability actions, and creates community geared initiatives
and research for surrounding counties.
"Be Blue, Go Green!" is the campus' campaign name for the series of initiatives and
activities that the students and Office of Sustainability will carry out. The slogan
encourages Viking Pride while maintaining an ecofriendly life.
Sustainability has also made its way into the curriculum at ECSU. Dr. Jeffrey Rousch,
an associate professor in the ECSU Biology Department, and Dr. Francisco San Juan,
a professor, in the Chemistry, Geology and Physics Department, have developed a course
into "ENSC 300 Global Seminar: Environment and Sustainability" where students will
better understand the relationships between food, population, environment, and economics.
The professors are looking forward to the class opening in the fall 2012.
Housing & Resident life staff and students are trying to increase recycling efforts.
They are trying to save energy in residence halls. Partnering with the Office of Sustainability,
students participated in two dorm competitions and a community service week. The dorm
competitions consisted of residence halls competing to determine which group of students
could recycle the most and conserve the most energy. Although the competition was
tight, University Towers came out on top saving more than 20 percent on their March
energy bill. In addition to the competitions, the students learned how their daily
lifestyles impact the environment.
In order to increase recycling efforts, recycle bins will soon be available in student
dorm rooms. A $5,000 grant, provided by The North Carolina Department of Environment
and Natural Resources, helped place recycle bins in each room in the new dormitory
that is scheduled to open in the fall. These bins will make recycling easier and more
practical for students.
Also in March the Office of Sustainability and students of ECSU orchestrated the University's
first "Green The Block"- family and student field day. "Green the Block" is national
initiative that addresses the environmental injustices that often occur in low income
communities. There were about 20 companies and student organizations teaching students,
faculty and staff, and community members, on the different faucets of sustainability
and how they can join the movement. Vendors sold products, provided give a ways, and
some even offered jobs. Students and visiting patrons were able to purchase all natural
products, understand water quality differences, and appreciate CFL light bulbs.
The fall semester will also bring the students and staff a community garden! The community
garden will be located between Griffin and McClendon Hall. Students, staff, and faculty
can assist with the garden and most importantly collect and consume the foods grown.
Faculty will also be able to use the garden as an educational piece. The remainder
of produce will be donated to the local food bank.
ECSU realizes that 'Green' companies and the jobs they provide are the new portal
for stable incomes, and would like to make these Green jobs readily available for
students and communities in surrounding communities. This has led the Office of Sustainability
and the Office of Career services to organize the areas first Green Job Fair. The
job fair is composed of two portions. The first half is geared toward student internships
and positions that require a degree. The second half is a community partnership, providing
positions that may or may not require a degree. The job fair will be held in November
1st in the Kermit E. White Graduate and Continuing Education Center.
ECSU is more than ready to become a leader in the "Green" world. We have the tools-students
faculty and staff- and are consistently finding new resources. We will continue the
journey is preserving North Eastern North Carolina!
For more information:
Office of Sustainability