The Greening of McDaniel

April 21, 2008

McDaniel College is committed to lessening its carbon footprint. To that end, the College has, and continues to make strides toward becoming a greener campus. The Green Terra Committee, comprised of students, faculty, and staff, is overseeing the College's environmental efforts. Here is a list of recent steps:

• Geothermal heat pumps are used in the nine North Village apartments and in the Garden apartments, where its use has cut the energy cost by one-third. Additionally, test wells have been dug to see if a geothermal system would work in Blanche Ward Hall.

• During the 10 weeks of Recyclemania, the college recycled 26,430 pounds of paper, cardboard, bottles and cans. That comes down to 14.13 pounds per person, and puts McDaniel in 36th place out of 59 colleges participating in the Per Capita Classic. The College is continuing to recycle.

• The Green Terra Committee is measuring the College’s carbon footprint by examining kilowatt hours of electricity, natural gas and oil use, vehicle use and fuel use. To that end, students, faculty and staff will be surveyed about their commute, and athletic busses and airfare are also taken into consideration.

• Englar Dining Hall will forgo using trays on Earth Day, April 22. Research shows that when trays are removed from dining locations, less food is wasted, less energy is consumed, and less water and detergents are used. On average, food waste decreases by one ounce per plate.

• The Green Terra Committee is recommending adoption of a policy whereby new appliances and electronics purchased by the College will be Energy Star certified in all areas where such ratings exist and whenever financially possible.

• Through participation in the nationwide Recyclemania contest, student leaders have placed recycle bins next to garbage cans in the residence halls, and have distributed information door-to-door.

• Recyclemania mugs are available for purchase and those using the mugs receive discounts on hot drinks at the College’s dining facilities. The aim is to reduce the quantity of plastic and Styrofoam cups used.

• Through a paper management program, students are limited to 400 free pieces of paper in the computer labs, after which each page costs 5 cents per page.

• The Hoover Library computer lab cut its paper usage in half, and dramatically lowered its need for new toner cartridges.

• Reusable grocery bags are on sale at the Pub.

• The College is changing the lighting in Gill Gymnasium from 1,000 and 500 watt bulbs to fluorescent bulbs. This will save 359,000 kilowatt hours yearly. Meanwhile, the light output will more than double.

• By running a smaller steam boiler during the summer months, the College will improve energy efficiency.

• An increase in preventative maintenance will make College equipment more energy efficient and long-lasting.

• Earth-friendly chemicals are being used to maintain the athletic fields and golf course.

• Chemicals used by the Housekeeping department are earth-friendly and bought unmixed in concentrate form. This saves money and fuel used in shipping, and encourages bottle re-use.

• 728-page college history “Fearless and Bold” was printed on mixed sources paper from well-managed forests, controlled sources and recycled wood or fiber.

• Recycled paper is standard in print productions.

• Benchmark study completed on reducing quantity of printing for undergraduate catalog and identifying best practices for online catalogs.

• The College has installed devices to save on soap and paper towels in several washrooms, with more to be installed in the coming months. The new hands-free automatic towel dispensers are set to give one towel at a time. The soap dispensers provide a foam instead of a concentrated soap, which saves on soap output and deposits less soap in the sewer system.

• Englar Dining Hall switched from using individual creamers to using bulk creamer, thus saving on waste.

• The Green Terra Committee is made up of two students, two faculty and six staff members.