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Saint Anselm Goes Green with Campus Initiatives

April 22, 2016

Laura Lemire
Communications and Marketing
(603) 641-7242

Clock behind Alumni Hall at Saint Anselm CollegeOver the years, Saint Anselm College has instituted a number of measures to increase the campus' environmental sustainability. This year in particular, various clubs, organizations, and departments campus-wide have taken significant strides toward decreasing waste, increasing energy efficiency, and "greening" the college.

Mike Murphy, assistant director of Residential Life and Education explains, "Part of our college mission and philosophy is to be good stewards of the community. Not just for the campus, but in a larger context. It's important for us as a community to care for the environment because there are overall benefits for everyone."

Multiple administrative offices and departments have made simple but significant changes, from reducing paper usage to using more sustainable materials. Both the Office of Admission and Financial Services have successfully reduced their paper consumption by using technology as an alternative means of distribution. The Office of Admission has saved 48,000 printed pages thus far. Dining Services has replaced foam take-out containers with compostable cups and paper boxes and reduced their carbon footprint by sourcing from local vendors in New Hampshire and across New England.

The Office of Residential Life and Education collaborated with the colleges' Environmental Stewardship Committee to implement greening initiatives such as the college's Energy Consumption Reduction Campaign (ECRC) and a recycling program in an effort to reduce the campus' overall environmental impact. Their efforts include the single-stream recycling bins added to the Coffee Shop.

In one of the more visible changes on campus, the ECRC, with the help of the Student Government Association (SGA), has successfully installed 17 water bottle dispensers in dorms and buildings across campus. So far, these dispensers diverted over 30,000 plastic bottles from the solid waste stream and the numbers continue to grow.

Students Start "Greening"
Students are also getting involved with greening, through clubs such as the Green Team. The Green Team, which is focused on climate action, has also been active in addressing several other environmental issues including water conservation. With over 30 students on its roster, the club is working to increase their presence on campus and spread general awareness to all community members through campus clean-ups, movie viewings, and distinguished speakers.

Senior communication major Christina Coronis, who is vice-president of the Green Team, believes that as students prepare for their own futures, maintaining a global environmental perspective is vital to ensuring them.

"If there's no planet, there's no future," says Coronis. "Students can create incredible change and by being educated on important issues on climate change and humanity's impact on the planet, then we can create that positive change."

Earth Day Events
To celebrate Earth Day on Friday, April 22, Residential Life and Education and the Green Team are hosting various events to increase environmental awareness.

This week, Residential Life is sponsoring its semi-annual "Green Laundry Week." Students are invited to have their clothes washed and dried for free while also learning about efficient laundry products such as Seventh Generation.

The office is also celebrating Earth Day with the Curious Creatures program on Friday outside of the Cushing Center. At 2 p.m., students will be able to interact with exotic and native animals, including snakes, tarantulas, and skunks. A handler will be present to talk to students about how protecting the environment will help protect these animals' natural habitats.

From 2-4 p.m. on the Quad, the Green Team will host "Earth Day Outdoor Play," an opportunity for students to take a break from studying and enjoy the springtime campus. There will be a variety of outdoor activities including frisbee, cornhole, and sidewalk chalk. They will also distribute cupcakes outside of Goulet Science Center from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Coronis says there has been a great deal of positive responses towards the campus' environmental mission. With simple everyday changes, such as using the new water refill stations and compostable items, as well as campus-sponsored events, the Saint Anselm community has become more aware of their individual and collective environmental impact.

"I've seen a lot of support from faculty and students for everyone's efforts," says Coronis. "I think slowly, these small changes could lead to much bigger changes. As a Catholic institution, and recently because of [Pope Francis' encyclical] Laudato Si, we are starting to realize the moral obligation we have to the planet."

Remaining "Earth Month" Events
April 22 - EARTH DAY
Earth Day Cupcakes 11-2 p.m.
"Earth Day Outdoor Play" - Alumni Quad, 2-4 p.m.
ResLife Brings Curious Creatures - Cushing, 2-3 p.m.
"Green Laundry Week" - Bertrand Laundry Room, 4-6 p.m.

April 23 - Saint Mary Laundry Room, 12-2 p.m., and JOA Laundry Room, 6-8 p.m.
April 26 - "Racing Extinction" Movie Night in Perini, 6 p.m.

Story by Rosemary Lausier '16

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