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McGill Feeding McGill

Universities’ Sustainability Initiatives Save Money, Resources

McGill Feeding McGillThe University of Toronto uses solar panels to heat water for athletes’ showers and McGill University imposes a student fee of 50 Canadian cents per credit that is matched by the university for its Sustainability Projects Fund.

These are two examples of how Canadian campuses are integrating sustainability into university policy and study life, the New York Times reports.

At McGill University’s Macdonald campus in Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, about 40 minutes outside Montreal, the cafeteria services and the plant science department work together on the McGill Feeding McGill program (pictured), a sustainable agriculture project that produces more than 88,000 pounds of vegetables annually for student dining halls, the Times reports.

Also, the McGill Life Sciences Complex encourages lab users to close their fume hoods when they were not in use. This student-led initiative reduced energy consumption per hood by 80 percent, and saves about $75,800 a year, Martin Krayer von Krauss, manager of the McGill Office of Sustainability, tells the newspaper.

The University of Victoria in British Columbia has about 1,000 fewer parking spaces than it did a decade ago — a campus transit survey shows that only half of faculty, staff and students arrive on campus by car compared to 75 percent in 1996.

Additionally, the University of Toronto created an automated system to control building temperatures and has one of the highest recycling rates — 74 percent — of any institution in Canada, the Times reports.

Colleges in the US are going green, too. Ohio State University says its stadium is the largest in the country to achieve zero waste, diverting 90 percent or more of materials from the landfill by recycling and composting. And Boston College’s energy-efficiency efforts have resulted in annual energy savings of more than 4 million kWh, and cost savings of $650,000.

Meanwhile, the University of California-Berkeley, University of Minnesota, Northeastern University and 10 other colleges and universities this month signed the Green Chemistry Commitment, intended to increase the number of green chemists and scientists in the US and the business opportunities available to them.

Photo Credit: McGill University

 

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