Creating Sustainable College Spaces

Colleges are a major part of the education world, but they also have more freedom in terms of their design than most other schools. A college can have all kinds of creative structures and ingenious quirks that make them unique, and sustainability is one of them.

But how are sustainable college spaces made, and what kind of systems do some of them use to help keep their waste low?

Colorado State University

Colorado State University aims to be as green as possible, with a huge amount of solar power generation being used to regulate building temperatures. This makes the heating almost self-sufficient and massively reduces the amount of power that the college is consuming overall.

The Colorado State earned a Platinum rating from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability, and it is not hard to see why. Within the next 10 years, the university is aiming to generate 100% of its own power through renewable energy, mostly solar power.

On top of that, the university keeps waste to a minimum. Only 7% of dining waste goes to a landfill, with the remaining 93% being reused or recycled in a more sustainable way.

Colby College

Colby College has become famous for constantly trying to lower its environmental impact and even achieved full carbon neutrality as early as 2013. A high amount of solar panels and a reliance on biomass means that it has been able to power each building without relying on normal power sources.

It is also worth noting the college itself is very green, with a lot of open space and well-landscaped areas that use real, healthy grass. Considering that a lot of colleges and universities rely on paved areas, it is a nice change and something that ties into their other eco-friendly projects.

University of Washington

The University of Washington refers to its campus as a “living laboratory” and will give grants to each student that can come up with new methods of reducing environmental impact.  This has led to new creations like green walls and floodplain restoration options, all of which benefit the environment.

The university also allows a lot of field research into specific environmental-related things, including niche topics like aquatic science. Beyond this, a large part of the university is grassy and filled with trees, giving students a natural space to enjoy at their leisure.

University of Connecticut

The University of Connecticut is not just a haven of healthy and happy trees but also uses 23 LEED-certified buildings that use as little power as possible to operate efficiently. However, the more important part of how the university operates is the systems and initiatives it hosts.

For example, there are regular calls to collect bottles and cans from sporting events, a charity donation system that is meant to help students get rid of unwanted items without throwing them away, and even a monthly competition to see which dorm uses the least water and power.

 

Appalachian State University

Appalachian State University has a huge amount of plant life surrounding it, as well as unique programs that allow students to start compositing unwanted food scraps and waste at their own halls. Parking also has an optional carbon offset for each semester.

Certain spaces in the university are Zero Waste Zones, which help divert waste away from landfills. It also has one of the most notable renewable energy facilities in the entire state, producing at least 800,000 kW hours of power each year.

Creating a Sustainable Space at Home

If you have been inspired by any of the colleges, businesses, or communities that you have seen creating green spaces, then it might be tempting to create your own. It is a lot easier than it might sound, but it can take a while to reach a place of true self-sufficiency.

Still, it is important to take that first step. You do not have to rush to install solar panels immediately – there can be plenty of ways to make your home or business more sustainable with only slight tweaks and alterations.

Outdoor Areas

Keeping an outdoor space natural does not just save on material but can make a much nicer area with a lot more meaning behind it. These areas can also be used in numerous ways and are not tied to a single purpose, which can make them more useful than creating a specific space.

Landscaping an area into something more eco-friendly and attractive can seem hard, but with the right tools (or contractors), you do not have to do much work at all. Consider renting one of our dumpsters if you need a convenient disposal method for dug-up dirt and old, dead plants.

Reduced Waste

Reducing your waste output is always important if you want to make a sustainable space. While this can be tough at first, even cutting down your personal waste production by 7% or less can have an impact in the long run.

Not only that, but it can make you feel a lot better if you are conscious of how much you are wasting. Even some small changes each day can make a huge difference to your mood.

What Now?

If you are considering a big project to overhaul your home or property into something more sustainable, then do not forget to hire the right tools. 

Our dumpster rentals can be an extremely important part of the process, no matter what kind of scale you are working at. Being able to dispose of the dirt and recyclable materials hassle-free makes everything much easier for you to handle.

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