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Olivet College and the steps to a greener institute
May 06, 2013

By Sarah K. Smith, senior

It is nothing new to the students and faculty at Olivet College when it comes to being environmentally responsible. Between the students, staff and faculty working together, Olivet College has successfully become a greener institute.

In January of 2013 Olivet College received the Green Award from Peckham, Inc., for saving more than 15 mature trees by recycling paper with the company during 2012.

Within the last few years the different environment saving programs have flourished on campus, as many student organizations are teaming up to help fight back for the environment. the most recent green strategy is the new recycling program that has been established by Student Government Association (SGA), Earthbound and other participating students. The idea for the new program began in the fall of 2012 to be utilized in spring 2013. The program set up new recycling bins in dorms, the Kirk Center, Mott and other buildings throughout campus. The bins can be filled and then emptied into bigger 96-gallon bins; the bins are then picked up by the recycling company for $100. After the larger bins have been emptied by the company and the $100 has been collected, what is left over from the recycled material turns into a profit for the SGA fund that student organizations can use.

The Kirk Center (KC) and Chartwells dining services have also made steps toward a greener future for Olivet College. The KC was originally designed as a 24-hour building; however food services stop at 11 p.m. The lights stayed on according to walking patterns in the evening to provide safety to students walking at night. The KC has been working with Larry Colvin, vice president for administration, and Campus Safety to improve walking conditions without leaving the KC lights on 24 hours a day. The building developed a routine to shutting off the lights; now 22 of the 24 lights are being shut off while the other two remaining lights are on 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Also over the past four months the standard 60W bulbs have been changed to 13W LED bulbs. The energy bill for March usage was a 1000KW reduction for the KC. In the future the KC is hoping to see a savings of more than $1,400. Chartwells currently recycles cardboard, plastic and aluminum each week. Chartwells also purchases locally produced food and harvests herbs and vegetables from their own local garden on campus. Additionally, Chartwells participates in a composting program that was established last year.

Olivet College is striving for a greener future between the efforts of the employees and students. The different organizations on campus are countinuing to look for new ways to improve the carbon footprint on campus and within the community.

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