In the fall of 2006, New England College reworked its mission statement to include: “The pursuit of ecological sustainability”. For some, this assertion left a question as to what NEC was actually doing to honor such a commitment. Even though the campus is set in a very natural environment, the school does not necessarily appear all that “green”. However, if you dig a just a little deeper, you’ll find fertile ground—ripe with ideas and activities set to wake up this community, while challenging each of us to “get our green on”.
In accordance with its revised mission statement, New England College has already enacted many eco-friendly updates, including: using more environmentally friendly cleaning products; upgrading classroom lighting and heating/ventilation to more energy efficient systems; installing low water use washing machines, toilets and shower heads; recycling cardboard in Gilmore dining hall; and composting grass clippings and other landscaping materials such as leaves and fallen branches.
To further support and illustrate their commitment, NEC has also become a member of The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education—a consortium dedicated to the integration of sustainability initiatives in college communities, and whose primary goal is to educate college communities and to promote sustainability initiatives. Incidentally, all members of the NEC community can now access the AASHE online as a resource for info about on-campus sustainability. (Hint: check it out at www.aashe.org)
Additionally, several professors, and on-campus groups like the Environmental Action Committee, and the newly formed Sustainability Task Force have also been extremely active with environmentally minded projects, and, are developing plans which involve various areas of sustainability including: increased ecological literacy; energy usage; water consumption and disposal; transportation; food consciousness; research; administrative decisions; and the incorporation of ecological design on campus.
But just how do these ideas become reality? The purpose of this site isn’t simply to uncover the sustainability movement on and around campus, but to invite each and every one of you to get involved. Aside from joining on campus groups, there are many things you can do every day to participate in the greening of NEC.
Need a few tips to get started?
Environmental Academic Programs