face it... Reduce.
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After a coincidental run in with Office of Campus Sustainability staff, Sgt. Taylor thought she was signing up for a free lapel pin and ended up becoming an environmental steward. In the three years since taking the steps to lead her co-workers in environmentally consciousness, she is living up to her title by helping the MSU Police Department implement some innovative changes.
After learning how much electricity could be saved , Sgt. Taylor mentioned getting light sensors for the Police Department to the Chief of Police. In the summer of 2009 sensors began being placed in some offices and common spaces with funds left over from the academic year. In the last two years 15 spaces have received sensors that turn lights on and off when employees enter or leave.
The sensors conserve energy throughout the building especially in conference rooms and the lunch room where lights would be left on.
“I like to look at the big picture,” Sgt. Taylor said. “It’s important that we do anything we can to do our part.”
The police station has also made an effort to consolidate the number of materials used for paperwork. The department has reduced their impact by moving from individual copiers to two copiers for all employees.
The police have also reduced their footprint by adding hybrid vehicles to the fleet and using bike patrols in the summer time.
In her daily life Sgt. Taylor remembers the importance of sustainability.
“I try to remind people to recycle and I recycle at home. I think it’s important we all do our part.”
She also makes sure to do her research on what materials are recycled by local communities. Materials like paint and batteries are not recycled by every community but are able to be recycled in the surrounding areas. Sgt. Taylor also makes sure to share that information with her friends.
“On the serious side, everyone is responding well,” she said about the police stations response to sustainable initiatives. “Everybody’s sensitive to the need to conserve energy here.”
Lynda Boomer a member of the Spartan family at the physical plant, started working for the Michigan State University over 20 years ago on a renovation project. Throughout her time at the university Lynda has been committed to bettering MSU's energy efficiency and usage.
Lynda describes herself as "MSU through and through." Her passion is infectious and you can see in her eyes her dedication to environmental stewardship.
"We are all on this Earth together and we have finite resources," said Lynda. "The reason I'm passionate about this isn't for me it's for the next generation."
Lynda is committed to improving the university's energy efficiency, usage and overall conservation of resources and making a clear statement that everyone can make a difference.
When she started working at the university Lynda was unable to turn off her computer after work because the computer system was set up to do backups during the evening hours. Lynda caught on this system's inefficiency and began talking to the IT specialists in her office.
They were able to put their heads together and develop a system that would allow the computers to remote start from locations outside the office making a huge difference in energy consumption.
Lynda has also been behind campus wide events such as Earth Hour, the global power down event that M.S.U. participated in last year.
Lynda is currently working on developing smart meters that allow the physical plant to track the energy usage in buildings across campus. The meters are set to be placed in 120 buildings over the next 3 years.
"If people realize that what they do makes a difference they're more likely to do it," said Lynda.
She is excited by the changes that she has seen over the past several years and is anticipating the changes to come.
"I'm excited to see how we move forward to meet the future."
David Graff became one of Michigan State University's recognized environmental stewards when he realized that the university could save a lot of money in energy costs by monitoring energy usage on campus.
David says living with asthma as a young child had a real impact on how he views energy and environmental issues.
"Even at a young age it was a wakeup call," David said.
As an IT at Michigan State's physical plant David has worked on virtualizing the servers on campus to utilize their potential reducing the number of servers needed on campus.
The servers can also connect to the workspace computers and track their usage. This allows David to tell who is leaving their computers on at the end of the night.
David says that although some may view this as an inconvenience, it allows the university to reduce the cost of energy on campus and therefore the university's environmental impact.
David feels that because students pay their energy bill on campus indirectly it limits the desire to tackle the energy usage as an individual.
David said thinks that the largest issue that we face as stewards of the environment is the behavior element of our lives.
Born and raised in China, Muzi Yu also known as Mumu knows how important it is to reduce our environmental impact. Mumu has been very enthusiastic about "going green" and sharing her stories of how Chinese people reduce the consumption of energy, water and waste.
With a population of over 1 billion people, China has a large impact on the environment. Just like in China, Mumu brings her own silverware or uses reusable chopsticks. She takes her water in bottles or mugs so she doesn't have to use disposable cups.
As Mumu grew up, she walked 30 minutes every day to her elementary school, middle school and high school. Eighty (80) percent of her hometown did not drive cars - instead people took buses, subways, bikes, or walked. At MSU, Mumu continues to reduce waste by using reusable bags and bottles and turning off her lights when she leaves. She takes the bus to and from her apartment on to campus and gets plenty of exercise walking around campus and to work.
Mumu's Grandma also taught her some special tips to save water and energy. She would make the best use of every drop of the water in her house. She would first use the water to clean the vegetables before she cooks them, then use the water again to wash the dishes. And Mumu used to be disciplined by her Grandma if she left the lights or any electronic devices on when she left the room.
While at MSU, being Spartan green comes naturally. And best of all, she knows that her Grandma would be proud of her!
Reduce and Reuse
Kallie, a junior in the College of Communication Arts and Sciences at Michigan State, is a regular reuser and recycler. Kallie's parents raised her in a home that recycled on a regular basis where she learned the values and practices of becoming more eco-friendly.
She's kept it green at MSU in many ways.
Kallie and her roommate started recycling everything from magazines to old homework assignments when they realized the residence halls provided all of the necessary containers to do so during their sophomore year. It was something that once made available and easy became routine in their lifestyle. Kallie was happy that she was able to return to her old recycling ways.
Additionally, Kallie, like many college students, has a daily need for caffeine; Diet Coke in aluminum cans is her caffeine product of choice. She makes sure she is environmentally conscious about the choice though, by recycling her cans regularly, keeping the cans out of the landfill and collecting some change to feed meters … and her caffeine habit.
While Kallie recycles materials whenever she has the chance, she first tries to reduce waste by reusing things. One easy thing Kallie does to reduce waste is use a reusable water bottle instead of buying bottled water. Not only is this good for the environment, but cost-effective as well. Now that Kallie is living off campus, she and her roommates make use of their roadside recycling and continue her 'green' habits.
Return to the Face It Home Page or Check out other featured Spartans.
|Reduce Stories||Reuse/Recycle Stories||Research/Reeducate Stories||Rethink Stories||Redesign Stories|
|Lynda Boomer||Christina Tucker||Amol Pavangodkar||Marci Baranski||Diane Barker|
|David Graff||David Kone||Claire Kolumban||Kathleen Peshek|
|Muzi Yu||Tim Heckaman||Steve Frank||Lauren Olson|
|Kallie McConkie||Marcus Coleman||Matt Powers|