Strategic Planning for Sustainability at STLCC

These past few weeks have made my head spin like the tornadoes touching down across our state and region.  Sustainability efforts have blossomed like the bodacious peonies in my yard.  Okay, alliteration aside, sustainability seems to have arrived in the minds (and hearts) of our leadership team and college employees.  We are, after all, Sustainable Educator Heroes of the Planet.

I presented my year-end report to my boss.  Rather than be a cheerleader saying “Rah for Green,” I used the skills my boss and colleagues in finance have helped me hone.  I crunched numbers.  I can honestly say that math is becoming easier for my intuitive brain.  Math is a very persuasive language.

I crunched energy savings:  delamping our class rooms, offices and hallways from 90 footcandles to 50 has saved us approximately $56,000 despite our very cheap electricity rates of .05/kWh.  Time (10 hours a day) and space (800 rooms across the district) take that tiny number and transforms it into substantial savings.

I crunched waste and recycling numbers: during RecycleMania, we measured trash for 10 weeks at 189,607 lbs (at a contractual cost of $6520.00).  Our recycling numbers weighed 160,928 lbs (costing us only $977.00).  For similar weights, RECYCLING saved us $5,543.00. 

Leadership GOT that sustainability is paying my salary. How do we maintain this momentum? The answer remains a conversation for all.  I’m excited that not only did they see value in greening the college operations, conversations are underway to create programming and courses like nature intends–as integrated systems.  I can’t wait to see what this third year as coordinator will bring and what legacy I can leave when I go!

Paul Lawrenz's view of Wildwood

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