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Friday, February 26, 2021

Office of Sustainability recognizes green efforts on campus

The Associated Students Bookstore, Underground Coffeehouse and Viking Commons were recognized by the Office of Sustainability for their contributions to a greener Western. Each office received the Western Sustainability Award for their efforts in creating a more sustainable campus that focuses on energy efficiency and reusing and recycling materials.

The Western Sustainability Award, which was created in 2011, recognizes the extra effort that is being put in at Western towards sustainable practices, according to Seth Vidana, the campus sustainability manager.

“Students, staff, faculty and community members are continually developing amazing new ideas and strategies to improve people’s lives and our planet. We thought it was time to recognize them for their efforts,” Vidana said in an email interview.

Vidana said winners of the award receive a plaque from the Office of Sustainability and $1000. Past winners include the Miller Hall Renovation Team, the Energy Savings Company Project Team and the Students for Sustainable Water.

Each of this year’s winners were selected for their noticeable effort at being more energy efficient and recycling and reusing as much as possible, according to the Western Sustainability website.

Peg Godwin, the general manager of the AS bookstore, said she thinks the bookstore was recognized for their recycling proficiency.

“We get a tremendous amount of material shipped into us, and there is a lot of cardboard involved. So, we are probably the biggest recycler of cardboard on campus.”

Although the bookstore has been effective in its recycling efforts, there is still some room for improvement in other areas. Marti Bartlett, the AS bookstore fiscal analyst, said he hopes sometime in the future to have more energy-efficient lighting in the bookstore and even more recycling.

Kim Masser, the supervisor of the Underground Coffeehouse, said they won the award this year because they are one of the only places on campus that do “for here” cups, using real cups as opposed to paper cups.

The lighting is also energy-efficient LED and the chairs and tables used are mostly all repurposed. Masser was also involved with the Office of Sustainability this year. She said she thinks recognizing these groups for their contributions is important.

“I’m on the train of trying to get people to understand why it is important to do these things and why one person’s acts do matter. Their actions combined with everyone else’s, we could get to a better place,” Masser said.



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