By Jason Ferrera / Staff Writer and Christian Rosario / Editor-In-Chief
Environmental sustainability has become a priority in recent years at Raritan Valley Community College, and this Thursday’s Campus Sustainability Day Fair will explain, as well as continue, much of that trend.
The fair, which takes place noon-3 p.m. in the Conference Center, will feature lectures and informational tables to raise awareness about the growing impact of global warming and how one’s lifestyle choices can make a difference. According to Susan Dorward, Sustainability and Energy Coordinator at RVCC, the goal for environmental sustainability at the campus is to become carbon-neutral.
The construction of the co-generation power plant in 2008, says Dorward, started RVCC’s effort toward environmental sustainability. Then in 2009, RVCC became the first community college in the country to sign an agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, pledging to reduce its carbon footprint and improve the environment. In 2014, the Ray Bateman Center for Student Life and Leadership was certified LEED Gold by the U.S. Green Building Council, and the expansion to the Christine Todd Whitman Center, set to open in 2016, has been certified LEED Silver.
RVCC’s Enviornmental Sustainability Committee is hosting the fair, which is part of the national Campus Sustainability Day celebrated on college campuses.
Two student clubs, the Environmental Club and The Record, will have informational tables at the fair. The Environmental club will hand out information on ways to go green at home, and will sell organic shade-grown coffee and homemade organic soap. The Record will have a demonstration on the proper ways to dispose of waste in compost, recyclables and garbage.
The fair will also feature three lectures:
Our Green Campus (1-1:45 p.m.)—Focuses on the environmentally friendly projects at RVCC. Led by Sue Dorward and Brian O’Rourke, RVCC’s Executive Director of Facilities and Grounds.
Weather, Climate, and Climate Change: Distinctions and Connections (1:50-2:20 p.m.) — Led by William McClain, RVCC Planetarium Associate who has 20 years of experience in the field of meteorology.
Green Your Home and Save Money (2:30-3 p.m.) — Low-cost opportunities to reduce utility bills in your home. Led by Professor Paul Flor from RVCC’s Environmental Control Technology program.
The following organizations and groups will have stations at the event:
Ecolution Energy (residential solar energy).
Eve'sentials (homemade cleaning and beauty products).
New Jersey's Clean Energy Program (energy-efficient lighting).
New Jersey Water Supply Authority (water quality and storm water management).
RideWise (alternative transportation).