"What Green Means at Luther College"
A note from Aaron Schmaltz '12, Inside Giving intern
In the spirit of going green, many changes have taken place at Luther during the last year. To me, sustainability has helped the campus form its own unique identity. Students and alumni alike are concerned with the betterment of the college and the surrounding society. But being environmentally aware is not only a way to give back to the community: it is also our responsibility.
According to a New York Times article, Luther College is among the top 26 “College Sustainability Leaders.” Despite tough times, Luther isn't abandoning its efforts to be green. Thanks to the gracious support of the Luther community, several steps have been taken to become more energy efficient and reduce carbon emissions.
As a Chicago dweller, I am a big fan of the transportation alternatives on campus. A rideshare website has recently been created to assist students in need of transportation solutions. (I’ve met some of my best friends through the ride-share program, and it sure beats driving for five hours straight!) For those without cars, there is also a new Decorah Shopping Shuttle which helps take care of all those dorm room needs.
Energy conservation has been a big topic of conversation on campus as well. The low flow shower head program, for example, has greatly reduced Luther’s water output. Similar programs include delamping vending machines around campus, utilizing bio diesel in campus vehicles, and making employing Geothermal energy technology to power buildings such as the Center for the Arts and Baker Village.
Going green has become such a part of daily life at Luther that the college has decided to include these measures in the sesquicentennial celebration and philosophy of the school.
For me, being environmentally aware was one of the deciding factors in attending Luther College. Despite the troubled economy, I was impressed how the faculty, staff, and administration at Luther held on to certain priorities. The environment and community may not appear on many to-do lists, but Luther College ranks these pretty high. I needed this certainty in my life, as well as the expectation that what is important stays important.
And not only is sustainability important, but it is a part of the curriculum, the learning experience. Whenever I think sustainability, I imagine the recycling logo with the three green arrows. The community supports the college in its eco-friendly endeavors, and in return the college is able to help the world become a greener place.
“The project is exciting because it raises awareness among Luther students about composting and the value of “waste,” said Adam Voss, worm keeper for the Brandt Residence Hall. “Response to the program has been surprisingly and overwhelmingly positive, and it is exciting how quickly the project was implemented after it sprouted in the mind of students.”