The main multipurpose cleaner used on campus is Clean by Peroxy from Spartan. It uses hydrogen peroxide to clean surfaces instead of harsh chemicals. Other green cleaning products include restroom cleaner in bathrooms on campus and biorenewable glass cleaner. Microfiber cloths are used in all LEED buildings, and are available for custodial use in other buildings as well. Washcloths in kitchenettes on campus are usually green. Toilet paper is 100% recycled and meets EPA guidelines for post-consumer waste product. Unbleached, brown paper towels are to be found throughout campus. Hand soaps are from Symmetry and are ‘Green Certified.’
On campus, there are also several different types of equipment that use fewer chemicals, or reduce the amount of time, money, effort, and other equipment needed. One of these products is the BOOST machine that removes floor wax, but without the chemicals normally needed for the job. The Tennant R3 uses Ready Space Technology and is a carpet cleaner and the Tennant T3 is a floor scrubber; both use only water and reduce chemicals otherwise needed for cleaning the carpet.
When removing snow and ice from streets and sidewalks in the winter, facilities workers use Geomelt 55 and Wintergreen products. Geomelt is a salt product mixed with a byproduct of sugar beets. It reduces the corrosiveness by 50-60% and less is needed to melt the ice and snow. On campus, it is used exclusively on parking lots and streets. Wintergreen is a calcium chloride and urea mixture that fertilizes the grass after the snow melts in the spring. This product is used on sidewalks. For more information about snow removal view the Snow Removal Policy.
When laying out sod on newly landscaped areas, whenever possible sod is taken from non-visible areas of campus so as not to purchase new sod every time landscaping is done.
As fallen leaves and branches are collected, they are taken to respective piles at the farm. Leaves are made into mulch, compost, and weed barriers for the garden. Branches are chipped to make mulch and wood chips for use on campus. Previously these items were burned, but now they are reused on campus!
Plants are started to be given away each fall to students in the annual plant giveaway.
In the spring, tilling is done for the community garden and assistance is given in laying out the plots for the year. When harvesting is done in the fall, crew members help with cleanup by clearing out dead plant material.
Pallets that are no longer in use are stored in the barn and either given away to people that will use them or they are taken to Cresco where they are either reused or recycled into other materials. Instead of taking scrap metal to the landfill, it is taken to a salvage yard where it can be reused. Grounds crew members also put out the recycling barrels for major sporting events such as football and soccer games.
Next to sinks in bathrooms and lounges all over campus, you'll find paper towels with recycled paper content. That's because using recycled products means cutting down fewer trees. But an even simpler way to save trees is to save paper! That's why you'll see leafy stickers with the message "These Come From Trees" on paper towel dispensers across campus. They're not meant to discourage you from drying your hands with paper towels: they're meant to encourage you to use only what you need and save paper! Not to mention that they're pretty cool stickers, anyway.
Facilities managements and students are currently in the process of testing different models of low-flow showerheads that could be implemented in campus housing and resident halls. This could dramatically reduce the water consumption and energy on campus.
On each of Luther's diesel fleet vehicles, there is a decal stating biodiesel transforms "Refuse into Resource." This phrase sums up the purpose of our biodiesel program. For over three years Luther has been converting used fryer oil to fuel for some of our grounds equipment. Click here for more information!
Typical vending machines use upwards of $300 worth of electricity per year. Vending Misers are motion sensors that "see" when and if people are around. If there is no motion activity near the machine, they power-down the compressor, reducing electricity use on average by 40%, but still keep beverages at cool temperatures. Luther used money from our vending revenue account to pay for these sensors, all Luther beverage vending machines have Vending Misers installed.
In February 2010, the vending machines in residence halls were delamped in order to reduce on "phantom" energy sources. In one year with delamped machines, it is equivalent to reducing Luther's carbon footprint by 1,764 pounds or .8 metric ton.