Have you ever considered getting an electric car, but
thought they’re too expensive? According
to Hannah Solar Corporation, if you use the tax credit, a lease for a Nissan
Leaf can be had for as little as $75 per month.
This was just one bit of information among many gathered by a Brenau group
who attended the statewide conference of the Georgia College Sustainability
Network, held in Macon on Sept. 20.
“The round table session helped open my eyes on what needs to happen
before a campus can claim a ‘sustainability’ effort at any level of earnestness”,
said Robert Cuttino. Together with Rudi Kiefer, who serves on the Steering Committee of GCSN, and Karen
Henman, he participated in the sessions that included topics as diverse as
curriculum-building, water conservation on campus, promoting sustainability
efforts among students, and a round-table discussion about what’s happening at
the various public and private colleges in Georgia. The variety of themes was also apparent among
the presenters, ranging from students attending Georgia College & State
University and Emory University to faculty from UGA, Emory, GCSU, and Georgia
Southern, as well as industry representatives.
“The presentation about Zero Waste Events at Emory has got
me interested in investigating how to institute Zero Waste Events on our campus,
and developing greater buy-in to sustainability”, said Henman. As the three members of Brenau’s
Sustainability Advisory & Action Board (SAAB) attended different concurrent
session, a whole list of projects and priorities evolved, including more
recycling efforts, studying the tree canopy on campus, energy efficiency and
more, which Henman put to paper and summarized for the committee. A busy agenda for the SAAB seems assured.
“It was great to meet the people in person that I’ve been
teleconferencing with during the summer as we were building the conference
agenda in the steering committee,” Kiefer said.
“Eriqah Foreman Williams of the National Wildlife Federation, who
oversees the GCSN activities, was already on my ‘old friends’ list because she
did such a marvelous job with the Farm-to-Table Conference in Statesboro last
spring. And as a UGA graduate, I was
delighted to exchange views with the people from Athens, and learn what they
are doing on the state’s flagship campus over there.”
Henman’s suggestions about a tree inventory and the campus
canopy are certain to be followed up in the SAAB, together with other
vegetation-related projects that are on the burner this year. A first step is a guest lecture by Joan
Maloof, author of “Teaching the Trees” and “Among the Ancients”, scheduled for
Wednesday, Oct.9 at 5 p.m. in Thurmond McRae Auditorium (still being
finalized). More rounds of weeds removal
and clean-up are also slated in the Bamboo Forest area of the Bioscience Field
Station. With a design being prepared by
Teri Nye, and plant selections by Jessi Shrout (both of the Science Dept.), a
new teaching and research venue is emerging in the back of the Brenau Campus.
“Jessi and Teri had class responsibilities, so unfortunately
they couldn’t come along to the Macon conference,” Kiefer said. “But the three of us – Karen, Robert and
myself – brought back so many notes and ideas that we can stay busy for the
entire academic year. The key to it all,
agreed to by every participant, is student involvement in these projects. Just like last year, it’ll be a priority at