Earth Day at Adelphi University means promoting environmental stewardship, educating the campus community and utilizing eco-friendly sustainable practices.
Featured in The Princeton Review’s Guide to 322 Green Colleges, Adelphi makes sustainability a priority—from the solar panels installed on Swirbul Library to sharing compost with our neighbors in Garden City. Examples abound of Adelphi’s initiatives in embracing sustainability.
Last fall, the Campus Sustainability Committee hosted the inaugural Green Expo, where more than a dozen of Adelphi’s vendors demonstrated how their products, services and resources support the University’s environmental stewardship.
“We use nonchemical housekeeping products and organic landscaping products including praying mantises, ladybugs and other natural predators,” said Kathleen Watchorn, assistant to the dean of student affairs. “We save on paper products with motion-activated paper dispenser hand dryers and we use recycled paper for our publications whenever possible.”
Scrap paper is also collected from numerous offices across campus and reused by the Alice Brown Early Learning Center, giving children a chance to pitch in.
The University is focused on air pollution. While the University’s shuttle service reduces fossil fuel usage, Adelphi is also enrolled in the 511NY Rideshare and Transit Solutions, two government-sponsored agencies that promote both car-pooling and the use of public transportation.
Other eco-friendly initiatives include properly recycling batteries to reduce toxicity of landfills and purchasing carpet made from recycled fibers and office and residential hall furniture made with responsibly harvested wood.
Adelphi also participates in National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, during which the community drops off their prescription and over-the-counter medications to be properly disposed of. There is also a program that encourages the proper recycling of electronic products.
“The Green Council continues to flourish, inviting all students to participate in its programs,” Ms. Watchorn said. “During each fall semester, students join me for a trip to Adelphi’s carting company’s recycling plant, and see firsthand how products are recycled. I am also planning a trip to Covanta [Energy] sometime this spring so students can witness how trash becomes energy.”
Water filtration systems are also installed in strategic locations across campus to reduce the number of discarded water bottles. The bottles and soda cans that do get recycled have their deposits donated to Winthrop-University Hospital Cancer Center for Kids thanks to the efforts of the Student Athletes Advisory Council (SAAC).
“[Adelphi] has cost savings in geothermal and energy efficiency as well as savings in water consumption and cost with upgrades to plumbing fixtures,” Ms. Watchorn said. “There’s also cost avoidance in properly recycling paper and cardboard. In other words, we do not pay for the dumpster used for cardboard and paper, nor do we pay for the carting weight for recycled products including metals and plastics.”
Check out Adelphi Goes Green, a brief film that details some of the University’s best practices and eco-friendly initiatives.