The Presidential Commission on Sustainability announced several new initiatives to promote environmental responsibility on Kennesaw State University’s campuses at its monthly meeting on Friday.
The commission — made up of faculty and staff from multiple departments — discussed advancements that the university is developing in the way of recycling, energy efficiency and culinary sustainability. There are also plans for several educational opportunities and upcoming events that will be hosted in the spring to promote student engagement in sustainability efforts.
Among recent advancements is a student-led effort to increase recycling on the Marietta campus. In addition to the implementation of the campus’ first recycling compactor, construction management students conducted an inventory and significantly increased the number of recycling bins on the campus.
“We looked at how many outdoor bins we had, and it was three,” said Jennifer Wilson, support coordinator for KSU’s Sustainability Program. “Now it’s 54.”
According to Wilson, students will begin tracking the usage of these bins to determine their effectiveness.
The construction management department is also planning to build a “tiny house,” — a minimalist, environmentally conscious and self-sufficient living space — in partnership with the School of Culinary Sustainability. The one-acre plot of land will include fruit trees and gardens, and the house itself will be used as a teaching tool for students.
The commission also wants to encourage energy usage competitions between on-campus housing residences to reduce energy consumption.
In addition, Wilson announced several sustainability events planned for March and April, including the university’s first “Spring Sustainability Series.” This will include an “EQUINOX Symposium” on March 20, as well as a sustainable fashion awareness week March 13-17. This is a partnership between the geography department and the Apparel Textile Technology program, and the week will include a documentary screening, workshops on how to make clothing out of used materials, and drives to collect clothes for repurposing.
The commission will also host “Earth Week,” a series of activities April 14-21 that will include a special farmer’s market commemorating the occasion and tours of Hickory Grove Farm, KSU’s 14-acre property that sources much of the food served in The Commons and Stingers.
The Presidential Commission on Sustainability is one of six advisory committees tasked with counseling the president in addressing challenges faced by the university. The commission develops and implements sustainability education and promotes the responsible use of natural resources.
For more information about KSU’s sustainability initiatives, visit sustainability.kennesaw.edu.