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AN ENVIRONMENTAL AUDIT AT WINTHROP UNIVERSITY

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AN ENVIRONMENTAL AUDIT AT WINTHROP UNIVERSITY Annual Report for Fiscal Year July 2002 - June 2003 Peter Phillips and Marsha Bollinger Background: In conjunction with the activation of two new majors at Winthrop University, a BS in Environmental Sciences and a BA in Environmental Studies, an evaluation began to examine past practices and the current state of the campus in terms of recycling, energy use, and transportation patterns. An environmental audit of the campus appears quite timely and will have a positive impact both on campus life and on the lives of our students as they leave Winthrop. This audit will provide a baseline of data and is setting the stage for a series of actions that will promote the concept of sustainability on our campus. Activities: 1. Two students and two faculty members met with and gathered information from Winthrop’s Facilities Management unit on the current recycling program and the impact it has had on the reduction of the campus waste stream to the local landfill, on energy consumption patterns and their relationship to renovations and physical plant upgrades. 2. The same group collected information on walking/biking/driving habits of students, faculty, and staff in relation to the campus. Data were collected from an on-line questionnaire sent to the campus community. The questionnaire is attached. 3. The same questionnaire also surveyed the same target audience regarding their recycling ...
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AN ENVIRONMENTAL AUDIT AT WINTHROP UNIVERSITY

Annual Report for Fiscal Year July 2002 - June 2003

Peter Phillips and Marsha Bollinger


Background: In conjunction with the activation of two new majors at Winthrop University, a
BS in Environmental Sciences and a BA in Environmental Studies, an evaluation began to
examine past practices and the current state of the campus in terms of recycling, energy use, and
transportation patterns. An environmental audit of the campus appears quite timely and will
have a positive impact both on campus life and on the lives of our students as they leave
Winthrop. This audit will provide a baseline of data and is setting the stage for a series of
actions that will promote the concept of sustainability on our campus.

Activities:
1. Two students and two faculty members met with and gathered information from Winthrop’s
Facilities Management unit on the current recycling program and the impact it has had on the
reduction of the campus waste stream to the local landfill, on energy consumption patterns and
their relationship to renovations and physical plant upgrades.

2. The same group collected information on walking/biking/driving habits of students, faculty,
and staff in relation to the campus. Data were collected from an on-line questionnaire sent to the
campus community. The questionnaire is attached.

3. The same questionnaire also surveyed the same target audience regarding their recycling
habits. Recycling information specifically generated from students was augmented by
information gathered by members of a new student environmental club. This club focused
primarily on the residence halls.


Results: The data indicate a need for more education and communication with the campus
community on where, how and why to recycle, on what our energy use patterns are and how we
can improve them, and on why we need to decrease the amount of driving.
Renewed action and enthusiasm by existing campus committees, the formation of a small
group of faculty, staff, students, and community representatives working on improving recycling
on campus, and an interest in using green building practices for new construction and for existing
buildings have recently emerged and are an outcome of the simple concept of a campus
environmental audit.
In addition, ideas of the student environmental club have caught the eye of the
administration; this is an excellent example of the effectiveness of grassroots action.




Additional Outcomes Utilizing SUI Funds or Matching Funds:

1. The campus Recycling Committee has received more interest and attention during this
academic year.

2. The campus community was informed regarding the results of the Environmental Audit
questionnaire. See attached copy of the article in the campus newspaper.

3. The two student assistants attended Sustainable Campuses Conference 2002, sponsored by the
Sierra Youth Coalition and held at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada in September
and returned with renewed enthusiasm for conducting the Winthrop audit. Funding from SUI
was leveraged to obtain additional travel funds for this activity from the environmental program
budget.

4. Five students and three staff members attended the Carolinas Recycling Association
conference in Greenville, SC. They returned ready to begin making improvements to the
campus-wide recycling program.

5. Because of our engagement with Facilities Management, Marsha Bollinger has been
increasingly included in key Facilities Management meetings. This is significant since she has
been named the Dalton Chair in Environmental Sciences and Studies.

6. Bollinger and Phillips will present results of this Environmental Audit and corollary activities
that the 5 Greening of the Campus, Connecting to Place conference to be held at Ball State
University, Muncie, IN, September 18-20, 2003.

7. Marsha Bollinger is offering Environmental Activism, a one-credit course, Fall 2003, as an
outgrowth of the Environmental Audit.

8. Marsha Bollinger solicited and received additional funding for the fiscal year 2003-2004 to
implement additional activities building upon this first year project.


Summary: We intended to develop an action plan for improving the knowledge of and
implementation of sustainable initiatives on Winthrop University’s campus. Student participants
gained experience in collecting and analyzing environmental data and in participated in the
initial stages of a plan of action to resolve environmental problems. The project has begun to
enhance classroom instruction across campus in courses such as Environmental Issues,
Environmental Economics, and Politics and Policies. This project has served as a springboard
for future campus-wide projects, laying a firm foundation on how to affect positive societal
change.




Winthrop University Environmental Audit Questionnaire #1
(supported by a grant from SC Sustainable Universities Initiative)

Background information:
_____Where do you live while you attend classes at Winthrop?
A. on campus B. off campus, but within ½ mile C. off campus, farther than ½ mile

_____ Which describes you best?
A. full-time undergrad B. part-time undergrad C. grad student
D. faculty E. staff
_____ If you are a student, which group do you fit into?
A. freshman or sophomore B. junior or senior C. grad student D. not a student

_____ What is your age?
A. under 21 B. 21-25 C. 25-30 D. 30-40 E. over 40

_____What is your sex?
A. male B. female

Utility usage:
Choose from these answers.
A. strongly agree B. agree C. disagree D. strongly disagree E. does not apply

_____I make a conscious effort to turn off lights when I leave a room.
_____I regularly leave sound systems and televisions on, even when no one is in the room.
_____I make a conscious effort to turn off my computer when I am away at classes, meetings, etc.
_____I run water from the faucet continually when I brush my teeth.
_____I try to limit the length of my showers to 5 minutes or less.
_____I rarely consider how long I am in the shower.
_____I rarely take more than one shower or bath per day.

Transportation usage:
Choose from these answers.
A. strongly agree B. agree C. disagree D. strongly disagree E. does not apply

_____I often walk a few blocks to do errands, go to work, or attend classes.
_____I sometimes walk a mile or more to do errands, attend classes, go to work, etc.
_____I often drive when something is several blocks away.
_____I ride a bike within a mile of campus.
_____I would ride a bike more often if the bike and rider were more secure. Recycling: Circle your answers or fill in the blank.

Do you recycle? Yes No Occasionally

Do you buy products with recycled materials in them? Yes No Occasionally Don’t know

Do you look for products with recycled material in them? Yes No

Which campus building do you reside or work in? _____________________________

Are there recycling containers in that building? Yes No Don’t know

If so, should they be emptied more often? Yes No Don’t know



Which disposable products do you regularly use?
Cups
Styrofoam containers from the cafeteria
Towels Which products do you recycle when you are off
Cleansing wipes campus?
Pens Aluminum cans
Pencils Plastic bottles and jugs
Cameras Newspapers
Others, please specify Magazines
Office paper
Cardboard
Glass
Which products do you recycle on campus? Oil
Aluminum cans Other, please specify
Plastic bottles and jugs
Newspapers
Magazines Which products can be recycled on campus?
Office paper Aluminum cans
Cardboard Plastic bottles and jugs
Glass Newspapers
Oil Magazines
Other, please specify Office paper
Cardboard
Glass
Oil
Additional Comments? Other, please specify



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