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A Report on the Projects in Place at Georgian Court University, New Jersey, USA

March 4, 2015

In accord with the Mercy Critical Concern "to reverence Earth and work more effectively toward the sustainability of life and toward universal recognition of the fundamental right to water," Georgian Court University (GCU) has implemented many "Earth- friendly" ideas and has earned the New Jersey Governor's Award for Environmental Excellence.

Below are some of the projects in place and expected to evolve and expand in the future.

A Director of Sustainability was appointed by the president.

Indoor water projects designed to eliminate the use of bottled water and minimize water waste include:

  •   low-flow shower heads in student residences
  •   water bottle filling stations in classroom buildings
  •   5 gallon water dispensers in student residences, providing filtered water from the tap
  •   tray-less food service and tap water dispensers in dining rooms

Outdoor water projects include:

  •   experimental rain garden
  • storm water basin research project
  •  rain barrels

Indoor sustainability projects include:

  • thermostats set between 68F in winter and 78F in summer
  •  LED lights
  • ceramic window films in main classroom building to provide insulation for heating and cooling

Outdoor sustainability projects include:

  • 2,557 solar panels
  • nature trail on undeveloped area of campus
  • low-mow areas with educational signage
     lawn clippings mulched in place promoting aerobic decomposition to feed grass and plantings
  •  Mercy Community Garden, an organic multipurpose garden serving as educational resource as well as providing a modest harvest of herbs and vegetables to a local group home

Other projects include:

  • GCU participates in "Recycle-mania," an intercollegiate contest that brings attention to the need to reduce use of paper and plastics and recycle all used materials appropriately.
  •  "Trees for Tanzania" Fundraiser
  • Campus Activity Board sponsored fashion show featuring fashions made with recycled materials
  •  Living Learning Community centered in one Student residence focused on sustainability
  • "The Water Closet Reader" one-page newsletter researched and written by students weekly and posted on the inside doors of bathroom stalls
  • meatless Monday
  • local sourcing of food, ocean-friendly seafood, cage-free eggs, dairy products from farms committed to not using bovine growth hormones
  • fair trade, triple certified, shade grown coffee
  • fleet of electric vs gas powered maintenance vehicles
  • hybrid vehicles for security officers

Messages to: Mary Bilderback rsm