Strategies for Campus Sustainability

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1st Dec 2017 Environmental Studies Reference this

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DR. VIDYA.H.N

 

DR. PUTTARAJU.K.

 

CRAFTING CAMPUS AWARENESS – STRATEGIES TOWARDS CREATION OF CAMPUS SUSTAINBILITY

FULL TEXT OF THE PAPER

“ First challenge in the design of a new campus is not to create new buildings, but to create a shared vision towards sustainability”.

INTRODUCTION –In a College campus each student has a unique role to play in making the campus a sustainable place . One can incorporate values of environmental responsibility in the campus . Students can be made to involve directly by joininga sustainability action team or form their own club or forum and become a sustainability leader through adoption of innovative sustainability goals. A college can create responsiveness of sustainability goals by engaging the campus community in sustainability awareness programs. Students can be made attentive towards rendering individual efforts in reducing the ecological stress in the campus. All the Staff, faculty and students should exert together to reduce energy consumption, promote waste reduction strategies, alternative transportation options, and other sustainability initiatives in offices, classrooms, labs, libraries, buildings, residences and in personal lives.

The following was the initial methodology adopted by our Institution

INITIAL CAMPUS ACTION PLAN-

  1. Identifying the in-campus behavior for each student.
  2. Determining group behaviour.
  3. Identifying the student’s present level of conceptualization of sustainability
  4. Listing the steps to make them aware of the concept of sustainability
  5. Finalizing the skills towards orienting the campus behavior towards sustainability with an action plan

After these steps were initialized as our Institution took steps to strategize the concept.

THE STRATEGIES OF ACHIEVING CAMPUS SUSTAINBILITY

To engage the campus community in the implementation of sustainability goals and actions, certain strategies were required which could be achieved through .

  • Our Institution provided peer support to sustainability programs of each department.
  • Provision for environmental education & programs that promote sustainability was taken up Environmental studies as a topic was introduced through Mysore university.
  • Motivation through creativity to identify new procedures and initiatives to promote sustainability was taken up through orientation programs to fresher students .
  • Here they were offered opportunities to exchange ideas, experiences and plans.
  • Our Institution recognized and rewarded successes. Award of Excellency to departments and Student volunteers was mooted
  • To Reduce energy consumption, all students made to turn off the lights when they leave their class rooms.
  • To reduce Greenhouse gas emissions local students were advised to take cycles to college instead of bikes.
  • A beautiful in house campus garden was thus developed .It also served as demonstration gardens to showcase the beauty and diversity of edible landscaping in a campus setting.
  • Additionally, the gardens provided service opportunities for student volunteers to serve n the garden in their free time.
  • The flowers of the rose garden are used in functions to welcome the dignitaries & for decorative purposes
  • The flowers are also used to worship the goddess Saraswathi idol inside the campus garden.
  • The herbal plants such as hibiscus & tulasi help the environs with healthy air.
  • The Trees of teak , neem & asoka are helping the campus with fresh air & water sustainability.

PROCESS PHASES OF PROGRAMME

A formalized process for advancing sustainability in our college campus was done in phases .Phase One had targeted outreach. -This included identifying and providing support for students, volunteer student leaders, building student capacity and communicating with all stakeholders. The Stake holders such as Parents, Alumni , & college development Council members were convinced of the concept of campus sustainability.

Phase Two, helped campus sustainability activists create general awareness and broaden outreach programs . NSS student volunteers were involved in campus cleaning activities. Faculty joined hands with peer support.

Phase Three, consultation with all departments developed into a coherent Action Plan. On this basis the campus was made greener every year& our College could fetch the Best maintained garden award .

CAMPUS SUSTAINABILITY OUTCOMES ACHIEVED

  1. All students strive to turn off the lights when they leave their class rooms.
  2. All students voluntary themselves to deposit waste in specific areas only. .
  3. In the computer lab students shut down their PCs completely at the end of the day.
  4. The Office has set all printers and copiers to default double-sided mode.
  5. Using Cycle inside campus -Toward promoting sustainability on campus, on the model of Hyderabad campus was launched the “cycles on campus” but most of the students come from far off places they are supported by Public transportations facility.
  6. Our institution has the intention of ordering high efficiency multi-purpose machines to consolidate printers, faxes, scanners and copiers.
  7. All faculty & administrative staff carry a reusable water bottle with them.
  8. All faculty have set their PC & computer screen to go into standby mode after 15 minutes of inactivity
  9. Several of the Faculty can Leave the car at home & take a walk in the second session of the College.
  10. Use natural light to light your office instead of Tube lights & CFLs.
  11. Using 100% post-consumer recycled paper for use in the office is
  12. All faculty carry their own bags for shopping outside the campus.
  13. Students are advised to avoid wasting food inside the campus.
  14. Reducing the wastage of stationery inside the campus is gradually picking up
  15. Watering the plants through channels with waste water recycling.

THE OUTREACH METHODOLOGY

Our Institution is striving towards enhancing the concept further more through Engaging the faculty and students in research and creative projects in campus Sustainability. Such as conducting environmental art exhibitions, energy saving demonstration projects such as solar street lighting, solar hot water for hostels, solar thermal cooking, institutional biogas plants , electrical mobility, etc , adopting a water Harvesting System etc. All these initiatives will lead to outcome such as reducing the negative environmental impact of the college or university, Saving the college money, educating and empowering students thereby creating a sustainable generation for future.

CONCLUSION-

Campus sustainability is the need of the hour and is one of key focus areas for sustainability initiatives. These initiatives will make a sustainable difference in campus communities and will assist students to focus on building capacity at individual level and institutions at large . These strategies will help to drive inclusive growth and enable institutions and individuals to work towards achieving their full potential. These initiative will also aim to increase awareness among the student community on the issue of sustainability, to keep the campus clean and green while improving the overall health of the student community. A holistic approach, more commonly including social, economic and traditional environmental considerations in sustainability goals has to become a part of the syllabi in the campus. Colleges and universities across the globe are making the concept of campus sustainability a reality. These initiatives are influencing curriculum decisions, operational budgets, facility plans, and campus culture. Students, faculty, & staff are leading these earnest efforts. Certainly bringing about a campus culture is a difficult work, requiring coordination and cooperation yet a common motivation towards achieving sustainability will follow.

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References-

  1. Poyyamoli- G- A critical review of campus sustainability in India- a road map for the future A critical review of campus sustainability in India- a road map for the future
  2. Bantanur shaila & others -Sustainability issues in Indian universities of Higher education
  3. Brundtland Commission. ( 1987) World commission on environment and development. Our common future. Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press; 1987.
  4. Leal Filho, Walter (ed.)( 2012 )Sustainable Development at Universities: New Horizons Series:Umweltbildung, Umweltkommunikation und Nachhaltigkeit / Environmental Education, Communication and Sustainability- Volume 34: 2012
  5. Alshuwaikhat.H.M,Abubakar I (2008)“An integrated approach to achieving campus sustainability: assessment if the current campus environmental management practice”, Journal of Cleaner Production2008

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