The new Campus Center has made great advancements in the University’s pledge to fulfill environmental advocacy in its mission statement.
Its recent silver certification in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, becoming the first building in the entire city to receive the award, should serve as a blueprint for any new building that hopes to achieve optimal sustainability and efficiency.
The building’s construction process was able to recycle 75 percent of its materials, the surrounding vegetation is drought resistant, low flow urinals and toilets reduce water consumption by 38.8 percent over one year, elongated windows that allow natural light to fill open areas reduces the use of light bulbs and its roof is designed to deflect the sun, keeping the inside cooler than a normal black roof.
All these measures, while not as cheap as inefficient materials up-front, will pay for themselves over time with savings on the energy bill and more importantly, the reduced impact on our planet.
While the LEED recognition only applies to new buildings, others can still strive for its environmentally friendly commitment through upcoming renovations.
However, steps can be taken throughout the campus that does not require any type of construction, just a little sacrifice and common sense.
For instance, in the very building this editorial is being written, the air conditioner can be programmed for a higher temperature, it doesn’t make sense to air condition the entire building to a point of needing a sweatshirt and the excess use of lights in the media building, whether it has occupants or not, is shamefully inefficient.
Though this responsibility does not only fall onto the administration alone. Students and faculty need to become more aware of irresponsible uses of energy: turn off lights and computers when they are not being used, utilize the recycle bins around campus and after we have done our part, and prove we care enough to sacrifice some pleasantries we then can start demanding administrative steps to increase La Verne’s promise to protect our planet.
The Campus Center is a fantastic start for our campus, but the progress should not stop there.
Let’s use this recognition as a stepping stone for what can still be done, and that requires both administrative steps to increase sustainability in construction and policies and personal responsibility on behalf of us, the students, to be aware of our daily lives and its impact on our environment.