Radford University has taken on the great challenge of becoming more green and eco-friendly. Through several renovations, events and planning, they have made great progress in reducing their carbon footprint.
Madison and Jefferson residence halls underwent an extensive $10 million renovation in 2009, including bamboo flooring in all lounges, air-conditioning and a bathroom for each room. Freshman Patrick Berry lived in Jefferson Hall this year, and noted that “It’s really cool knowing I not only get a really nice dorm room but I am helping the environment at the same time”. Both dorms save 987,000 gallons of water annually through the use of low-flow toilets, sinks and showers. Moffett Hall is currently being renovation with similar upgrades to add to the sustainability plans.
In recognition of these efforts, RU was awarded two State Environmental Excellence Awards. A bronze award was given for the installation of a magnetic bearing chiller in Preston Hall and an honorable mention was given for competing in campus conservation. Every year, Radford participates in Campus Conservation Nationals, a three week competition to reduce electricity and water usage. In recent years, RU has placed as high as 3rd. In addition to that, an entire list of eco-friendly events have been brought to campus, including Recycle Mania, National Campus Sustainability Week and Ytoss, in which clothing, furniture and other housewares can be donated to those in need at the end of the semester.
Climate Action Planning is the next big focus, where RU is in the process of developing a campus wide plan to reduce greenhouse gas. The Sustainability Steering Committee continuously hosts three hour long workshops to get input from students and faculty. “The workshops,” says junior Cole Fields, “are really informative and allow us to speak our opinion and give feedback on the progress so far”. With plans like these, Radford will no doubt conserve more and more energy and make our world greener for a little longer.