Ouachita Baptist University Green Initiatives
The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.Psalm 24:1
OBU Community Garden Arbor Day Celebration
Facebook: OBU community garden
Other environmental projects:
The energy conservation program is in full swing under the leadership of David Owens, Energy Manager.If the potential energy savings materialize, we’ll re-invest that money in buildings to replace old, inefficient equipment and further reduce our energy consumption
As of January 2011, the Energy Management Program had a total reduction in energy consumption of 13.0% since the program began in October 2008. The savings for 2010 were 10.6%. The cumulative greenhouse gas emission reduction since October 2008 was 31,901 MMBTU. We reduced our emissions by 2,395 metric tons of CO2, which is the same as removing 430 cars from the road or ten years growth for 61,271 trees.
In the student village and Westside projects, we allocated significant funding to upgrade heating and cooling equipment to the most efficient possible. We also included motion and/or light sensors in public areas to reduce light usage and installing water miser shower heads to reduce water usage. All bulbs in the buildings are CFL.
As funds are available, all light fixtures on campus will be upgraded to energy efficient models. This project is underway in Riley-Hickingbotham Library. LED light fixtures are also being researched for outdoor lighting and in recessed light fixtures.
The recycling program continues to grow. Each year, we add recycle bin locations to make it easier for members of our community to recycle instead of putting re-usable materials into the waste stream. SIFE, a Hickingbotham School of Business student organization, has led a successful recycling competition among residence halls the last two years to encourage student involvement.
A number of additional bike racks have been placed around campus to make bicycling more convenient. In addition, the number of sidewalks on north campus has been greatly expanded to encourage walking or bicycling.
The biology department has begun a bio-diesel program to reuse cooking oil from the dining hall and Chik-Fil-A in our on-campus equipment to reduce waste and reduce diesel consumption. The biodiesel is used in outdoor equipment and a new waste oil heater installed to heat one of the buildings in the Facilities Management complex. As our capacity for producing bio-diesel improves, we will research off-campus markets to purchase the product. A by-product of the bio-diesel conversion process may be a campus composting operation to re-use the glycerin created.
Fuel efficiency guidelines are in development for our university owned vehicles, including hybrid vehicles and possibly using electric trucks on campus.
We’ve discussed going tray-less in the dining hall to reduce food waste, water and detergent. You may have noticed the “trayless Tuesdays” signs in the Caf.
All washers in residence halls have been changed over to front-load, energy efficient models which reduce water usage, detergent usage and drying times.
We have begun working on the requirements to be designated a Tree Campus USA university by the end of 2011.
Other potential projects:
Drawing irrigation water from the Ouachita River
Extending sidewalk/bike paths from main campus to Feaster Trail on the North Campus and around the intramural fields to connect back to main campus.