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Turning Green:
Mount taking steps to reduce and reuse

Stephanie Long
Emmitsburg Dispatch

(4/3) In a time when “going green” is becoming a popular catch phrase and way of life, Mount St. Mary’s University is doing it’s part, taking on several new initiatives and continuing it’s on-going effort to reduce it’s carbon footprint, reduce and reuse.

“A lot of different things are going on,” said Jeffrey Simmons, Associate Professor of Environmental Science at the Mount.

Since 2005 the Mount has had a recycling program, recycling aluminum, cardboard, paper and plastic, but this year marks a new policy that dictates that recycled products should be bought and used whenever possible. For example, products made of recycled materials have been used in new construction and renovations, which include carpet and ceiling tiles.

Energy Star products have also begun to replace older, less-efficient items across campus. Large, gas-guzzling vehicles have been replaced with new, more fuel-efficient models and campus work trucks have been replaced with smaller vehicles.

The Mount’s attempt to go green has also been incorporated into the construction of buildings on campus. More-efficient lighting, low-flow toilets and more-efficient steam lines have been used in the new dorm, which has also been fitted with geo-thermal technology. In the warmer months of the year, when the air conditioner is used, pumps store the excess heat in the ground. When the colder months come, the pumps work in reverse and tap into the heat source in the ground and use it to heat the building.

“Energy is not wasted and we don’t have to buy fuel,” Simmons said. “Really it [fuel] is taken out the ground.”

President Thomas H. Powell has also committed to take the Mount to the next level and truly go green, signing a petition along with 400 other college presidents and vowing to move towards zero carbon emissions as a long-term goal.

The university has plans to continue to go green across campus, which include plans to plant more trees, conserve water and improve energy consumption on campus.

“Our long-term plan is to use the land wisely, reduce our waste and over 50 years make the university much more sustainable,” Simmons said.

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