Green Office Program Renews UNE’s Commitment to Sustainability

Lucas HoddWells, Contributor

When you look around at any point in your day, you are bound to witness some sort of waste or air pollution being put out into our world. Whether it be a car’s emission, a bottle thrown into the trash, or simply someone leaving their lights on – people are not taking care of our environment. The fact is that we are not good stewards, and it is trying to tell us that things need to change.

Here at UNE, the 2015 ENV 240 Sustainability Class is creating a tool to help address this problem. We are designing the Green Office Program, which we believe will make offices at UNE more environmentally sustainable. “It is empowering to be a crucial part of UNE’s Sustainability turning point,” says Cody Duckworth, one of the students in the sustainability class. “The Green Office Program is teaching us key lessons for program brainstorming, planning, and implementation. ENV 240 is certainly a great way to apply my sophomore level Environmental Studies to real-life scenarios.” We are designing a website, evaluation tool and educational materials so that any faculty or staff member who wishes to participate can learn how to make their office more sustainable.

The checklist has six categories of sustainable practices. After an office registers to participate, they will print out the checklist and review all the categories, and for each sustainable practice in use, they will receive a certain amount of points. After the checklist is completed and submitted to the Sustainability Office, a student Eco Representative will evaluate it and visit the office to verify that a greener, more sustainable space has been sufficiently created. The Eco-Rep will make suggestions and point out additional practices that will make the office even more sustainable so that a higher level can be achieved.

Offices that achieve one of the four green certification levels will receive a certificate that they can hang in their office and will be listed on the Green Office website so they can have bragging rights. Additionally, the office will receive a different plant for each level of certification. Level one receives a cactus; level two receives a bamboo plant; level three receives a peace lily, and the fourth and final level will receive a hibiscus plant.

The UNE ENV 240 Sustainability Class is working hard to get this project off the ground and we need your support.  Ask your professors to participate.  Suggest it to the staff members around campus.  Sign up to be an Eco-Rep and help out with the evaluations. It is our future. We are working on creating a more sustainable UNE one small step at a time.

Help us create a better UNE.