At Bethel, our facilities team continues to focus on sustainability efforts in a number of areas.
One of our strength areas when it comes to energy conservation has been in the design specifications for new buildings. Some of our latest projects have included:
- High efficiency boilers and water heaters
- Automatic environmental control systems
- Daylight harvesting and window tinting
- Green roof
- Occupancy sensors and touchless fixtures
We’re also committed to making improvements as we remodel other facilities. In the recent remodels we’ve used overhead LED light, installed touchless fixtures, improved environmental control systems, and started to replace single pane windows.
From materials to cleaning products, we try and make improvements in the way we care for and keep up our campus spaces. Here are just a few of the ways:
Carpet. For new carpet, we’re using a green product that is environmentally friendly and 100% recyclable. We make sure to recycle all carpet we remove, and we even require that our vendor recycles the carpet storage boxes.
Cleaning chemicals. We use chemicals that are recognized by our campus' Green Council as environmentally friendly and have Green-Seal labeling. And all empty containers get recycled.
Trash and paper compactors. Our compactors significantly reduce the number of trips the waste company needs to make, which affects fuel and emissions for their vehicles. Having a box compactor helps us keep more paper out of the dump.
Hazardous Waste Management
This is a key area that can really have effects on the environment. In light of this, we’ve concentrated on improving training and documentation in order that hazardous waste is properly handled. We’ve also installed a spray booth to help us manage our spray byproducts and protect our workers.
The Chemistry and Biology departments participate in Minnesota’s mercury-free program, ensuring that no mercury devices are used in their labs and classrooms. Plus, all the mercury thermostats in residence halls were replaced last summer.
Although we have a lot of room to improve, such as better managing storm water and invasive species, here are some of the ways we’re trying to be more green as we care for our grounds:
- Storm water management
- Environmentally friendly lawn and ice melt products
- Vehicle and equipment services to keep them operating more efficiently
- Increased use of natural prairie spaces in lieu of turf
- Permeable pavers for new parking lots