Through a new initiative dubbed Project [Re]Green, College of Technology students are working to make sustainability an everyday reality within the college.
Holly Chan, a graduate student in the Department of Technology Leadership & Innovation, is working with the college administration to research sustainability and how to incorporate its ideals into the college’s culture.
“We have to take a holistic approach with our sustainability efforts,” she said. “They touch all areas: economic, environmental, social, educational.”
Chan and Kirti Chintalapudi, a College of Technology sophomore majoring in industrial technology/industrial distribution, have taken on the leadership roles for Project [Re]Green and are points of contact for other sustainability initiatives.
Throughout this academic year, they solicited ideas from students, faculty and staff about improving the college’s environmental efforts. They received 123 submissions during the process. Several of those will be implemented as part of a new class during Fall 2013, TECH 19900 (Applied Sustainability Principles). Winners of the [Re]Green contest included: separating paper towel waste in restrooms for composting, powering down computer labs when not in use, installing motion-sensor lights throughout Knoy Hall, and more diligent purchasing of recycled and recyclable office products.
In addition, Chan and Chintalapudi have been in discussions about installing a green roof at Knoy Hall. Chintalapudi is vice president of the campus Boiler Green Initiative, which helped install the first green roof at Purdue in 2009 at Schleman Hall of Student Services. She is leading the Knoy Hall discussions for BGI with co-chair and civil engineering major Andrew Martin. The committee is focused on planning, educating and fund-raising to make the green roof a reality.
The group lists several benefits for adding a green roof to Knoy: reduced utility costs, built-in sustainability research laboratory, storm water management and filtering and creating of a social space. A final decision about the green roof should be made later this summer.
There are plenty more initiatives to explore and assist with, including LEED certification of Knoy Hall and other campus buildings. And the work being done by Chan and Chintalapudi, while affecting larger audiences, is enhancing each of their educations.
Just as Chan as incorporated sustainability into her graduate program, Chintalapudi has asked her advisor and professors about weaving more sustainability topics into her major, such as lean processes.