Going Green: BSU Leading the Way?

Over the past few days the BSU Daily News has written several pieces on the transformation of the Ball St. campus to a more environmentally sustainable habitat. It’s always great to see changes to more sustainable living in the news, but the timing of the articles strikes me as odd. Granted, new is slow during the summer sessions, but why not save these articles for the fall semester when the campus is teeming with students and bound to reach more eyes? So what’s BSU doing and what’s the paper have to say about it? Check it out below.

BSU Works to Go Green

Part of BSU’s strategic plan includes making the campus more sustainable. The new construction and renovations on campus must meet the university sustainability standards. I was excited to see what BSU’s guidelines were, only to see a few lines later, its only the United States Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. While LEED is a great starting point, its a points based checklist that classifies how sustainable a building is based on the number of items “checked off”. Sustainable design is not achieved through a checklist. LEED is debated on a daily basis at school. It’s a great public relations tool (“Our campus as “X” amount of LEED certified builings.”) and a cash cow for the USGBC but achieves at best a “peel and stick” environmentally friendly building. I wished BSU would have used LEED as a guideline and created a more comprehensive plan for sustainable design. With 18,000+ people on campus a real program could make a huge difference. It is nice to see that the trees that have to be cleared for construction of the building will be put to good use as trim and other wood pieces in the new bulding.

Our View: Greener Pastures

The BSU Daily News editorial staff is on board with the university’s decision to move towards a more sustainable future. They do not take issue with using LEED as the standard but want students to use the school as an example and live a more sustainable life. The editorial introduces several ways to live more sustainable and even tells the area landlords to make improvements to apartments to bring them in line with environmentally friendly standards. Campuses across the country are supposed to be catalyst for change, so if the future leaders of America begin with change now, maybe it will spread and actually take root. If we don’t act soon, its going to be too late (actually we’re very late getting to this party anyway).

Going Green Can be Simple

This article picks up where the editorial leaves off and talks about changes students can make. Changes that are small when only one individual does it, but difference makers when 18,000 or 250,000 or 300 million people make the changes. The article touches on my favorite argument of the sustainability debate. Even if we (people of the world and our actions) aren’t causing/worsening global climates (haha…yeah right!) that making changes to a sustainable lifestyle WON’T hurt.

This is a topic that needs to be discussed on a daily basis. It’s great to see it making headlines in the student newspaper, but again I question the timing. Why not save this for 18,000 eyes instead of a couple thousand? With these changes Ball State can lead the wave of change across universities and the community at large.

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