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LIU Post Marks Campus Sustainability Day 2013

‘Permaculture’ advocate Jan Spencer kicks off speaking tour; new LIU Post blog chronicles green initiatives on campus

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Morgan Lyle,Assistant Director of Public Relations
LIU Post, Long Island University
516-299-4177

LIU-Post-Spencer-CarlinBrookville, N.Y. — LIU Post observed National Campus Sustainability Day with a discussion of “permaculture,” plans to expand the campus Green Office program, a new blog on sustainability, an exhibit of student recycled art and new hydration stations that reduce consumption of throw-away water bottles.

Permaculture advocate Jan Spencer spoke on “Suburbia and Permaculture” at LIU Post Oct. 24. His afternoon and evening appearances were the first of a three-week tour of Northeast college campuses with stops that also included Yale University, Green Mountain College, and Boston and New York City area schools.

Spencer discussed how he retrofitted his own suburban home in Eugene, Ore. with rainwater collection and filtration as well as solar water-heating systems. He removed his driveway and carport, preferring to get around by bicycle, and replaced his lawn and hedges with fruit- and food-bearing vegetation.

But permaculture means more than growing one’s own food, he told attendees. It is a philosophy of sustainable living through renewable energy, minimal waste, nature-inspired landscapes and local resources.

“We ought to live in places that resonate with our spirit,” he said. “We’d be a happier and healthier civilization.” He added that people across different lifestyles and geographies incorporate the permaculture mindset. “This is not a fringe activity.”

Spencer’s talk and the other green initiatives were facilitated by Sustainable Post, a campus-wide committee that includes LIU President Dr. Kimberly R. Cline. “As a sustainable campus, we’re looking to innovate higher education – regionally and nationally,” said Professor Scott Carlin, committee coordinator.

National Campus Sustainability Day, celebrated this year on Oct. 23, is sponsored by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE).  LIU Post graduate students William Achnitz and Lauren Pecoraro attended AASHE’s national conference in Nashville, Tenn., in October,  where they presented information on LIU Post’s successful and growing recycling program, which includes:

•    Sustainable Post’s plans to challenge more campus offices to go green with pledges of increased recycling, reduced printing, use of reusable mugs and other environmental measures.
•    Students in the LIU Post Newman Club holding a “Revamp, Recycle, Restore” contest of recycled art projects, with cash prizes for winners and all submissions displayed in the Sculpture Gallery Nov. 13.
•    A new blog, LIU CommPost (“Giving You the Dirt on Everything Green at LIU Post”), debuting this month at www.theliucommpost.com.
•    New hydration station water fountains designed to refill reusable bottles to reduce waste in all residence halls. There are already eight  hydration stations at various sites on campus.
•    LIU Post students filling 75 bins with empty packing boxes. This amounted to 5,000 pounds of recycled cardboard.

Ongoing sustainability efforts include using locally grown food in campus dining halls, Long Island’s first master’s degree in environmental sustainability, alternative energy sources such as solar panels and an award-winning geothermal HVAC system, a student-sponsored recycling scholarship (funded by returnable bottle deposits), the annual Sustainability Luncheon in the spring, and the Green and Gold Pledge for graduating Seniors.

For more information on LIU Post's sustainability and green campus initiatives, visit liu.edu/post/green.

Posted 10/31/2013

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