Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, pledged to its students and to the public that it would become a green university. On November 3, 2009, Rutgers University signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and partnered with the United States Environmental Protection Agency in order to do just that. In the years following the signing of the MOU, the university says they have taken steps to reduce their carbon footprint. They’ve announced plans to reduce energy consumption and to increase energy efficiency. They’ve installed solar panels around their campuses, including a solar panel “farm” on Livingston Campus in New Brunswick designed to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. They’ve begun a five-year Facilities Energy Conservation Program they claim “will reduce energy consumption by 42,500,000 kWh”. They’ve announced plans to reduce waste, to recycle, and to in general improve the “greenliness” of the university as a whole.
But is all this stuff effective? Is it working? Has Rutgers University really gone green? In the three years following Rutgers’ promise to become an environmental example for universities and cities across the world, has Rutgers really reduced its heavy footprint on our environment?
My name is Gabrielle Flora. I am a student at Rutgers University studying Environmental Journalism through the School of Biological and Environmental Sciences in New Brunswick. My major focus and my background in environmental sciences make me alert to the environmental news that Rutgers releases. I’m an interested and concerned citizen of Rutgers, New Brunswick, and I want to know how well Rutgers has done at going green.
It is my goal in this blog to answer the question I ask to Rutgers University: R U Green, Rutgers?
***Image Credit: Zazzle Designs