Right here, right now, we’re getting sustainability done. Our students, faculty and staff are making a real difference, with large and small sustainability projects that are showing concrete, measurable results. We’re lowering our carbon footprint, saving money, and creating lasting social change. Why? Because stewardship is part of who we are, and it has been since we opened in 1837. Our students are passionate about sustainability not because it’s the hot new trend, but because it’s been ingrained in our campus culture for 175 years.

Princeton ReviewCompost TeaEnergy TeamFarmGreen Cleaning

Earth

When it comes to being good stewards of the land, we’re not at all shy about getting our hands dirty. Whether it’s taking pre- and post-consumer waste and turning it into rich compost for projects all around campus, or gardening alongside our coworkers and neighbors, we take what we put into-and get out of-the land very seriously.

Compost Tea

Compost Tea

Story | Here on Guilford’s campus, we’re using a 250-gallon container and a GeoTea system to create our compost tea. While regular compost contains millions of beneficial organisms, our compost tea contains billions.
Benefits | Just one application does the work of many applications of regular compost, saves money and labor, and gets the beneficial organisms into the soil and roots more quickly.

Book Store

Book Store

Story | Visit the on-campus bookstore in Founders, and you’ll see sustainable, environmentally-responsible products on many of the shelves. But it’s what you can’t immediately see—the huge offering of used books, books for rent, digital books and digital rentals—that has an even bigger impact on the lives, and bank accounts, of students and their parents.

Benefits | Used and rental books are a great example of reduce, reuse and recycle. They reduce waste going into landfills, reduce the use of energy and ink, save trees, and save money. Digital sales and rentals take the benefits even further, providing yet another level of financial and finite resource savings.

Farm

Farm

Story | In the past year our farm has nearly doubled in size, and has also extended its growing season by about eight weeks. For the past four years, Guilford College has been committed to buying as much local produce possible. Now even more of it will be grown in our very own backyard.
Benefits | The farm helps in the commitment to buying low-carbon, low-transportation produce for the dining hall. It’s also a fantastic educational tool and community builder.

Campus Bike Shop

Campus Bike Shop

Story | Pedal power is one of the healthiest modes of transportation for people and the planet. Whether you bring your own bike to campus or rent one from our on-campus bike shop—the benefits are almost endless. Our bike shop’s friendly staff is ready to help with on-the-spot repairs and bike rentals. Need small bike essentials like inner tubes, tires, pumps, chains, locks, and safety equipment? We’ve got you covered.

Benefits | Fosters and supports a biking culture and community on campus. More people biking and fewer driving cars means a smaller carbon footprint.

RecycleMania

RecycleMania

Story | For the past four years Guilford College has participated in RecyleMania, a friendly competition that helps colleges and universities benchmark their recycling efforts. During the 10-week competition schools report recycling and trash amounts each week, then use those numbers to rally students, faculty and staff on their
individual campuses to do even better the next week.

Benefits| As everyone on campus becomes more and more involved over the 10 weeks, we not only raise awareness of our recycling program but significantly lower the amount of waste we generate. Because the competition is almost three months long—and we participate each year—student, faculty and staff behavior is positively modified for the long term.

Landfill Stickers

Landfill Stickers

Story | When people are rushing between classes, trying to grab a quick bite to eat, they often don’t stop to think about what it means to toss something in the trash. So we created large, arresting signs for campus trash cans
that say “Landfill,” to remind people that they’re not just throwing stuff away, they’re adding to our state’s ever-growing trash heaps.

Benefits | The signs are a constant reminder for everyone to pause before tossing something into a trash can, and ask themselves, “Can it be recycled? Could it be used for composting? Could I have chosen another product that would be better for sustainability?” It only takes a second to make lasting change.

Community Garden

Community Garden

Story | Now in its third season, our Community Garden is a relaxed place where people from all walks of life come together to get dirt under their nails, grow awesome food, and experience the one-of-a-kind thrill of nurturing seeds into harvests. We share shovels, gardening tips, blisters and—best of all—delicious, organic fruits and vegetables grown in a true community.

Benefits | Our Community Garden stimulates social interaction, teaches sustainable gardening (we also bring our First Year Experience classes here to see sustainable practices in action), creates healthy food, and improves life for people in the garden.

Green Dining

Green Dining

Story | Three years ago we began a partnership with Meriwether Godsey to greatly reduce food service waste, change the way we purchase our food and materials, and create a more sustainable dining program. As part of that initiative we remodeled the kitchen with an incredibly efficient automatic dish washer, added an organic-waste capture system, eliminated trays, switched to biodegradable napkins, began purchasing more local and organic foods, and started collecting used cooking oil for conversion to biodiesel.

Benefits | Today, by composting pre- and post-consumer waste, the dining hall diverts thousands of pounds of waste from landfills every week. Depending on the growing season, up to 40% of the food purchased is either organic, local or both—reducing pesticide use and eliminating thousands of miles of highway transportation. And nearly 100% of our cooking oil is reclaimed for biodiesel.

Green Cleaning

Green Cleaning

Story | Our students challenged us to greatly reduce the amount of chemical cleaners we use around campus, and we listened. Today our cleaning crew carries handheld ionizers that convert regular tap water into a safe, chemical-free, germ-killing cleaner that does just as good a job yet doesn’t pollute the air or leave harmful residues on surfaces. For floors and other applications where the ionizers aren’t practical, we’re now using LOTUS Pro units to turn tap water into a cleaning powerhouse.

Benefits | Not only have we eliminated almost all of the issues of transporting, storing and working with chemical cleaners, we have reduced the risk of those chemicals getting into the water supply through drainage and runoff. We have also stopped purchasing expensive cleaners that are no longer necessary, saving money.

Composting

Composting

Story | It doesn’t take long for leftovers and scraps from meals to add up, and tons (literally) of our dining waste used to end up in landfills. Today, not only do we have two commercial-grade Earth Tubs to churn that waste into incredibly rich compost, but we also recently installed open-air compost rows at the farm. Together the tubs and rows create huge amounts of compost we can use around campus for landscaping and other soil-intensive projects. Some is even applied at the farm where we grow food for the dining hall—starting the continuous, cyclical process all over again.

Benefits | We’re diverting an average of 8,900 lbs of waste from area landfills every week. That’s an incredible amount of compost we can use on the farm, in the community garden and all around campus.

Energy

Sustainable energy has two key components: renewable energy and energy efficiency. For years, we’ve steadily been increasing the use of renewable energy while becoming increasingly efficient in how we use traditional energy. The benefit? A lower carbon footprint, lower power bills, and a campus-wide change in attitudes and behaviors about energy use.

Energy Team

Energy Team

Story | Last year Guilford College, as a part of the Student Energy and Fellowships Program, received a one-year, $200,000 energy grant to conduct a campus-wide energy audit. In May 2011, the funds were used to hire four Energy Team members and an intern/coordinator. The team recently finished its building-by-building, room-by-room audit.
Benefits | The valuable data the team has collected is being used in a myriad of ways to reduce short- and long-term energy consumption across campus.

Lighting Retrofit

Lighting Retrofit

Story | Over the past few years our facilities department has been performing a lighting retrofit across campus. They’ve been replacing outdated fixtures, installing daylight and occupancy sensors, and taking specific measurements to ensure that every hallway and office has the optimum foot-candles for comfort and safety.
Benefits | Now that 80-85% of the lights have been replaced the energy savings are becoming increasingly evident. In a recent audit by our energy team, we discovered that we have already saved approximately 1,0006,000 kilowatt hours since 2008.

Energy Allowance

Energy Allowance

Story | Since 2009, students in the North Apartments and Theme Houses have enthusiastically been living with a monthly energy allowance. The Energy Allowance Program uses historical data to set a “power ceiling”—a line of
energy consumption the students are supposed to stay under. The students have to learn very quickly how lights,
appliances, computers, mini-fridges and other electronics affect power bills and energy consumption.

Benefits | By helping residents become aware of their energy use—and giving them the personal responsibility of conserving in their living spaces—Guilford College has been able to lower its carbon footprint and utility expenses. In the ’11-’12 school year alone, these students helped reduce their energy use by 40%—up from 29% the previous year.

XLERATOR Hand Driers

XLERATOR Hand Driers

Story | In an effort to reduce paper waste and save energy, we have replaced paper towels with electric hand driers in 60% of the restrooms on campus. The XLERATOR hand driers we have installed dry hands 3X faster and use 80% less energy than conventional hand dryers.

Benefits | We have completely eliminated paper towels in all of the restrooms that have XLERATOR hand driers. Because they’re so efficient, we’re not only reducing waste—and our carbon footprint— but also saving money every month.

Archdale Hall LEED Certification

Archdale Hall LEED Certification

Story | LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification is administered by the U.S. Green Building Council to recognize sustainable development. It has incredibly strict guidelines, making it difficult for even new buildings to earn certification. During recent renovations to Archdale Hall, built in 1885, we were able to marry LEED certification with historic preservation.

Benefits | High-efficiency lighting, super-efficient heating and cooling systems, low-water consumption fixtures, a rain water harvesting and recycling system, and extra-thick insulation made from recycled cellulose and paper allowed us to highlight historic features and maximize energy efficiency.

Solar Thermal System

Solar Thermal System

Story | Since 2007, Guilford College has installed more than 200 solar panels on nine buildings across campus. Together, these panels can create more than 9,000 gallons of hot water every day.

Benefits | The solar thermal system harnesses renewable energy for a huge portion of the campus – including dorms, athletic facilities and dining halls – greatly reducing our dependence on natural gas for hot water, and helping us work toward our ACUPCC (American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment) carbon reduction goals.

Green Office Program

Green Office Program

Story| Our Green Office program certifies faculty and staff office suites based on things like energy use, waste reduction, campus participation, and purchasing decisions. We start with a simple audit—to let them see where
they stand on our three-tier scale: “Seedling”, “Sapling” or “Tree”. Then we provide some basic tips on how to make personal and lifestyle choices that are more sustainable, so they can gradually progress up the scale.

Benefits | Faculty and staff are quickly learning how their day-to-day actions affect not just their offices, but the campus, community and planet. They’re more aware of how they use resources, and see how positive individual choices can add up and make a real, measurable difference.

EnergyStar Purchasing Policy

EnergyStar Purchasing Policy

Story | Guilford College Facilities created an EnergyStar purchasing policy a few years ago, which requires that all new electronic purchases be EnergyStar or rated equivalently. At the same time, while it’s not a rule, we also request and suggest that all electronics brought to school by students meet the same required ratings.

Benefits | Just by slowly replacing broken or outdated electronics with EnergyStar models – and getting students to think about the energy demands of the electronics they
bring to school every year – we are able to reduce the power we consume as a campus.

ReRev Equipment in PE Center

ReRev Equipment in PE Center

Story | As part of a larger remodel of the PE Center, we recently installed 10 ReRev elliptical machines, which harness the energy from workouts. Now, when people work out on the ellipticals, their kinetic motion actually generates electricity that’s captured to be used in the center later.

Benefits | Each of the ten machines captures about 50 watt hours of clean, carbon-free electricity during every 30-minute workout. That’s enough power to run a laptop for 24 hours, or to fully charge a cell phone 6 times. And all from something people were doing anyhow.

Water

The less clean, fresh water we use-and waste-the faster groundwater aquifers can be replenished by nature. We started water-saving measures years ago, and continue to adopt new technologies as they become available. The benefit? Far less water used on campus, lower water bills, and long-term change in the way people on our campus think about-and use-one of our most precious resources.

Rainwater Capture System

Rainwater Capture System

Story | Instead of relying on city water for the toilets in Archdale Hall, we installed a grey water system that captures rainwater from the entire east half of the Archdale Hall roof. The 1700 gallon, underground system uses mechanical, sediment and ionization filters to treat the water before pumping it up to the bathrooms.

Benefits | By feeding all of the toilets from the grey water system we are able to efficiently reuse rainwater and reduce the amount of city water needed in the building. The system helped us get LEED Certification during the building’s remodel in 2008.

Lake Water Irrigation

Lake Water Irrigation

Story | We have always used lake rather than city water to irrigate both the McBane and Alumni athletic fields, which are about 5.5 acres combined. The same lake water was also previously used to water the grass in the Armfield Athletic Center’s football stadium, but that field was replaced with turf in 2009—further reducing our irrigation needs.

Benefits | While we still carefully manage of the amount of water we use for irrigation, the lake greatly lessens our impact on local water resources. By collecting the water from our large, wooded watershed, we can keep the fields safer for play while still reducing our impact on the environment.

Dual-Flush Toilets

Dual-Flush Toilets

Story | We’ve upgraded almost all of the toilets on campus with manual, dual-flush mechanisms. Push the handle down, and the toilets use 1.6 gallons per flush—already a huge savings over older, non-efficient units. Pull the handle up and the toilets use just 1.1 gallons, saving another half gallon per flush.

Benefits | By switching from older toilets to basic, low-flow 1.6 gpf units, we can save about 10,000 gallons of water per toilet per year. But adding in the dual-flush, high-efficiency mechanisms we’ve added another 8,000 gallons of water savings for each toilet.

Sink Aerators

Sink Aerators

Story | All of the restroom sinks on campus have been fitted with .5 GPM aerators to reduce consumption. It seems like a small thing, but on a typical bathroom sink we can use about 75% of the water we’d typically use without an aerator. Which means water savings of up to 18,000 gallons per sink every year.

Benefits | Today’s aerators do an incredible job saving money without sacrificing water pressure. By installing them across campus, we’re able to greatly reduce the amount of fresh, clean water used for things like washing
hands and brushing teeth—without reducing the pressure and effectiveness of the faucets.

Waterfree Urinals

Waterfree Urinals

Story | 95% of the urinals on campus have been replaced with Falcon Waterfree models. Each one of these urinals can save up to 40,000 gallons of fresh water per year. As fresh, clean water becomes more and more scarce,
these savings become more important for our campus, community and planet.

Benefits | By using so much less fresh water, we’re not only conserving one the the planet’s most important resources but saving a good deal of money in utility bills and maintenance. The simple act of using waterfree urinals also reminds our students, faculty and staff to conserve water throughout the day.

Ultra-Low-Flow Shower Heads

Ultra-Low-Flow Shower Heads

Story | Like sink aerators, ultra-low-flow shower heads are a small, easy way to save a large amount of water. We’ve replaced older, greedier heads with extremely efficient 1.5 GMP models in showers all across campus. These reduce the average five-minute shower’s water usage from 40 to 7.5 gallons.

Benefits | By eliminating about 32.5 gallons of water from every five-minute shower, we are making incredible gains in water conservation. But it’s not just water we’re saving. Our water heaters—the majority of which are already powered by solar—have to use much less of that stored solar energy to heat the water.

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