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Green Steps Takes Action

Green Steps began the first step toward creating a more sustainable environment on campus as a large number of community members gathered for an energy conservation forum on February 8.

A large part of the forum was dedicated to discussion on the building of a new gas plant. Construction of the plant is set to begin this March and the committee hopes to have it completed by fall of 2006. The previously used coal plant has already been shut down and a temporary gas plant has taken its place.

A few of the other issues raised included heat distribution, building construction and the financial impact that preserving energy would hold. If the current sustainability trend continues, the college should be 45% more energy efficient by 2015.

Green Steps seeks to progress toward a more ecologically friendly campus while motivating students and faculty to take action through multiple forums sponsored by CEPC (Campus Environmental Policy Committee). “The point is to foster community dialogue which will lead to action; action arises out of discussion,” stated Dr. Jim Dontje.

The next forum will be held on March 8. Mike Bethurem has been invited to speak on water conservation and the possibility of new reservoirs on campus. Bethurem is the former head of the college’s utilities and currently works for the KY League of Cities.

On April 5, Aurelia Brandenburg, purchasing manager in the financial affairs department, will lead a session on the effects of "green purchasing" on sustainability. Green purchasing entails buying products which are ecologically safe (such as recycled paper towels).

Berea has been in the process of sustainability for over 10 years. Only recently was the name “Green Steps” formed. The Green Steps forums were established in summer of 2004 in response to a forum that was conducted by Dr. Richard Olson.

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