Unity College’s Student Activities Center (SAC) is the “black hole” of the campus consuming the most oil, said Dan LaForge Friday, as he prepares the plans to wrap the building in new siding this summer, the college’s next step in “walking the talk.”
As the Director of Facilities & Public Safety Dan LaForge is in charge of turning the “ecological disasters” into average or better than average energy efficient buildings, said Mick Womersley, Professor of Human Ecology.
The SAC is the “biggest energy sink” at the college, said Womersley, costing the college around $50,000 a year to heat before last summer’s insulation of the roof. It now ranges between $30,000 and $35,000 a year and will lower after this summer’s added insulation.
Being America’s Environmental College, emissions come first, said Womersley, “by reducing energy consumption we argue it can be done and prove to naysayers that climate change is a matter of implementation.”
The SAC is only one of many projects going on said LaForge, there was recently a pond built to capture run-off and the next project after the completion of the SAC will be installing new windows for Eastview and Westview, two dorms on the campus.
Jesse Pyles, Unity College’s Sustainability Coordinator said that Unity College has 1/3 the emissions in comparison with other colleges. He said, “We go bit by bit through the list [of energy efficiency projects] and implement these projects.”
Womersley said that without any implementation of changes, talking just wouldn’t make a difference concerning climate change. “It has to be a balance between advocacy, science, and getting the job done.”
There is another project on hand, according to Pyles, to have an “interpretive tour on campus” via kiosks that “explore sustainability on campus.” “We have a leadership role to play.”
When it comes down to it, walking the talk is important to prepare students, said LaForge. Womersley said, “It helps to know you’re hoeing an honest row.”