Environmental Column

Cynic Article: Environmental ColumnUVM: Green and GreenerBy now everyone should be used to seeing some pretty weird stuff around campus. Like what are those stencils spray-painted into the walkways? What’s with the gigantic TV in Cook Commons? There are even some funky-looking people here, but that’s expected in college. But what if you started seeing some of the buildings on campus sprout grasses and ivies on their roofs? Would that be out of place?Members of the university’s Consortuim for Ecological Living (CEL), a student-run group that explores ecological design concepts for UVM and the greater community, is trying to make some roofs on campus become a little greener. One of CEL’s first projects of the Spring semester is to design and install a small green or living roof for a building on campus. We have considered a living roof on the Patrick Gym, on the E building of the Living/Learning complex, and on bus stops around campus.In addition to the green roof project, CEL is planning some other fun and wacky ecologically-oriented projects. In the past we have run Earth Day activities, sponsored lecturers on topics ranging from Genetically Modified Organisms to the Summit on Sustainability in South Africa. One of the group’s main focuses, however, has been to represent students for some of the major building projects on campus that are being planned for the next few years. We have discussed “green” building alternatives and technologies for the future dorms, academic buildings, and for the new student center. We believe that it is important to push for green technologies in building practices on these designs if UVM is going to market itself as the Environmental School.So the members of CEL are keeping themselves fairly busy, but we are always interested in hearing other students’ ideas for making the UVM campus more green. If you bring your idea to our meeting to the basement of Billings (across from the candy counter) at 4:30 on Mondays, you’ll probably get the enthusiastic support of a bunch of eco-geeks, ready to help do the leg work to make UVM a greener place.-Rosie [email protected]