A Green Future

Amy Reidy

The University of New Haven has already proven to be a university that takes pride in the ideals of green living. Through the newest residence hall, Soundview Hall, the university proved that it could be a leader in the green initiative. This residence hall, as many may know, has LEED gold certification, which means that it is the one of the most energy- efficient buildings on campus. This has been a major place of pride for the University of New Haven, and the university is looking to continue on that path of green living.

The reason that most of the UNH residence halls cannot be built in a similar way is the issue of funding. The university had to pay about $43 million to make those sustainable living quarters a reality. Looking at that aspect, the entire idea of green living deters many companies and people from pursuing that lifestyle.

That, however, is not the case for UNH. As the university grows and grows, it is constantly looking for new ways to cater to all types of students. Even when it seems that tuition does not come back to students in many ways, that is definitely not the case. The university, whether we like it or not, is expanding and allowing for more students to come in and have the wonderful experience that students have every day when they walk out of their residence halls in the morning (or the afternoon for some). The idea, however, that the university is, in fact, growing, raises questions about just how much strain that can put on the environment.

With tripled freshmen residence halls, more energy is being used in each room. The amount of gas used to bring the commuters, or those who do not have on campus housing, releases even more carbon dioxide into the environment. The fact that the University of New Haven is leaving an impact on the environment is not debatable, but the course of action that they take is up to them. As UNH continues, however, everyone can expect the university to put more into the likes of energy efficiency.

The students can expect to see more a more environmentally friendly approach regarding certain things on campus in the coming year. This is all thanks to the Connecticut Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority (CT CEFIA). They are funding the “Campus Efficiency Now” program promoted by Greener U Inc. This program has given $1 million to schools in Connecticut for the purposes of improving the energy efficiency on campus and reducing the school’s carbon footprints.

The schools, with the money that they are saving from being more energy efficient, will be required to pay back the loan within five years. Although it is just a loan, and not a donation, more money than they will be paying back will definitely be saved. The schools, in the long run, will not only be making a greater choice for themselves and the environment, but will be saving money, and ultimately be helping the students.

It will be interesting to see what the University of New Haven accomplishes with this money. There are a number of places on campus that come to mind where this money could most definitely be useful. This, however, is entirely up to the university. Students would be excited to see the money go to them in some way, shape or form, and it seems that the university does not hesitate in giving back to its students.—from Soundview and its grand features of energy efficiency, to the new residence hall currently being built, to the Green Team on campus and all of the recycling bins placed around to allow students easier access to being green. All of this reflects the nature of the university and where it is headed: toward a green future.