Sustainability

New revolving fund, affinity group created

The spring semester is well on its way and so is the Student Sustainability Task Force. Here are some updates on their projects. Email sstf@union.rpi.edu with any questions or how to get involved!

Green Revolving Fund

The GRF was proposed to the Senate in the fall of 2014 to conserve energy and save money on campus at RPI. This fund would work by investing in energy-saving projects that would save the school money, which would later fund other projects. The GRF continues to evolve since the original proposal with a growing membership involving new students on the project. Meeting after SSTF meetings, members have discussed and started to research plans that interest them and that could save energy and money on campus.

A leader of the GRF, Dan Sze ’17, has proposed to create the Computer Energy Conservation Project, which would save energy on campus computers. Installing the computer program, Verdiem’s Surveyor, would allow for a greater flexibility in monitoring power management than the one currently in place. Currently, the computers in the VCC will turn off the monitors after 15 minutes without use and the hard disks will turn off after 20 minutes of no use, which is not very efficient. If the new program was installed in the approximately 300 computers in the VCC, it could save thousands of dollars, about $4500 a year, which would pay for the initial investment from the GRF in less than a year. The money saved by CECP would later be used to fund more GRF projects on campus.

Other projects being researched by the members of the GRF and SSTF include improvements on water fountains on campus, weatherproofing windows, and installing an anaerobic digester, among other projects. By referencing established green energy conservation projects on other college campuses, along with other knowledge they possess, the GRF members can outline and propose future projects to improve sustainability on campus. The members of the GRF hope the CECP will be a success and are looking forward to new ideas, members, and projects that will save energy and bring a greener campus to RPI.

SustainAffinity

The SSTF has also launched RPI SustainAffinity, an affinity group to connect current RPI students and RPI alumni interested in sustainability. Project lead and former chairperson, Elizabeth Anderson ’14, is working with Alumni Relations to develop the project. The goal of SustainAffinity is three-fold: to provide a network to help RPI students and alumni interested in sustainability careers learn their options, to create a sustainability community that reaches beyond RPI, to mentor current students, particularly environmental club leaders, and to reach their goals at RPI and beyond. “Like” SustainAffinity on Facebook for more information and get connected at http://www.facebook.com/SustainAffinity. Be on the lookout for more information regarding events at Alumni Weekend 2015 and in the future!

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