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Green Efforts

Climate Action Plan

Climate Action Plan and Campus Sustainability Day

Campus celebrated five years of Green Efforts on Wednesday, October 24th with the showing of a national webcast, 'Educating Students for a Changing Climate', a review of our progress and greenhouse gas emissions, followed by a panel discussion focused on our Climate Action Plan. Panelists included Governing Board Member Randolph Lumm and representatives of each group of campus constituents: students, faculty, staff and administration.

Last year, GCC committed to become carbon neutral by 2025. Our Climate Action Plan that will lay out our path to 'carbon neutral' is due next semester. Our two the two largest sources of emissions come from:

1) Commuting to and from campus - 51%

2) Electrical power purchased to run campus - 37%

Emissions from transportation can be reduced through alternatives, by charging for parking and buying carbon offsets, or some combination of both. The audience and panel expressed their preferences, assuming a parking fee of $100 per semester, estimated to pay for offsets, including fully subsidized public transportation (multiple choices counted):

73% Ride light rail if it served GCC and was free

39% Ride the bus if it was free

36% Pay the parking fees

30% Bike or walk

24% Car-pool or van-pool

0% Quit school 0

Fees for parking also could be used to buy solar panels for GCC, which would reduce or even eliminate emissions from electrical power. Al Gonzales, Director of College Facilities, Planning and Development described the many efficiencies implemented on campus. These reduce our use of electricity.

A 'Degree of Difference' was proposed to lower building temperatures one degree in winter and raise them one degree in summer. 80% of attendees supported this idea.

Other suggestions, questions and responses:

  • Plant more trees
  • Paid parking to fund covered parking with solar panels and plant more trees
  • Use low-water plants to provide shade
  • Are maintenance departments using non-aerosol pumps for cleaning? Yes ~ 80%; Also, conducted trial in PS with ozonated water
  • Sprinklers run in daytime? Fungus grows in wet grass over night
  • Most students don't realize they have the power they do to effect change.
  • Spend an hour a week to ask questions in the SU.
  • Many students are caught up with their lives. Maybe all teachers could incorporate sustainability into their classes? Put info in front of students.
  • Could advisement help students choose classes on a 2-day schedule?
  • Don't have a green statement on GCC web page. (recommended to do so)
  • Ticker to show effect of green activities
  • Maybe put green info on district web page too, and other colleges
  • More cyclist appreciation days
  • Put a different question on web page each week could reach more students
  • More green info on facebook
  • GCC = Green CC Most students don't realize their own power to effect change.
  • Spend an hour a week to ask questions in the SU.

Sustainability Panel Discussion - Video Link

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Content revised 11/5/12