Elmhurst College recently received an award from the State of Illinois in recognition of its efforts to promote sustainability.
Elmhurst College is developing a campus culture that supports, enhances and promotes sustainability. It aims to raise consciousness of green practices among students, faculty and staff. Elmhurst College has a far-reaching Sustainability Plan, unique initiatives in its buildings and grounds operations and opportunities for its students to contribute their time and energy to “living green at the College.”
Sustainability is hardly a new idea at Elmhurst. From its start in 1966, the Elmhurst Arboretum has grown and flourished so that today, the campus boasts nearly 800 trees and shrubs, including many exotic and rare specimens. The Prairie Garden on the western edge of campus includes 75 species of native plant life that flourish in a recently planted prairie restoration. And Elmhurst’s newest residence hall, West Hall, is also its most ecologically innovative building, with 42 rooftop solar panels; energy-saving, motion-sensitive lighting; and a network of cisterns to capture and store rainwater.
The College executes its Sustainability Plan through a committee with student, faculty and staff participation. The Elmhurst College Sustainability Committee has led campus efforts to improve awareness, identify and obtain implementation of new policies and practices, and gain recognition of the College’s efforts. During the summer of 2011, Elmhurst College joined the Illinois Campus Sustainability Compact and has been active in local and regional committees and programs; chief among them are cooperative recycling programs with the City of Elmhurst.
The students at the College are leaders in the College’s sustainability program. The Greenjays have been active since 2009 and lead efforts at education and promotion of sustainability. The Living Green Team, started in 2011, educates students about composting and recycling programs in the College cafeteria and the Bluejays' Roost; its role is expanding to include recycling efforts in the residence halls. Each year, The Green Cup is awarded to the residence hall occupants who show the greatest reduction in water and electricity usage and waste during the school year.
Join the effort to “live green at the College.” If you have ideas to help the program, please contact the Sustainability Committee. You already are on our web site, please browse through it.