April 26, 2013
Attention Faculty & Staff: UC Green is looking for faculty and professional staff members at Drexel University, Drexel University College of Medicine and the Academy of Natural Sciences who are interested in becoming Board Members. Celebrating its 15th year, UC Green is a local organization working to improve University City through partnerships, education and community service. Those interested in joining the Board are encouraged to contact Rita LaRue, Senior Associate Vice President of Drexel Business Services and Chair of the Board of UC Green, by telephone or e-mail: 215-895-1534 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about the organization, please see the UC Green website at ucgreen.org.
Green Campus Visionary Sets Sight on Drexel’s Green Initiatives and Buildings
April 15, 2013
Drexel’s Smart House initiative has been spearheading cutting-edge environmental research and design at Drexel for the past few years, and this week the team will have the opportunity to show off their handiwork to one of the biggest names in green building, noted environmentalist and author Dr. David Orr.
On Thursday, April 18, Orr will get a personal tour of the Drexel Smart House, followed by a discussion about interdisciplinary Smart House initiatives as well as the urban environment, community engagement and sustainability. The discussion, entitled Sustainable Urban Revitalization: A Conversation with David Orr, will take place from 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. in the atrium of the Papadakis Integrated Sciences Building (33rd and Chestnut Streets).
Read full story on the Drexel News Blog.
RecycleMania Week 1: Where Does Drexel Stand?
February 18, 2013
After the first full week of RecycleMania and this year’s first collection event, held at the Drexel Recreation Center on Feb. 6, Drexel ranks 99th out of 208 colleges and universities participating in the Grand Champion category. The rest of the Week 1 standings are below. We here at Drexel Green believe we could be doing a lot better. Now is the perfect time to clean out your office, dorm room or apartment and recycle your paper, electronics, glass, aluminum and plastic containers at one of the many recycling receptacles on Drexel’s campus, or at the Feb. 26 collection event on the Center City Campus (10am-2pm outside the Bellet Building). A complete guide to Recycling at Drexel [PDF] is available for your reference.
Drexel’s Week 1 RecycleMania Standings:
Drexel Student Groups Encourage ‘Meatless Mondays’ on Campus
February 11, 2013
Drexel’s Sierra Student Coalition and Animal Welfare Association are embracing Meatless Monday, a movement backed by an array of public-health advocates, animal welfare activists and environmentalists that asks meat-eaters to go meatless one day a week.
Their goal is to make Meatless Monday a staple of the Handschumacher Dining Hall and to highlight meatless options available for students to eat on campus, said Nicole Koedyker, a Drexel student and president of the Sierra Student Coalition.
“Factory farms cause one fifth of the Earth’s greenhouse gases from the growing of their food, which is mostly corn, to the waste they produce that then goes into our water. It’s a lot of emissions,” said Koedyker.
Meeting every Monday of this term in the dining hall, the two organizations want to encourage Drexel students to sign a Meatless Monday pledge. Even Drexel’s primary food-service provider, Sodexo, has taken part in the initiative by providing a variety of new vegetarian and vegan options at the dining hall. Though Drexel is not planning to completely eliminate meat from Monday’s menu, they are looking to highlight their meatless options.
City Adds Monthly E-Waste Collection Event for Household Electronics
February 11, 2013
The Philadelphia Streets Department and ECOvanta, a Responsible Recycling (R2) certified business, have partnered to host an Electronic Waste (E-Waste) Recycling Collection Event every month in West Philadelphia. This is your opportunity to properly dispose of unwanted household electronic items in a safe, legal and environmentally friendly way. Collection events are held every second Saturday from 10 am to 2 pm at Ezekiel Baptist Church, 5701 Grays Avenue in Philadelphia. As a general safety precaution, you should always make sure information in data storage devices, such as computers, smart phones and copiers, is completely removed prior to donation or recycling.
Drexel Researchers Investigate Impact of Biowall
February 3, 2013
The largest of its kind in the United States, the biowall in the Constantine N. Papadakis Integrated Sciences Building is intended to serve three main purposes. Visually, the wall is an extraordinary centerpiece that demands attention. But more importantly, the wall is meant to function as a living laboratory for Drexel faculty and students and to serve as an air purifier for the meeting spaces and offices in the building.
In an effort to better understand the benefits provided by this green technology, Drs. Shivanthi Anandan and Jacob Russell from the Department of Biology teamed up with Dr. Michael Waring from Drexel’s Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering Department. Together, these three researchers have been studying how well the biowall works in removing airborne pollutants, or volatile organic compounds (VOCs), such as benzene, formaldehyde and toluene. They’re also looking at how the different plant types (and their root microbes) in the biowall vary in their abilities to purify the VOCs, and which of the root-associated microbes are involved in VOC degradation.
While the building was under construction, the group obtained permission to install sampling ports on each of the building’s five floors to measure the quality of the air before and after passing through the biowall. Measurements from each floor will reveal removal efficiency and any changes in air quality from floor to floor due to differences in temperature, light, humidity or plant types.
While data are not yet available to fully evaluate the wall’s efficiency in improving indoor air quality, the answers are coming soon, according to Drs. Waring and Russell. “What’s great is that the research being done here can very easily fit into our coursework,” Russell says. He and Waring both plan to have students continue the biowall research in their courses this spring and hope to have more definitive answers at the end of the quarter.
Drexel Makes EPA’s Top 10 Green Power Purchasers in Higher Ed
January 28, 2013
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has ranked Drexel No. 9 nationally among colleges and universities using the most renewable energy.
In addition to the Top 20 College & University list, the EPA’s Green Power Partnership also updated the standings for the 2012-13 College & University Green Power Challenge, which tracks the green power use of colleges and universities both individually and by athletic conference. Drexel, through its association with the Colonial Athletic association, stands at No. 7 on this list.
“Drexel is proud to be honored by the EPA once again for our commitment to renewable energy,” said Jim Tucker, Senior Vice President for Student Life and Administrative Services. “The University’s purchase of wind and solar energy has been a cornerstone of our efforts to achieve and maintain the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment goal of reducing our operations carbon footprint by 80%.”
EPA's Green Power Partnership works with more than 1,400 organizations to voluntarily purchase green power to reduce the environmental impacts of conventional electricity use. Overall, EPA's Green Power Partners are using more than 24 billion kWh of green power annually, equivalent to avoiding the CO2 emissions from the electricity use of more than 2.1 million average American homes.
Westphal Launches New Minor in Sustainability
January 23, 2013
From creating new kinds of food packaging made of recyclable materials to finding ways to leverage design to reduce fossil fuel consumption, the need for sustainable design is surfacing in the mainstream. Drexel recently introduced a new minor, Sustainability in the Built Environment, to meet that growing need. The decision is part of a University-wide trend to provide students with the tools needed to analyze future projects from a sustainable perspective.
The minor is comprised of 15 required credits and nine free elective credits pertaining to sustainability. The courses integrate collaboration and interdisciplinary teamwork to help students understand how to incorporate sustainability principles into their future careers. The curriculum goes beyond the stereotypical design courses, working in interdisciplinary collaborations with Drexel Smart House and community engagement design electives, such as the Mantua Community Design Build. The minor is meant to be flexible so it can easily fit into a student’s schedule.
Drexel Expands Sustainability Leadership With Wind and Solar Energy Purchase
January 17, 2013
Drexel University is expanding its position as one of the nation’s leading higher-education purchasers of renewable energy through Community Energy. Drexel’s new commitment includes 96,582MWh of PRAXIS Green Power (a combination of renewable energy certificates and an online learning platform), as well as solar renewable energy from the Keystone Solar Project located in Lancaster, Pa.
As part of this commitment to wind and solar, Drexel will receive unique access to “Building Keystone Solar,” a compilation of online learning modules that provide students and professors with behind-the-scenes education about the solar project development process, with in-depth access to videos, documents, designs and plans not otherwise available in the classroom. As Pennsylvania moves toward a clean energy future, sponsorship of the Keystone Solar Project highlights Drexel University’s continued commitment to environmental sustainability.
Drexel initially committed to purchasing clean, renewable energy certificates equal to 100 percent of its electrical energy usage in October 2010, through a wind energy purchase agreement with Community Energy.