MSU promotes, leads in sustainability
MSU always has made a commitment to the environment, pledging not only to cheer “Go green,” but to operate in an environmentally conscious manner.
Now, as the world continues to grow in population while resources remain limited, MSU is committing to making campus living more sustainable by reducing waste and promoting environmentally friendly habits among the student body.
The university has embraced a multitude of environmentally friendly practices, including a Clean Plates at State program, which encourages students to be mindful of how much food they are taking and how much food they are leaving on their plate at the end of a meal.
Omari Sankofa II
The recently constructed Bailey GREENhouse also is working toward campus sustainability, using scraps of food discarded at Brody Square to fertilize soil while growing herbs for the dining hall’s use in meal preparation. Yakeley Hall’s cafeteria has partnered with the Student Organic Farm since 2008, providing students with fresh, organic food with an emphasis on sustainability. And the university wants students to get involved in creating sustainable practices and projects for widespread use, creating a new Be Spartan Green Fund that provides grants for student sustainability projects.
As a campus that houses more than 50,000 students, faculty and workers, MSU creates a lot of daily waste. Instead of blindly allowing the university to fill landfills and pour carbon emissions into the atmosphere, MSU is showing its commitment to fostering sustainable practices on campus.
MSU has its own plan to implement renewable energy sources until the campus is at the point of running 100 percent on renewable energy. The Energy Transition Plan, approved unanimously by the MSU Board of Trustees in April, outlines the university’s effort to reach complete dependence on renewable energy at some point in the future. The plan invests $30 million to $40 million during the next 10 years to fund renewable energy efforts. Renewable projects in the plan include an anaerobic digester and an increase in the use of geothermal energy and biofuels.
It is important that MSU is one of the universities at the forefront of utilizing renewable energy resources. With a strong agricultural history, MSU knows the importance of natural resources and should continue to work to preserve them and move toward a cleaner environment.
The state of Michigan has all of the resources necessary to move toward incorporating more renewable energy sources, and Gov. Rick Snyder recently spoke about his commitment to increase the state’s renewable energy use. Michigan could be a state that sets an example to other Midwest states on how to effectively use renewable energy resources in a state once driven by fossil fuel use.
With the world’s population and global temperature both alarmingly increasing, it is imperative that our society start using more clean, renewable energy sources rather than continuing our reliance on fossil fuels. It is promising to see MSU and the state of Michigan both are beginning to realize the importance of sustainable practices and teaching sustainable habits to students and citizens.