NMSU-A has a “Green Thread.”

NMSU-A Web Developer | November 6, 2012

NMSU-A has a “Green Thread.”

On Friday, October 26th, NMSU-A hosted a “Sustainability Day” under the canopy.  Guest speakers, representing several community conservation efforts, provided information about the sustainability activities taking place in Otero County.  NMSU-A also presented its commitment to achieve a healthier and sustainable society by illustrating the steps it has taken toward greater social responsibility.

Several years ago, NMSU-A formed the Sustainability Task Force which began a review of campus policies, practices, and educational opportunities that address environmental and sustainability activities.  As part of its climate commitment, NMSU-A began a guaranteed energy savings program to reduce the campus’ energy use.  As the campus infrastructure continues to expand, NMSU-A continues to pursue more ways to fulfill its commitment to energy conservation by increasing recycling efforts, reducing water usage (indoors and outdoors), transitioning from gas-powered vehicles to hybrid vehicles, ensuring new constructions meet or exceed new standards, and educating students, faculty, and staff about issues of sustainability.

NMSU-A is also reviewing its curricula for sustainability topics.  The health sciences discuss the benefits of recycling and biohazardous waste disposal.  Engineering has courses including Introduction to Renewable Energy, Solar Energy,  and Wind Energy.  A database that defines sustainability issues covered in curricula is updated yearly to insure NMSU-A students are introduced to sustainability principles.

The largest barrier to implementation of NMSU-A’s plan is financial resources.  But as cost-saving strategies are implemented, NMSU-A has found ways to incorporate “Green” strategies without additional cost to the campus. Some solutions can be as simple as dressing for internal room temperatures or turning off lights and equipment when not in use.  Other solutions (such as reducing our carbon footprint) will happen over time.

NMSU-A has chosen to prioritize energy conservation measures and will incorporate necessary changes on a multi-year basis.  The majority of funding (85%) to implement defined changes will come from Capital Outlay funding by the legislature.  The campus will also pursue a number of grant proposals to implement needed change.

The campus Sustainability Plan has a “Green Thread” that will weave issues of sustainability through the campus on a daily basis.  It is the first step in the development and implementation of NMSU-A’s sustainability goals and vision.


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