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A look at ideas that top the Blue Sky Initiative list

GREEN ENERGY, CONSTRUCTION: Designing dormitories to promote sustainability, using passive solar, thermal or photovoltaic solar energy. A fund for energy conservation in buildings. Cooperative generation or purchasing of alternative forms of energy.

FOOD, LAND USE, CONSERVATION: An Edible Campuses Project to integrate food production into landscape design. “Real Food for the Five,” which would link campuses to regional organic farms. A Sustainable Landscape Project would encourage conversion of lawns to more ecologically friendly areas.

TRANSPORTATION: Improve PVTA Five College Bus System, use hybrid buses, expand routes. Reduce vehicle use by campus faculty, staff.

WASTE REDUCTION: Make all annual Five College events, such as commencements and sporting events, produce zero waste. Establish a place where students, faculty and staff could drop off or pick up used items.

WATER: Reduce landscape irrigation. Limit use of surfaces that drain directly into storm sewers. Promote use of municipal water instead of the bottled variety.


Five Colleges review 18 proposals for more energy-efficient campuses

Thursday, September 27, 2012

AMHERST — Imagine college students riding hybrid buses, living in dormitories that use little energy and picking grapes or apples as they walk along campus paths. Or imagine colleges giving their staff bonuses for not driving cars to work. Picture a recycling center where anyone could donate or take materials for offices or dorms, or a plant to turn campus …

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