USU hopes to cut carbon footprint

LOGAN, Utah (AP) — Utah State University is going for a bolder shade of green.The school has released a long-term plan that officials hope can minimize USU’s greenhouse gas emissions, including a requirement that all new vehicles be hybrid or alternative fueled and the proper size for the intended use.There is also a plan to make use of food services and events leftovers by composting and developing an incentive program to reward students, faculty and staff who volunteer their time to community outreach or implement creative strategies for reducing the carbon footprint.”As Utah’s land-grant university, USU has always had a major role in providing the sound science that is the basis for wise policies to manage the state’s land, water and living resources,” said Nat Frazer, dean of the College of Natural Resources and chair of the school’s Sustainability Council.”Now, more than ever, it is important for all Utahns to know how to use these precious resources in ways that ensure our economy, our quality of life and our society are sustainable.”The plan is mandated by participation in the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment, which calls for minimizing greenhouse gases.USU made significant eco-friendly investments long before releasing the long-term plan this month. Although there has been a 20 percent increase in students since 1990, the university has only seen a 1 percent boost in energy use during that time.Campus buildings have largely shifted to efficient fluorescent lighting, running campus shuttles almost entirely on compressed natural gas and adding landscaping that does not require too much water.Current research projects include studies of energy-saving “intuitive” buildings, algae biodiesel and wind power marketing.”We are fortunate that we have a lot of folks on campus who are absolutely on board and are trying in every way they can to make this happen,” said Jack Greene, an intern who helped draft the Climate Action Plan along with members of the Sustainability Council.

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