Thursday, October 1, 2009

Sustainable University?

I thought Bob Janis brought an interesting point of view to our class discussion on Monday. I thought it was both intriguing and important that Mr. Janis mentioned several DePaul buildings have had a lot of “behind the scenes” eco-friendly renovations such as, replacing mechanics. However, I also believe that maybe too much stock has been placed in these renovations; listening to Mr. Janis talk it seems like that was his response to any question regarding what the university has actually done to become more eco-friendly. I agree with Dominic when he said he believes that in order for large institutions to be motivated about sustainability that there had to be some form of profit. People always want to know “what’s in it for them?”.

Although Bob Janis brought up a few eco-friendly options that the university is pursuing, I feel after reading Cradle to Cradle that many more steps are going to need to be taken in order for DePaul to really be creating an more eco-friendly environment. One example that came to mind while we had our discussion with Mr. Janis was how the public safety officers now drive “eco-friendly” hybrid SUV’s. To me this statement is clearly contradictory. Although I think it was a step in the right direction to realize that using less fuel is more environmentally friendly, there are way more fuel efficient/ alternative fuel vehicles available rather than Escape Hybrids. For example, public safety would get around fine in a compact hybrid, or a car that runs on propane, or even a bike (probably a long shot).

I agree with Bob Janis that perhaps DePaul should have been assessed at a C+, but this grade still allows a lot of room for the university to grow as a more sustainable environment.

Here is a really unattractive website, with an awesome message “use less stuff”

1 comment:

  1. I definetely agree that the University has to do a lot more environmental friendly renovations that aren't behind the scenes, and though I guess Hybrid SUV's is one of them, it is very contradictory to me as well. I think that for the most part Bob Janus tried to make it seem that the University was being eco-friendly behind the scenes, but in reality they were just renovations that needed to be done, and it happened that the new technology was more eco-friendly than the old technology. I think that I would have to give DePaul a grade lower than a C, because though we have one new building with a LEED certification, there is so much more to do around campus that hasnt been done.