Jun 11 2010

Emory & the Environment

In case you hadn’t heard, Emory has a well-established program in green building — currently having one of the largest inventories by square footage of LEED-certified green buildings among campuses in America.  We have 13 LEED Silver or Gold buildings—including the Theology/Ethics Building—and counting.

Here are some of Emory’s Green Highlights—check back next week for more on the Greening of Emory, including Candler’s initiatives and what you can do at home, at school, and in your places of worship!

Emory Awards and Highlights

Bike Emory. Emory, Fuji Bikes, and Bicycle South bike shop have teamed up to provide all of Emory access to discounted bikes, on-campus bike repairs, free bike-share program, and more.

Food. Buy Local-Emory does! Emory has set a goal of providing 75 percent local or sustainably grown food in the hospitals and cafeterias by 2015. Organic Market Boxes are USDA certified fruits and veggies coming in three sizes—order yours online and pick up on campus the next week! Additionally, the Educational Gardens around campus—including the Theology Garden, shown here on the Sustainability Map—aim to provide fresh food and herbs to the community and get people reconnected to dirt, and water, and sunshine, and real food!

Recycling and Composting. Emory sent off it’s 3900 graduates this year with its first Zero Waste Commencement celebration. Emory diverted over 1900 pounds plastic bottles, aluminum cans, food waste, and compostable plates and service to recycling or composting bins. Speaking for the compostable and recyclable materials, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who gave the keynote address, said, “I’ll be back…as healthy garden soil and recycled goods” (not really). More and more of Candler’s events are Zero Waste, and we even have our own compost bin!

Emory Academics. At last count, Emory was teaching 129 courses with a sustainability-related curriculum in disciplines across the campus, such as medicine, law, ethics, theology, anthropology, spanish, philosophy, journalism, and English. 34 of 43 Emory departments had at least one course related to sustainability–that’s 79%! Emory College already has majors and minors in Environmental Science and will soon have  a Sustainability minor.

Make a Pledge Today! Emory has developed a Personal Sustainability Pledge, addressing personal behaviors related to energy, sustainable food, water conservation, green space, commuting, recycling, and other sustainability issues when at Emory and at home. The pledge is very sophisticated, calculating exactly what the carbon impact of your current sustainable practices is – how many cars are you keeping off the road, how many acres of forest and gallons of gasoline you are conserving – and what impact your pledged actions will have in the future. Take the pledge right now!

Check back next week for more about what Candler is doing to be sustainable, plus even more ways for you to get involved. Care of the Creation is all of our God-given responsibility (Genesis 2:15) – so let’s get to it!


Feb 27 2009

Environmental Sustainability at Candler

Candler is proud to be a part of a Green movement that has been taking place across campus here at Emory for a number of years. As you may have heard, our new Theology and Ethics Building was designed and built with sustainability in mind; in fact, we’ve applied for LEED Silver certification, and our application is now in review. The LEED certification is the standard for Green building in the United States. All new buildings that Emory ever builds will be LEED certified. In fact, Emory has the most Green building space of any university in the country! Emory was even named 2008 Distinguished Conservationist of the Year by the Georgia Conservancy.

Candler and Emory have been up to several new Green initiatives lately. Last December, the University was closed for two days over the winter break. With mandatory building shut-downs, Emory saved over $19,000 in electrical costs! In just two days! Candler is in the midst of investigating how to install a system that will shut down the air handlers in the building overnight, which will have no noticeable effect on the school during the day and will cut between 10-15% off of our power bill and consumption!



Another campaign Emory is working on is the White Paper Recycling Campaign. Emory Recycles currently handles mixed and white paper, plastics #1-6, corrugated cardboard, phone books, magazines, glass, aluminum, scrap metal, and Styrofoam. In terms of re-selling recycled goods, far and away the most money comes from white paper. With the downturn in the economy, prices for raw recycled goods have plummeted. For instance, mixed paper has gone from $90-95/ton to $0-5/ton. White paper, however, has retained much of its value. But white paper must be separated from colored paper in order to be sold at the higher price ($170-180/ton). So Emory Recycles is launching an informational campaign to educate students, faculty, and staff about separating mixed and white paper. Plus the Theology is getting 50 new recycling bins for mixed and white paper.



Finally, food services around Emory are switching from paper, plastic, and Styrofoam packaging, plates, and cutlery to sustainable and compostable products! I know! At Cox Hall, Emory’s main food court, there are NO Styrofoam containers any more. The containers are all made of recycled sugar cane and straws and clear “plastic” lids are made from corn. No petro-chemicals, plus you can compost all of it! My entire lunch (above) came from renewable sources and then went into my home compost bin (below). How fantastic! Go Emory!


Nov 30 2007

Holiday Lights

We’re mere moments away from December, and as the fall leaves turn brown and become mulch under our feet and the turkey and pumpkin decorations are put away, the Advent and Christmas season is immediately ushered in. It’s that time of year when we get new candles for the Advent wreathe, compose Christmas cards, and hear Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree everywhere we turn. One of the harder tasks in decorating for the Christmas season has got to be untangling strands of lights and then successfully winding them around the Christmas tree in such a way that no cord is visible to the naked eye and there is an even distribution of lights at all angles of view, from the crawling baby to the towering uncle.

Lights have been a recent topic of discussion on both the campus level for Emory University, through the Office of Sustainability Initiatives, as well as on the seminary level here at Candler School of Theology. In fact, light bulbs, water conservation, electricity use, and sustainable food sources are all lively discussions and movements around campus. Last spring, the Office of Sustainability Initiatives invited the Emory University community to submit grants for sustainability projects. Brad Schweers 05T, admissions advisor in the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid at Candler, wrote a grant to switch all of the standard incandescent light bulbs in Bishops Hall and Cannon Chapel, Candler’s academic, administrative, and chapel buildings, with compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL) in order to reduce Candler’s electricity usage. The second, and more far-reaching, purpose of the project proposed by Brad was to educate students, staff, and faculty about compact fluorescent lighting and larger environmental issues, from a Christian and religious stewardship viewpoint and empower them to switch their personal and congregational lighting from incandescent to compact fluorescent lighting.

Brad was awarded the grant, and began switching incandescent bulbs in Cannon Chapel and Bishops Hall with CFLs in late August, as classes resumed. Brad switched just under a hundred bulbs. Over the expected ten thousand hour life of the bulbs, each CFL will save approximately four hundred seventy kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity as compared to their incandescent counterparts. To measure results, Brad compared energy consumption from September and October 2007 with the consumption from those same months in 2005 and 2006.

Georgia Interfaith Power and Light (GIPL), a local non-profit working with religious congregations on environmental justice issues, whose Executive Director, Katy Hinman graduated from Candler with her Master of Divinity (MDiv) in 2006 and is a candidate for ordained ministry in The United Methodist Church, teaches that a compact fluorescent light bulb (CFL) is fluorescent lighting designed to be used in a standard (incandescent) light bulb socket. Because incandescent bulbs work by heating up a metal filament until it is white-hot, they produce mostly heat, which is why a fluorescent bulb using only thirteen watts of electricity can produce light comparable to an incandescent hogging sixty watts.

Since switching our bulbs to CFLs two months ago, Candler has reduced energy consumption by twelve percent. We have saved almost eight thousand Kilowatt hours of electricity, which is more than an average household uses in a year. In addition, Candler has put 6,800 fewer pounds of carbon dioxide into the environment. That is four Honda Civics worth, by the way. We have saved $490 on our energy bills in September and October of this year. If you are thinking like a Candler student, that’s a lot of meals at Cox Hall, Dooley’s Den, and Emory Village, which are eateries in and around Emory that are frequented by seminarians.

Brad Schweers’ passion for energy reduction and environmental concerns continues. He says, “For me, energy conservation is more than just commonsensical, though it is that, of course. As a Christian, energy conservation is a matter of stewardship, a matter of caring for the Creation over which God has given us responsibility. Jesus said that the essence of life is to love God, love neighbor, and love your self. I think today he would add love Creation. Switching out a hundred light bulbs at Candler is, for me, a part of that Christian love.”

Georgia Interfaith Power and Light, along with their partners, are encouraging people to give Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs as Advent, Hanukkah, and Christmas presents this year. By switching one incandescent light bulb to a CFL, can save seventy percent of the energy used by an incandescent bulb; four hundred seventy kilowatt-hours of electricity (that’s like running a hair dryer non-stop for sixteen days); seven hundred thirty pounds (pounds!) of CO2 from entering the atmosphere; $36 over the life of the CFL bulb, which can be up to ten years. Katy Hinman 06T, at GIPL reminds us, “It is important that we not only make the theological connection between our faith and the need to be good stewards of our environmental resources, but also that we empower ourselves and our congregations to take positive action toward ensuring a thriving planet for generations to come.” Honor one of the colors of the holiday season, and be Green-friendly and give Green gifts that will honor God’s great creation.

Candler is a great place to explore pressing cultural and theological issues, such as the environment, as well as be in dialogue with timeless theologians and biblical texts. For more information about Candler School of Theology, visit our website at www.can
dler.emory.edu
, or email the
Office of Admissions and Financial Aid at candleradmissions@emory.edu. In addition, you can call us at 404.727.6326, or learn more about the admissions process at Candler by clicking here. Look for my profile on Facebook (Candler Intern-Theology) and the Candler School of Theology Group at www.facebook.com.

Lane Cotton Winn 07T

Candler School of Theology

Office of Admissions and Financial Aid Intern