The University of Maryland recently launched a new website detailing environmental stewardship efforts on campus. The website, www.sustainability.umd.edu, outlines Maryland’s approach to sustainability, offers ways to get involved with preserving the local environment, and provides a medium for students to be engaged with sustainable efforts. In addition, the website details a snapshot of eco-friendly events and sustainable initiatives that have occurred on campus. Although some of the links have yet to be completed on the website, we hope is to be a new resource on sustainability for students, faculty, alumni, and others in the university family.
Although this is a positive step, colleges and have long been leading examples of sustainable communities. Schools such as Harvard University, Cornell University, Michigan State University, and the University of British Columbia are all leading successful sustainable initiatives. With any hope, the University of Maryland’s Campus Sustainability website can follow in the footsteps of these precedents and help to foster a local sustainable environment.
At a time when the campus is growing rapidly, talks of sustainability should be at the forefront of new construction and design. According to websites dealing with sustainable architecture, such as www.architecture2030.org, almost 50% of greenhouse gas emissions are emitted from built construction. Although Maryland’s website is a positive step in “talk” of sustainability, the University now has to take action in continuing to make eco-friendly decisions. One of our contributors, Sam Snelling, evaluated some of the claims made by President Mote and offered his own opinion of past University efforts as well as suggestions for the future in a Diamondback column published yesterday.