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Grassroots Effort Brings Sustainability into UNH Offices

By Beth Potier, Media Relations
September 15, 2010

Sustainability Stewards received notebooks (recycled, of course) to track their offices' sustainability concerns.

Last Wednesday, several dozen sustainability-minded faculty and staff met to launch a new program aimed at bringing UNH’s signature sustainability efforts into their offices and other workplaces. The UNH Sustainability Stewards are grassroots volunteers working with the Sustainability Academy (formerly the Office of Sustainability) and the Energy Task Force to help their colleagues integrate sustainability into the day-to-day actions of their workspaces, saving their departments and the university resources, including money.

“If we can keep people more aware of the energy they’re using, they’ll do the right thing,” said Paul Chamberlin, assistant vice president for energy and campus development and chair of the Energy Task Force, in welcoming the stewards.

Stewards will serve as a resource to their colleagues on energy, water, recycling, purchasing, transportation, and other sustainability issues. With real-time, Web-based statistics from the UNH Energy Office, they’ll monitor their buildings’ energy use and set goals for efficiency.

“If we are going to be a sustainable learning community, it’s going to be up to this group, not just our office,” said Michele Chapman, special projects coordinator for the Sustainability Academy. She notes that while 40 stewards have been recruited so far, some of the larger campus buildings – including Kingsbury, Parsons, the Field House, the Whittemore Center, and the Paul Creative Arts Center – still do not have stewards.

Sustainability Stewards will meet monthly; upcoming meetings will focus on energy, water use, transportation and recycling. Faculty or staff interested in becoming sustainability stewards can contact Michele Chapman at 2-1634 or sustainability.info@unh.edu.

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