It’s easy being green at Edison State College’s fifth annual GreenFest Expo. The event will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, March 23 at the Edison State College Collier Campus. The expo brings together local businesses and organizations to share environmentally friendly products and services with the community. Admission and parking are free and open to the public.
Exhibit vendors include Kinetico Water Systems, Collier County Solid Waste and Recycling, Natural Awakenings, and Rookery Bay. The GreenFest Expo will also feature tours of the Allen & Marla Weiss Health Sciences Hall, children’s activities, music, food, natural products, and more.
Now in its fifth year, the GreenFest Expo was created when the Collier Campus faculty began incorporating sustainability into their curriculum and wanted to share those ideas with the community. It is just one of the many sustainability initiatives Edison State College’s Collier Campus has developed during its 20-year history.
“Sustainability is rooted in our campus’s beginnings,” said Dr. Robert Jones, president, Edison State College Collier Campus. “Being located in southwest Florida in the proximity of the Everglades and other natural surroundings, it was important that we conserve our natural environment yet still maintain an innovative and high-tech college.”
One way the Collier Campus has done this is by building Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified buildings. According to the U.S. Green Building Council, a LEED certification verifies that a building or community was designed and built using strategies aimed at improving performance across all the metrics that matter most: energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts. In 2007, the Collier Campus opened its first two LEED certified buildings – the NCEF Childhood Development Center and the NCEF Pediatric Dental Center/UF College of Dentistry. In 2012, two more LEED buildings opened – the Allen & Marla Weiss Health Sciences Hall and the Student Services building. “It is our plan that all new buildings will be LEED certified,” said Dr. Jones.
In addition to its LEED certified buildings, the Collier Campus also uses an energy saving climate system that provides cost-saving heating and cooling to all Collier Campus buildings. By running the water chiller at night instead of peak energy hours and storing the chilled water in a 500,000 gallon tank that cools its buildings during the day, the campus saves thousands of dollars a year on energy bills.
Other sustainability initiatives the Collier Campus has instituted include recycling programs, public transportation with Collier Area Transit, maintaining the native vegetation that grows on the campus, and refraining from using pesticides on the grounds.
“It’s important that higher education lead the way in the community, in practice as well as by involving the community in our learning experiences,” said Dr. Jones. “What better way to do that than by bringing people together to share knowledge?”
For more information about Edison State College’s GreenFest Expo, call Dr. Kirk Otto at 239-732-3743 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted/Updated on Mar 18, 2013
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