The green efforts made by FGCU have left a mark on this planet and have given other school’s competition
The main thing that FGCU as a whole strives to be can be boiled down into one word: sustainable.
Global warning has been a big deal for the world as of late, the internet is chockfull of videos and pictures of our polar regions melting into water at rapid paces, polar bears becoming scary-skinny due to lack of food and the oceans slowly growing.
But, for most of us, the changes aren’t right-there-in-front-of-our faces, happening-right outside-the-front-door kind of scary. So, most of us do nothing.
Back in 2008, FGCU really started to make a difference in the way it runs things in order to take part in preventing global warming and climate change.
In late October 2008, FGCU and a company called Regenesis Power announced that the construction on the 16-acre solar energy farm would begin that fall. The hope was that the two-megawatt farm would convert solar energy into usable, electric energy for the entire campus.
FGCU has made other important decisions since then to help the prevention of this environmental catastrophe.
“A lot of people don’t realize this, but the main reason we don’t have Greek housing is because the school opted to get solar panels installed all around campus instead,” said Abigail Connell, a sophomore at FGCU. “If it helps the environment, I think it was a better use of the school’s money.”
The food forest is also a fast-growing, supportive system run by students that helps supply the community with freshly grown fruits and veggies.
In addition to helping the Earth and all that good stuff, the way FGCU is conserving energy is a whole lot cheaper. Once the university cut 30 percent of energy use out of just the residence halls, the school saved over $400,000 in one year on its electric bill.
There are about 50 colleges and universities in the U.S. that consider themselves “eco-friendly,” and only a few of these schools are found in Florida: Florida Atlantic University in Boca, Florida State University in Tallahassee and, of course, FGCU.
FAU has initiated a unique “Mission Green” campaign to drive its commitment to sustainability. Mission Green coordinates student-led initiatives such as an on-campus community garden, green tailgating, beach cleanups and an on-campus nature preserve.
FSU has initiated a number of organizations and programs in order to engage its students in environmental activism. A bike sharing program called “ReCycle” encourages the use of bikes, while buses, carpools and a special taxi service provide free rides around town.
Although these schools are bigger and more well known than FGCU, our school is making its way up the totem pole, and fast. A lot of people would even say that our eco-friendly stance and operation are the main reasons we are growing so quickly — that and our new residence halls.
These programs are great for the school, the earth and the students.