Sustainable Practices - Departments
January 2014 Featured Department: Cooperative Education Division
Cooperative Education is Triple Green Star Green Office Certified! They received 20 out of 25 points and their efforts are impressive. Of course, all members of the division turn off lights and other electronics when not needed. However, Coop is taking their commitment to "turning it off" to the next level by requesting motion sensors for the lights in their break room and conference room for those times when guests forget to turn out the lights. Division staff have also switched from incandescent to fluorescent bulbs in task lamps and removed mini-fridges from individual offices.
Other commendable efforts include a strong commitment to reducing, reusing, and recycling.
This is where Cooperative Education really shines. Cooperative Education Coordinator, Gerry Meenaghan, has been a paperless innovator extraordinaire. His efforts include digitizing the Cooperative Education agreement form that previously used 4-part NCR paper. Syllabi are no longer printed, just posted on Moodle, and attendance forms are digital. Gerry has even transitioned site-evaluations and self-evaluations to be digital forms in Moodle and has consulted with other Lane departments and outside employers on paperless strategies. This last effort, earned Cooperative Education the "We mentor other departments in instituting their own sustainable practices" point.
Cooperative Education also stores reusable containers in their staff kitchen so that when they have special events (like their Green Office Certification lunch) they can eliminate food waste and have something tasty for later.
Cooperative Education uses Lane's Reusable Office Supply Exchange and Surplus Property warehouse before purchasing new, but even before that, they look in their own reusable cache. The division has their own surplus store containing monitors, organizers, file folders, and more. In addition to reusing supplies and furnishings, several members of the Coop Division also reuse paper that has already been used on one side and all employees use rechargeable batteries.
Cooperative Education has done a great job setting up a clearly labeled recycling system to help ensure all employees and guests know how to recycle all of the basics. Additionally, this division has a composting container that employees switch out for a clean container at least twice a week.
At their Green Office Award Lunch Party, the Coop team kept brainstorming about how to make their division even more sustainable. Additional actions planned now include purchasing packets bus passes that Coop staff can use when they have meetings downtown and shopping for hybrid used vehicles as Coop Division vehicles need to be replaced.
Earning the Triple Green Star Certification was hard work, but contributing to a healthier college and community makes it all worthwhile. Receiving a beautiful framed certificate, signed by President Spilde, and celebrating with a fabulous lunch made by Chef Tim didn't hurt either.