Gardner-Webb Takes Measures to Become More Eco-Friendly

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This July, for the fourth consecutive year, a huge truck with a mammoth paper shredder will rumble onto Gardner-Webb’s campus to destroy old sensitive documents, protecting Gardner-Webb students, faculty, staff and supporters from identity theft.  But that’s not all the PROSHRED truck protects.

Beyond its reputation for reasonable pricing and a friendly staff, the PROSHRED company is known for its commitment to environmental stewardship.  One hundred percent of the paper shredded by PROSHRED is recycled.  In fact, just this year Gardner-Webb was able to save 84 mature trees from destruction by using PROSHRED.

Partnering with PROSHRED is not the only measure Gardner-Webb is taking to be more environmentally conscious.  Last October, the Student Government Association worked with North Carolina Energy Office to do an “energy audit” of Gardner-Webb’s campus.  Using the results, the University is implementing practical measures create a greener campus.

For example, new buildings are being built with motion-sensing technology for lights, heating and air conditioning.  Also, heating and air conditioning units are set to stay within a certain range and are equipped with technology that lets students see how many watts of energy they’ve used to promote awareness.  When older buildings are remodeled, equipment like air conditioning units and lights are being replaced with newer, more efficient units.

The University is also working to cut down on the amount of waste associated with water use. The University’s athletics fields, for example, are irrigated using water from Lake Hollifield, which is filled by storm water recovery systems.  That move has significantly reduced the amount of town water the University uses.

Water bottle filling station have also been installed around campus, offering students a mess- and hassle-free opportunity to fill reusable bottles.  The machines even keep track of the number of disposable plastic bottles saved.  GWU also offers recycling containers in all buildings on campus, including residential halls, and encourages all its students to use permanent, reusable bottles whenever possible.

The campus is already seeing results.  Since its remodel, for example, Nanney Hall has seen a thirty percent reduction in how much energy it uses, and the University expects to see similar results in other buildings and facilities in the coming years.

“It is really encouraging to see Gardner-Webb take steps to become better stewards of the environment,” said Stephanie Richey, GWU’s community engagement coordinator.  “The most important part is that it is not just one department or group of people pushing this initiative forward.  The students, faculty, staff and higher administration are all involved.  We are making great strides, and I look forward to seeing us grow more and more aware and responsible.”


Written by communications intern Jeanie Groh