The Center for Sustainability is making Georgia Southern more green

Rachel Adams

For the past 10 years, the Center for Sustainability at Georgia Southern University has been both a resource for students wanting to learn more about sustainable living and an essential part of keeping GS’ campus green.

Sustainability on campus

The CFS has brought a variety of eco-friendly improvements to campus:

  • Speakers from all over the country come to the school to speak on the topic of sustainability.
  • There are recycling incentive programs in the dorms on campus, where students are rewarded for recycling their cans, paper, and other materials.
  • There are solar-powered charging canopies outside the Information Technology Building, where students can charge their electronics using the power of the sun.
  • There are numerous bicycle-repair stations on campus, which students can use to fix their flat tires, loose chains, and more.

Sustainability funds and grants

The CFS is funded by student sustainability fees, something voted on by students with a 75 percent majority in 2012.

“Each student pays a $10 fee each semester to support sustainability on our campus. So, our first role is to improve sustainability for our students, because the students are paying for it,” Lissa Leege, Ph.D., professor of biology and director of the Center for Sustainability, said.

“We also have a grant program, whereby students, faculty, and staff can apply for funds from the Center for Sustainability to improve the campus sustainability environment,” Leege said.

This program pays for projects like more efficient lighting in the parking lots on campus an electric car charging station at the Department for Parking and Transportation.

National recognition

The GS CFS has won the Climate Leadership award in 2017 and was named a Green Ribbon school by the United States Department of Education.

The Climate Leadership award is given to individuals and organizations who are working to influence climate change by reducing carbon pollution and enacting green initiatives. The Green Ribbon award recognizes schools that work to make their campuses more energy and resource-efficient.

Looking forward

Now that consolidation is complete, there is still more in the works for making Georgia Southern more eco-friendly across all its campuses.

“Georgia Southern is a bigger institution this year than it was last year,” Leege said. “So we are expanding our efforts to multiple campuses, and we now have a faculty coordinator for the Center for Sustainability on the Armstrong campus.”

This faculty coordinator will work with others on Armstrong to address the sustainability needs of the campus and work on making it more efficient, including live-streaming speakers.

Leege said that the goal is to expand sustainability programming to all campuses and teach students more about the importance of such practices. For more info, visit the CFS website.

Rachel Adams, The George-Anne News Reporter, [email protected]