Clean Green Wu

James Ahrens

Because of budget restraints and a drop in student enrollment, Washburn is turning toward environmentally sound operating standards.

The university is setting new standards for itself. Mabee Library, the Memorial Union and Campus Facilities Services are all helping with the changes that are required to help the green movement.

In an e-mail to Washburn faculty, Alan Bearman, Interim Dean of Libraries, asked professors to help.

“Dear Colleagues: During the last several months the University Libraries have looked for ways to ‘go green.’ As most of you know, I think, Mabee Library in partnership with the Washburn Student Government Association offers students the opportunity to print for free. To better manage the cost of this program and to ‘go green’ the library printers are set for duplex printing,” said Bearman. He asked faculty, specifically professors, to consider work printed on both sides of a page.

Bearman explained that within the libraries’ organization, recycling, including cans, bottles and recyclable paper, has already begun. Asking professors to comply with these standards, on top of activities already in place, will help the organization of the university progress as a whole.

Washburn had an agreement with Cranston Recycling until January 2007. The Memorial Union, with help from food services, was recycling paper and cardboard, as well as plastic, but operating was too difficult. The university was unable to store the high amount of recyclable materials for the length of time it took Cranston to collect. Kathy Reser, director of Memorial Union, said her staff is taking small steps to help with energy on campus. Installing compact fluorescent lighting instead of incandescent lighting, using eco-friendly solvents and cleaning supplies and monitoring thermostats all help.

“One reason [recycling has been] difficult is because of finding a partner,” said Reser.

She also said because the standards for recycling in the Midwest are so disparate, problems arise with collection and maintenance of any program.

Many students have questions regarding the recycling program that Washburn uses. Students have expressed concern that some of the recycling bins are not actually taken to recycling centers but are instead thrown out with the trash. Mabee librarian Jenny Cook said that Mabee actively participates in recycling. Students can find proof of green activities at

These activities, along with the library system, will help bring the university up to par with many institutions of similar size, ultimately looking toward a goal of zero energy consumption. Buildings across the nation have already installed zero-energy policies. Zero-energy equates to having a building produce as much energy as it consumes. Many zero-energy homes can be found in highly populated areas such as Florida and California. Further information about emissions possibilities can be found at