Hofstra University is one of 89 schools participating in the 2016-17 College and University Green Power Challenge. Launched by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Green Power Partnership, the Challenge tracks collegiate athletic conferences with the highest combined green power usage in the nation.
Hofstra has been a U.S. EPA partner since 2008, but the university’s sustainability efforts date back to the 1970s. Teresa Greis became Hofstra’s first energy manager in 1985 and is now the Campus Sustainability Officer.
“We all have a responsibility to take care of the environment, said Greis. “Being able to buy renewable energy credits brings us closer to our goal of keeping the Earth sustainable.”
Sandra Garren, Director of Sustainability Studies in the Department of Geology, Environment, and Sustainability, is currently working with graduate students on a university-wide sustainability report. Funded by the National Center for Suburban Studies, the report will contain records of everything the university has done for sustainability throughout Hofstra’s history.
“Universities are a laboratory for sustainability in the broader community,” said Garren. “Doing these things on a college campus are a way to educate our students who are going out into the world and provoke change.”
In addition to research, rankings and conferences, the Hofstra community often organizes sustainability-related events throughout the year, such as Earth Day. Hofstra’s campus is also home to The Hofstra Student Garden that exists to teach students about the importance of food in sustainability.
“Sustainability is a political issue,” said Jared Garfinkel, M.A. ’17. “Social equity, economics and the environment all play a role. It’s about creating a way of living that’s inclusive and realistic while ensuring we don’t harm the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”
As part of the Green Power Partnership, more than 1,400 organizations are using billions of kilowatt-hours of green power annually as a way to reduce the environmental impacts associated with electricity use. Partners include a wide variety of leading organizations such as Fortune 500® companies; small and medium sized businesses; local, state, and federal governments; and colleges and universities. For more information on the EPA’s Green Power Partnership, visit www.epa.gov/greenpower. And for more information about Hofstra’s sustainability efforts, visit www.hofstra.edu/suburbanstudies.