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SWIC pledges to continue to 'go green' 

 

The Southwestern Illinois College Belleville campus got a visit Wednesday from Illinois Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon to sign an Illinois Campus Sustainability Compact.

The compact is just a fancy way to say that SWIC has been green and is going to try harder to be greener in the future.

"This is an official pat on the back," Simon said while signing the compact on behalf of the state. SWIC President Georgia Costello signed for the college.

She said Sustainability is defined as meeting our needs of today without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.

She outlined some of the success stories at SWIC. An update to computer servers has led to a savings of more than $148,000, in costs including more than $93,700 in utility costs.

The college also is switching to digital textbooks, allowing students to either resell old textbooks or donate them for use in less developed countries.

The college has added a certificate in sustainability in which students can study such things as green building methods, solar and alternative power, geothermal energy, environmental building and horticulture.

The extension to the liberal arts building on the northwestern corner of the campus has a green design. The campus also is using biodiesel fuel in equipment and safer green cleaning products.

"We continue to reduce energy, reduce water usage and waste and look for other opportunities to save," Barker said.

The hidden benefit of all that green is another kind of green -- money, she said.

Karen Stallman, director of the sustainability for the college, showed off the Sustainability Center, located in the campus library.

"We wanted it where there is a lot of traffic so it would get attention and be easy for people to access," she said.

The center is where people can come to find out about green, she said.

"We offer resources on jobs, materials, methods and a lot of other things," she said.

This year the college has a new "filling" station near the cafeteria -- a water fountain that not only has a drinking nozzle, but also an easy place to fill water bottles. A counter notes how many fillings there were and how many plastic bottles that were saved.

The college plans to add more stations to the Belleville campus and to Granite City and Red Bud as well.

The college has MetroLink passes and carpooling parking advantages at the Belleville campus, and a pickup and delivery system in Red Bud.

The center also sponsors an electronic recycling collection on the second Sunday of every month at the Belleville campus parking lot.