Term Paper #3: Urban Sustainability
Due: December 11, 2015
I am analyzing College Park, Maryland. College Park is a city in Prince George’s County, Maryland that is occupied by more than 31,000 residents. (College Park MD, Welcome To College Park Intro Paragraph) Majority of the economy in College Park is fueled by the jobs offered through the University of Maryland, College Park (UMD). This university host over 13,000 employees, making them the biggest employer in the city. University of Maryland, University College is the second biggest employer, providing work for 2,790 employees. The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool ...view middle of the document...
According to the official document, “The University of Maryland signed the President’s Climate Commitment in 2007 and developed its Climate Action Plan in 2009 with the overarching goals of becoming a carbon-neutral campus nay 2050.” (ISSUU, 2014, pp.3)
One of the biggest ways the plan addresses environmental sustainability is the reduction of paper consumption. Prompting faculty to use online services to receive and distribute assignments will do this. Students who would prefer to have a hard copy can opt-in for that version and receive one via request. Faculty will also be encouraged to receive assignments online if possible. If not, faculty and professors should opt to receive assignments double sided. The push for more technology use will pay off in dividends in the long run. Stark State College reported in 2004, their university purchased more than 19,200 reams of virgin paper. (Stark, 2015) Using papercalculator.com, I was able to calculate that 1,242 trees, 394 million BTUs of energy, 118,073 pounds of greenhouse gasses, and 34,526 pounds of solid waste was approximately created. Imagine how much more for a campus as big as the university. If 50% of faculty members convert majority their work load to technology, the impact would be felt almost immediately. The plan also promotes faculty and students to turn off electronics as much as possible to reduce energy consumption.
The plan involves educating students about the impact individual’s daily choices have on their local environment through their professors. The education that will take place will also educate faculty about what can be done to make these changes in their respective courses. Expanding the Chesapeake Project Participation/Curriculum Integration will do this. According to the sustainability page on the University of Maryland website, the Chesapeake Project is a two-day program is a program “where faculty from across the disciplines learn about sustainability and explore unique opportunities to integrate it into their existing courses”. The site also states that 164 faculty members have attended this project and 170 sources have been revised to include sustainability. (Sustainability, 2010) The project’s participation goal is to add at least one faculty member per department by 2016, at least 2 faculty members per department in 2018, and by the end of 2020, have at least 30 faculty members from the university.
The plan also calls to incorporate sustainability into existing BSOS academic and living and learning programs by 2020 through competitive grants, new educational programs and opportunities. Advisors will be encouraged to include sustainability-related material in their UNIV100 classes. Department chairs will also be encourages to send out information about the sustainability related courses available to their respective servers. This will be the most direct way to influence incoming and current students about the sustainability lifestyle. Sustainability is a...