Steps Toward Sustainable Living
Oct 04, 2012
Concordia has long been committed to environmental sustainability and encourages its community to make changes – both large and small – to reduce waste and use fewer resources. A new initiative is the EcoHouse, an off-campus house dedicated to sustainable living that was conceptualized by students, supported by faculty, approved by administration and executed by Facilities Management. The EcoHouse is managed by Concordia’s Residence Life staff.
The college and greater community got the opportunity to learn more about the EcoHouse and take a tour at a special event Oct. 4.
“It is a living, learning community for students dedicated to sustainable living,” says Kristin Brethova, Concordia’s sustainability coordinator.
The residents determine the projects and activities each year. Emily Kimball ’13, Eagan, Minn.; Sarah Vlasak ’13, Stillwater, Minn.; Julia Kuebelbeck ’14, St. Cloud, Minn.; and Sara Conley ’14, Helena, Mont., are the 2012-13 residents.
Facilities Management staff worked diligently during the summer months to prepare the recently acquired property for the new residents to arrive in August.
Because this is the inaugural year, the residents were encouraged to select projects that are attainable yet still have an impact on the environment.
Some of the projects include sealing the windows for the winter, hanging thermal curtains to retain heat, replacing light bulbs with compact fluorescents and using a vermiculture composting system. Vermiculture is composting most food scraps, except meat, using earthworms.
Some long-term projects include installing a fuel-efficient furnace and replacing a drafty front door.
The purpose of the EcoHouse is to live consciously, engaged with your surroundings. The goal is to build partnerships between the student body, faculty, staff, administration, neighbors and greater community. Suggestions for sustainable living at the EcoHouse may be sent to sustainability coordinator Kristin Brethova.