UPCOMING EVENT: Energy Efficiency Fair by Snohomish County PUD

Purchase low cost energy efficiency appliances here on campus, on Wednesday October 18 from 11:30 am till 2:00 pm in the second floor hallway of Parks Student Union. The PUD team hosting this event will be selling a Home & Bath Savings Kit which includes 8 LEDs, 2 filament LEDs, a showerhead with smart adapter, and two faucet aerators for just $10.00 plus tax. This normally would cost $75.00 so don’t miss your chance to save up to $250.00 annually on energy costs for a fraction of the retail price. Also offered at this event is an LED flood light pack, that has the savings potential of up to $45.00 per year. Please read this flyer for more details.

 

EvCC Sustainability, College Services Launch New Pilot to Incentivize Alternative Transportation

 

Students boarding a bus at EvCC’s Transit Center

 

New year, new projects. That’s how we look at things here in the EvCC Sustainability program! One of the many new projects underway for this year is a pilot program to incentivize students and employees to use public transportation. Island Transit has reinstated a once discontinued route, the Everett Connector, which runs a single bus from Terrys Corner Park and Ride on Camano Island to the Everett Station, with a stop at Tower and Broadway, right in front of EvCC.

A report put together by EvCC student and Sustainability Staff, Max Tinsley, determined that this route could potentially cut commute time in half for students who live in the North County region, comprised of Stanwood, Camano Island, and the unincorporated areas north of Arlington. The report also outlined that approximately 10% of annual enrollment at EvCC are students living in the North County area.

Similar to the existing ORCA program, students can purchase a buss pass for Island Transit route 412, the Everett Connector, for $45.00 in the Cashiers Office, in Parks Student Union. This is being run as a pilot program for Fall Quarter, with a limited number of passes available to find out the demand for such a program. The passes are valid for the entire quarter, rather than just a month, as they would be if purchased from Island Transit directly.

This project is not only a benefit to the environment, but it can also help to reduce traffic and parking congestion. The outcome of Max Tinsleys effort is also a reminder that one person has the power to bring about significant change and leave a lasting impact on their community, if only they stay engaged and involved in the public process.

The totals are in!

As the 2016-2017 school year officially comes to a close, many of us are reminiscing on the phenomenal year here at EvCC. For us in the sustainability business, it is no different. Except, rather than looking back at great memories, we are reviewing data collected on energy consumption and other utility usage, such as water and natural gas. In doing so, we’ve calculated the total amount of renewable energy generated by the Liberty Hall Rooftop Solar Array. Any guesses?

23,607 KWH of clean, green electricity, which is fed back into the grid rather than consumed directly by the campus. Considering an average US household consumes about 10,000 KWH of electricity each year, EvCC can proudly say that it provided a years worth of energy for at least 2 four-bedroom houses! A big thanks to the PUD and Washington State Legislature for the grant funding that put these panels on the roof of Liberty Hall! Hopefully, as the campus grows, the solar project will too, increasing our contribution to building a sustainable community!

DID YOU KNOW… That you can sign up for a tour of the Liberty Hall Rooftop Solar Array and see the green energy production in action? Just email us at sustainability@everettcc.edu with the subject “solar tours.”

EVCC Bike Fix It Stations: Updates!

EvCC will soon have a bicycle repair station on campus, generously donated by Everett Transit. This station will provide the equipment needed for regular maintenance and repairs on bicycles, and is intended to encourage more students, staff, faculty and the public to utilize alternative transportation to commute to school or work.

This repair station will be free and available to the public. As the final details of this project are still in the works, more information will be provided and posted on the EvCC Sustainability page on the main website. Stay tuned!

Upping the Ante on one of EvCC’s Greenest Buildings

The Walt Price Fitness Center, one of EvCC’s LEED Certified buildings

It’s no secret that EvCC has several LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Certified buildings on campus, and that we strive to meet energy efficiency standards wherever we can. The Walt Price Fitness Center, which opened in 2011, earned LEED Gold status, a testament to the sustainably managed construction and operation of the building. But, if you thought that we couldn’t take it any further, you’d be surprised to hear one simple idea that we applied to make this building even greener.

Steve Lyons and Jeremiah Berndt are our campus electricians, and they have spent the last several days swapping out the old compact fluorescent bulbs, or CFLs, in the fitness center with longer lasting and more efficient LED bulbs. To most people, the difference is hardly noticed. This would make almost no significant difference in your household electricity bill if you did the same – although we still recommend using the most energy efficient appliances in your home – but, in a building this large, at nearly 50,000 square feet, the difference is incredible.

Previously, the gym was lit up with a combination of 42 watt, 32 watt, and 26 watt CFLs, which all have an average lifespan of 1-2 years. With over 160 light fixtures, replacing them adds up over time. LED bulbs could last up to ten years depending on which type is used. But, even if we only get half of that with these new bulbs, that’s still twice as long as we would get out of the CFLs. Although the LEDs cost a little more than the CFLs, the investment is quickly paid off by reducing the frequency of replacing burnt out bulbs.

The LED bulbs are ran on 9 watts, which means that they consume less energy than CFLs. On average, using the LEDs could save us about $1,700 per year on utility costs compared to using CFLs. According to Steve Lyons, because the LEDs use less energy and produce less heat as a byproduct of emitting light, there is less damage to the ballasts and fixtures that hold the lights. This results in less maintenance on the fixtures and ballasts, which also saves money. This is harder to predict, but combining all of the cost saving potential for this small scale energy efficiency retrofit could save more than $2,000 annually on lighting, and reducing the amount of energy needed to light the fitness center by up to 75%.

 

EvCC Wildlife Habitat (Bird Garden) Installation Update 7-24-17

EvCC is ready to break ground on the wildlife habitat (Bird Garden) installation, funded by EvCC, Snohomish County Conservation District and the Pilchuck Audubon Society.  Pre project pics of the largely turf covered area between the West wall of Index B and the East wall of Graywolf hall show minimal landscaping and LOTS of grass…

The project, scheduled for completion in late September of 2017, will include native plants that are bird habitat friendly as well as a water feature.

The project will not only create a wildlife habitat, but beautify this corner of the campus.

 

 

EvCC Wildlife Habitat Installation

Baby bird feeding time!

EvCC and the Pilchuck Audubon Society are in the beginning stages of planning for a wildlife habitat installation designed to support the local avian population.

EvCC Sustainability team members Molly Beeman and Max Tinsley met with Jed Holmes, the Pilchuck Audubon Society’s Backyard Habitat Coordinator late last month to determine a suitable site on EvCC’s main campus to develop a bird friendly habitat.

EvCC Sustainability and Pilchuck Audubon are currently working on developing the necessary resources for this project, which will likely be completed by summer of 2018.

On completion, the project will provide habitable spaces for bird nest construction and native plants that attract insects to support the feeding of avian young.

The completed project will result in a Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife certified backyard wildlife sanctuary for Everett Community College.

 

New Garden at EvCC Represents Indigenous Cultures

Red Columbine, commonly found near streams and mountain meadows

Red Columbine, commonly found near streams and mountain meadows

Over the 2016-17 school year, a group of students have undertaken a project to bring a new sense of indigenous culture to our campus. The 1st Nations Club, co-advised by Brian Ramos from the Workforce Funding Department, has slowly been converting a section of the wooded area in the heart of campus to an Indigenous Garden, putting in native plants such as Red Columbine, Miners Lettuce, and Nootka Rose to name a few.

EvCC has a history of representing indigenous cultures on campus, through the various pieces of art donated to the college by some local tribes. There is a totem pole in the northwest section of campus outside of Olympus Hall, and the Thunderbird Killer Whale sculpture is located on the edge of the site of the new garden.

A student and staff member planting Bleeding Hearts

When asked about the purpose of this project, the students were eager to tell the story. They explained how this garden, to them, represents the success of native people, and how they’ve overcome many challenges to get to where they are today.

“I am this plant, I am of this Earth,” said Erik Sanchez, a student working on the project, “It’s really cool to feel connected.”

The group has finished with the planting, and over time will be adding outdoor furniture to resemble a traditional native gathering area. The project will continue throughout the rest of the school year as well as into the future.

A student adds fertilizer to a planting spot
Erik Sanchez, one of the students working on this garden.

ASB Senate Approves Sustainability Fee

This afternoon, the ASB Senate approved a proposal to open a student body election on a sustainability fee. This comes at a time when the United States government has displayed an extreme lack of leadership on issues concerning climate change and the environment. The motion was nearly unanimous, with only one opposing vote.

The fee, which would be set at $0.50 per credit with a maximum of $7.50 per quarter, is intended to establish a more inclusive sustainability initiative that empowers the student body to lead EvCC toward a greener future. Widespread support has been generated from groups and individuals across campus, such as the Students for Environmental Action Club and Student LIFE. Now that this fee is officially a student body referendum, the focus of the group behind the project will shift toward reaching out to the greater campus community to educate the students on what they will be voting on. The election is anticipated to be held in early Winter Quarter during the 2017-18 academic year.

The revenue from the fee will be allocated to three different funds. The Campus Sustainability Fund will offer grant opportunities to students, staff and faculty who have the desire to implement their own “green” projects. The Green Investments Fund is a way to leverage the limited amount of money available via revolving loans and rebates, to accomplish infrastructural improvements and energy efficiency retrofits. Finally, a portion of the revenue will be allocated to the Sustainability Office to create more student employment opportunities.

This referendum is significant, as it has been expressed that it will likely determine the future of EvCC’s sustainability efforts. The original funding is nearly diminished and the College is facing cuts in state funding. This pairing of dilemmas indicates that some of the programs currently in place would go away if no solution is found, and stalls in future projects are anticipated.

Check back soon for updates on this development, or contact the EvCC Sustainability Team to get involved or learn more by emailing sustainability@everettcc.edu.

Spring Cleaning in Everett’s Northwest Neighborhood

Now that Spring is in full-swing, it’s time to get cleaning! Last Saturday, May 20th, dozens of neighbors from around EvCC turned out to rid themselves of the clutter which they’ve accumulated over the last year. Volunteers from EvCC’s Custodial and Facilities crews helped residents of the Northwest neighborhood throw out or recycle old electronics, scrap metals and lumber, yard waste, and other household items such as carpets, bedframes and more.

A big thanks to 3-R Electronics Recycling for coming out to this event! Also saved from certain doom in the landfill were a number of bicycles, which were happily accepted by a local bike shop in town. Although neighbors did not have to pay an entry fee, they were asked for donations to help cover the the rental and hauling costs of the containers.

Employees who volunteered their time spoke of this event as a good way for the college to improve its connection and relationship with the surrounding community; something to be appreciated as the college can sometimes forget how its growth and resulting traffic impact our neighbors.

This event was sponsored by the Northwest Neighborhood Association, in partnership with EvCC’s Sustainability Team.

Check back soon for the next post!