green buzz

Just weeks after being recognized locally as the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition’s Partner of the Year, Tech earned the national honor of being named a Bicycle Friendly University by the League of American Bicyclists. Tech earned a silver designation among the 2012 group of honorees, making it the easternmost university to earn that ranking or higher.

Splitting hydrogen and oxygen from water using conventional electrolysis techniques requires considerable amounts of electrical energy. But green plants produce oxygen from water efficiently using a catalytic technique powered by sunlight – a process that is part of photosynthesis and so effective that it is the Earth’s major source of oxygen.

With sustainable living becoming a more common concern in homes throughout the country, many people are doing what they can to live greener. However, two recent Georgia Tech graduates are taking these ideas further, thinking big to create ways for major companies to reduce their energy consumption.

The Georgia Institute of Technology announced today that it will be upgrading all of its residence hall laundries, bringing them up-to-date environmentally.

“Georgia Tech strives to be a leader in sustainability and environmentally conscious programs,” said Rich Steele, acting executive director of Georgia Tech Auxiliary Services. “Our laundries need new equipment on a regular cycle and we wanted to make sure the improvements included energy efficient equipment.”

In the United States alone, government and private industry together invest more than $3 billion per year in nanotechnology research and development, and globally the total is much higher. What will be the long-run economic returns from these investments, not only in new jobs and product sales, but also from improvements in sustainability?

Spring is finally here – temperatures are rising, flowers are blooming and students are itching to spend their time outdoors. However, campus has undergone many changes during the past year, limiting recreational use in some areas.

Don’t be discouraged – the “Please Keep off the Grass” signs are coming down soon, and there are still plenty of ideal locations for a game of Frisbee, sunbathing, reading and soaking up good conversation and sunlight with friends.

Couch Park

The co-op program at Georgia Tech allows students the opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills acquired in the classroom to paid positions with companies and organizations in a real world setting.  Ginny MacGowan, an undergraduate student in the H.

Kick off your spring-cleaning efforts by gathering items to contribute to Georgia Tech’s Earth Day efforts.

Members of the campus community may donate used athletic shoes, clothing, E-waste, office supplies or books for one of the following Earth Day projects:

The spring semester marches along, and the March issue of the Recycling Buzz newsletter is now available. 

Preparations for Georgia Tech’s 15th Annual Earth Day Celebration have begun. The Earth Day Celebration will be on Friday, April 20, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Tech Walk and volunteer registration is now open.

For the fourth consecutive year, the Arbor Day Foundation named Georgia Tech a Tree Campus USA school for its commitment to effective community forestry management.

Tech achieved the 2011 designation by meeting the required five core standards for sustainable campus forestry: a tree advisory committee, a campus tree-care plan, dedicated annual expenditures for its campus tree program, an Arbor Day observance and the sponsorship of student service-learning projects.

Last March, the world watched closely as Japan struggled to contain a series of equipment failures, hydrogen explosions and releases of radioactive materials at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.

The historic tsunami following the 9.0-magnitude earthquake destroyed the reactors’ connection to the power grid, causing them to overheat. Hundreds of people were exposed to increased levels of radiation. Thousands more were evacuated. Although Japanese officials have since declared the plant stable, the cleanup will be expensive and is expected to take decades.

For nearly four years, Green Buzz has showcased the various green activities spearheaded by those who support the white and gold. It continues to do so, but now with a new face.

Green Buzz serves as a place where you’ll find honors bestowed upon the Institute for its sustainability efforts, research being performed by both students and faculty and events being held on or near campus that have a sustainability emphasis in a variety of fields.

The World Gas Conference is looking for students interested in energy to participate in its NRG Battle – World Edition in Kuala Lumpur. The “brightest global talents” selected to participate will receive an all expenses-paid experience to the competition and the chance to work with energy companies from across the globe.

Continuing its record of achievement in campus sustainability, Georgia Tech recently achieved a gold rating from the Sustainability Tracking Assessment and Rating System (STARS), a program of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE).

Despite being formed a little more than one year ago, the Bicycle Infrastructure Improvement Committee (BIIC) is already making an impression on the campus and community. The committee, along with the Institute itself, was recently honored by the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition as its Partner of the Year for 2011.

This month's Recycling Buzz newsletter highlights how to get involved in the planning of Georgia Tech's 2012 Earth Day Celebration and how a group of students saved the recycling program at the Graduate Living Center. Also learn more about members of the recycling staff and see the latest waste diversion stats for campus.

Download and read the February issue now (pdf).

Thanks to a grant sponsored by solar energy firm SunEdison and distributed by the national organization Engineers for a Sustainable World, students will soon be able to purchase beverages from a solar-powered cart on campus.

ESW-GT earned $2,340 for its proposal for a solar café or kiosk used to raise funds for the chapter; Tech’s chapter chose to focus on beverages, either hot or chilled.

Following the North Avenue Apartments (NAA) attaining LEED Gold status for Existing Buildings (EB) Operations and Maintenance (O&M) in December, the complex was dedicated this week to note the honor.

Georgia Tech President G. P. “Bud” Peterson and Executive Director of Housing Mike Black made remarks in front of the apartments Thursday, Feb. 9.

The Georgia Tech Earth Day committee seeks nominations for two awards that recognize individuals or organizations that have demonstrated a commitment to making a positive impact in how people think about and use the planet's raw materials.

Members of the campus community are invited to submit nominations for:

Should you recycle pizza boxes? How can your trips to Starbucks get greener? And how can you help plan Georgia Tech's 2012 Earth Day celebration? Read about these things and more in this month's issue of the Recycling Buzz from the Office of Solid Waste Management and Recycling.

Read or download the January issue now (pdf).

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