CONTACT: Kristin Fabos
Director, Marketing & Communications
krfabos [at] cabrillo.edu
April 21, 2010
Aptos—To mark Earth Day's 40th Anniversary this Thursday, April 22nd, Cabrillo is launching the "GreenSteps" energy conservation and sustainability program. "GreenSteps" challenges staff, faculty, students and the community to see how many "GreenSteps" they can take each day to save money and lighten Cabrillo's carbon footprint.
Part of the campaign is an online “GreenSteps” survey and contest. Prizes will be awarded to the staff or faculty member that comes closest to guessing how much electricity and natural gas cost Cabrillo in 2009. In addition, staff and faculty will be asked to sign an online "GreenSteps Pledge". Those who do will receive a thank you gift, while supplies last, donated by Cabrillo's Climate Initiative Task Force (CITF).
It's the desire to reduce energy usage that spurred the push for "GreenSteps". While it costs nothing to turn things off, including power strips, changing ingrained habits is a bigger challenge. The program will help jog memories by placing artistic "GreenSteps" logos, designed by talented marketing staffer Evelyn Hirsch, on all monitors, computers, copiers, printers and other equipment. "Daily reminders are key to helping teach old dogs, like me, new tricks," said Judy Cassada, CITF co-chair.
The CITF was formed by President Brian King to implement the commitment he signed on behalf of Cabrillo in 2007, sponsored by the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. "Global warming is a defining challenge of our time," said King. "Human activities are responsible for the problem, and working together, humans have the capacity to solve the problem. That means taking serious action today to stop adding global warming pollution to the atmosphere. Cabrillo is committed to leading the way."
Last year, Cabrillo conducted its first ever "emissions inventory" to determine its major sources of greenhouse gas emission. The inventory concluded that energy use and student transportation are responsible for the vast majority of Cabrillo's greenhouse gas emissions. "We have over 1,000 staff and faculty at Cabrillo, and more than double that number of computers and equipment in labs and offices, much of it on when not needed or used for extended periods,” continued Cassada.
The goal of "GreenSteps" is to reduce Cabrillo’s energy use by 15% below 2000-01 levels. This goal is aligned with Cabrillo's first Energy Conservation Plan passed unanimously by the Governing Board in 2009, and with system-wide California Community College conservation goals. Although an ambitious goal, simply curtailing energy usage alone can accomplish it. Volunteer building monitors, comprised of CITF staff, faculty and student members, will help affix GreenSteps logos to all equipment, and will make sure all equipment is plugged into power strips and surge protectors. The mere action of turning off power strips overnight and during weekends is estimated to reduce energy usage by 5%.
The Cabrillo College GreenSteps Pledge can be found at:
About Cabrillo College
Cabrillo College is a leading California community college serving Santa Cruz County with locations in Aptos, Scotts Valley and Watsonville. It is ranked #1 in transfers to UC Santa Cruz. Founded in 1959, the college offers more than 100 academic and career technology programs that serve multiple educational goals such as A.A. and A.S. degrees, certificates of achievement, skills certificates, transfer to four-year institutions or for lifelong learning and personal enrichment. Its mission is to enhance the intellectual, cultural and economic vitality of its diverse community by assisting all students in their quest for lifelong learning and success in an ever-changing world.