Please describe your institution's greenhouse gas mitigation strategies.
Energy Efficiency and Conservation - The college will continue to engage in retrofits of lighting and other appliances that increase efficiencies and reduce cost and use of energy and water.
Landscape Plan - Beginning in September 2011, the college entirely outsourced landscape maintenance. The new contract eliminated winter grass application, and thus reduced watering and mowing frequency.
Distance Learning - Since fall 2004, Brookhaven College has seen an increase in distance learning student enrollments. Students are counted as distance learners as long as they are enrolled in at least one distance learning course in that semester. Distance Learning student enrollments have increased from 27.2% of the total student body in fall 2007 to 40.8% in fall 2011. Distance learning has provided expanded educational opportunities for our students and at the same time, reducing commuting-related GHG emissions.
Recycling and Waste Reduction - The Dallas County Community College District implemented a district-wide paper recycling program over 15 years ago, encouraging all campuses to participate. Brookhaven College upgraded its plan in 2009 when the new recycling vendor, Waste Management, offered single stream recycling. Brookhaven joined the Recylemania competition program in 2012. The college currently is collecting over two tons of recycled materials a month.
Employee and student commuting is the greatest contributor to Brookhaven College green house gas emissions, and it will be the most difficult segment to reduce. However, the initiatives for reducing the transportation impact on Brookhaven College’s carbon footprint are underway.
Brookhaven College is served by the Dallas Area Rapid Transit system of buses, and the new light rail Green Line station is within four miles of the college, with a direct bus line to the college. The DCCCD annually negotiates reduced fare prices for employees.
In addition, Brookhaven College, along with the other six DCCCD colleges, subscribes to AlterNet Rides, a web-based rideshare service for students and employees of the Dallas County Community College District. In spring 2010 Brookhaven College students, along with students from Richland College, Cedar Valley College and North Lake College, participated in the Student Transportation Initiative created through the Rocky Mountain Institute and funded through a “seed” grant from the Kohlberg Foundation. Social network marketing was studied as a method of reaching students and increasing their awareness of public transportation, ridesharing and the impact of commuting on harmful emissions and air quality.
With Brookhaven’s collaboration with the Town of Addison to expand and integrate the college and town jogging/bike trails, the Green Team is hopeful that a way may be found to work with the City of Farmers Branch to route a bicycle lane from the light rail Green Line station to the college.
Please describe your institution's plans to make sustainability a part of the
curriculum for all students.
Sustainability as a college value has been implicit in Brookhaven College’s mission since its inception. The college’s logo of an abstract windmill blade referenced the farming tradition of the area in which the college was built and the unique design of a windmill that was to be installed in the Commons Courtyard to power the college’s water fountains. From that day through the current annual Earth Day celebrations, faculty have been involved in efforts to educate about the importance of an awareness of our “carbon footprint.”
Several faculty have designed units of instruction into their curriculum on a regular basis, e.g. Geographic Information Systems and Geology. After attendance at a “Sustainability in the Curriculum” workshop in Spring 2010 led by Dr. Geoffrey Chase of San Diego State University, a number of other disciplines became involved. This workshop served as a catalyst that encouraged faculty from the discipines of English, Speech Communication, Government, Art Appreciation and English as a Second Language to integrate assignments and examples into the curriculum. Faculty invited Dr. Stephen Brown of Cedar Valley College to Brookhaven to present his QTIPS Certification program (Quality Teaching in Practical Sustainability). This series of PowerPoint slides concludes by soliciting a commitment by the professor to the concepts of sustainability in teaching. As evidence of their participation, a number of faculty have received certification.
Additional activities of faculty to promote and enhance sustainability include
• Long-term, strong participation in Brookhaven’s service-learning program. Faculty have endorsed student volunteerism and service-learning since the initial PRAXIS program was introduced in the mid-1980s. Over the years, the program has grown in size, quality and reputation. Brookhaven College was the only community college to receive the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll’s 2008 Presidential Award.
• A pledge on the college website that students can sign on-line to be conscious of sustainable practices
• A survey sent to 9256 student email addresses to assess student interest in sustainability instruction
Please describe your institution's plans to expand community outreach efforts toward the
achievement of climate neutrality.
Brookhaven College is actively involved in the local community through various community outreach initiatives as well as course offerings.
• Hosted three Earth Day Celebrations beginning in 2010 at which governmental agencies, non-profits and other vendors represent the scope of sustainability: economy, society and environment.
• Hosted a college speaker’s series entitled: Living Sustainably in North Texas.
• Service Learning and community engagement – participated in a city-wideservice project to clean up the Trinity River Urban Forest
• Collaboration with Town of Addison to develop a Bike Trail linking the Town of Addison through the college to the City of Dallas.
• Brookhaven College serves as a drop off point for the City of Dallas “Cease the Grease” program that encourages community members to recycle used cooking fats, oils and grease (FOG).