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Flagler gets a little greener

Mar 19, 2009
by Liz Daube, '05

The Flagler College campus has seen a variety of environment-friendly changes recently, from a low-impact renovation of Kenan Hall to a student-run recycling program.

The recycling effort has been spearheaded by the Flagler Outdoors Club, which was founded by students two years ago. Melissa Kafel, a sociology major and president of the club, said recycling on a large scale can get surprisingly expensive.

“The Outdoors Club received a grant from an anonymous donor for $10,000, and then the senior class of 2008 donated $3,700 to the recycling fund,” Kafel said. “We could never have gotten the program running without them.”

The group has hired a company to collect and recycle materials from the 15 plastic and 20-plus paper bins around campus. The Outdoors Club also works on other conservation-related events, including beach clean-ups, plastic-to-cloth bag drives and an eco-fun festival.

“We all live on this planet,” Kafel said, “and it is our moral obligation to start taking care of it.”

Flagler hired GreenSpace Interior Design to help with the summer renovation of Kenan Hall. GreenSpace worked with a local architect to create an improved atmosphere for students while increasing efficiency in the lighting and reducing environmental impact.

From sound-absorbing panels to new counter tops, nearly all the renovated features are made from recycled materials. The carpet, for example, is made of recycled content, has an eco-friendly backing and comes in individual tiles that will be recycled by the manufacturer when they’re worn and need replacement.

Compact fluorescent light bulbs are being used in the building, and Vic Cheney, Flagler plant superintendent, said maintenance staff have been making similar energy-saving changes throughout campus. They include:

  • Changing approximately 90 percent of incandescent bulbs to CFLs
  • Replacing air conditioning units and updating digital controls to create greater efficiency in Kenan Hall, Ponce Hall, the Florida East Coast Railway buildings, the Student Center, Wiley Hall and the Communication Building.
  • Using green-rated soap and multi-purpose cleaners in all public facilities

“A conservative estimate to date shows a decrease in our kilowatts-per-square-foot by 20 percent,” Cheney said. “That is huge.”

Related: Educating the future of the ‘green’ revolution
Find out more about Flagler’s new environmental science minor.

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