Various Lafayette groups and organizations are working to address environmental issues on campus and beyond. Some of those groups are listed below.
The Lafayette College Sustainability Committee is composed of faculty, students, and members of the administration. The group meets each month with the goal of providing advice to the college on how to prioritize both green initiatives and matters of sustainability. The committee receives, proposes, and reviews all campus sustainability initiatives. Furthermore, the group analyzes initiatives for overall effect and practicality and then prioritizes funding for submitted projects.
For more information:
LEAP is Lafayette College’s student environmental advocacy group. They are dedicated to making Lafayette more sustainable and decreasing its ecological footprint. The group is comprised of students from all class years and majors. LEAP partners with many of the environmental organizations on campus for different events.
For more information: http://sites.lafayette.edu/leap/
The goal of SEES is to provide a learning experience for interested students in the related fields of environmental science and engineering, conduct research to help solve current environmental science and engineering problems and to promote environmental sustainability.
SEES has been actively involved in implementing many of the current sustainability practices on Lafayette’s campus including the community garden located in the Metzgar Field complex, and a composting program involved in researching nutrient conservation during the composting process. The group also conducts multiple research projects throughout the year.
For more information: http://sites.lafayette.edu/sees/
The goal of LOSt is to get students outside, give them a chance to refresh their mind and body, and introduce them to the wonderful outdoors in the surrounding area. They take many excursions throughout the year including hiking and camping trips, rock climbing, kayaking, cycling, and running events. LOSt members can also be found at the rock wall in Kirby Sports Center at 4 pm every day for open climb. Joining LOSt is a great way to have some fun with peers, enjoy the environments, and get some exercise.
For more information: http://sites.lafayette.edu/outdoors/
The Lafayette Food and Farm Cooperative is dedicated to growing sustainable food networks in the local community. Through LaFFCo, students volunteer at Lafayette’s organic farm (LaFarm), help Garden Manager Sarah Edmonds plan the agricultural season at LaFarm, and discuss sustainable agricultural practices and food politics on the farm and at weekly meetings. In addition, LaFFCo organizes visits to local farms, the Greater Lehigh Valley Food Policy Council, and various conferences centered around food, agriculture, and sustainability.
For more information: https://sustainability.lafayette.edu/initiatives/food-farm/
Lafayette’s commitment to increased sustainability is reflected in numerous campus projects and plans on which students, faculty, staff and often, community members, have worked together. Some of these are listed below.
Review a more comprehensive list of the college’s completed sustainability projects
The Lafayette campus master plan, completed in 2009, contains proposals for future campus changes. Two of the master plan principles include defining open spaces and connections and enhancing pedestrian paths. Furthermore, the plan’s design guidelines encourage campus sustainability. Limiting development on steep slopes and woodland habitat, supporting greenway trails, protecting the Bushkill Creek and Delaware River waterways, planting native species on the campus grounds, increased water conservation and rainwater collection, renewable energy use, and energy efficiency, and LEED certification consideration for new buildings and renovations are mentioned in the plan.
Check out the campus master plan
The Sustainable Food Loop connects organic waste from Bon Appetit’s Dining Services with the campus’ composting facilities. The compost is then used as fertilizer at LaFarm and on campus grounds. Tomatoes, squash, peppers and other produce harvested from LaFarm is delivered to the dining halls and served via campus dining. It is also sold on campus during the summer, creating an educational, small-scale farmers’ market experience.
The college has two solar arrays, one on the roof of Acopian Engineering Center and one at Metzgar Fields. The Acopian array is used as a teaching tool for the Electrical Engineering department; the Metzgar array was constructed after the college received a $15,000 grant from the Sustainable Energy Fund in 2009.
Green roofs prolong the life of the roof system, slow the rate of storm water runoff, remove impurities in storm water runoff, reduce the heat island effect (localized raised temperatures), and insulate the space below the roof. Students designed a green roof system for Acopian Engineering Center, and the roof was installed in the summer of 2009. Students will be monitoring the effects of the new roof on energy and water conservation and looking for new places on campus for rooftop gardens.
Learn more about the Acopian green roof
Green Move out is a campus-wide sustainability and community service effort where students recycle their unused or gently used goods by donating them to local organizations.
Green Move Out ties together environmental justice and social justice in order to decrease campus contribution to landfills and distribute usable goods to agencies who will redistribute them to local communities. Green Move Out also seeks to increase campus engagement and civic responsibility.
For more information: https://sustainability.lafayette.edu/green-move-out/
Lafayette’s dining services provider, Bon Appetit, is a national leader recognized for its long-standing, comprehensive dedication to sustainability. They strive to purchase food from local purveyors within a 150-mile radius—to ensure that the meals students, faculty, and staff are eating are as fresh and seasonal as possible.