Sustainability and Creation Care at EMU

EMU was practicing sustainability long before “green” became trendy. We live in LEED-certified residence halls, draw power from the first commercial solar project in our state, and enjoy edible landscaping. In fall 2012 we were named the only “Bicycle Friendly University” in our region.

Sustainable and simple living is at the core of many Mennonites’ faith, and it’s a strong part of EMU’s Christian community. Here are some highlights:

  • our energy-efficient buildings are some of the best performing college facilities in the country
  • our newest dorm, Cedarwood, is LEED certified at the gold level
  • we installed the largest solar installation in the state of Virginia in 2010 and continue to lead the way
  • beehives, orchards and other edible landscaping
  • sustainability and creation care are "woven into the curriculum ": many levels
  • a campus creation care council is comprised of students, faculty and staff
  • we have a nationally recognized recycling program – we’re the only school in the nation to collect all recyclables via bicycle!

Sustainable lessons in and out of the classroom

Leed Gold Certification We’ve been pioneers in constructing energy-efficient buildings and installing innovative heating and cooling systems since the 1980s. Our newest, green dorm Cedarwood set college precedent in fall 2011 when it received LEED “gold” certification, one of the highest environmental standards construction can attain.

LEED-certified renovations to Elmwood residence hall were completed in early 2011. A "major renovation ": the Suter Science Center will also be built with a commitment to green building practices.

One year before, we gained another “first” when we became host to the largest solar power deployment in the state of Virginia.

Majors like environmental sustainability and peacebuilding and development incorporate sustainable conservation practices into real-life studies of our world and global community.

Professors develop sustainability-focused courses like green design and compost research and applications, courses with real-life results; students take lessons and apply them to campus issues. This is all part of our university-wide Peace with Creation curriculum.

h3.From garden to table

Our campus gardens – tended by students along with staff – provide fresh produce for the dining hall. Students scrape food remains into containers which are then composted. The compost becomes fertilizer for the garden, creating a sustaining circle that students learn from and benefit from.

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