Purdue, students celebrate Green Week 2010

September 27, 2010

Jim Danielson and Sean Kleinschmidt spent the summer before their freshman year at Purdue University turning a Porsche with a blown engine into an electric-powered vehicle, displayed here at the 2009 Green Week car show. The sophomores, who are helping launch a student club for electric vehicle inventors, will bring their modified Porsche to the 2010 Green Week auto show. (Purdue News Service photo/Mark Simons)

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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue faculty, staff and students are sponsoring several events to celebrate the university's Green Week 2010 (Oct. 4-9), including a Wabash River cleanup, an alternative energy transportation show, and contests to reduce water and energy usage and increase recycling.

The transportation show will highlight efforts by Purdue and its students, vendors and neighbors to ensure that motor vehicles become increasingly cleaner.

The show from 11 a.m.  to 4 p.m., Oct. 6,  in the Stewart Center bike lane on Oval Drive will include hybrid trucks and buses; electric, solar and bio-fueled cars; a fuel-efficient motorized couch, an electric car built from trash and even a solar-powered motorcycle. General Electric will display an electric car charging station. Prizes are awarded based on both judges' scores and public input.

"Purdue administrators, researchers and individuals are taking leading roles in working on alternatives or enhancements to the classic gas-powered internal combustion engine and developing intriguing and feasible alternatives, " said Robin Ridgway, Purdue director of sustainability and environmental stewardship. "The transportation show has proven to be a fun way to highlight and spur those efforts."

University Residences is encouraging its almost 12,000 residents to limit their shower time to three minutes on Tuesday (Oct. 5). The competition will monitor each participating residence hall's water usage to determine which hall reduced water use the most. Last year's winner, Earhart Hall, reduced its water use by 27 percent.

From Oct. 4-18 University Residences residents will be encouraged to reduce their energy use in as a many ways as possible, including by turning off lights, unplugging unused electronics, and adjusting thermostats. Each metered hall's usage will be monitored to determine a winner. Last year's winner, Shreve Hall, reduced it's energy use by 5 percent. This year's winner will receive its trophy on Campus Sustainability Day, an annual national event.

"The spirit of competition really spurs the students to make some enlightened and sometimes sacrificial choices that quickly add up to a significant beneficial environmental impact," said Terry Cegielski, University Residences assistant director of grounds and sustainability. "We hope the lessons learned change habits throughout their school year and their lifetimes."

On Friday (Oct. 8) University Residences will conduct tours of the West Lafayette Wastewater Treatment Plant, which is powered by methane produced from the several tons of food scrap that Purdue trucks to the plant each week instead of to the landfill. The dining courts will highlight the benefits of serving locally produced foods on Tuesday (Oct. 5).

Purdue's Physical Facilities department will expand its dual recycling program to five more campus buildings: Beering Hall, Lilly Hall, Agricultural Administration, Pao Hall and the Discovery Learning Center. The program increases recycling rates by removing waste baskets from individual work stations and replacing them with recycling bins built to receive office paper and other recyclables. Employees then must walk to centralized locations within their department to dispose of trash. The dual recycling program combined with other recycling programs helped reduce landfill waste deliveries by over 225 tons over the past year.

The student environmental group Boiler Green Initiative will staff informational booths at high-traffic areas on campus throughout the week to distribute information on how to be "green" by methods such as recycling, using reusable shopping bags and riding bikes. BGI will hand out reusable bags, sponsor a bicycle tune-up station and conduct a tour of the university's progressive stormwater management practices.

"We want to challenge the Purdue community to think about the environmental effects of their actions and enlighten our peers to become better stewards of the Earth that supports us all," said BGI president Rachel Huber.

A full schedule of Green Week events and how to participate is available at http://www.purdue.edu/greenweek/ 

Writer: Jim Schenke, 765-494-6262, jschenke@purdue.edu

Sources:  Robin Ridgway, 765-496-6405, rmridgway@purdue.edu

                  Rachel Huber, rhuber@purdue.edu

                  Terry Cegielski, 765-494-1000, tcegiels@purdue.edu

Note to Journalists: Video of Green Week events or topics is available on request. For more information, contact Jim Schenke, Purdue News Service, 765-494-6262, jschenke@purdue.edu