In addition to carbon reduction, Hollins has initiated several projects which promote sustainable practices. These include our campus-wide recycling program, trayless dining, sustainability pledge, and the purchase of green cleaning products. We also have several green student projects which are in their fledgling stage. These projects include: the development of a community garden, a bicycle co-op, and vermicomposting of food waste.
Hollins students assisted with the installation of solar panels at the Dana Science Building, April 2011. This is Hollins' first photovoltaic array, and the green power it generates will reduce the amount of non-green energy the university purchases. The solar panels were made possible by a grant from The Dominion Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Dominion Resources. Slideshow »
Energy Production Reports for the solar panels (2012-13) - July 2012, August 2012, September 2012, October 2012, November 2012, December 2012, January 2013, February 2013, March 2013, April 2013, May 2013.
Hollins Director of Public Relations Jeff Hodges reports on the installation of the solar panels.
In the fall of 2006, Hollins University partnered with Roanoke County to establish the first county recycling site. Prior to this partnership, Hollins collected only mixed paper for recycling and the county had no recycling program. The partnership allowed Hollins to begin to recycle aluminum, newspaper, and #1 and #2 plastic in addition to the mixed paper program. Residents of Roanoke County are encouraged to bring their recycling to the collection bins on the Hollins campus for disposal.
To highlight recycling on campus, Hollins holds an annual "Battle of the Bins" contest at the beginning of every academic year. Students, staff, faculty, and others join together to paint the recycling bins with their own imaginative designs. Bins are judged and the top three designs win small cash prizes. The Battle of the Bins has promoted recycling on campus, created a sense of community around recycling, and the campus declares itself a recycling community with individually designed and painted recycling bins in every building. Video »
Electronic waste is becoming a mounting global problem. In the United States alone there are over 500 million obsolete computers, 130 million cell phones which are thrown away each year, as well as millions of other unwanted electronic devices (TV's, printers, faxes, etc…). When thrown away, these electronic devices can leak toxic chemicals (e.g. lead, cadmium) into the environment. Eighty percent of the e-waste that is recycled is sent overseas to developing countries where impoverished workers, including children, work in unsafe conditions smashing leaded glass tubes, breathing lead solder fumes and melting plastics with toxic flame retardants. Many of these toxic compounds are then dumped into rivers or piled into mountains of e-waste scrap.
In order to address this growing problem, Hollins hosted and carried out three-day statewide recycling events in 2007 and 2008 to encourage Virginians to properly recycle their old electronic devices. That effort resulted in the collection of 831,579 pounds of e-waste at the Hollins University campus and three other Virginia universities (University of Richmond, Virginia Tech, and Old Dominion University). On its own, Hollins far surpassed its original goal of collecting 200,000 pounds of e-waste by collecting 367,259 pounds (44% of the total). The e-waste that was collected was sent to MeTech Corporation in Massachusetts where the valuable materials were harvested and recycled in safe conditions.
Hollins provided businesses, schools, and households in western Virginia the opportunity to recycle their old computers, televisions, cell phones, and other electronic devices at no cost during the second annual Hollins E-Waste Recycling Event.
On the recommendation of the Environmental Advisory Board, Hollins University instituted a policy of purchasing only Green Seal Certified Cleaning Products® whenever possible. Green Seal evaluates products based on a "life-cycle approach to ensure that all significant environmental impacts of a product are considered, from raw materials extraction through manufacturing to use and disposal." Use of certified products thereby reduces toxic pollution, conserves resources and habitats, and protects the health of service staff. Since the fall of 2007, all cleaning products with the exception of our bathroom disinfectants are green seal certified. We see this purchasing policy as a direct outcome of our institutional commitment to promote sustainable practices.
Cleaning products used on campus:
|Cleaning Activity||Product Name||Company|
|General cleanser||Stride Citrus HC Neutral Cleaner**
Alpha HP Multi-Surface Cleaner**
|Johnson Wax Professional|
|Washroom care||Crew: Bathroom cleaner and scale remover**||Johnson Wax Professional|
|Glass cleaner||Glance: Non-ammoniated glass cleaner**||Johnson Wax Professional|
|Floor care||Stride Citrus Neutral Cleaner**
Freedom SC floor stripper for waxing**
|Johnson Wax Professional|
|Bathroom handsoaps||Reliable GM Green Choice Luxury Handwash**||Reliable Brand Co.|
|Disinfectant||Alpha HP Bathroom Disinfectant and Cleaner**||Johnson Wax Professional|
|** Green Seal Certification|
Campus Sustainability Efforts (by category)
Buildings & Grounds
Sprouting from a student thesis in 2005, the Hollins Community Garden continues to engage students and faculty in creating a unique place for education and inspiration. The production of organic vegetables, fruits, herbs and flowers brings a sense of accomplishment and responsibility that grows into environmental awareness and commitment to something larger. As a gathering place for study, poetry and music, or simply a solitary retreat in the hammock, the community garden is a creative space for growing food and cultivating minds. Video »