Monday, January 12, 2009

Going Green: Middlebury College

Most colleges have both the power and resources when it comes to 'going green'. Even with economy struggles, the promise for savings in the long run, not to mention appealing to the market, makes it worth the trip. Middlebury College in Vermont has committed to becoming carbon neutral by the year 2016. The college plans to achieve carbon neutrality through a combination of efforts, including the 2008 completion of a biomass plant powered by wood chips; operational adjustments such as energy efficient lighting and facility upgrades; and — after all other economically feasible efforts to reduce carbon have been exhausted — the purchase of carbon offsets.

January 15 through 17 Middlebury will be hosting a series of events showcasing the FirefFy wind inventions of Jito Coleman. Jito is an engineer and artist who has been in the wind energy business for many years. The
FireFly is "a small wind turbine that powers an LED light; it is mounted on top of a ski pole driven into the ground. When windy, the light glows with an intensity proportional to the speed of the turning blades. When a lot of them are placed on a landscape, they make the wind visible in the dark."

Vermont has been known for many Eco initiatives in everything from farming to architecture and recycling. Middlebury College is following the lead and hopefully will be attracting many environmentally conscious students in the coming generations.

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