Integrating sustainability at BC

Hristo (Chris) Stoynov, program coordinator at Bellevue College, attended the “Campus as Living Laboratory Event” in St. Port Huron, Michigan. Over the course of the event, Stoynov learned how to better improve the BC campus and aim for a more sustainable future.

The event was put on by Siemens, a company based in Germany that specializes in electronics and engineering. It was held at St. Clair Community College and those in attendance were given the chance to see how they operated their living laboratory. The school offers two degrees for students to collaborate their academic success with sustainability, one being the Alternative Energy in Facility Management degree and the other being Renewable and Alternative Energy Technology degree, Trinh also wrote.

Deric Gruen, BC’s director of sustainability, hopes to see the campus head in a more sustainable direction. Even prior to the event that Stoynov, attended, Gruen already knew what issues BC could focus on.

“There are plenty of things to work on, but we are guided by a strategic plan which focuses on three primary areas: campus footprint, things like our greenhouse gas emissions and resource consumption; student and college leadership, getting our students engaged and leading projects and being a community leader; and curriculum infusion, where sustainability learning is a part of every BC student’s experience,” said Gruen.

With Stoynov’s knowledge and experience from viewing the living lab at St. Clair Community College, Gruen sees a bright future and already has projects on the horizon.

“Chris learned about how we can use our campus as a living lab for sustainability. We’re already doing some of this with projects, like our student garden and energy dashboard (coming soon), but there’s much more that can be done to provide learning opportunities with sustainability projects,” said Gruen.

It’s easy for students to start helping working towards the goal of evolving BC into a more sustainable campus. According to Gruen, there is a student environmental sustainability fund that can fund a student’s sustainable idea. Another option is to join the Sustainability and Science Association, which meets on Fridays at 12:30 p.m. in C225.