Keeping It Green at Oakton

Your source for the most current sustainability news from Oakton Community College


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Electric Vehicle Charging at Oakton!

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We are thrilled to announce Oakton’s first electric vehicle charging station has been installed on the Des Plaines campus.  Located in Lot D near our LEED Gold certified Margaret Burke Lee Science and Health Careers Center, this dual Chargepoint system will allow students, employees, and community members a convenient way to refuel their electric vehicles when they visit campus.  Electric vehicle purchases are growing globally and in the U.S. and Oakton is excited to support the push towards greener transportation. Within the first hour of use, we already had drivers waiting to utilize the system!

 

 

(Above: Chargepoint dual charging station, two electric vehicles charging; Below: Professor David Arieti shows off his Chargepoint card while fueling up his electric vehicle.)

There are many benefits to driving electric vehicles. Here are a few from the U.S. Department of Energy:

  1. Energy Security–With 24% of petroleum coming from outside of the country, use of electric vehicles can reduce our dependence on imported petroleum and increase energy security.
  2. Fuel Economy–The efficient nature of electric vehicle motors mean drivers can get more miles per kWh than the equivalent mpg with gas.
  3. Infrastructure Availability–Because electric vehicles can be charged in a number of places like home or work, there is flexibility to fill up when and where it is convenient. There are currently over 35,000 Chargepoint stations alone!
  4. Costs–Although initial costs for buying electric vehicles are still relatively high, tax incentives at the federal level and in various states can help close the gap. The saving on gas and repairs though are huge!
  5. Emissions–Because they are not using gasoline and burning fossil fuels, the vehicles themselves emit no (in the case of electric vehicles) or very low (in the case of plug-in hybrid vehicles) harmful emissions. The best way to reduce association emissions though is when the electricity is coming from a renewable source like solar or wind.

And of course, driving electric means an overall reduction in greenhouse gases for transportation, even after considering the entire life cycle of the vehicle. (Read a great discussion of that assessment from the Union of Concerned Scientists here.) The charging station is one of the many ways Oakton is thinking about our environmental impact and taking action on climate. We hope you will visit soon!

For more details about the station itself and other green parking on options at Oakton, visit: http://www.oakton.edu/about/strategic/sustainability/green_parking.php


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Green Parking on Campus

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As noted in our Sustainability Guidelines, Oakton is committed to climate action, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and promoting sustainable transportation. Beginning late summer 2017, students, employees, and community members who visit our Des Plaines campus will have more options for green parking. Keep your eyes out for new signage in some of these areas!

Electric Vehicle Charging
A Chargepoint Level 2 dual charging station is currently being installed on the Des Plaines campus at the south side of Parking Lot D (close to the Lee Center). Drivers of electric vehicles may park in one of the two designated spots while they are charging. Out of respect for other EV drivers, we ask that you move your vehicle to a different space when your charge is complete.

Once activated, Oakton station will be visible on all PlugShare maps.

Low-Emitting and Fuel Efficient Vehicle Parking
A row of reserved spots for low-emitting and fuel efficient vehicle parking is located on the East side of the Lee Center on Des Plaines campus, in Parking Lot D. A second set of three spots will be available to employees only in Parking Lot C after July 1st (parking is currently reserved for the ECE Center).

Not sure if your vehicle is considered fuel efficient? Electric or hybrid vehicles and motorcycles are a quick yes! For other, gas-powered vehicles, find your car’s Green Rating using the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) guide. If your vehicle scores a 40 or higher, you are encouraged to park in these locations!


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Climate Data Rescue Event Thursday, April 27!

Climate Data Rescue Event during Earth Month (Register at link below!)

Free and open to the public!

 Thursday, April 27, 2017 (5-9 p.m.)   

Oakton Community College

Room 1625, Des Plaines Campus

1600 Golf Road Des Plaines, IL  60016

Register for the event here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/DFD5QFF or contact Dan Godston (dgodston@oakton.edu) to find out more.

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We invite you to a climate data rescue event at Oakton Community College, sponsored by The Green Committee at Oakton. We believe in supporting the fundamental role of science in sound government policy. Please help us preserve vulnerable federal climate, environmental, and transportation data. We need programmers, data scientists, and science enthusiasts! Bring your laptop and come ready to learn.

This event is part of a series of climate data rescue events happening in the Chicago area in recent months. Others were hosted by Chi Hack Night, University of Chicago, and Northwestern University. It is also part of ongoing international collaborations—with coordinated efforts from the Environmental Data and Governance Initiative, Internet Archive, and higher education institutions (University of Pennsylvania, University of Toronto, and UCLA).

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Creating Justice 2017

Being sustainable is about more than protecting the natural environment–it also involves protecting and caring for people and the communities we live in. Join us on Earth Day, April 22 for our annual Creating Justice symposium. Please feel free to share this pdf widely. The event is open to the community, though registration is requested.

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Earth Week 2017 Events at Oakton Announced!!

Join us for our annual Earth Week Events at Oakton Community College, April 17-22. Feel free to share this pdf version and post (with permission) wherever you see fit! Thank you for helping us to spread the word on these amazing events to learn, engage with others, and make a difference at Oakton and in your communities!

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UNHSI Sustainability Fellowships–Application Deadline Extended to 2/19/17

UNHSI’s Sustainability Fellowships pair outstanding students with challenging, important projects that will propel the US toward a low-carbon future. Sustainability Fellows each undertake to meet challenging deliverables, and receive supervision, mentorship, unique networking and professional development opportunities, and a $6000 stipend.

2017 Project Descriptions

Click here for more information & to apply!

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Environmental Graphiti: The Art of Climate Change, Alisa Singer

The Foundation, Koehnline Museum, and Division of Science and Health Careers are excited to present the artwork of Alisa Singer in an exhibit – Environmental Graphiti: The Art of Climate Change. Please find a link to her website here. The artwork has been featured around the country and installed at many other prominent universities and galleries around the area such as DePaul, UIC, Loyola, Northwestern, and more.

Artist Alisa Singer’s digital paintings, printed on metal and derived from graphs, charts, and other scientific data, use contemporary abstract art to challenge and expand the way we think about climate change. The works will be on display in the Lee Center, First Floor Lobby from January 25-February 25, 2017. Please join us and share widely!

We’d like to make you aware of a couple of events on campus should you be interested in joining or encouraging students to participate:

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