Going green is now a slogan in the USA. The two words summarize the efforts the Americans are making towards creating an environmental conscience society. The effects of environmental degradation have been felt for a long time now. The causes and effects of global warming are being discussed by individuals, organizations and even institutions.
Awareness on environmental matters started in the 1960s in the USA. Americans were made aware of the degrading effects of DDT, an insecticide that depleted the ozone layer. There are, in addition, the effects of the high noise levels, toxic wastes that are dumped carelessly and even those that are being dumped in the ocean.
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It was this awareness that led to the enactment of various acts in the US. In 1970, the National Environmental Protection Act was passed. Later on the Clean Air Act was also passed.
Sadly, however, the American economy experienced an improvement and the laws that had been put up to protect the environment were not enforced. This was during Ronald Reagan and George W.H. Bush’s government. Speed limits on highways went up from 55mph to 75 mph and the use of gas for fuel also increased, majorly due to stabilized gas prizes. At this time, America is the largest consumer of petroleum fuel.
Currently, going green has become an even stronger slogan. It is common to find information in all media discussing and even over emphasizing the importance of protecting the environment. It is being discussed in television, radio, in newspapers and magazines; even advertised on bill boards.
Moreover, the internet is full of websites that advocate for protection of the environment. Discussion forums and blogs are now rampant. You will find sites such as How America could get rich by going green, 10 ways to save by going green, the green party of the United States, and AmericaGoingGreen.com, among others.
These efforts are aimed towards the protection of natural resources and endangered species. Mountains, forests, and rivers are all being protected. In addition, companies are all directed towards finding alternative sources of fuel.
It has been established that renewable sources of energy if used as planned are going to provide even much more energy than that which is being tapped from the non-renewable sources currently being utilized.
The University of San Antonio has not been an exception. In fact, it has been on the forefront in the campaign to protect the environment. The current initiatives being run started with some of the students of the school of medicine. They came up with the suggestion of turning of the lights in the study areas at night and double printing handouts. These students obtained the endorsement of 600 people (students and staff) and presented it to the administration.
Their efforts bore fruit in late 2007 and 2008 when an Energy Conservation Committee and a sub-committee were created. Their mandate was to come up with suggestions for the university.
The University of Texas Health Science Centre now has a strategic plan aimed at the protection of the environment. They are dedicated to cutting waste and improve their effectiveness. The aim is to create a culture of sustainability within the university.
There was further creation of the new south Texas research facility, the new medical arts and research center, The SGA which started the earliest campus-extensive recycling plan in union with Wise Guys Recycling. Some of the ground work steps being taken are, putting computers on sleep mode when they are not in use, double printing assignments, using recycled paper, among others.
The plans being made for the future include putting up an enormous recycling container at centrally on campus, adopting a policy on utilizing electronic curriculum, and if not using double-sided printing, the university will purchase vehicles in the future that are much more fuel efficient, Adopting a set of sustainability values that will steer the institution in the future, just to mention a few.
It is no wonder that the University of San Antonio won numerous Awards due to its relentless efforts towards going green. These efforts are being imitated by many other institutions in the US and across the world. The institution will inevitably be accredited for improved environmental sustainability across the globe.
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