Eco Friendly Environment for LMC

Jordan Neel, [email protected]

The LMC Sustainability Committee wants faculty, staff and students to become more environmentally friendly by taking steps to improve disposing waste on campus.

The committee is an all-volunteer group that continues to look for ways to inform others and facilitate sustainability efforts both on and off campus. It has been active in promoting the practice of waste sustainability on campus so members of the college community can also do the same outside of school.

The committee is the same group that helps run Earth Day events every spring.

Sustainability Committee Chair Jennifer Fay, who has been on the committee for five years, is working to find more ways to help keep the campus clean by doing things like placing additional recycling bins and replacing regular light bulbs with LED bulbs to save energy. Also on the list is improving accessibility for composting on campus.

Fay hopes practice will make people reconsider their consumption choices and think about the amount of waste they generate. Instead of buying plastic water bottles, she suggested students consider reusable bottles that can be filled at one of the filter stations on campus. Her goal is to increase awareness about the environmental impact of waste.

“We’re a place of learning,” said Fay. “We as a school should set a better example on how to deal with waste on campus since we’re teaching students how to do that. Some might believe it’s small issue compared to all the other issues but it’s a small step to take on doing things correctly.”

Sustainability Committee member Briana McCarthy said she has been attempting to promote waste sustainability in her Biology 7 class, and hopes to get students involved with the committee. She feels the message of waste sustainability can be better promoted if recycling and compost bins are in every classroom.

“Once we have those systems in place more people will want to spread the word,” said McCarthy. “Waste sustainability truly affects our environment, so the more we help with the environment the better our health is for everyone.”

LMC Facilities Manager Russ Holt, former Committee Chair, said the efforts of the committee have been focused around decreasing our “footprint” on the planet and helping students and staff understand why they should help and how they can help.

“Our footprint on the planet should be important to everybody,” said Holt, “not just faculty, staff and students. This topic impacts all of us.”

Energy and Environmental Associate for the Contra Costa Community College District, Issac Knipfing, is on Diablo Valley College’s Sustainability Committee but also makes an effort to be involved with the other district campus committees, acting as a conduit for communication and collaboration. He is there to support the development of cohesive and robust sustainability initiatives throughout the district, one of which is a waste diversion campaign.

Knipfing said sustainability at LMC means identifying and reducing inefficiencies in the procurement and disposal of materials.

“If you think about LMC as a system,” said Knipfing, “with measurable inputs and outputs, waste reduction is making sure that the inputs to the system are ‘leaner’ and outputs of the system are tiny and/or can be reused as an input as a renewable resource. Not only is this good business practice, it promotes a healthier campus community. Who doesn’t want a cleaner, healthier, and better smelling learning environment?”

To find out more information about the committee go to