When we needed more residence hall space, GMC decided to renovate an existing building instead of constructing a new dorm. The result was Sage Hall, the first LEED-certified gold building in Rutland County. When we explored options to provide sustainable, reliable heat for our buildings, we opted for a biomass plant, which burns locally harvested wood chips on campus. These are just two examples of how students, faculty, staff and administrators are always generating new ideas about ways our community can leave a lower carbon footprint while setting a good example for our friends and neighbors. When you join GMC, you are joining a community that’s serious about meeting our resource needs today, in a way that does not sacrifice the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. We don’t see authentic sustainability as “sacrifice,” but as a sensible way to improve our quality of life. Here are some of the ways this happens:
Sustainability Speakers Series. Some of the most thoughtful writers, scientists and activists in the nation regularly make their way to Green Mountain College to meet students and give presentations. In 2014-15, 350.org founder Bill McKibben and Pulitzer Prize winning author Dan Fagan were among our visitors. See a recent list of on campus speakers in the PDF link below.
Sustainability Events. You could say “every day is Earth Day” at GMC. It’s ingrained in our culture. But we do like to celebrate, so each year the College sponsors Earth Week, with events like the Earth Fair, which features over 60 exhibitors and dozens of events at the local high school. Other environmental events throughout the year include a Transportation Fair featuring a miniature bicycle race, Trek-ur-Trash (it will definitely make you think twice before throwing anything away!), and Do it in the Dark (an annual competition to see which residence hall can use the least electricity). On the social sustainability side of the equation, we organize a Thanks & Giving day of community service the week before the Thanksgiving holiday, which brings together the town and College to work hand-and-hand to paint buildings, feed families in need, pick up trash and clear trails, while sharing breakfast, lunch, and dinner as a community. Other events celebrate who we are as a community and instill a sense of place, such as historical East Poultney day in the summer, the chili-cook off in a fall, and Maple Fest in the spring.
The ELA. At the heart of the College’s environmental mission is the 37-credit Environmental Liberal Arts general education curriculum, which all GMC students complete. Sustainability courses and courses that include sustainability, as defined by STARS 2.0, can be found here in this FY 2016 inventory.
A culture of research. A large number of GMC faculty members across a variety of disciplines are engaged in research to promote social, economic and environmental sustainability. As a GMC student you’ll be encouraged to find research opportunities to explore your passions on and off campus. View a list of faculty members currently engaged in this type of study and a sample of their recent books, articles, and presentations.