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How Green Is BU?

Sustainability@BU conducts annual survey


Photo by Vernon Doucette

Seven minutes flies by. That’s the time it takes to grab a coffee, take a bathroom break, or sneak in a YouTube video. And it’s all the time you’ll need to fill out a survey that could make BU a greener place to study and work.

Sustainability@BU is challenging students, faculty, and staff to fill out its second annual survey, designed to measure respondents’ environmental awareness and degree of green living.

Survey responses “will shape our priorities,” says Dennis Carlberg, the University’s sustainability director. “We take input from people seriously, and we want to see where we can improve.”

The survey was sent to all BU email addresses on April 19 and is due on Tuesday, May 3. Organizers hope to receive at least 5,000 responses and are already two-thirds of the way to their goal.

Sustainability@BU used the information from the January 2010 survey to get a better idea of the BU community’s green values. This year’s survey will determine how effective the office has been in getting out its message.

For example, if the current survey shows a higher percentage of people know that BU composts its food scraps, sustainability@BU will consider that a success. If the percentage drops, staff will know where they need to focus more attention in the future.

The survey covers issues from commuting and printing habits to water and energy use. One new feature is a link to sign up for green office certification audits, which Carlberg says is getting a good response.

“It’s important for us to be able to make a difference on campus,” he says. “All this information is helping us grow the program.”

Leslie Friday can be reached at lfriday@bu.edu; follow her on Twitter at @lesliefriday.

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