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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Students take charge of Carleton’s carbon neutrality by creating new fund

<inability Revolving Fund (SRF) was officially established this term, making available $40,000 to students, faculty, and staff who want to make Carleton more carbon neutral. The fund will distribute money to energy conservation projects proposed by members of the Carleton community. Money saved as a result of these projects is expected to compensate for installment costs and build the fund.

Last spring, four Carleton students, Mathias Bell ’07, Whit Jones ’07, Adam Smith ’07 and Eric Udelhofen ’07, created and raised money for the fund as their senior ENTS Capstone project. This fall, they passed the project on to CSA senator/Environmental Advisory Committee Liaison Bessie Schwarz ’08, Sam Ritter ’10, Senior Facilities Accountant Denise Dube, Director of Energy Management Robert Lamppa, and Professor of Economics Mark Kanazawa.

The new committee developed the fund’s charter and general structure, and began accepting proposals this term. The deadline for project proposals is 8th week, and the committee hopes to announce at least two projects by 10th week.

“Low hanging” projects, such as replacing light bulbs with energy efficient ones, or revamping vending machines so that the machines could respond to motion detectors, will be the fund’s main targets, says Schwarz. Schwarz also hopes that the school will recognize the economic benefits of and students’ commitment to carbon neutrality. The school could also respond with bigger plans, such as renovating the library so that lights can be turned off at night.

Submitted proposals go through a four-state process. Once the SRF committee approves a proposal, the authors present it to CSA, where the proposal gets critiqued. After CSA, the SRF then reconsiders the proposal and decides whether to recommend it to the Environmental Advising Committee, which serves as the last check of the approval process.

In its early stage, the SRF hopes to sponsor small projects that, with budgets of several thousand dollars, will pay back quickly. Each project is expected to work closely with Facilities to update the SRF committee on the project’s energy- and cost-saving effectiveness.

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