‘Islander Green’ Promotes Green Initiatives via Hydration Stations, Solar-Dok, Community Garden, and Single-Stream Recycling

Published: June 19, 2015

‘Islander Green’ Promotes Green Initiatives via Hydration Stations, Solar-Dok, Community Garden, and Single-Stream Recycling

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas –Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi’s Islander Green was developed to support the growing number of projects and programs that promote environmental sustainability around campus. Islander Green works hand in hand with the University’s Environmental Council to encourage environmental stewardship through a growing number of initiatives.

            Hydration stations, also known as bottle filling stations, are a main green initiative on campus.  To date, they have saved approximately 245,784 sixteen ounce bottles of water from being utilized, with over 100,000 bottles saved just at the Dugan Wellness Center.  The hydration stations were first installed on campus in 2012, after environmental science major Evan Paret proposed the idea to the University’s Environmental Council. The project was approved, and four hydration stations were installed on campus. Currently there are six hydration stations located on campus, with plans to install even more into areas of new construction, areas that undergo remodeling, or when older fountains need replacing.

            “The overall message and concept of the hydration stations revolves around conservation, sustainability, and becoming more environmentally aware,” said Paret, who returned to the university to graduate with a Master of Public Administration in May 2015. “The water stations are convenient, results in cost-savings, and not to mention, looking at the bottle savings ticker presented on the station itself provides the user with a good overall feeling.”

The Solar Charging Station, also called a Solar Power-Dok is a popular addition to campus. It’s located in Curlew Plaza, by the University dining hall and outdoor pool.  The charging station includes three 45-watt solar panels, and a 100-watt solar pane, all in the form of an umbrella, connected to a picnic bench. The umbrella’s pole has four power outlets and four USB outlets that students, faculty, and staff can use to charge their cell phones, laptops, tablets, or other electronics. The charging station generates and stores electricity for use day or night, for true “off the grid” green power.  The table itself is constructed from poly-recycled plastic materials, and each charge station has a digital readout, to show available power levels. The Environmental Council plans to put a second Solar Power-Dok on the main campus, and possibly a third Solar Power-Dok at the Momentum Campus.

In February 2014, the Islander Green Team built the Islander Green Community Garden. It’s located at the end of Island Boulevard, off the first campus entrance. The goal of the Community Garden is to educate students and community members on the basic principles of gardening, growing food, and making simple, tasty recipes using that food. The University plans to build a small storage building next to the garden for supplies, tools, and equipment, as well as buy more tools and gardening equipment to be used to maintain the garden.

            Recycling is still a huge part of the Islander lifestyle on campus, and Facilities Services, which provides management of the University’s physical assets, is committed to maintaining the campus-wide recycling program. The campus utilizes single-stream recycling in conjunction with the city of Corpus Christi’s Recycling Center. Single-stream recycling means all allowed recycled materials including mixed paper, plastic bottles, aluminum cans, and cardboard material, can be placed in one single bin.

Visit http://islandergreen.tamucc.edu for more information on the University’s green initiatives or to sign up for the Islander Green Newsletter.