Topic: Sustainability/Environment

May 22, 2008

A newly released book, touting the nation's top sustainability initiatives at colleges and universities, includes a full chapter devoted to Ball State University.

"The Green Campus: Meeting the Challenge of Environmental Sustainability" explores sustainability through profiles of campus programs and answers the question of what it means to be a green campus.

"This book is about getting beyond all the lip service and horn honking to actually doing something to protect this beautiful planet that is our home," wrote Walter Simpson, the book's editor and the energy officer at the State University of New York at Buffalo.

Robert Koester, director of the Ball State's Council on the Environment, James Eflin, chairman of the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences, and John Vann, associate professor of marketing, nevertheless did a little horn-honking of their own when they wrote the chapter, "The Greening of Ball State University: A Whole Systems Approach."

The entry covers the university's long history of fostering green activities across campus. The whole-systems approach Ball State uses has required continued nurturing over the last 16 years, said Koester.

"Greening of the campus principles have been woven into the university's Strategic Plan for many years," he said. "Additionally, ongoing practices in the facilities and operations areas have evolved to include bulk purchase of materials, management of the solid waste stream, reforestation of the campus, increased efficiency in energy usage, and use of biodiesel and hybrid electric vehicles in the university fleet."

The book recently received a favorable review by The Chronicle of Higher Education's Scott Carlson, who called it "a trove of great information for any administrator trying to get on the road to sustainability. It even includes a helpful appendix with a checklist of things to do and a directory of organizations that can help."

More information on "The Green Campus" can be found in the bookstore section at