Editorial: Green steps for NMU

NW Staff

Over the last two years, a pair of Northern Michigan University residence halls, Meyland and Van Antwerp, were remodeled with sustainability in mind. As such, those two buildings are now the first in the Upper Peninsula to achieve benchmarks set by the U.S. Green Building Council.

Through the council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system, Meyland received a “certified” status, while Van Antwerp received a “silver.”

The ratings, which range from “certified” to “platinum,” are based on five criteria of sustainable construction and use.

The North Wind would like to congratulate the university on this achievement, as it is a positive move for all involved.

Today – when “green” is the new buzzword – few things carry more weight than environmentally friendly policies. In a time when Al Gore can win a Nobel Peace Prize for raising awareness about global warming, and two presidential hopefuls add words such as “eco-friendly” to their everyday language, Northern is publicly putting itself on the forefront of the green movement.

During this time of falling budgets and slipping enrollment – as well as rising tuition – this is one of the best things that NMU could have possibly done to further its reputation as an eco-friendly university. Not only is the designation important from an environmental standpoint, but it could do wonders to expand the Northern brand.

In taking steps to become a more environmentally conscious university, Northern will be able to attract more students from across the country who wish to earn a college degree without leaving a substantial carbon footprint. The title of “environmentally friendly” will allow NMU to aggressively market itself as a green university in a time when few exist.

And though this new certification will hopefully lead to more eco-conscious students attending Northern, it’s also important for NMU’s current student body to continue to embrace sustainable policies, both on-campus and off.

The trends in today’s world tend to lean toward eco-friendly practices. Tote bags that proudly state “I am not a plastic bag,” hybrid cars and energy-efficient appliances are all becoming more socially acceptable, and less grounded in political ideology.

As Northern follows these trends, and begins to set a few of its own, The North Wind encourages NMU’s student body to follow eco-friendly practices, and continue to help truly make Northern a sustainable university.