The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

Guilford’s green party

“It is easy for an institution to claim to be green,” said Environmental Sustainability Coordinator Jim Dees. “What we’re doing here is not window dressing; this is the future of Guilford College.”

On Oct. 27, an event dubbed Solarpalooza celebrated Guilford’s campuswide solar hot-water installation system among the other green initiatives begun during Guilford’s theme year of sustainability. This celebration featured local music, a farmers’ market, and tours of Guilford’s new solar hot water systems.

“We have taken a huge step in reducing our carbon footprint,” said Dees. “We are here to celebrate a major accomplishment.”

Guilford’s solar hot water initiative began in 2007 when a 12-panel system was installed on Shore Hall. The college now has 200 solar panels on buildings across campus.

Research conducted by FLS energy indicates that the project may be the nation’s largest college solar hot water installation to date, according to Frank Marshall, president of FLS energy.

“We usually have to convince institutions to adopt solar energy,” said Daniel Steelman, a representative from FLS Energy. “Guilford knew exactly what they wanted and the direction they were headed in.”

Guilford is adopting other initiatives as well, such as an electronic waste disposal program and live energy metering where energy data can be displayed in real time.

“We’re always excited to see colleges that are as excited about sustainability as we are,” said President of TS Designs Erik Henry. “The fact that Guilford’s president spoke lets me know that these events are important to the college.”

An onslaught of heavy rain moved the event from Guilford’s Community Park to the Alumni Gym; however musical performers and “green” vendors were still able to showcase their talents.

Performers included Southern Exposure Sustainable String Band — an Old Time and Americana four-piece that plays using a solar-powered sound system, The Tremors — a local rockabilly trio, and Upright and Breathin’ — a bluegrass band from Boone, N.C.

FLS Energy, the company that managed the solar installations, had one of their staff members, Bobby the Plumber, performing at Solarpalooza as well.

Vendors from the Greensboro area included TS Designs, a sustainable t-shirt company that printed the shirts for Solarpalooza, and the Goat Lady Dairy, a family farm that specializes in community supported agriculture (CSA).

“Solarpalooza had a great festive atmosphere … punctuated by bits of thunder,” said Daniel Woodham, farm manager of Goat Lady Dairy. “We didn’t sell many vegetables, but that’s beside the point. In the coming years, I could see this sort of thing building a lot of momentum in the local sustainable economy.”

According to Dees, “keeping it local” is key in maintaining a truly sustainable operation.

“Many of the vendors at Solarpalooza are the same farmers that supply our cafeteria with food,” said Dees. “In order for an institution to be truly sustainable, it must support and interact with local businesses. Guilford is doing that.”

“Solarpalooza was awesome,” said senior and religious studies major Sasha Lipton Galbraith. “It was a special occasion to come together and celebrate the steps Guilford is taking towards sustainability.”

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

The Guilfordian intends for this area to be used to foster healthy, thought-provoking discussion. Comments are expected to adhere to our standards and to be respectful and constructive. As such, we do not permit the use of profanity, foul language, personal attacks, or the use of language that might be interpreted as libelous. Comments are reviewed and must be approved by a moderator to ensure that they meet these standards. The Guilfordian does not allow anonymous comments, and requires a valid email address. The email address will not be displayed but will be used to confirm your comments.
All The Guilfordian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *