What We’re Doing

We at Houghton are actively looking for ways to be more responsible in our stewardship of the earth.  Many of these changes save us money in the long run.  Others may cost a little bit extra but will help us implement more environmentally sustainable practices.  Here is a partial listing of some of the things that we have planned for the 2015 - 2016 year, as well as some of our recent accomplishments.

Current Projects (2015 - 2016)

  • Pursuing the Arbor Day Foundation's "Tree Campus USA" designation
  • Indoor lighting retrofits--looking to switch from CFL to energy-saving LED bulbs
  • Looking to start a "do something" table that will provide students with an opportunity to take action on sustainability
  • Publishing a new trail map for the Houghton College trails
  • Changing out existing faucet aerators to replace current 1.5 gallon-per-minute (gpm) models with 1.0 gpm models
  • 52 students are involved in our volunteer Eco Rep program, which provides students with the opportunity to take action on sustainability
  • Installing a campus orchard

Recent Accomplishments

  • Oversaw the completion of a 2.6 megawatt solar system (the largest on a college campus in NY State), which will provide half the college's electricity needs and save $100,000 per year.
  • Installed low-flow showerheads in the residence halls, saving the college $5,000 and conserving more than 1 million gallons of water per year.
  • Created two sustainability internship positions that partner with Young Evangelicals for Climate Action as official YECA fellows.
  • Hosted a guest lecture by Dr. Katharine Hayhoe, an evangelical climate scientist and one of Time Magazine's 2014 "most influential people in the world."
  • Coordinating a "cold water laundry" competition to save energy
  • Retrofitted exterior lighting in some areas with energy-saving LED bulbs