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Sustainability solutions tested daily

April 15, 2014

Green is another color celebrated at Ohio State on a daily basis, and this Earth Day the university is being recognized for its sustainability efforts. Ohio State is a finalist for the 2014 Second Nature Climate Leadership Award, which recognizes innovation and leadership for sustainability, climate mitigation and adaptation.

From the highest seat in Ohio Stadium to a cup of coffee in the Ohio Union to the geothermal wells powering the heating and cooling systems in residence halls on campus, Ohio State is committed to sustainability practices.

The university is often compared to a thriving city with 50,000 people and hundreds of buildings – all of which provide great testing grounds for concepts and methods of solving sustainability problems. Because of the steps Ohio State has taken for sustainability, it is a finalist in the 2014 Second Nature Climate Leadership Award. (To vote for Ohio State, click on the thumbs-up icon on The George Washington University’s Planet Forward website.) 

Here are a few numbers that show how the far-reaching green practices at Ohio State are adding up:

  • 108,000 pounds: Trash diverted from landfills since the Shoe introduced the Zero Waste initiative in 2011. Ohio State is a two-time national champion in game-day recycling practices, recycling or composting as much as 98 percent of the trash produced at the stadium during a football game.

  • 4: The number of Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center cars that run on natural gas produced from plentiful, renewable and organic waste – such as chicken fat, rotten tomatoes and the byproducts of potato chip production.

  • 4,000: The number of endangered mussels students and researchers released back into Big Darby Creek in 2013. The clubshell and riffleshell mussels were collected from under a bridge in Pennsylvania that was scheduled for demolition. The species had lived in Big Darby Creek, west of Columbus, previously and were likely to thrive again in Ohio.

  • 85: The percentage of ethanol in the fuel tanks of many university vehicles. Known as E85, the fuel is 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline. In addition to powering Ohio State’s fleet, E85 is also featured prominently in the design of the university’s EcoCAR 2 team.