Images of Sustainability at APUS – Porous Pavers

At American Public University System (APUS), environmental consciousness can be seen across our campus buildings.  From recycling bins in every building to green cleaning products and from solar power to parking lots, our dedication to sustainable practices is evident.  Because most of our campus buildings are historic and most were previously used as private residences, there was a general lack of parking available. 

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Images of Sustainability at APUS – Solar Array

In celebration of Earth Day, this week we will share a series of images representative of tangible sustainability efforts at American Public University System.  Happy Earth Day…everyday!


The American Public University System (APUS) solar array is the largest solar array in West Virginia.  The array contains 1,660 solar panels and doubles as a covered parking lot for staff. 

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Upcycling Pallets for Outdoor Projects: Pros and Cons

by Sarah Myers

American Public University System is no stranger to adaptive reuse (or “upcycling” on a rather large scale).  Etter Hall, the Samuel Washington House, and Gray Hall are three excellent examples of the university lovingly and efficiently renovating older buildings into office space.  On a smaller scale, APUS supported my tiny house project for my Master’s thesis where I was able to upcycle many different things for a new purpose. 

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National Climate Assessment

by Ryan Harding

Years ago, I sat across the table from a good family friend, a (doctoral-level) professional meteorologist and researcher. Talks about weather are usually what we reserve for new acquaintances, and coworkers with whom we have trouble finding common intellectual ground. It is the sort of indifferent congenial nattering in which you unwittingly thrust yourself as you, and the person standing opposite you, search, frantically, through your mental rolodex for a topic of discussion with greater staying power than one whose sole purpose is to–like a news anchor ‘winging it’ to fill empty airtime–serve as short-lasting alternative to apocalyptic awkward silence.

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APUS is a Finalist for a Climate Leadership Award

Second Nature recently notified American Public University System (APUS) that the school is a finalist for a Climate Leadership Award.  “The annual Second Nature Climate Leadership awards recognize innovative and advanced leadership in education for sustainability, climate mitigation and adaptation and institutionalized sustainability at signatory campuses of the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment [ACUPCC].”

Each finalist was asked to create a 1-3 minute video highlighting sustainability efforts at their school. 

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Meet Me on the Library Lawn

by Kelly Wenner

We have all read stories about the soothing qualities of nature. From natural remedies that soothe the senses either by consumption or smell, to the effects that outdoor play has on childhood development, there is evidence that the power of the natural world can be harnessed to improve our quality of life.  Cornell University Library incorporated this idea recently when it decided to install a temporary lawn in the middle of its University Library during finals week. 

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World Water Day

Today is World Water Day.  Water is essential to all known forms of life and the United Nations’ World Water Assessment Programme estimates that each person needs between 20 and 50 liters of water a day to ensure basic needs are met (drinking, cooking, cleaning, etc.).  One in 6 people on Earth, however, do not have access to clean water. 

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The Devil is in the…Distance?

by Beth Gray

In the October 2012 issue of Sustainability: The Journal of Record, editor Jamie Devereaux interviewed Helena Norberg-Hodge, founder and director of the International Society for Ecology and Culture (ISEC).  Norberg-Hodge provides some thought-provoking insights about our global economy, its impact on the environment and even its impact on our happiness. 

Norberg-Hodge presents a holistic view of globalization and in the end, her analysis of the global phenomenon that has shrunk our world is less favorable than many others’. 

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The Electric Vehicle Tax: A Penalty or Fair Play?

I live in Virginia, and Joan loves it here. We have a lot of hills that provides her battery with a quick boost in order to keep the trip alive. However, last week, she took some offense to legislation in Richmond as Governor Bob McDonnell’s proposed to tax electric and hybrid vehicle owners $100 a year for making the decision to drive green.

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Silent Running: Making the EVs Louder to Make Pedestrians Safer

Once upon a time, say a century or so ago, there was a scourge making its way across the American countryside: the automobile. In his report Automobile in American Life and Society, Martin V. Melosi quoted historical automobile critics as “infuriated with urban car enthusiasts who gave little attention to frightening livestock or disturbing the tranquility of the countryside.” With all the noise these metal monsters were making, a call rose from concerned citizens to do something about these menaces of the public roadways.

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