Images of Sustainability at APUS – Porous Pavers

porous paver1At 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.  Asphalt parking lots are not very environmentally friendly particularly because of the process required to refine it to a usable state. … Read the rest

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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!


Solar ArrayThe 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.  Situated next to the university’s Finance Center (a 105,000 square-foot structure built to LEED Gold standards and currently in the certification process), the array provides approximately 50% of the total energy needed for that building. … Read the rest

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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.  Perhaps the most daunting endeavor of the project was turning old pallets into hardwood flooring. … Read the rest

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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.… Read the rest

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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.  During the month of April, the public may vote on these videos. … Read the rest

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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. 

An original idea of Gilad Meron, a Cornell Design and Environmental Analysis (DEA) degree recipient, the lawn is now being studied by fellow DEA department graduates and current students to report on the mental health benefits of the installation. … Read the rest

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World Water Day

Today is World Water Day.  Water is essential to all known forms of life and the United NationsWorld 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.  Illnesses from unclean water and poor sanitation, including diarrhea and typhoid, remain the global leading causes of illness and death. … Read the rest

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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’. … Read the rest

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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. This comes on the heels of Washington State announcing on Christmas Eve 2012 a similar tax on EV drivers in 2013.… Read the rest

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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.… Read the rest

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