Letter to the editor: Oakland needs an Office of Sustainability

William McMullin, Custodian

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Dear editor,

I’m glad students are working to make Oakland University more sustainable. However, it is critical that OU opens an Office of Sustainability, just like Western Michigan University, Wayne State University, University of Michigan and many other colleges in the state. Reputable colleges have been active for years in reducing their carbon footprints, energy use, water use, waste and so much more.

There are many great sustainability initiatives OU can implement, including improving energy efficiency of campus buildings, slowly switching out urinals with low-flow urinals and composting leftover food scraps from the dining halls, just to name a few.

The purchasing department can require departments to use post-consumer recycled paper, switch purchasing of carpeting that contains harmful chemicals to carpeting that is healthier, require wood and paper products be Forest Stewardship Council certified, switch staff clothing to Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certified clothing, require all electronics be Energy Star certified, recommend electronics be Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) certified to reduce exposure to harmful chemicals, and require that 70% of cleaning supplies used on campus have the Green Seal logo.

We need an Office of Sustainability now to focus on greening the campus.

Sincerely,

William McMullin

Custodian, Oakland University

This letter was written in response to a piece in our Aug. 7 issue titled “OU expands efforts to become a greener campus.”