Sep 8, 2016

Ep. #32 – Greening Campus Life (feat. Richard R. Johnson)


It’s our back to school episode this week! And to make some of us feel a little better about being back at school, we want to highlight all the good green work that goes on, often behind the scenes, on our college campuses. Dominic and Cymene share their views on the necessity of office space and then welcome (10:40) to the podcast Rice University’s chief sustainability officer, Richard R. Johnson, Director of ACSEM (sustainability.rice.edu) and Professor of the Practice of Environmental Studies in Sociology. Richard walks us through the history of the campus sustainability movement and explains why jobs like his these days are more about things like rethinking building design, improving power purchase agreements and getting students engaged in changing the carbon footprint of their campus than they are about recycling. Richard makes the case for the benefits of using less and explains how a shift to solar energy could revolutionize campus life. He shares his mixed feelings about divestment campaigns and discloses what “sustainability” means to him. We close on how to change the sprawl mindset in campus development and Dominic eventually agrees to give up his office in exchange for a coffee card. Does your campus have a frivolous building project that is driving you crazy? Do you want some good ideas for how to make your campus, academic or otherwise, greener? Then this episode is for you!