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Debate08 Emphasizes Green Efforts in Support of Broader Belmont Environmental Initiatives

New recycling bins, alumni office projects add to campus-wide efforts
PressKit2.jpgCelebrations surrounding Belmont University’s hosting of the 2008 Town Hall Presidential Debate this fall won’t merely be colored in red, white and blue as the university dedicates its efforts to make the event a healthy shade of green as well. Staff members involved in welcoming more than 3,000 campaign workers and media to campus in October are working on a number of ideas to ensure Debate08 promotes environmental sustainability as a vital aspect of good citizenship and an important part of any event planning.
Pamela Johnson, Belmont’s Director of Strategic Marketing and Special Initiatives, said, “Protecting the environment and resource conservation aren’t just huge topics for the candidates to tackle this election season. At Belmont University, these are important issues we’re addressing daily in classrooms and across campus. My hope is that the 2008 Town Hall Presidential Debate serves as another step forward in our ongoing ‘Belmont Goes Green’ campaign while also inspiring our campus and community with creative examples of how we can all do our part to protect and conserve the environment.”
Several debate-related programs are planned for students and the community to provide insight into the politics of the environment, including Dr. Kelly Tiller’s address on “Economics and the Environment: The Biofuel Controversy” and Peter Kareiva’s talk on “Conservation Strategies that Work.” In addition, to curb paper output, the university is creating an Electronic Press Kit (EPK) for visiting media to use, placing materials like press releases, contact lists and background information on a one gigabyte flash drive rather than using printed pieces.
The EPK will be inserted into a polypropylene bag that is made of recycled materials and is fully recyclable. Plus, the bag itself can be re-used, eliminating the need for plastic bags at grocery stores and other outlets. Identifying tags placed on the bags will use hand-made seed paper, which can literally be planted like normal seeds when removed from the bag. Some paper is being used for Debate08 letterhead, but it is being manufactured by Domtar Cougar, which is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council as well as being made chlorine free, lignin free and acid-free. In addition, all of the generators being used to power the Media Filing Center will be using an environmentally friendly biodiesel blend.


Also, included in the hospitality bag will be a letter and certificate from Nashville’s Convention & Visitors’ Bureau allowing Debate08 guests and visitors to Nashville to, in effect, erase the carbon footprint they otherwise might leave on the city. More information on this effort is available from CVB’s Molly Sudderth at 615-259-4703 or molly@visitmusiccity.com.
Debate08’s “green” efforts reflect just one of the ways Belmont is expanding its ongoing “Belmont Goes Green” campaign. Another significant step was taken this summer with the launch of a new campus-wide system intended to capture as much recyclable material as possible. Everything from colored paper, phonebooks, aluminum cans and plastic bottles can now be disposed of in new recycling receptacles placed in convenient locations across campus. The containers are color-coded for easy distinction: blue (paper), red (plastic and aluminum) and putty (all other trash.)
Dr. Judy Skeen, head of Belmont’s Environmental Initiative, said, “Once we start paying attention to how to get rid of our waste in responsible ways, it seems we begin to think about our consumption and how we use resources. Belmont made the decision to begin campus-wide recycling in an effort to coordinate the work already being done as well as build on our educational mission. What better place for people to learn how to live sustainably than at their own college?”
New small recycling bin clusters are being distributed across campus for easy access inside and outside of several buildings. For large quantities of recyclable materials, individuals can use the two large bins located at the Curb Event Center loading dock. More large bins will be available later this month.
“We ordered bins that would be highly visible and consistent across campus so that we can begin to change our habits of waste disposal. Beginning in the fall, we will be encouraging everyone who works and learns at Belmont to pay attention to their consumption and waste as well as their energy usage,” said Skeen.
Belmont’s Office of Alumni Relations is also getting involved in the university’s environmental efforts by becoming an official donation site for “Cell Phones for Soldiers” and by providing students, alumni, faculty and staff with new “eco-Belmont” reusable shopping bags made of polypropylene.
“We are encouraging Belmont alumni to support Belmont University’s campus efforts and to promote and participate in developing greener communities in which they live,” said Debbie Coppinger, senior director of Alumni Relations. “We are also promoting our Cell Phones for Soldiers program to honor all Belmont alumni who have served or are serving in the armed forces. We will make ‘Alumni Going Green’ a part of all our alumni programming as we participate in endeavors like Cell Phones for Soldiers and reusable Belmont shopping bags to increase environmental stewardship. “
For more information and updates about “Belmont Goes Green,” visit www.belmont.edu/promo/green/.
About the 2008 Town Hall Presidential Debate
The 2008 Town Hall Presidential Debate at Belmont University is made possible through the generosity of our lead sponsors, Hospital Corporation of America, Jack C. Massey Foundation, The Metropolitan Government of Nashville & Davidson County and the State of Tennessee. Additional support is provided by AT&T; Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell and Berkowitz; Bank of America; Bridgetone Americas; Bridgestone Americas Holding, Inc.; Pat and George Bullard; Dell, Inc.; Dollar General Corporation; Earl Swensson Associates, Inc.; Enterprise Electric, LLC; Fifth Third Bank; First Tennessee Bank; The Frist Foundation; Gaylord Entertainment; Interior Design Services, Inc.; Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce; Nashville Convention & Visitors Bureau; Nissan North America; Partnership for Chronic Disease; Purity Dairies, Inc.; Reliant Bank; Sherrard & Roe; The Tennessean; Walker, Tipps & Malone; Waller, Landsden, Dortch & Davis, Zycron, Inc.

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