The College considers sustainability as a factor in all institutional decisions.
Environmental sustainability is highly valued at Wellesley. You can see it in the trayless dining at The Lulu, in the ongoing transition to more efficient outdoor lighting, in fairly traded coffee at all dining venues, or in the replacement of paved parking lots with viable low-maintenance landscapes over the last several years, as in Alumnae Valley (pictured above).
You probably can't see it, but still benefit from a shift to integrated pest management and removal of invasive plant species, more energy-efficient heating and cooling systems being installed, and more local vendors being used to supply College needs.
Green on Campus
As an institute of some history, Wellesley understands planning for the long haul, and leads by example, just as its students do. The long-term remediation of Lake Waban and the surrounding wetlands, badly polluted by a paint factory operating on its shores more than 100 years ago, has yielded an inviting waterfront to say nothing of a healthier habitat for turtles, birds, fish, and humans.
Recent student-led initiatives include Revolution Bikes, a free bike-share program to allow for getting around Wellesley without fossil fuels. Students too were behind Sustainable Move-Out, an effort to reduce the waste stream by programmatically donating clothing and household goods discarded by students leaving campus. In concert with residential life staff, students developed a green living coop for a housing option dedicated to sustainability.
Sharing ideas and learning more is second nature here. So it's no surprise to see sustainability on many agendas. The Wellesley College Economics Student Association sponsored a visit by Kenyan social entrepreneur Teddy Warria to discuss sustainable development. The 2010 Communicating Science Symposium keynote speaker was "father of global warming" James Hansen. The Wellesley College Center for the Environment produced a series of symposia called The Future of Food, free and open to the public.
Students bring their own commitment to sustainability to Wellesley, sharpen it, and take it back out to the world again.
Ana Lucía Medrano Fernández, for example, applied for and received funding for her project to bring clean energy to the rural poor of Guatemala. The extra cool thing is the funding came from The Kathryn Wasserman Davis 100 Projects for Peace program. Davis, a class of 1928 graduate, established the program on her 100th birthday!