Sustainability Starts With Us.

Student Government Association is launching the AveBlue initiative to increase awareness about energy and water consumption, keep our campus clean, and promote school spirit and friendly competition between the dorms.

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Electricity

We're launching a monthly initiative to see which dorm can cut back on electricity the most. By turning off lights and using energy efficient settings, we can all make a difference together.

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Water

The demand for water is expected to exceed supply by the year 2030. By thinking globally and acting locally, we can do our part to conserve.

Recycling & Care

Our campus is truly beautiful. Teaming up with students and Physical Plant, we're working to add a recycling program, clean up the canal, add trash cans at more frequent intervals on pathways, and take care of our school.

 

Why not "green?"

The term "green" has accumulated negative connotations over the years. Green environmentalism is primarily ecocentric: a term used in ecological political philosophy to denote a nature-centered, as opposed to human-centered, system of values. We believe that "Blue" is fresh, positive and embodies a healthy combination of both nature-centered and human-centered values. 

 
 

This Isn't Some Radical Tree-Hugging Scheme. 

It's a genuine effort to do what Pope Francis calls for in his encyclical, "Laudato Si." We want to promote the responsible use of our resources, and show the world how great Ave Maria is while using less to do it. Here's what Pope Francis calls for:

 
 
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Less is More

Pope Francis has illustrated that the effort to make a positive impact on our environment begins on an individual basis. Furthermore, “Reusing something instead of immediately discarding it, when done for the right reasons, can be an act of love which expresses our own dignity.”1  In line with this teaching, we are seeking to promote thrift and recycling on our campus.

By sharing what we no longer need with those less fortunate in our community, we will seek to "replace consumption with sacrifice, greed with generosity, wastefulness with a spirit of sharing, an asceticism which “entails learning to give, and not simply to give up"2 

Did you know? The new pendant lightbulbs in the JPII Lounge are energy-efficient LEDs. (they look really cool too!)
  1. Francis, “Laudato Si,” sec. 211.
  2. Francis, sec. 9.

Everything is Connected

“The creation accounts in the book of Genesis…suggest that human life is grounded in three fundamental and closely intertwined relationships: with God, with our Neighbor and with the Earth itself.”1 All our decisions as a council will be made with this teaching in mind. We will spend the resources we have been given in a way that supports our local community, with the understanding that we share a global responsibility to care for our environment. Examples include: purchasing our fruit for Fresh Fruit Friday from our local farmers markets and our furniture, for campus improvements, from local furniture resale companies.

Think Globally. Act Locally.

"It cannot be emphasized enough how everything is interconnected."2
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  1. Francis, “Laudato Si,” sec. 66.
  2. Francis, sec. 138.

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A Dialogue is Needed

“All Christian communities have an important role to play in ecological education.”1 AveBlue will be an integral part of this Christian dialogue. We will let the teachings of the Catholic Church guide us as we develop an environmental approach which is both Anthropocentric and Ecocentric. AveBlue will facilitate our efforts to both "Keep and Till the Earth" (Genesis 2:15) at Ave Maria University.

Education & Implementation.
“Ecological education can take place in a variety of settings: at school, in families, in the media, in catechesis and elsewhere.”2

 

  1. Francis, “Laudato Si,” sec. 214.  
  2. Francis, sec. 213.
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"Care for nature is a part of a lifestyle which includes the capacity for living together and communion." -Pope Francis

Electricity

Our campus wide competition to encourage saving energy. Working with the billing office, SGA will determine an energy benchmark for each dorm. If the the dorm stays below that bench mark, a certain percentage of the money saved will go toward a physical improvement within that building: Common Room Renovation, Lobby Renovation, Kitchen Renovation, etc. Not only will we be saving power, we will also be improving our campus!


Water

Ave Maria is home to a state award-winning water treatment facility: Ave Maria Utility Company. Rather than purchasing water from external sources, it is our goal to make our award winning water available to the student body by installing water bottle filling stations across campus. This action will decrease the need for disposable water bottles and will help keep our campus waterways clean. 

We will also encourage smart water-saving practices among the student body. Click here to view A short list of water saving techniques.

SGA will also take the initiative in keeping our campus looking fantastic by keeping our canal free of trash.


Waste

SGA will be Installing recycling collection containers across campus, donating materials that students no longer need to local charities, and spending our resources wisely, with a focus on quality rather than quantity. These actions will all contribute to an atmosphere of thrift and environmental responsibility. 

 

Talk to us.

What do you think of AveBlue? Any suggestions for how we can accomplish our water, waste, and electricity goals? Wondering how you can help make this a reality? Let us know, and we'll get back to you as soon as possible!