Facilities Management has made it a practice to shut down the heating and cooling systems of more than 160 campus buildings during holidays. The massive conservation effort began several years ago with about half as many buildings in outlying areas of the campus. Since 2007/2008, the number of affected buildings has doubled, demonstrating the UA's commitment to energy conservation, sustainability and preservation of the environment.
All campus bathrooms are making the switch to GOJO Green Certified Foam Hand Cleaner. The mild, biodegradable foam soap meets stringent standards for being environmentally responsible while still cleaning and sanitizing hands.
With more than 1,000 restrooms on campus, the UA uses a small mountain of paper towels and toilet paper. To reduce the impact on the environment, only paper products made from 80 percent recycled fibers are used.
That isn't just any old wooden handle pushing those mops around campus. Bamboo handles are all the rage. The highly sustainable wood is harvested every 3 to 5 years instead of 10 to 20, like most soft woods. It is also among the strongest natural materials, possessing antioxidant properties that prevent bacterial growth.
A new mop made from recycled soda bottles is putting a shine to UA floors while keeping those plastic bottles out of landfills. It takes about eight soda bottles to create a large O'Dell EchoMop, and staff reports that they clean and polish far better than traditional mops. The EchoMop is longer lasting, weighs less and is more absorbent.
A switch to microfiber cleaning cloths and dust mops is resulting in cleaner surfaces using fewer chemicals and less water. The super-absorbent material makes it more effective at cleaning and removing soils and contaminants, allowing staff to use just enough cleaning agents to make the campus sparkle.
Waterless urinals have been effective in saving millions of gallons of water annually at UA. But one complaint: they can get pretty stinky. The Ecoblue Cube, created in Tucson, is a small, dissolvable block that when placed in a urinal, uses the power of natural bacteria to alleviate offending odor. The friendly bacteria migrate through the urinal, dissolving uric scale and keeping things fresh.
UA has gone clean and green, trading harsh chemicals for environmentally friendly cleaning products. Three-fourths of traditional cleaning supplies have been replaced with products developed for high performance, reduced environmental impact and enhanced safety. Staff has been trained in the best practices when it comes to cleaning and maintaining sustainable buildings.
While the expansive, grassy mall is a favorite spot for students to relax between classes, all that turf requires water. Starting in 2003, the UA made the switch to reclaimed water for sports fields and lawns. Reclaimed water allows the campus to remain green while reducing the impact on the environment.
"Produce on Wheels Without Waste" (POW-WOW) disperses fresh produce to communities at churches, schools and other entities throughout Southern Arizona and the metro Tucson and Phoenix areas. The Nutritional Sciences department helps coordinate distributions with POW-WOW, formerly known as MOM (Market on the Move).
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