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Green SHU

Embracing the eco-friendly at Sacred Heart University



When Sacred Heart University was founded in 1963 by Bishop Walter W. Curtis, part of its mission was to be a force for good. “The University advocates a very strong moral consciousness,” says Paul Healy, executive director of campus operations, emergency management, and public safety at Sacred Heart. Of late that moral consciousness has taken an environmentally friendly turn. 

“In the past six years the university has undertaken 19 projects that deal with everything from lighting to aged boiler infrastructure,” explains Healy. These reforms have ranged from high-tech new technology, like installing LED lights, and purchasing hybrid cars, to implementing simple but effective reforms like using green cleaning products.

These projects have cost the university $2.6 million but have resulted in an annual savings of $540,000. Those savings reflect the university’s greatly reduced energy consumption. Last June these environmental efforts were recognized when Sacred Heart was awarded the Santa Energy Green Business Award by Bridgeport-based Santa Fuel. 

“We’ve taken a comprehensive approach of looking at wherever we can make an investment in new technology that makes us more energy efficient,” Healy says. “Everyone knows that there hasn’t been a major power plant built in the Northeast, so the incentives are there to try and think smarter about energy conservation and energy usage, and create systems that reduce consumption by using newer technologies.”

Students have also been actively involved with these reforms. In 2011 freshman roommates Matt Cole and Edward Garrity decided to form an environmental club on campus called The Green SHUs (pronounced “green shoes” ). “We noticed that SHU was really poor at the time with handling certain issues such as recycling programs, and using unsafe and un-ecofriendly products, such as harmful plastics, and styrofoam,” says Garrity, a 20-year-old junior, double majoring in graphic design and studio arts. “So we wanted to start a group that could try to tackle these issues.” 

The club officially formed the next year and by that time Sacred Heart had already addressed many of the issues Garrity and Cole were concerned with. Currently the custodial department at the university uses environmentally clean products. Sacred Heart has also implemented a single-stream recycling system—in this system papers, plastics, and metals can all be placed in the same receptacle which has resulted in a dramatic increase in recycling on campus. 

Today, the Green SHUs functions as an awareness organization. Each semester the club hosts a talk or film screening about an environmental topic. Club members also work outside the campus on environmental projects with local organizations, and participate in the Housatonic River Clean Up each spring. “We hope to continue to work with outside organizations, to not only raise awareness, but to get our hands in on solving the problem,” Garrity says. 

Other steps Sacred Heart has taken to improve the environment include renovating buildings with more efficient boilers and effective insulation, promoting energy-usage awareness by publicizing gas and electric data usage through an Energy Dashboard, and using an online management system to control the temperatures and lighting at all campus facilities. 

Many of the university’s environmental reforms have been made possible through grants from Connecticut’s Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority, and the Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund. The university has received $670,000 from the Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund for the 19 projects that were reviewed in advance by United Illuminating, and then inspected for post program compliance standards.

And the movement toward green practices at the university is still going forward. “We’ve studied the use of geothermal energy and fuel-cell technology,” he says. “We work diligently to always look for new technology, new and better ways of improving our efficiency here, as well as efficiencies environmentally within our region.” n

 

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August 2016

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Cost: Free

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Sponsor: Norwalk Seaport Association
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Cost: Free and open to the public

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Sponsor: Bellarmine Museum of Art
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Cost: $5, $3 Students & Seniors; Free for members

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370 Beach Road
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View map »


Sponsor: Fairfield Museum and History Center
Telephone: 203-259-1598
Contact Name: Visitor Services Manager
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Cost: Members: Free; Non-Members: $5

Where:
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370 Beach Road
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Telephone: 203-259-1598
Contact Name: Visitor Services Manager
Website »

More information

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Cost: $7 adult, $6 student, member and under 5 free. Free to all on Tuesdays

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Cost: Free

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View map »


Sponsor: The New Canaan Historical Socoiety
Telephone: 203-966-1776
Contact Name: Janet Lindstrom
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More information

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Cost: Members: Free; Non-Members: $5

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Fairfield Museum and History Center
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View map »


Telephone: 203-259-1598
Contact Name: Visitor Services Manager
Website »

More information

Sheffield Island with its historic 148-year-old lighthouse, beaches and wildlife refuge offers abundant summer fun for visitors.  From May through September, visitors can board the Seaport...

Cost: $22.00

Where:
Norwalk Seaport Association Dock
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View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Seaport Association
Telephone: 203-838-9444
Contact Name: Ray A. Cooke
Website »

More information

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Sponsor: Bellarmine Museum of Art
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Cost: $5, $3 Students & Seniors; Free for members

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370 Beach Road
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Sponsor: Fairfield Museum and History Center
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Cost: Members: Free; Non-Members: $5

Where:
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370 Beach Road
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View map »


Telephone: 203-259-1598
Contact Name: Visitor Services Manager
Website »

More information

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Cost: $7 adult, $6 student, member and under 5 free. Free to all on Tuesdays

Where:
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View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: (203) 869-0376
Website »

More information

The Society’s newest exhibit honors the men and women from New Canaan who served in World War II.  Lt. Henry Maitland’s Navy White Dress Jumper and hats, Sgt. Benjamin Charles...

Cost: Free

Where:
The New Canaan Historical Society
13 Oenoke Ridge
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View map »


Sponsor: The New Canaan Historical Socoiety
Telephone: 203-966-1776
Contact Name: Janet Lindstrom
Website »

More information

The Society’s newest exhibit honors the men and women from New Canaan who served in World War II.  Lt. Henry Maitland’s Navy White Dress Jumper and hats, Sgt. Benjamin Charles...

Cost: Free

Where:
The New Canaan Historical Society
13 Oenoke Ridge
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: The New Canaan Historical Socoiety
Telephone: 203-966-1776
Contact Name: Janet Lindstrom
Website »

More information

In 1940 and ‘41, photographer Jack Delano (1914–1997) documented farm and city life in CT for the Farm Security Administration. In rare early color photographs and black & white,...

Cost: Members: Free; Non-Members: $5

Where:
Fairfield Museum and History Center
370 Beach Road
Fairfield, CT  06824
View map »


Telephone: 203-259-1598
Contact Name: Visitor Services Manager
Website »

More information

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Cost: $22.00

Where:
Norwalk Seaport Association Dock
4 N Water Street
Norwalk, CT  06854
View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Seaport Association
Telephone: 203-838-9444
Contact Name: Ray A. Cooke
Website »

More information

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Cost: Free and open to the public

Where:
Bellarmine Museum of Art
200 Barlow Road
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View map »


Sponsor: Bellarmine Museum of Art
Telephone: 203-254-4046
Contact Name: Tiffany Davidson
Website »

More information

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Cost: $5 per person

Where:
Gores Pavilion
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848 Weed Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: The New Canaan Historical Socoiety
Telephone: 203-966-1776
Contact Name: Janet Lindstrom
Website »

More information

Step inside the Ogden House to experience life in 18th century Fairfield. David and Jane Sturges Ogden began their marriage here, settling into farm life and establishing a family legacy that...

Cost: $5, $3 Students & Seniors; Free for members

Where:
Fairfield Museum and History Center
370 Beach Road
Fairfield, CT  06824
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Sponsor: Fairfield Museum and History Center
Telephone: 203-259-1598
Contact Name: Visitor Services Manager
Website »

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Put on a happy face! Army-bound rock star Conrad Birdie's farewell appearance in Sweet Apple, Ohio is the talk of the town. But it's a teenage crisis for new "steadies" Hugo and...

Cost: $29 - $79

Where:
The Goodspeed
6 Main St
East Haddam, CT  06423
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Enjoy world-class yoga, community, live music, food, vendors, and more. YogaSpace will be there, and we hope you will too! The Newtown Yoga Festival was formed as a holistic solution...

Cost: $0 - $30.00

Where:
NYA Sports & Fitness
4 Primrose Street
Newtown, CT  06470
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Robert Lawson (1892–1957) had a long and distinguished career as an artist and children’s book illustrator and author. Perhaps best known for illustrations of Ferdinand the Bull and Mr....

Cost: Members: Free; Non-Members: $5

Where:
Fairfield Museum and History Center
370 Beach Road
Fairfield, CT  06824
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Telephone: 203-259-1598
Contact Name: Visitor Services Manager
Website »

More information

The exhibition Electric Paris is on view at the Bruce Museum from May 14 through September 4, 2016.  Nearly 50 paintings, drawings and photographs explore the use of artificial...

Cost: $7 adult, $6 student, member and under 5 free. Free to all on Tuesdays

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
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Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: (203) 869-0376
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Kate Dzikiewicz, Bruce Museum Paul Griswold Howes Fellow and paleontologist, will present a family friendly program on dinosaurs on Saturday, August 27, at the Bruce Museum Seaside Center...

Cost: Free

Where:
Tod's Point
Old Greenwich, CT  06870


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203.869.0376
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The Society’s newest exhibit honors the men and women from New Canaan who served in World War II.  Lt. Henry Maitland’s Navy White Dress Jumper and hats, Sgt. Benjamin Charles...

Cost: Free

Where:
The New Canaan Historical Society
13 Oenoke Ridge
New Canaan, CT  06840
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Sponsor: The New Canaan Historical Socoiety
Telephone: 203-966-1776
Contact Name: Janet Lindstrom
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The Society’s newest exhibit honors the men and women from New Canaan who served in World War II.  Lt. Henry Maitland’s Navy White Dress Jumper and hats, Sgt. Benjamin Charles...

Cost: Free

Where:
The New Canaan Historical Society
13 Oenoke Ridge
New Canaan, CT  06840
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Sponsor: The New Canaan Historical Socoiety
Telephone: 203-966-1776
Contact Name: Janet Lindstrom
Website »

More information

In 1940 and ‘41, photographer Jack Delano (1914–1997) documented farm and city life in CT for the Farm Security Administration. In rare early color photographs and black & white,...

Cost: Members: Free; Non-Members: $5

Where:
Fairfield Museum and History Center
370 Beach Road
Fairfield, CT  06824
View map »


Telephone: 203-259-1598
Contact Name: Visitor Services Manager
Website »

More information

Sheffield Island with its historic 148-year-old lighthouse, beaches and wildlife refuge offers abundant summer fun for visitors.  From May through September, visitors can board the Seaport...

Cost: $22.00

Where:
Norwalk Seaport Association Dock
4 N Water Street
Norwalk, CT  06854
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Sponsor: Norwalk Seaport Association
Telephone: 203-838-9444
Contact Name: Ray A. Cooke
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New Photography Exhibit Opens at the Gores Pavilion It’s in the Details, a photography exhibit by Matthew Blaine, opened Sunday, July 17 and runs through the end of October.  The...

Cost: $5 per person

Where:
Gores Pavilion
Irwin Park
848 Weed Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
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Sponsor: The New Canaan Historical Socoiety
Telephone: 203-966-1776
Contact Name: Janet Lindstrom
Website »

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Step inside the Ogden House to experience life in 18th century Fairfield. David and Jane Sturges Ogden began their marriage here, settling into farm life and establishing a family legacy that...

Cost: $5, $3 Students & Seniors; Free for members

Where:
Fairfield Museum and History Center
370 Beach Road
Fairfield, CT  06824
View map »


Sponsor: Fairfield Museum and History Center
Telephone: 203-259-1598
Contact Name: Visitor Services Manager
Website »

More information

Put on a happy face! Army-bound rock star Conrad Birdie's farewell appearance in Sweet Apple, Ohio is the talk of the town. But it's a teenage crisis for new "steadies" Hugo and...

Cost: $29 - $79

Where:
The Goodspeed
6 Main St
East Haddam, CT  06423
View map »

More information

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