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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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April 2016

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Pequot Library
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Cost: $10/class

Where:
Pequot Library
720 Pequot Avenue
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Sponsor: Pequot Library
Telephone: 203-259-0346
Website »

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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
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Telephone: 203-259-1598
Contact Name: Visitor Services Manager
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Cost: Members: Free Non-members: $5

Where:
Fairfield Museum and History Center
370 Beach Road
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Bring Harmony & Balance to Your Life Fridays, 4 sessions: April 22, April 29, May 6, May 13 Cost: $10 per individual session. Classes will be cancelled for rain. Register online at...

Cost: $10/class

Where:
Pequot Library
720 Pequot Avenue
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View map »


Sponsor: Pequot Library
Telephone: 203-259-0346
Website »

More information

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
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View map »


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

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Bring Harmony & Balance to Your Life Fridays, 4 sessions: April 22, April 29, May 6, May 13 Cost: $10 per individual session. Classes will be cancelled for rain. Register online at...

Cost: $10/class

Where:
Pequot Library
720 Pequot Avenue
Southport, CT  06890
View map »


Sponsor: Pequot Library
Telephone: 203-259-0346
Website »

More information

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

Today’s “selfie” phenomenon offers the opportunity to reflect on the history of how people have shared images of themselves. What was the function and use of a painted portrait, a...

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

The splendor of Byzantine sacred art, preserved in early Christian churches in both Constantinople, the capital of the Byzantine Empire, and the Cappadocia region of Turkey, is the subject of this...

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
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Bring Harmony & Balance to Your Life Fridays, 4 sessions: April 22, April 29, May 6, May 13 Cost: $10 per individual session. Classes will be cancelled for rain. Register online at...

Cost: $10/class

Where:
Pequot Library
720 Pequot Avenue
Southport, CT  06890
View map »


Sponsor: Pequot Library
Telephone: 203-259-0346
Website »

More information

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
View map »


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

More information

Today’s “selfie” phenomenon offers the opportunity to reflect on the history of how people have shared images of themselves. What was the function and use of a painted portrait, a...

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

The splendor of Byzantine sacred art, preserved in early Christian churches in both Constantinople, the capital of the Byzantine Empire, and the Cappadocia region of Turkey, is the subject of this...

Cost: Free and open to the public

Where:
Bellarmine Museum of Art
200 Barlow Road
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Bring Harmony & Balance to Your Life Fridays, 4 sessions: April 22, April 29, May 6, May 13 Cost: $10 per individual session. Classes will be cancelled for rain. Register online at...

Cost: $10/class

Where:
Pequot Library
720 Pequot Avenue
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View map »


Sponsor: Pequot Library
Telephone: 203-259-0346
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More information

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On Friday, April 29th Westport First Selectman Jim Marpe and Serena & Lily co-founders Serena Dugan and Lily Kanter invite the public to join...

Cost: Free

Where:
35 Elm Street
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More information

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
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Telephone: 203-259-1598
Contact Name: Visitor Services Manager
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Cost: $75 for adults $55 for children

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10 North Water St
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Website »

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Today’s “selfie” phenomenon offers the opportunity to reflect on the history of how people have shared images of themselves. What was the function and use of a painted portrait, a...

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

The splendor of Byzantine sacred art, preserved in early Christian churches in both Constantinople, the capital of the Byzantine Empire, and the Cappadocia region of Turkey, is the subject of this...

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 »

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Cost: $10/class

Where:
Pequot Library
720 Pequot Avenue
Southport, CT  06890
View map »


Sponsor: Pequot Library
Telephone: 203-259-0346
Website »

More information

On Friday, April 29th Westport First Selectman Jim Marpe and Serena & Lily co-founders Serena Dugan and Lily Kanter invite the public to join...

Cost: Free

Where:
35 Elm Street
Westport, CT
View map »

More information

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
View map »


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

More information

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Cost: Free

Where:
Fairfield Warde High School
755 Melville Avenue
Fairfield, CT  06825
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Cost: Free

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Sponsor: Friends of the Library
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Cost: Free Admission

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417 Post Road
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Telephone: 203-255-0491
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Bunk down amongst the sharks, fish, jellies and other creatures, as we host a fun Family Sleepover. Have dinner at the aquarium then get a fun and fact filled tour. Sleep with the fishes and wake...

Cost: $75 for adults $55 for children

Where:
The Maritime Aquarium
10 North Water St
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View map »


Website »

More information

Today’s “selfie” phenomenon offers the opportunity to reflect on the history of how people have shared images of themselves. What was the function and use of a painted portrait, a...

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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The Warehouse of The Fairfield Theatre Company
70 Sanford Street
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