Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Work of Remaking America

Today in deWitt Hall members of the Lasell College community gathered to watch an historic moment as President Obama was sworn into office. This was truly a significant event in American history that means so much to so many. I was touched on my T ride to Lasell today when I overhead a lady describing how she was wearing peals to support Michelle Obama and how she was going to get the inauguration on DVD so she could save the moment forever.

Tonight the pageantry will end and tomorrow Barack Obama and his team will get to work. Coincidentally Lasell College will resume classes tomorrow. I found it very inspiring when Obama stated, "Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and begin again the work of remaking America." Tomorrow we start a new semester and students and faculty at Lasell must recognize the significance our work has in this endeavor.

While "remaking America" can mean many things, remaking America's impact on the environment is most meaningful to me. The Earth's resources cannot sustain the American lifestyle infinitely. We need to remake how we acquire and use energy. We need to retrofit our homes and buildings to conserve every watt and therm possible. We must minimize waste and maximize repurposed materials. While these sound like monumental tasks they are all things that we can make happen right here at Lasell.

Good things are happening as we continue to "remake Lasell" as part of our Green Campus Initiative. We will be launching a comprehensive recycling program in February. Plant Operations continues to update insulation, lighting, heating units, and windows to improve energy efficiency. The Environmental Studies major continues to grow and more students are expressing interest in sustainability issues. We have had our share of differences in how to pursue our sustainability goals but tomorrow we "dust ourselves off and begin again."

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