Spelman College Goes Green and Encourages Its Students to Do the Same

Spelman College Goes Green and Encourages Its Students to Do the Same

Spelman College student Marcea Lewis explains how her school's sustainability internship program helped reduce her carbon footprint

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Thursday, November 6, 2014 - 11:30am

CAMPAIGN: Chevrolet Carbon-Reduction Initiative


As a Sustainable Spelman intern for the past two years,I have had a life-changing experience. Before my internship, I was not aware nor did I care about the tremendous effect humans have on the health of our planet. By living on a campus that is making changes to better the environment, I have been able to see the results of these efforts. I’ve learned thatby using basic, energy-efficient technology such as LED light bulbs, I can go about my everyday life while reducing my carbon footprint.

Because of my broadened experience, I now believe living a more sustainable life is something anyone can implement. The earth will continue to thrive if we treat it right and put forth the effort to conserve its resources. Consistent with Spelman’s historical mission of promoting ethical leadership and positive social change, the College’s Sustainable Spelman program is committed to achieving climate neutrality by reducing Spelman’s ecological footprint and practicing sustainability as a way of life.

The Sustainable Spelman program has outlined methods for the College’s community to adopt a conservation ethic. Recent Sustainable Spelman events include a solar block party and concert powered by a solar generator and an “EmPower” workshop series that educates students on specifics about the Spelman College Climate Action Plan and how they can engage their peers in taking an active role in its implementation.

The plan details the institution’s long-term strategy to achieve climate neutrality by reducing its carbon footprint 50 percent by the year 2031 and 100 percent by the year 2056.

Spelman’s LEED-certified residence halls, the first on any HBCU campus, are an example of the numerous initiatives the College has instituted to reduce the institution’s carbon footprint. These buildings were designed or renovated to minimize environmental impact in terms of energy use, water runoff and other environmental factors.

Spelman has forged a partnership with the Chevrolet Campus Clean Energy Campaign that offers a forward-thinking opportunity to participate in a carbon reduction initiative. We are the only women’s college, Georgia college and historically black college or university selected for the Chevrolet program.

The College continues to pave the way as an innovative influence for schools across the nation. Established in 1881, Spelman began educating African-American women during a time when women were not allowed to vote. As Spelman President Dr. Beverly Tatum has stated, “Like [the College’s founders] Sophia B. Packard and Harriet E. Giles, Spelman is building for the next 100 years, and we have to pay attention to our environmental impact and educate our community to pay attention.”

It makes me proud to see my school take steps to green our campus, and, at the same time, set an example for its students to do the same.


Marcea Lewis_Spelman College

Marcea Lewis is a biology student at Spelman College, a historically black college in Atlanta, Ga., and a global leader in the education of women of African descent.

CATEGORY: Environment