Sustainability at Muhlenberg College
Muhlenberg has incorporated renewable energy and energy efficiency and conservation projects into its operations and educational programs as a means to educate the campus community about sustainable energy solutions and realize cost savings.
Muhlenberg dining is in the process of becoming more sustainable. Recently, Muhlenberg has introduced more local produce into the dining menus and with the Seeger’s Union kitchen remodel, there will be more capacity for utilizing local and organic foods, including from the Muhlenberg community garden.
East Hall Renovation
The East Hall Renovation updated an existing 110 year old dorm instead of tearing down and building from scratch. The building envelope was upgraded so walls, ceilings, windows, and the roof stopped leaking heat to conserve energy. The lighting now includes occupancy and vacancy sensors, the HVAC systems have been refined and multiple measuring systems put into place. Furthermore, the trees on campus were protected and the materials (such as bluestone, slate, brick and rough sawn timbers) regionally sourced. The new dorm also added bicycle storage. For more information see:
Muhlenberg College has made extensive efforts to maintain and improve upon building efficiency during our campus renovation and expansion projects.
The Office of Information Technology (OIT) has been on the forefront of the Muhlenberg campus sustainability initiatives. Not only do all the new college computer purchases meet EPEAT Gold standards, but energy reduction mechanisms are constantly being introduced.
Most recently, a pilot program to automatically hibernate public computers not in use for more than 10 minutes has been tested. Also, multiple servers have been consolidated into one. Both of these efforts have significantly reduced energy consumption.
Grounds & Maintenance
Muhlenberg mulches its ground clippings and has installed rain gardens to control runoff from the parking lots. Muhlenberg purchases a substantial amount of green cleaning products.
Muhlenberg is home to two significant natural areas, the Graver Arboretum and the Conrad W. Raker Biological Field Station and Wildlife Sanctuary, which provide opportunities to study land and biological conservation.
Biking is a great way to get around campus. Bring your bike this semester! There are numerous bike racks on campus, and the Seegers renovations will include underground, weather-proof bike storage as well.
Additionally, the City of Allentown has recently adopted a plan to develop more bike lanes and infrastructure, part of which will run adjacent to the College.
Muhlenberg also has one hybrid vehicle used by Campus Safety and is considering purchasing more. The school also has a no-idling policy that aims to decrease air pollution that contributes to asthma.
Muhlenberg College is committed to a long term and all-encompassing approach to environmentally responsible waste management.
Muhlenberg College has had a recycling program in place since 1993. Beginning with the fall semester of 2008, Muhlenberg has changed to a single stream recycling contract. This means that all recyclables can go into the same bin.
Even with the recent expansion of campus facilities, water consumption at Muhlenberg has decreased per square foot of building.
By using low-flow toilet and shower fixtures, motion-sensor operated faucets, plugging leaks, and limiting field irrigation, Muhlenberg has conserved water resources.