Greening the Infrastructure
The Green Council is actively pursuing the goals of greening by conserving consumable resources, developing the college environment in a sustainable manner, decreasing the quantity of disposable waste, and greening the arts campus.
A1. Lowering Electricity Consumption
The average yearly electricity consumption of Kibbutzim College during the years 2003-2008 was 1,809,810 KWH. Generation of electricity at power stations causes air pollution, carbon ash, and greenhouse gas emissions which contribute to the warming of the earth’s atmosphere. The average annual electricity consumption of the college releases an equivalent of 1430 tons of CO2 into the atmosphere.
The dominant component of electricity consumption in the college is air conditioning. Most of the air conditioning systems in use in the college are relatively old fashioned and the classroom buildings are not well insulated. Unfortunately, at this stage, investing in the upgrading of the air conditioning system or the improvement of building insulation is not a viable option because the college will be moving into new buildings in the near future. The infrastructure committee has decided to recommend that the new buildings be designed according to the principles of “green building” in order to reduce as much as possible the use of air conditioning.
Lighting constitutes 20% of the electricity consumption of the college. Until August 2008 most of the light fixtures used fluorescent lamps type T8. The infrastructure committee recommended using the more energy efficient T5 lamps. It was decided to do a pilot test in the maintenance offices to check whether it is economically feasible to replace all the T8 lamps with the more efficient T5 model. In the pilot test, the supplier measured the electric consumption before replacement and after, and then another test was done independently with an electric energy measuring instrument to verify the results. Both tests showed a saving of 69% in electricity consumption connected with lighting. The first lamp replacement was done in 2008. The next stage will be replacing T8 lamps in the library.
A2. Water Consumption
From 2006 the college has been making attempts to save water. The following actions have already been taken:
• Collection of Drain Water from Air Conditioning Units: A draining system for the AC units was installed. The water collects into a 1 m3 capacity container. This container fills in two days. The water collected is used for watering part of the gardens.
• Saving Water in Gardening: In April 2006 gardeners with an ecological approach began to operate in the college. The following actions were taken: less lawn space, ground cover (mulch) to prevent evaporation, (thus saving irrigation water), using grass clippings, pruning residue and left over food from the cafeteria for compost, and repairing leaking irrigation systems. These efforts led to more than 50% saving in yearly water consumption.
• The Collection of Rain Water Project:
In the first days of 2011, Batya Calderon, director of the laboratories, approved the rain water collection plan. The main objective of this plan is the construction and maintenance of a water collection tank. The tank will be placed in the physical education building where there is a roof which can accommodate 135 m3 of water per year. This quantity can operate all of the toilets in the building during the winter months with the surplus used for irrigation. The project is seen as a pilot project, an example for other schools to adopt. Students will be in charge of the operation and thus be able to encourage similar projects in the schools in the future. A sign explaining the idea will be erected for visitors.
B1. The campus nature project
Project director: Dr. Ayelet Shuster, Head of the Graduate program in Environmental Education
As part of the “greening the campus” project the green council decided that one of the greening projects would be in the gardening sector. Gardening with indigenous plants of the region is aesthetic, saves water, and has educational value. As we pointed out above, “green” gardening led to 50% saving in water, preserves biological diversity and the gene bank.
The campus nature project will make use of the college campus as a resource to support the city’s biological diversity and as an environmental, educational tool to support research and study for teachers and students. Through intelligent planning it could become a center of attraction for schools and kindergartens in the area. The project will encourage students and faculty to set up other ecological gardens on campus. In these gardens only indigenous plants will be grown. After they acclimatize and take root, irrigation will be discontinued. In this way additional water savings will be realized. In every ecological garden there will be signs with the names of the plants and explanations about the ecological principles demonstrated in the garden. These signs will be made by the students as part of the courses Biological Diversity in Israel and Nature Preservation.
Time line for setting up gardens, types of gardens, and wording of the signs
• Plants that grow in sandy areas
Sign: The typical flora of sand dunes in Eretz Yisrael, as they existed before Tel Aviv was founded.
• Plants growing on rocky limestone
Sign: The importance of the rocky limestone habitat as a nature preserve.
• A garden using water collected and recycled from air conditioners
Some years ago a secret green corner began to grow between the walls of the laboratory, using an existing space in the patio between the wings B and C. Until then, this area had been used as storage space for chemicals. The tiny garden was formed from recycled materials using environmental principles. Use was made of plastic bottles, stones, old drip irrigation heads and old pieces of boards. Students prepared flower pots from plastic bottles in time for the opening day of the academic year. These helped them to acquire a feeling for plants and gardening at the same time that the flower pots benefited from the AC drain water.
• A system of interactive signs to provide explanations about the plants in the college
• A pond for water plants of Eretz Yisrael. The water source will be ecological: AC drainage water, rainwater runoff, recycled waste water.
Sign: an explanation about the plants and the use of “green” water.
• A large ceramic jar in a central place on campus, where there are especially beautiful plants (each kind flowering at a different time), which are of interest to those learning about nature preservation. For instance, the purple iris, a plant found only in Israel whose future is in danger because cultivated and built up land encroaches on its natural habitat.
Sign: Explanations about the uniqueness of the plants and the importance of preserving them.
• A community garden combined with a butterfly garden
In the planning stage
• An Eretz Yisrael garden with beautiful plants of value to the garden
Sign: An ecological garden that requires no irrigation, a garden that may support small, indigenous animals and birds
• A garden that demonstrates how plants stabilize sand dunes
Sign: Explanations of the process of sand stabilization and its effects on nature conservation.
• A garden preserve for endangered plants.
Sign: The role of kibbutzim in the national campaign to create gardens preserving endangered plant species; explanations on why plants disappear and the importance of their preservation.
• Dispensing bird boxes and feeding points for wild birds
• Setting up a wild life corner
B2. Project "No Butt" – a butt free college
Project coordinators – Yossi Neishel, head of maintenance; Rotem Mordoch, student council member.
The project started at the beginning of the 2011 academic school year, with the goals of raising awareness in the college population towards a cleaner and healthier environment, reducing cigarette butt debris on campus, and guarding the aesthetes of the campus. Every day, hundreds of cigarette butts pollute the lawns, sidewalks and entrances to various buildings. The no-smoking law applies exclusively to closed areas; hence there is no way to regulate smoking in open spaces on campus. The "no butt" project incorporates aspects of education and training, campaigns, the drafting of a binding contract for all campus inhabitants, installing special ashtrays, signposting and posters, enforcement and regulation. On the heels of 2 successful campaigns during semester A, the transformation is evident. The project is the first of its kind on an academic campus in the country, and we hope that many other academic institutes follow in its footsteps.
B3. A reflexology path
The reflexology path is a track paved with smooth pebbles for barefoot walking. This is for relaxation and individual therapy. The path is the result of the initiative of a student who planned the project and gained the support of the college to carry it out.
Project manager: Tzeela Yoffe, CEO of the College
For some time now the recycling efforts in the college have been the initiative of student groups, who campaigned for the separation of garbage components, conservation of paper, recycling glass bottles and metal cans as well as placing containers for collecting plastic and glass around the campus. This year, the CEO initiated a college-wide operation with the cooperation of the Tel Aviv municipality, the Man, Nature, and the Law Association, and several recycling companies.
The main objective of the program is lowering the quantities of waste in the college by cutting down on the use of source materials like paper and by raising awareness among faculty, administrative staff, and students. The following are the actions taken in this direction:
C1. Care of dry waste
• Recycling plastic: A number of containers for the collection of redeemable plastic bottles and cans as well as a “cage” for collecting 1.5 liter bottles have been placed on the campus grounds.
• Collecting batteries: 10 containers for this purpose are spread over the campus and regular monitoring is done for refills. The used batteries are sent to Ramat Hovev by the Tel Aviv Municipality.ב.
• Collecting electronic waste: There is a container for electronic waste in the School of Advanced Studies Building. The waste is collected by Ecology for the Protected Community, a company that employs handicapped people.
• Paper and cardboard has been collected for many years by the Amnir Company..
• Multiple use of envelopes and use of scratch paper: All the members of the college community have received guidance about how to save envelopes and paper. In all college offices, used envelopes are saved for re-use or for use as scratch paper. Furthermore much of the paper correspondence is now done by electronic mail.
• All the disposable Styrofoam cups once in use have been changed to hard paper cups that are more pleasant to use and less toxic.
C2. Separating organic waste in the cafeteria
The kitchen staff carefully separates the food wastes, so that the organic wastes are brought to the compost heap..
C3. Caring for wet waste – compost
There are two containers for wet waste in the campus – one stands on the main college avenue for the use of passersby, the second is more discretely located and serves for the disposal of cafeteria wastes. Near the compost installation is a pile of crushed pruning residue. This is used for soil mulch and for the preparation of more compost. Staff and students can use the compost container in the main avenue which facilitates things considerably and raises awareness of conservation on campus.
Project director – Dr. Malka Ben Peshat
The Art Campus, at its new location near Tel Baruch, has become home to two important departments in the School of the Arts: the Department of Design and the Department of Film and Media. The Arts Campus is the second largest campus of Kibbutzim College after the main Ramat Aviv campus. Therefore the “greening” of this campus has great importance as a continuation and extension of the greening campaign of the main campus. The participation of the creative arts departments can add a new dimension to the greening process. Hopefully, enhanced environmental awareness and incorporation of sustainability ideas into their theoretical study can influence students and faculty in other disciplines as well. Developing creative learning, establishing good relations with the surrounding community and especially creating motivation to be a “green campus”, will result in design projects, visual communication projects,(signage, facilities design, design of learning corners) communication trips and films. Furthermore let us hope that the greening of the campus will also express itself in projects done in studio and creative frameworks that take the ideas of sustainability into consideration.