The University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio, TX through its Sustainability Office and the Ettling Center for Civic Leadership is committed to the betterment of our environment by developing initiatives which fulfill Laudato Si principles.
Last year the Sustainability Office and the Ettling Center for Civic Leadership at the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio, TX. collaborated with a group of engineering students to build a 100% energy efficient solar house on campus! The house achieved the highest LEED rating: platinum level. This building now houses the Sustainability Office and is open for tours and as a learning laboratory on campus. There is also currently a new project in the works utilizing wind energy for water desalination, which would increase the availability of clean drinking water.
The UIW student government and the Ettling Center partner together on a program called Sustainability Scholars, where students work on projects around campus and other sites in the city such as community vegetable gardens and butterfly gardens. One project taken on by a sustainability scholar has been the “mariposa project” educating about the importance of butterflies and teaching how to grow and increase the presence of native plants that butterflies need to grow and survive.
Around campus there have also been improved recycling efforts, increasing the presence of recycling bins around campus and ensuring that the bins themselves are made of recyclable or reused materials. A number of water fountains around campus have also been converted to fill up reusable water bottles and encourage students to not drink out of plastic water bottles.
Sustainability is also a topic that is incorporated into the curriculum, and that is incorporated as much as possible into the building standards of all new UIW buildings and renovations. Two school wide events that happen each year to get students active in sustainability are Earth Week and Recyclemania.
Thank you to the many students, staff, and faculty around UIW who are living Laudato Si each day through increased education and action to care for our common home!
Originally posted on CCVI’s Justice, Peace and Earth ministry blog