Eco-Friendly Apartment Opens to Public
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SF State marked its latest foray into the environmental movement in a cermeony Friday, when the Green Apartment was unveiled before about 70 students, staff and faculty.

"As stewards of our environment, we should make sure we're doing things to provide an environmentally friendly experience at this university," said Robert Hutson, associate vice president of facilities and enterprises on campus. "We're setting the footprint for where we will be in the future."

The Green Apartment features a variety of tools for an eco-friendly lifestyle, from carpet and paint to electronics and household products. Funded by a grant from the Lisa and Douglas Goldman Foundation, it was the joint project of SF State's housing department and the non-profit organization, Strategic Energy Innovations (SEI).

Leroy Morishita, vice president of administration and finance and Jan Andreasen, executive director of housing and residential services cut the (green) ribbon to the apartment, opening the way for guests to tour the unit.

"We want to be a leading campus for sustainability. We have a long way to go, but we're committed to doing that," Morishita told the audience. "It is important for the future of generations to come."

Dre Dominguez, the apartment's inhabitant, felt slightly nervous about having so many people in her personal living space, but is supportive of the project.

"It's a little weird. I'm normally so introverted," she said. "But in the end, it's a good thing."

Students touring the apartment thought the demonstration was impressive, but hoped they would see it implemented in the rest of the on-campus housing.

"It's so awesome, such a progressive idea," said art major Elisa Wallin, 22. "But without a doubt, as soon as possible - like tomorrow - it should be extended to all of housing."

"It's definitely a step in the right direction," agreed Evan Spurrell, 20, a biology major.

Caitlin Fager, project coordinator for SEI, was pleased to see the comprehensiveness of the Green Apartment. SEI has worked with three other campuses on similar green housing projects, but none as inclusive as SF State. Even eco-friendly clothing was donated and put on display at the last minute. The clothes, made from organic cotton, were donated by Wildlife Works, which also put out 10 percent discount coupons for online purchases.

"With each project, there are so many new developments," said Fager. "You never know what's going to come out of it. The clothing only arrived today, and that's something we've never done before."

The apartment featured signs next to every item, explaining its environmental impact. Jim Bolinger, associate director of facilities, who coordinated the project for SF State's housing department, eagerly pointed out to viewers just how much of an impact they could have in their own lives if they switched to some of the products in the apartment.

"We are bombarded by toxins in our cars, our homes, our lives," he said. "We are taking a proactive lead to reduce those toxins, and it just seems to be the right thing to do."

Allam Elqadah, owner of many of the cafes on campus, came to the opening to show his support for more things green on campus. He incorporated eco-friendly plastic products into his cafes recently.

"It's so great to see the campus doing something positive and leading the way. With sustainability, we all need to not just say we'll do it, but really support it," he said. "This is just one apartment. Imagine if every part of campus did this."

For the full story of the Green Apartment, go to http://xpress.sfsu.edu/archives/news/008123.html.

Individuals and classes may take tours of the Green Apartment. For information on times or to set up an appointment for a tour, contact Alicia Lewis at aclewis@sfsu.edu.

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PHOTO
Jack Stephens | staff photographer
Aundrea Dominguez, 23, a junior art major, poses in her dorm room bathroom in where the mirror also serves as a calendar; her dorm room is also SF State's first fully green dorm.

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