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Sustainability celebration explores building an eco-friendly community


BLACKSBURG, Va., Oct. 17, 2007 – Virginia Tech, the Town of Blacksburg, and Sustainable Blacksburg have partnered to present Sustainability Week, Oct. 22 through 27. During Sustainability Week more than 30 activities, events and tours have been scheduled, which focus on creating an eco-friendly community and celebrating existing sustainability efforts.

More information about Sustainability Week and a full calendar of events can be found online.

“We hope to educate both the campus and town communities about sustainability through the events we have scheduled the week of October 22,” said Virginia Tech’s Sustainability Coordinator, Denny Cochrane.

According to Cochrane, sustainability is more than recycling aluminum cans, plastic bottles and newspapers. By definition, sustainability is the commitment to use existing natural resources in a way that will not jeopardize the use of them by future generations.

Both the university and the Town of Blacksburg have put sustainability initiatives in action through recycling programs, green building and the implementation of biodiesel fuel in state vehicles and equipment.

“The Town of Blacksburg realizes the importance of building a sustainable community,” says Blacksburg Mayor Ron Rordam. “We were one of the first municipalities in Virginia to become a Cool City, epitomizing environmental stewardship. We owe it to our children and grandchildren to leave them a better world.”

Facilitating environmental stewardship is the primary goal of Sustainable Blacksburg, a non-profit organization comprised of more than 30 community groups with representatives from the local government, Virginia Tech, student organizations, local businesses, architectural and engineering firms and non-profit organizations.

“We believe events like Sustainability Week are necessary to enhance the region’s livability and economic vitality by reducing its impact on the local and global environment,” says Jim Flowers, Sustainable Blacksburg Steering Committee chairman.

Kicking off the week of events, Rordam; Flowers; Virginia Tech’s Vice President of Administrative Services, Sherwood Wilson; and founder and CEO of GoLoco, Robin Chase, will speak at a ceremony on Monday, Oct. 22.

Presentations will be given throughout the week by L. Preston Bryant, Jr., Secretary of Natural Resources, Commonwealth of Virginia; Rebecca Flora, president of the Green Building Alliance and chair elect of the U.S. Green Building Council; E. Scott Geller, Virginia Tech Alumni Distinguished Professor and director of Virginia Tech’s Center for Applied Behavior Systems; John Randolph, director of Virginia Tech’s School of Public and International Affairs; and Mike Tidwell, executive director of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network.

A Campus Sustainability Fair will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 24, in Virginia Tech’s Squires Student Center. The Town of Blacksburg will host a Sustainable Home and Transportation Fair in Blacksburg’s Kent Square from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 27.