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Power To Save: Keystone College Noted For Green Efforts

LA PLUME — Keystone College in Lackawanna County has been recognized nationally for its energy saving efforts, and school officials tell us, it’s all about getting students involved.

As soon as you walk into Keystone College’s dining hall, you see pictures and reminders of the school’s “green” programs. It’s an everyday reminder for students to do their part.

“Sustainability and commitment to the environment isn’t just something we do from time to time. It’s a way of life. It’s part of our culture. It’s something we want our students to be aware of, not only while they are here, but that they can take with them,” said Keystone College spokesman Fran Calpin.

The efforts are everywhere, from using chemical-free detergents, to biodegradable cups, papers, and metals, and tray-less dining. Students can use plastic containers to get food, and wash them when they’re done.

“That really helps us with cutting back our chemicals, our water usage, our food waste. We’ve done for two years and statistically it’s about one cent per student that we save off of food waste and chemicals,” said Michael Lusk of Sodexo Food Services.

At Keystone College, there are also several programs that help students save money. The Dtext program is one. If the cafeteria is getting rid of certain foods by the end of the day, students get a text letting them know those foods will be on sale for half the price. If students don’t buy all the leftover food, it’s donated to local charities.

The school also donates all the grease from the kitchen and has energy saving equipment.

“We have an energy monitoring system. We’ve got our buildings up on a building automation system, where we have automatic temperature controls that we utilize to try to reduce the temperature in the building when people aren’t here, cut back at night, and save additional energy,” said director of facilities Edward Erdman.

They hope all these efforts that will make Keystone a sustainability leader for years to come.

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