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Green loans pay for themselves

The GreenMan | Tuesday, November 6, 2012

There are few things in this world that I like more than free stuff. Pens, t-shirts, packs of gum or what ever it may be. If it’s free, I’ll be getting one for me (Poetry is one of my many passions).
However, if there is one thing that I like more than free stuff, it’s free green stuff. I’m talking LED Christmas lights, some fresh new laboratory ovens for my chemistry majors out there and compact fluorescent light bulbs for all. All of these awesome green goodies were brought to you by the Green Loan Fund. Since 2008, money from the Green Loan Fund has helped purchase the nifty Energy Dashboard, super computers for the Center for Research Computing and a revolutionary dry-cleaning machine for Saint Michael’s, just to name a few.
Its support has contributed to the conservation of 350,000 gallons per year of water in Chemistry Department autoclaves, and has replaced 8,950 incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescents to date. The fund is a force for good around campus, a force that should be utilized more. Sure we have accomplished a lot, but I think we can do more.
The Green Loan Fund is managed by the Office of Sustainability and is for students, staff and faculty use.  We are talking $2 million dollars waiting to be spent by you to improve your dorms, classrooms and labs. All you have to do is come up with a proposal that will pay for itself in 10 years. Just think, you could replace that fridge that was top-of-the-line back when Tim Brown won our last Heisman, those dull incandescent Christmas lights, or that laboratory equipment that is about as state-of-the-art and efficient as the 1992 Ford Bronco your friend drove in high school.
You’re probably thinking, “But GreenMan, loans aren’t free.” Well, these green loans aren’t like normal loans. Green Loan funded projects conserve resources, thus saving money. This money then pays for the loan. Trust me, money is green, and I know green. Unlike your student loans, these loans actually pay for themselves. It’s like magic!
Sure, we have accomplished a lot.  The funded projects are nothing to scoff at. However, I think we can do more, so don’t be afraid to submit an idea. I want to make it rain. I want to see the fund completely distributed by innovative proposals.  
It’s a new age. Notre Dame will soon have a new Heisman (don’t worry I went out and knocked on a tree) and you deserve a new, more energy efficient fridge for your dorm.
So brainstorm some ideas, email or visit me at the office and take out the best kind of loan, the kind that pays for itself! Plus, for a limited time only, every loan comes with a hug from me, The GreenMan, guaranteed to teach you the meaning of the universe or potentially feel semi-awkward. If that doesn’t motivate you, I don’t know what will!
Green Forever, The GreenMan

Email your predicaments to The GreenMan at askthegreenman@gmail.com and let him answer you with a sustainable twist. The GreenMan will be here every other week to provide you with insights you never knew you were missing out on until now.
The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not
necessarily those of The Observer.