Earth Day Celebrations Showcase ACC Sustainability Initiatives

As communities worldwide commemorate the 44th annual Earth Day on April 22, Austin Community College continues to cultivate its own award-winning sustainability initiatives.

Earth Day/Week Events

Earth Day-related events are listed here, but more may be added; check the Earth Day 2014 webpage every week for updates. If your department or group would like to organize an activity, email green@austincc.edu.

  • Eco Bag Art Contest: Enrolled students can enter the 2014 Earth Day Eco Bag Art Contest through April 15. Faculty, staff, and students can vote online for their favorite through April 25. First prize is an e-reader; honorable mention winner will receive a Timbuk2 messenger bag. See the Eco Bag Art contest flier for details and rules or email green@austincc.edu.
  • April 22 RESA Greener Choices Festival at Riverside: Join the Renewable Energy Student Association for presentations, workshops, and exhibits addressing alternative forms of energy. Find details on the festival event webpage.
  • April 23 Culinary Arts Lunch at Eastview: Enjoy American diner-style fare at the Riverbats Café. The student-run cafe uses Texas-sourced meat and bakery products when possible. Take an order to-go in sustainable packaging.
  • April 24 Earth Week Fair at Rio Grande: Student Life invites the ACC community to take part in fun Earth Day activities and visit information and vendor tables.

Green Building at ACC

Going green is more than a one-week event at ACC. Each of the college’s recent and ongoing construction projects conform to sustainable building practices and/or LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) silver rating building standards. Notably:

  • Rio Grande parking garage is the first ACC building to achieve a green building rating.
  • Rio Grande Campus Building 3000 earned the Adaptive Use award from the Heritage Society of Austin in recognition of the college’s renovation of the former Austin High School gym.

    The Round Rock Campus was the first ACC facility to earn LEED Silver certification.

  • Round Rock Campus became the first college facility to earn LEED Silver certification in 2012.
  • Elgin Campus incorporates the latest in conservation design, including a 35,000-gallon cistern to collect rainwater, roof runoff, and air conditioning condensate for reuse in irrigation.
  • Hays Campus features daylight harvesting with low-emissivity windows to reduce heat penetration and the demand for electric lighting. During campus construction, 84 percent of waste was diverted from the landfill. Â See the range of sustainable features on the Hays Campus Sustainability map (pdf).
  • The Highland Campus opens this fall with a storm water filtration system, solar panels, and energy efficient plumbing and HVAC systems. Most existing building materials from the former mall are being re-used and recycled.

ACC will seek LEED certification for its Elgin, Hays, and Highland campuses. Much more than recycling bins and special light bulbs, LEED certification signifies that buildings use less energy and are healthier and safer for occupants.

Join a Green Team

Gain leadership experience while making positive changes at your campus. Proposed “Green Teams” of faculty, staff, and student volunteers would promote sustainability on campus through energy and water conservation, recycling and waste reduction, or alternative transportation. Interested? Complete the Green Team online form.

New Sustainability Office Website

Coinciding with Earth Day, the Sustainability Office is unveiling a new, user-friendly website that makes it easier to find sustainable options at ACC and see why the college is a recognized leader in sustainability. Stay tuned.

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