Sustainability @ Concordia
When we say we're committed to sustainability, we really mean it. In 2017, Concordia joined more than 600 American college and university campuses in the Climate Leadership Network. By signing the Integrated Climate Commitment, we've pledged to do two things: reduce carbon emissions and work with local partners to increase the community's ability to adapt and flourish in the face of climate change.
And that's just one way we're acting on our commitment to sustainability. With the many sustainability initiatives in play both on campus and in the community, you'll have plenty of options to explore your passion for green living.
We are the only school in the Fargo-Moorhead area with a sustainability coordinator and designated Sustainability Office. This office provides internships, trips, and resources for students interested in sustainability.
Use these tips to make getting from Point A to Point B on campus and in the Fargo-Moorhead area can be done cheap and sustainable.
COBBikes – Concordia's Bike Share
Biking is a great way to get around and to get some exercise. The COBBikes program provides 12 bicycles that any member of the campus community can check out for free.
Concordia’s bike share is located between Knutson Campus Center and Ylvisaker Library. The dedicated bike shelter was built by Facilities Management and holds the 12 specially painted bicycles. A fix-it station is attached to the shelter for free tune-ups for any bike. Concordia’s bike share is a collaboration among the Student Government Association, Ylvisaker Library, and the sustainability coordinator.
Use COBBikes to get around campus or cycle to nearby attractions like the ever-popular Moorhead Dairy Queen or the many restaurants and shops of downtown Fargo, located less than two miles away.
Take the MATBUS
Fargo-Moorhead's public transportation system is FREE for Cobber students, faculty, and staff. Show your Concordia ID and you're ready to ride! MATBUS offers 21 routes, including two that stop right on Concordia's campus. Find out more, including routes and timetables online.
More than half (55%) of the energy that Concordia receives from Moorhead Public Service is from renewable sources. These sources include solar, nuclear, wind, and hydropower.
Concordia funded a solar array in a local community solar project. Since its installation in December 2017, the array has produced 26.91MWh of energy. That is enough energy to power over 200 60W lightbulbs for one year (if the lightbulbs are on 6 hours a day).
In fall 2018, Concordia installed a geothermal heating and cooling system in the EcoHouse (a sustainability-focused on-campus housing option).
Beneath the earth's surface, the ground is 48-52°F year round. The system uses a series of wells and an anti-freeze solution, to pump ground heat (a renewable resource) into the house in the winter, and reverses the process in the summer, pumping hot air from the house into the cooler ground. This greatly reduces energy use and costs.
With trayless dining facilities, careful menu planning, intentional purchasing from local food suppliers, recyclable to-go containers and food donations, Concordia's Dining Services makes every decision with sustainability in mind. Together with an education campaign on campus called Taste Not Waste, Dining Services hopes to empower students to help reach Concordia College's plate waste goal and change the culture of sustainable dining on campus. Dining Services is well on its way to its goal of reducing plate waste by 50% by 2020; our most recent plate waste study in the Taste Not Waste campaign (spring 2018) revealed a reduction of 38% so far!
Native and Edible Landscaping
Concordia's facilities team focuses on creating a campus that is sustainable and beautiful by putting in native and edible landscaping and rain gardens across campus. Some of these efforts have also been student-driven.
Native landscaping helps reduce watering needs and maintenance costs while serving as good food sources for local pollinator species.
On campus, we have apple trees, a raspberry patch, plum trees, and rhubarb.
Cornucopia Organic Garden and High Tunnel
The Cornucopia Organic Garden started by a group of students in 2010. Student interns continue to plan, plant, and harvest the garden each season.
In 2015, the high tunnel was constructed on the property to increase the garden’s production.
The High Tunnel’s system works by utilizing solar panels located on the site to capture the sun’s thermal energy. Air warmed by the solar panels flows through a grid of pipes underneath the soil. This soil warming system, combined with the double-layer plastic covering over the garden plot, allows the garden to have a much longer growing season than otherwise would be possible in northern Minnesota.
Most of the produce in the garden is donated to the Dorothy Day Food Pantry. In the 2018 season, we donated more than 750 pounds of fresh produce to those in need.