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 Campus Recreation Director reduces energy consumption and waste in athletic facilities

Posted on Friday, Nov. 30, 2012

Photo courtesy of Janice DeMonsi. Janice has always maintained a positive attitude when incorporating sustainability into recreation and athletics. Composting paper towels? "Sure!" she says. Dual-flush toilets? "Why not?" Cardio machines that are not plugged in and run on human energy? "Powered by Sweat!"

As last year's winner of the Sustainability Champion Award for Staff, Janice DeMonsi, Director of Recreation, was honored for her commitment to developing a more sustainable campus recreation program. She has collaborated with Facilities and the Office of Sustainability to find ways to reduce energy consumption, water use, and waste production while providing a great place for people to work out. The Office of Sustainability created the Sustainability Champion Awards (Staff, Faculty, and Student categories) to recognize individuals or groups at SCU who go out of their way to develop a culture of sustainability on campus. Once individuals or groups are nominated, the Sustainability Council and members of the Office of Sustainability vote on the nominees, celebrate the hard work of these individuals and honor their achievements.

Janice is a great role model for athletics at Santa Clara University, and she is someone to look up to as well. She takes principles of sustainability into consideration for every decision she makes. Janice has worked to make significant sustainable changes to the culture of the Malley day-to-day office, as well as Campus Recreation in general. Behind the scenes Malley has a bin of good-on-one-side (GOOS) paper, real tablecloths for staff events that get reused, silverware that gets washed (rather than disposable), and now has motion sensor lighting in areas where lights were often left on.

Janice DeMonsi sorts trash with a student at a waste characterization. Photo courtesy of Janice DeMonsi.All Malley users will notice education for sustainability when they enter the building, starting with the digital ads on the lobby TVs, accompanied by the display of sustainable features and tips for sustainability. Recently added are two new treadmills that do not pull energy from the grid since they are powered by self-generated energy. These are just a few of the physical signs of Janice’s passion for sustainability. All of this evidence points toward how Janice always takes the environmental impacts of decisions into consideration in both her personal and professional lives. 

In October, Janice took time out of her busy schedule to attend a conference put on by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). Not only did Janice attend, but she presented about Santa Clara and its initiatives in the Athletics and Recreation departments. More information about SCU's experience at the AASHE conference can be found in the November edition of the Sustainability Update. 

Thank you to Janice for setting such a high standard for sustainability on campus. Her individual efforts have extended well beyond Malley to the heart of the Santa Clara community. 

By Megan Anders, '13 Sustainability Intern--Athletics 

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