Hamden, Conn. (WTNH) - In Quinnipiac University's latest effort to go green, studentsreceiving their undergraduate degrees this May will don caps andgowns made of 100 percent post-consumer recycled plasticbottles.
The eco-friendly gowns, which mark the first change to theuniversity's commencement garb in about 25 years, are virtuallyindistinguishable in color, feel or fit from traditional polyestermaterial. The only features not made of recycled materials are thetassel, the button on the top of the cap and the gown's zipper.
"They have so many nice attributes," said Maria Bimonte,director of shared services at Quinnipiac. "They're morecomfortable, breathable and less likely to wrinkle than our oldgowns. The gowns are another important part of our greatersustainability efforts. I think people will notice this and say,'Wow! This is great.'"
The gowns, which are manufactured by Oak Hall Cap & Gown,use recycled ink and are made in the United States. Oak Hallestimates that it takes an average of 23 bottles to make eachgown.
John Meriano, associate vice president for administrativeservices at Quinnipiac, said the school has always purchased thebest possible gowns for its students - and these robes even lookbetter than the previous ones used. While the price of theeco-friendly gowns are expected to be approximately six percentmore than the old gowns, the university anticipates continuing itstradition of covering the cost.
The gowns are just the latest step in the university's greenmission. This past fall, Quinnipiac installed vertical axis windturbines on its York Hill Campus. They generate 32,000 kilowatthours of energy annually, while roof-top photovoltaic panels gatherpower from the sun, saving another 250,000 kilowatts.
In addition, Quinnipiac purchases 100 percent of electricityfrom renewable resources, placing it well above state and nationalminimum renewable energy purchase requirements.
Lighting in all residence halls has been switched from T12 tomore efficient T8 bulbs and the university's ongoing "Bobcat BulbSwap" program allows students to trade up to six fluorescent bulbsfor greener, high compact fluorescent models.
Environmentally-friendly features on the university's NorthHaven Campus include: energy-efficient heating and cooling unitsand lighting fixtures; low VOC paint; Green Guard-certifiedcarpeting and new windows with energy-saving thermal glazing.
For more information on the university's green initiatives,please click here.
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