Life Chiropractic College West is hanging a new plaque on its walls soon. Staff and faculty accepted an award from the City of Hayward on Tuesday evening, recognizing and thanking the college for “exceptional environmental efforts,” according to a letter from City of Hayward Mayor Barbara Halliday.
Life West was one of six winners chosen by a committee of citizens from different parts of the community that evaluated various schools and businesses. Three individuals were also awarded for the work they do in their neighborhoods.
The City of Hayward’s 36th Annual Environmental Awards recognizes businesses, organizations, schools, and residents who show a strong commitment to environmental sustainability. Life West entered the field of candidates just after earning re-certification as an Alameda County Green Business in December 2018.
Faculty member Kerri Duggins, DC, who leads Life West’s “green team” efforts, accepted the award along with Executive Vice President Anatole Bogatski and Campus Operations Manager Michael Baldwin.
“I want to thank all the city employees whose expertise, resources and problem-solving helped us so much in our business certification and in the recertification process, which was a whole lot harder than we thought it would be,” Dr. Duggins said during the presentation.
She also credited the Alameda County Green Business program with Life West’s success. “It’s an incredible opportunity for businesses to have a framework, have deadlines, and support to actually achieve green business certification, and it made all the difference for us; it was extremely helpful,” Dr. Duggins added.
In selecting Life West as a winner, the committee noted that not only does Life West have a Sustainability Council that meets regularly, there’s also an Indoor Air Quality Council. Life West’s interest in creating the best environment for learning reflects the school’s interest in public health and goal to create a brighter future for humanity, which has naturally led Life West to prioritize re-certification as an Alameda County Green Business. Life West has taken on projects such as separated trash and recycling and was one of the first businesses to sign up for Hayward’s secondary water project (used for landscaping).
Life West isn’t just looking at facilities and equipment, but also testing and cleaning the very air that students, staff and faculty breathe. Baldwin is behind an algae-based air scrubber that removes up to 227 pounds of carbon dioxide each year, providing a healthier environment in which students can thrive. Plants and large trees have also been added indoors to places where people congregate.
- Installing hand dryers in the restrooms to cut down on paper use (up to 135,000 feet of paper towels in an average month!)
- Insulating water pipes
- Replacing all external lighting with LEDs (100 light fixtures and poles in the parking lots, which has knocked down the power bill by 10%)
- Doubling the number of EV charging stations during the past year
- Promoting a zero-waste lifestyle by stocking items such as reusable straws and water bottles in the book store
- Designating helpers to assist new students learn what goes where in the waste receptacles
Recognition for these projects is important, Dr. Duggins said at the end of her speech. Like the city, Life West is hoping to inspire others to step up and embrace the role we all have to play in the stewardship of our planet.