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FACE Center and NRG Energy make Chautauqua even greener
Monday, March 07, 2011

Earth Week SUNY FredoniaPartnership includes three sustainability projects in Dunkirk and Fredonia

A $15,300 grant from NRG Energy to SUNY Fredonia will fund a giveaway of compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs, the second annual plastic bag-free “Shake the Habit” initiative, and a series of tree planting campaigns this spring. 

All projects are being coordinated in March, April and May through the SUNY Fredonia Academic Community Engagement (FACE) Center.

NRG Energy is a wholesale electricity company that operates a coal-fueled power plant in Dunkirk. NRG encourages conservation, outreach and partnerships in environmental protection and sustainability through its econrg program. The company will sponsor SUNY Fredonia’s Green Expo on March 26, which will educate the public about energy conservation, “green” services and supplies by local vendors, and distribute 1,800 free CFL bulbs.

In April, during the campus’ annual Earth Week observance, NRG will sponsor the local Shake the Habit campaign, a day in which local retailers encourage a plastic-free day by bagging goods in reusable, cloth bags. This year’s event takes place April 20, marking the one year anniversary of the Louisiana Gulf oil spill.

The third event takes place in May, when econrg’s funding will pay for 200 trees that will be planted with the coordinated efforts of Greystone Nature Preserve, the Academy Heights Neighborhood Association in Dunkirk, and the FACE Center.

“NRG Dunkirk is very pleased to be partnering with FACE in such an active manner,” says Carson Leikam, general manager of NRG Energy in Dunkirk. “Combining the resources of the college and local industry to benefit the environment is well-aligned with NRG's core value of respect for the customers, the community and the environment. We’re excited about this partnership and look forward to actively participating in this year's sustainability projects.”

Dr. Sherri Mason, FACE Sustainability Coordinator at SUNY Fredonia, said NRG’s support will continue a tradition of sustainability awareness that SUNY Fredonia began several years ago. “Our inaugural Shake the Habit event was immensely successful with 60 percent of area businesses choosing to participate last year,” she said. “This year, with NRG's help, we will be able to distribute reusable bags to assist people in their efforts to be more sustainable. With the pollution caused by plastic bags in the environment, making a change from plastic, single-use bags to reusable bags is such a small but significant step each of us can take to protect the living world.”

To learn more about the FACE Center or these upcoming sustainability projects, contact Dr. Mason at (716) 673-3292 or Dr. Christina Jarvis at (716) 679-9254.

For more information about SUNY Fredonia’s semester-long series of sustainability events, visit www.fredonia.edu/earthweek.

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