With the opening of its new bike shelter, Antioch University New England (AUNE) has taken a big step in its 10-year Climate Action Plan, pointed out AUNE President David Caruso, in cutting the ribbon on the shelter on October 5.
The Climate Action Plan calls for AUNE to achieve carbon neutrality by 2020. “Transportation represents our biggest challenge in meeting that goal,” Caruso said. “Eighty percent of AUNE’s carbon emissions are from transportation, with nearly 75 percent of our carbon footprint attributable to employee and student commuting alone.”
Transportation also has a strong social justice dimension, Caruso said. “Here’s one sobering indicator: Americans in the lowest income quintile spend roughly 42 percent of their annual household budget on the purchase, maintenance, and operation of cars.”
The shelter with bike racks will protect about forty bicycles from the weather. It will make it more convenient for those in the campus community to bike to and from campus, using their own bikes or one of AUNE’s fleet of eight Green Bikes.
Caruso thanked the more than forty volunteers who helped build the shelter and the businesses who donated money, materials and time:
Valerie Woods and Justin Valaske of Baybutt Construction Corporation
Bergeron Construction Company
Matthew Walton Carpentry
Ted Fellows, P.E.
Caruso especially thanked the alumni of AUNE’s environmental studies master’s degree program, class of 2010, and other AUNE students, staff, faculty, and administrators for donating funding.
Students in the spring 2011 Environmental Education and the Built Environment class, taught by Tania Schusler, core faculty member in the environmental studies department, and Jim Gruber, core faculty member in environmental studies, worked on the design, permitting, budget development, and procurement of materials.