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Tuesday, Feb 20, 2024

Green Issue Editorial

If the green masthead or eco-centric content has not tipped you off, you are reading our third annual green issue. Alongside our usual news articles and sports stories, we are offering a variety of content focusing on global and local environmental issues. We look at local 10/10/10 events, feature a spread on the sustainability coordinators and investigate the progress of the biomass facility. Many professors, concerned students and policymakers have contributed content to this issue in order to spark discussion on the complex topics under the green umbrella. Given that the environment is integral to the Middlebury experience, we produce our paper this week hoping to align with and contribute to our college’s sustainability goals.

Environmental awareness is a fundamental part of the College whether or not everyone chooses to be involved. Middlebury has a long-standing commitment to environmental study and policy — we created the first environmental studies program at a liberal arts college and our esteemed President of the College Ronald D. Liebowitz was recently named one of Time’s “10 Best College Presidents” because of his dedication to reducing the school’s carbon footprint. That campaign to reach carbon neutrality by 2016 also ensures that the environment will continue to be a concern for years to come. With all of the green initiatives going on at Middlebury, every issue of The Campus could be a green issue, but for this issue especially, we want to do our part to further the College’s sustainability goals.

As green as we want to be, have you noticed the major flaw in this issue? It is printed on paper. Lots of paper. Despite the fact that our environmental content is housed in an unsustainable format, we defend our print edition. We are at least printed on 100 percent recycled newsprint with soy-based inks so that when you are done reading, you may compost your copy of The Campus. Additionally, we want people to read our newspaper. While we stand by our online platform with pride, we are aware that most of our readership accesses The Campus through the print edition. While mainstream journalism has shifted its primary focus to an online medium, collegiate newspapers remain print-oriented either by choice or because of lack of resources. Eventually switching our emphasis to an online format is the most eco-friendly option, of course. Not only would this cut down on paper waste, but the type of content and frequency of updated stories would increase exponentially. Whether or not an online edition would garner the same readership has yet to be seen, but we hope our website will continue to attract more readers.

Though we could not go completely paperless, in examining our plans to actually print on more paper than usual to accomodate all of our extra green content, we decided we could at least use as little paper as possible and limit this issue to the minimum number of pages our printer allows. Consequently, much of this week’s content can be found online only — we hope you will still read it. And to reduce The Campus’ carbon footprint, instead of letting our regular delivery specialists drive your favorite student weekly around campus, this morning at 6:30 a.m several dedicated Campus editors hand-delivered this issue on foot. Enjoy.