Coastal Institute 2 Green Office Boosts its Certification to 4 Stars!

URI Bay Campus aerial view
Coastal Institute 2

The folks at Coastal Institute 2 achieved full points during their certification process last school year, earning 3-star certification. They also earned additional bonus points for the Recycling category, and all the required points in the Transportation category, as well as bonus points because six of the office members use alternative means of transportation.

The Green Ambassador of Coastal Institute 2, Tricia Thibodeau, explained that upon starting the certification process in spring of last year, she realized that Green Office certification for her team likely would be very feasible because many of the practices in our certification list were sustainable habits her office was already engaging in.

“These things seem very doable for the people that I work with, or could be easily adopted if we didn’t do them already,” Thibodeau explained.

This school year, Thibodeau met with us again to up their Green Office certification from 3 stars to 4 stars! The Office boosted their score in the Energy, Events & Waste, Networking & Awareness, and Innovation categories. Their new scores for each category are as follows:

  • Energy, 19 of 20 points
  • Events & Waste, 21 of 22 points
  • Mail and Documents, 3 of 10 points
  • Purchasing, 3 of 5 points
  • Recycling, 12 of 10 points
  • Transportation, 22.93 of 18 points
  • Networking & Awareness, 5.67 of 9 points
  • Innovation (Other Ideas) 6 of 6 points

So far, coordinating with her team has been a fairly straight forward process.

“Overall, I feel like it’s been a pretty easy process with just a couple meetings and just a couple emails on my part,” Thibodeau said.

The primary ways in which Coastal Institute 2 upped its Green Office certification was the evaluation of current lighting and transportation practices, as well as adopting reusable items, such as mugs and bowls, for office meals. When Thibodeau got in touch with her Green Team to verify how many individuals carpooled and used alternate transportation, she discovered that not only do a significant number of individuals carpool, but also one professor on the team occasionally kayaks to work via Narragansett Bay!

Coastal Institute 2 also earned innovation points for having a compost bin that is used to help maintain the community garden at GSO. According to Thibodeau, there are about nine or ten plots, and many of the staff and students on campus use the garden to add extra sustenance to their lunches. “I was just over there the other day, and there’s tons of tomatoes and stuff. People will harvest the tomatoes and use them in their salads or whatnot.”

The Coastal Institute 2 Green Office is also looking into the process of certifying one or more of the labs in the Coastal Institute as Green Labs. This would be the first official Green Lab at URI! Congratulations Coastal Institute 2!

Erin Harrington is the Graduate Communications Manager for the URI Office of Sustainability. She is a Ph.D. candidate in Biological and Environmental Sciences and her research focuses on public engagement in science and science writing.