Story by Austin Kramer
Auraria is being invaded by green machines.
The Sustainability Campus Program, a subcommittee of Student Advisory Committee to the Auraria Board, is responsible for everything “green” on Auraria Campus, and has started a program to bring more ecologically friendly and healthy vending machines to campus.
The 2bU vending machines will provide a healthy alternative to your typical snack machine. According to the Office of Marketing and Communications, a total of six machines are expected to be on campus by the end of the year to give students snack options with “all-natural organic ingredients—no trans fats, no artificial flavors or sweeteners”.
Using cash or a debit card students can purchase items like Larabars, organic tea, Izze Sparkling Juice and dark chocolate. Local/regional, organic, kosher, vegan and gluten-free options will also be available.
“I think it’s a great idea to reinvent the idea of cheap, unhealthy food with a healthier, fast option,” said Eva Price, MSU Denver student.
One machine is on the first floor of the Science Building, and the other is in South Classroom. Four new machines will be arriving in the King Center, West Classroom, North Classroom and Arts buildings.
The 2bU machines also provide a more ecological alternative to traditional vending machines, as they are energy efficient. The machines power down when not in use, utilizing technology which the SCP hopes to incorporate into the Pepsi machines campus-wide. According to the Office of Marketing and Communications, the energy savings cost of implementing this technology will save over $7,000 a year, and prevent 76 metric tons of carbon dioxide pollution annually.
“The self-sustaining aspect is also good to replace the idea of a vending machine full of nutter-butters and cheetos that can also cut back on the carbon footprint,” Price said.
The new machines are not the only green change at Auraria, as the campus is looking to become the Colorado leader in sustainability, according to John Bertles, the Sustainability Officer for Auraria campus in charge of the SCP
“Sustainability is truly a “win-win” philosophy,” Bertles said. “Through this lens, people, planet and profit are balanced in an equitable manner that insures prosperity for generations to come. On the Auraria Campus for example, sustainability serves as the means to cut costs while protecting the environment – all while educating future leaders of our community on some of the most pressing issues of our time.“
Since the SCP is a student-funded and student-driven program, Berltes encouraged any of the students who are interested in the sustainability program to visit www.sustainableauraria.com to see when the latest events, meeting times, and opportunities to help out are available.
“Last semester, the SCP approved funding for a “Green Kiosk” that will display resource consumption (i.e. electricity, water, steam) by campus buildings,” Bertles said. “By monitoring and displaying this data, the SCP will be able to educate the community on our collective environmental “footprint” and provide ideas on how to take action. The kiosk will showcase various projects that have been funded by the program to-date, highlighting the positive impact that the students of the Auraria Campus have had on the community.”