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Always ask - 'Do I need to print?'

By Krystle Cornelis
On February 10, 2014


Over time Kirkwood Community College  has found ways to reduce its carbon footprint.   Some changes include recycling and compost bins in The Café and the wind turbine. 

One area of  campus students may not think about is reducing the e-waste footprint in the Informational Technologies department.

Going Green for the department started seven years ago when Jon Neff, Associate Vice President of Informational Technologies, decided to help reduce waste, and cut costs for Kirkwood.

When Neff started this project he said, the college had over 1,000 printers, fax machines and copiers that served one purpose for each job. 

Neff said the first step was to create a system that would require departments to reduce to fewer pieces of equipment but would allow more jobs to be done at once with newer technology. In the first year of investing in new printers, Neff said it saved the college over $500,000.

But printers weren't the only thing the college was concerned about, Neff stated. 

Kirkwood has around 4,000 computers on campus. Computer labs and students rely on them daily and decreasing the number was not a solution.  But creating virtual servers was, according to Neff. A traditional server usually runs only one network; thus, creating issues if it were to go down.  

With the virtual server farm, it let more networks run on one by taking the extra space of memory and having a server host more like ANGEL and e-mail,  Neff said The campus could handle 400 servers but they brought it down to 100, he added.

Neff said Kirkwood always looks to the community and others in need when it comes time to replace new equipment. 

"Donations have been wide spread from Freedom Festival to local school districts to Kirkwood itself for student use in Business and IT and non-profits like Foundation 2 providing human services to our communities and finally other countries like Ghana for a small business incubator teaching office computer skills," Neff said. 

To establish a more environmentally friendly campus, Neff said his desire in the future is to run an electronic based campus for students and faculty to take advantage of ANGEL for their papers and homework. This would reduce paper and ink use and waste, he explained. 

 Neff said, students can help Kirkwood continue its efforts to reduce its carbon footprint, is "Be aware of what you're doing and ask themselves one simple question,'Do I need to print this?'"

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