On May 6, 2011, staff and residents at the Himalayan Institute headquarters in Honesdale, PA, participated in a day-long workshop focused on improving sustainability on campus. Since then, a lot has been accomplished at the Honesdale campus. Here’s a rundown on all that has been achieved in the last six months:
- The solar-thermal hot water system now provides 70%–80% of the hot water needs for the main building.
- Real-time monitoring of our energy usage in the main building helps staff and residents be more conscious of energy consumption.
- Water-usage data is also being collected so that we can track our water conservation efforts over time.
- A new “Inside” Web page was built for staff and residents to improve internal communication and help keep people informed about how to reduce energy and water usage.
- All the toilets in the main building (22 total) have been replaced with low-flow toilets, which save us 3.72 gallons per flush—over 100,000 gallons per year!
- Eco-friendly flooring was installed in the new Himalayan Institute Café.
- The IT department made changes to all the computers on campus, so that they power down automatically when not in use and are set to print double-sided by default.
- A follow-up sustainability workshop took place on October 21. During the workshop, plans were made for a second phase of improvements.
In addition, the Himalayan Institute now has a new Sustainability Statement:
The Himalayan Institute is committed to sustainability as an expression of Yoga in Action. Sustainability is an understanding that we are profoundly interconnected with the natural world, both materially and spiritually. By embracing this understanding, we can live in harmony with our environment and help to heal the planet.
This commitment begins with stewardship of the ecological balance and spiritual vibrancy of our flagship campus in Honesdale, PA, and extends to our humanitarian projects abroad in Cameroon, Mexico, and India. We endeavor to integrate our mission, operations, and programs to encourage creative, meaningful, and lasting sustainability. This is expressed in measurable and ongoing attention to the conservation of energy, water, materials, and biodiversity. We encourage our entire community to join the effort, so that we can learn from each other while bringing spirituality into action.