George Mason University’s Auxiliary Enterprises plans to release their report on the AE Green program for campus-widesustainability efforts in early October.

Dan Waxman, assistant to the executive director of retail operations in Auxiliary Enterprises, is overseeing the movement to make Mason a greener campus.

“I work as an environmental consultant with each of the areas around campus to track and guide their actions and help set goals,” Waxman said. “Our mission is to sustain auxiliary enterprises at GMU. At AE Green we’re focused on the big picture and how we can help the campus and students out best.”

The program began in 2008 as the Office of University Services’ sustainability projects, and originally focused on just Mason Dining and Print Services. The program has since grown, doubling in size from last year to include 23 departments and services.

Funding for the program comes from within the department and from grant money. “Some of the programs don’t require much funding and actually end up being cost saving,” Waxman said.

The Mason Child Development Center has been a focus area for the program. A garden planted on-site is now a Certified Wildlife Habitat through the National Wildlife Federation, and serves as a learning and working environment for all ages. “We have 2-, 3-, 4-year-olds out working in the garden. It’s a great service learning project,” Waxman said.

A marketing campaign to help spread the word about AE Green will launch soon after the report goes live to increase awareness and visibility, as well as to highlight the achievements of the program so far.

At the campus bookstore, located in the Johnson Center, efforts to become more sustainable include e-books and eco-friendly products. Students will even be able to purchase graduation gowns made of recycled plastic bottles.

Efforts to make Mason Dining more sustainable led to an increase in local food use, as well as increases in vegetarian and vegan options. So far 568, 771 meals have been served with biodegradable service wear.

“We’re always looking for help,” Waxman said, “any students who are interested can shoot me an email. It’s an exciting time; we’re growing and help is appreciated.”

Waxman hopes to expand the program even further. “It’s a growing campus, so there is lots of potential for growth. Eventually I’d love to be able to have environmental education workshops become a part of the program as well,” Waxman said.