Conservation Defined:

A careful preservation and protection of something, especially planned management of a natural resource to prevent exploitation, destruction, or neglect.

As related to EPA’s mission, conservation is defined as the preservation, protection or restoration of the natural environment, natural ecosystems, vegetation and wildlife in order to achieve maximum environmental and human health benefits.

Taking care of the resources that keep our planet alive, for the longest period of time possible. Includes the quality and quantity of our soils, water, animals, plants, air, humans and energy concerns. 

Conservation District Partnership:

Extension has provided funding toward a conservation Resource Needs Assessment with several partners including the University of Nevada, Reno; the Conservation District of Southern Nevada; and the Southern Nevada Strong initiative. This partnership is the gateway to providing an assessment of Nevada’s resources, how they have been used in the past, current availability of resources and what we need to do to conserve resources for future generations. More information on this group endeavor can be found on the Conservation District of Southern Nevada’s website.

Conservation Initiatives at the Main Extension Paradise Campus in Southern Nevada:

Extension has implemented several conservation practices which reduce the amount of resources being used. This type of participation in conservation demonstrates to the community that reducing, reusing and recycling are important and essential for the well being of future generations.  

Solar Panels: 

Extension upgraded their facilities by adding solar power on top of their covered parking. The solar panels offset around 12 percent of the energy usage every month for the Paradise location. This is an important demonstration to the community that solar power is an efficient way to harness energy for buildings, whether it be for residential or commercial use. 

Recycling Program:

Extension has partnered with the University of Nevada, Las Vegas Recycling Center to recycle the most commonly used items at their buildings, including cardboard, aluminum, plastic bottles and white paper.  In addition, the print shop re-uses scrap paper by creating new notepads for instructors and their students, and recyclable bottles and cardboard are re-purposed for educational projects. This is important to the community to show that even the smallest acts of conservation, including ways to reduce and re-use items, are important. 

Water Fountains:

Extension has water refill filtration stations throughout the building, which assists with reducing the amount of one time use plastic bottle waste. If everyone in the community used their own bottle to drink from, the savings in cost and plastic waste would be equivalent to saving over 1,400 bottles a year per person for four bottles of consumption a day. Even at one bottle consumption a day, one person would still be saving over 300 bottles a year!  

Relevant University of Nevada Administrative Code:

University of Nevada, Reno and Extension offices have several policies that keep future movement with consideration to our environment.  

5,510: Environmental Policy

Last Revised: March 2006

The University is committed to instituting environmentally responsible procedures in all campus activities and in conducting its affairs in a manner that safeguards the environmental health and safety of students, faculty, staff and the local community. To build and maintain an environmentally aware campus, the University has identified specific areas for environmental focus.

  1. Curriculum - Faculty are encouraged to take steps to incorporate environmental content throughout existing curriculum, increasing environment-related course offerings and research, and to seek more resources to dedicate to environmental research. Faculty are encouraged to utilize environmental practices in the classroom.
  2. Natural Features - The University strives to protect, restore and enhance natural features, biological diversity, and ecological processes on campus.
  3. Energy - The University strives to minimize energy consumption in accordance with the State of Nevada Energy Plan, reduce emissions and reduce the consumption of fossil fuels and other non-renewable energy sources.
  4. Water consumption - The University strives to minimize the use of water both in its buildings as well as in future landscape design and in maintenance of current landscaping. The University tries to use the best available technology to minimize the use of water, encourage the use of reclaimed water, and prevent the wasting of water.
  5. Transportation - The University strives to reduce vehicle emissions and to minimize energy consumption and the use of fossil fuel for transportation. The University encourages the use of alternative fuels, alternative transportation, acquisition of fuel-efficient and low emissions vehicles and incorporate strategies in campus master planning to enable efficient transportation systems.
  6. Hazardous Materials - The University strives to limit and monitor the use of hazardous materials on campus grounds, in cleaning and in laboratories. Every effort is made to minimize the generation of hazardous waste. Hazardous waste that is generated will be treated, collected and disposed of properly.
  7. Solid Waste - The University strives to minimize solid waste production and to make reasonable accommodations to divert solid waste to appropriate recycling or composting programs.
  8. Buildings - The University strives to minimize the ecological impact of the demolition, construction, renovation, maintenance and operation of campus buildings. A University priority is to incorporate Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED™) in the design of new buildings, in accordance with the University of Nevada, Reno Sustainable Building Policy. 
  9. Life Cycle Cost Analysis - Nevada Revised Statutes 338.190 sets the requirements for Life Cycle Cost Analysis (LCCA) that must be performed prior to construction or renovation. The University uses LCCA to strive to achieve the highest quality, most cost-effective means for construction.
  10. Indoor Environmental Quality - The University strives to promote healthy indoor environments and to support the selection and use of materials and products that minimize off gassing of chemicals and other pollutants.
  11. Purchasing - The University strives to minimize the ecological impact of the products purchased in support of campus operations and to seek fiscally viable alternatives for any products that are environmentally detrimental. In general, the University strives to purchase products that include post-consumer recycled content, products that are durable, products that are amenable to repair and products that can be recycled after they are no longer useful.

7,005: Sustainable Building Policy

Last Revised: November 2006

The University will strive to minimize the ecological impact of the demolition, construction, renovation, maintenance and operation of campus buildings. As new buildings are designed, it will be a priority of the university to incorporate Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design-New Construction (LEED-NC™) principles, in accordance with the University of Nevada, Reno Sustainable Building Policy.

The purpose of this is to implement sustainable building concepts on this campus that benefit the environment, yield cost savings to taxpayers of Nevada, and provide a healthy workplace for students, faculty, staff, and visitors.

Implementing sustainable building concepts for efficient management of energy and water resources, material resources and waste, environmental quality, health and indoor environmental quality, natural systems, building materials and design, construction techniques, and operations and maintenance minimizes impacts to the overall environment.

It shall be the policy of the university to plan, design, construct, manage, renovate, maintain, and decommission its facilities and buildings to be sustainable. This applies to new construction and major remodels in which the total project square footage meets the criteria outlined in the NSHE Sustainable Building Policy (those buildings greater than 20,000 square feet). In new construction, the minimum requirements for achieving the equivalent standard as adopted by the Director of the Office of Energy will be incorporated into the campus design standards. However the university will strive for LEED NC™ Gold rating whenever possible.

To achieve these goals, specific measures and design strategies will be described during the project programming phase. If it is determined that a project cannot meet the requirements of the policy, the reasons must be documented in the project program and presented to the president for review and concurrence prior to the schematic design project phase.

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Jarrett DeCorte
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