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UOG Green gives Babauta a tour

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by Ken Quintanilla

Guam - The Center for Island Sustainability Model Home was recently retrofitted as a model for zero-carbon emission and full island sustainability. And recently, House 32 was greeted by a special guest.

It was through the Department of the Interior in which several grants were offered to help CIS along with UOG Green promote many of its environmental initiatives. And yesterday, Assistant Secretary for Insular Affairs Tony Babauta was able to see firsthand where exactly the funding went toward. Sustainability coordinator Elvie Tyler said, "This is our way to showcase to him our sustainable home that we've been working in since we've received the grant in 2009."

Babauta toured House 32 with UOG Green interns who in turn offered insight on UOG Green's efforts along what exactly makes House 32 so special such as energy efficient lighting, using Energy Star-certified appliances and high-efficiency windows. Tyler says considering that House 32 was first built in 1960, she hopes Babauta and others can use it as an example in their lives.

"And I think it's just appropriate that we can show the alternative energy sources that we've used so that they can actually model it to their home," she added.

Babauta then took to nature learning about the variety of trees and plants UOG Green has grown including pugua trees, tangerine, basil, oregano and hot peppers. He was also given a tour of the sustainable garden and water catchment system. Ultimately, Babauta says he was impressed with the intern's knowledge of the environment. "In any sort of developing community, you need to have sustainability and that's what's always impressed me about you guys," he said.

He was most proud that they were setting an example for their generation in understanding our island and the importance of conserving our resources. "The message that you're trying to do and how you're trying to indoctrinate the next generation of children into thinking about recycling and thinking about conservation and one the most impressive things is that none of you are conservationist at least in your study provision here at the university," she said.

House 32 is open for public tours and is open from 8am-5pm Monday to Friday.

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