Daily News Archive

Rachel Carson's Alma Mater to Go Green: Chatham College Bans the Use of Many Toxic chemicals and Pesticides on Campus
(from September 30, 2002)

Chatham Collage celebrated the Forty-year anniversary of the publication of Rachel Carson's revolutionary book Silent Spring with the declaration to go green by switching to renewable sources of energy, improve its recycling program and phase out the use of certain chemicals. ``This is a lifelong commitment. It's nothing we can uncommit to,'' said college President Esther Barazzone.

The campus will immediately stop treating its lawn with herbicide and will switch to an organic alternative. It plans to use a low-odor interior latex paint that does not contain volatile organic compounds, which have been linked with the formation of smog.

``The goal is to phase out the use of all toxic chemicals when we can find viable, nontoxic alternatives,'' Ellen Dorsey, director of the college's Rachel Carson Institute said. ``We were hoping to come in at existing costs and we were thrilled to find that the chemicals were equally effective and cost effective.'' The collage is working the Pittsburgh based GreenMarketplace.com to find environmentally friendly alternatives.

Pittsburgh Mayor Tom Murphy said the city plans to honor Rachel Carson with an outdoor memorial, possibly a statue. ``Because of Rachel Carson, Pittsburgh showed the world that clean waterways, soil and air could reshape a city, from hell with the lid off to one of America's most livable cities.''