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President Daniels Gives Warm Reception to Snuggie Closet

President Daniels at the podium

















A simple idea to purchase Snuggies for the Montgomery County Campus two years ago was celebrated on Earth Day 2014 at the second annual Green Blue Jay awards ceremony. Johns Hopkins University President Ronald J. Daniels hailed the idea as a simple yet smart way to reduce heating costs in an effort to create a more sustainable environment. (photo gallery)

Daniels, during the Johns Hopkins Earth Day Showcase on the Homewood campus, presented the Montgomery County Campus with the “Wacky and Wonderful” award. Building Supervisor Angel Beltran accepted the award on behalf of the Montgomery County Campus.

The Montgomery County Campus purchased 30 Snuggies in April 2012. Snuggies are large, blue, fleece body-length gowns that can be worn over clothes. The campus bought the Snuggies so students, faculty and staff could stay warm if the heat went out or if they were cold while on campus. The Snuggies are kept in a closet in Gilchrist Hall.

The university’s Sustainability Office selected the campus to win the Wacky and Wonderful Award, one of 10 Green Blue Jay awards. “It’s simple, it’s silly and it’s sustainable,” the Sustainability Office said of the Snuggie Closet.

In his opening remarks, Daniels held up a Montgomery County Campus Snuggie.

“With the Polar Vortex far outstaying its welcome, the weather has been unpredictable this spring,” Daniels said. “So I did what any other reasonable person would do in having to contend with the elements of Baltimore. And that is, I raided the Snuggie closet at our campus in Montgomery County just to be on the safe side today.

“This is why it is important for us to gather together as a university, to get great ideas and Man holding Snuggie awardcutting-edge technologies,” Daniels continued, some as simple as putting on another layer or, in this case, a full-body sweatshirt. Whether our solutions are high- or low-tech, Daniels told the crowd, “what we are doing today is celebrating our university’s commitment to thinking holistically and creatively about the environment.”

Under the direction of President William R. Brody, the JHU Office of Sustainability was formed in 2006, and the President’s Task Force on Climate Change was formed the following year.

The task force’s mission was to develop recommendations on how Johns Hopkins should lower greenhouse gas emissions. A goal was set to reduce emissions 51 percent from 2008 levels by 2025.

Since 2008, the Montgomery County Campus has decreased total emissions by 44 percent. A University sustainability report also found that:

  • The Montgomery County Campus bought 58 fewer cases of paper in fiscal year 2013 compared with fiscal year 2012.
  • The campus continues to use a water filtration system that directly filters tap water.
  • The campus transitioned from disposable kitchen cups to reusable cups.
  • Since 2008, the campus decreased electricity consumption by almost 17 percent and natural gas by consumption by almost 88 percent.

Daniels saluted the Montgomery County Campus for its efforts to address heating systems issues, reduce natural gas use by 88 percent and “launch their path-breaking and technology innovative and transformative project, the Snuggie closet.”

After the ceremony, Daniels, wearing a Snuggie, posed for photos with students.