UNITY, Maine — U.S. Sen. Susan Collins will be the keynote speaker at Unity College’s commencement May 9.

The college said events surrounding the graduation ceremonies will be focused on “frugal sustainability, which means being green in a way that is also cost-effective,” according to Kate Grenier, Unity’s alumni relations and events coordinator. “We believe that our commencement will be among the greenest held anywhere,” she said in a news release.

The ceremony will be at 1 p.m. Saturday, May 9, in the college’s gymnasium.

Diplomas will be printed on 100 percent post-consumer recycled paper, rented plates and silverware will be cleaned with environmentally friendly products, and energy-efficient lighting will be generated from 100 percent renewable sources.

In addition, travel carbon offsets will be purchased by participants, event carbon offsets will be purchased by the college, programs will be printed on 100 percent post-consumer paper or alternative fibers, fewer programs will be printed, saving 2,000 sheets of paper from the 2008 commencement, and sustainability information will be offered through educational booths-posters.

A sustainable pledge will taken by the senior class, invitations will be sent to parents by e-mail, saving 2,000 sheets of paper compared with last year, banquet reservations will be made online, waste from the banquet will be composted, local and organic foods served, and compact fluorescent lighting will be used in the gym

Graduate gift trees will be planted around community or student homes. Since 1988 each graduate has received a sapling tree as a commencement gift. The white pine trees average 35 pounds a year of carbon emission reductions.

The senior banquet will be held at 6 p.m. Friday, May 8, beginning in the gymnasium.

For details contact Grenier at 948-3131, ext. 301, or e-mail kgrenier@unity.edu. Full details of the 2009 commencement festivities, honorary degrees and awards also are available online at www.unity.edu.