Stanford University Makes Their Student Housing Green Through Simple Steps
Stanford University's student housing is a perfect example of how going green really is quite simple! Through a few simple steps anyone can reduce their environmental impact and these steps make a big difference. With four million square feet of student housing, Stanford University has made quite a commitment to going green!
Stanford University's website boldly says, "Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. Recover. Reclaim." They encourage students to turn off lights, electronic equipment and appliances when they're not being used. They also tell students to take shorter showers, wash only full loads of laundry and to report water waste. Finally, they encourage students to recycle. However, EnviroCitizen.org has found that they do a whole lot more than pushing the students to change.
In 2007, Stanford University gave out thousands of compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) light bulbs to students. Student Housing also installed CFL's in ceiling lights in student rooms and hallways. Stanford takes things one step further by creating challenges where students in resident halls and houses compete to see who can reduce the most consumption of energy and water. The winners receive prizes and bragging rights! They also hold an annual abandoned bike auction. Each year, numerous bikes are abandoned on campus. The campus bike shop repairs the bikes and puts them up for auction. The proceeds from the auction go toward other “campus greening” efforts.
EnviroCitizen.org learned that green efforts don't stop there! A student club at Stanford University, Students for a Sustainable Stanford, hosts an outreach festival each spring. The festival focuses on the University's sustainability efforts and educates others about environmentalism through fliers, posters and free sustainable/recycled products. They also throw an annual Earth Week celebration, which is a sort of educational expo fair. Each April, Stanford's Environmental Representatives and Students for a Sustainable Stanford organize lectures and activities to educate fellow Stanford students on how to live more eco-friendly.
All of these fun, little efforts add up. Stanford University is now one of the greenest universities in the country! EnviroCitizen.org believes that Stanford University is a great example for other universities and colleges throughout the country. They are doing a great job at actively engaging their student body in creating real change. It just goes to show that you don't have to be an expert or have a lot of time or money to make some green choices. It can be as simple as changing a few light bulbs (or thousands of them in Stanford's case). Perhaps you can take Stanford's lead and challenge your family members or neighbors to a friendly competition to see who can get bragging rights for conserving the most energy and water in your home or neighborhood!