EnviroCitizen.org recently discovered that the University of California at Irvine is doing something different as far as universities go. It's similar to a Parade of Homes event, where you can go and tour homes to get ideas for your own. That's pretty much what the University of California at Irvine is doing, only they're doing it dorm-room style.
On campus, the University of California at Irvine has a green room, where anyone (including you) can take a tour of Mesa Court's green room and Middle Earth's green room, both of which are outfitted with countless green features. The green rooms are furnished with organic cotton, hemp or recycled cloth bed sheets and linens. Biodegradable and non-toxic soaps and laundry detergent sit resolutely on shelves next to other organic personal care products, like organic lotion, shampoos, deodorant and a toothbrush made out of recycled plastic which can be recycled after it's been used. The closets in the green rooms are filled with organic cotton clothing, which are hung on recycled plastic hangers. Even eco-friendly cups and bowls are displayed, which contain either recycled or non-petroleum-based plastics. The paper in the printer is made from 100% post-consumer recycled paper and even the wastebasket is made from reclaimed metal. The pencils and pens in the eco-friendly jar on the desk are green, too. The pencils are made from recycled newspaper and the pens are made from recycled corn. The notebook, sitting squarely on the desk, is made from recycled banana fibers. All of the electrical devises are Energy Star certified and all of the products have purchase information attached to them so visitors can incorporate what they learn by touring these rooms into their own homes.
The Green Campus Program designed the green rooms and the total cost of the goods totaled at around $2,000 (which is about as much as the average student pays to furnish and supply their first dorm room). Shyla Raghav, the student president of the Green Campus Program, says that they are trying to provide tips to college students, providing them with the means of living a more eco-friendly life.
The University of California at Irvine is doing more than just making a couple dorm rooms green. They are designing energy-efficient buildings and shuttle buses on campus are being altered to run on soy-based fuel! The campus also has a fuel station that pumps low-emission hydrogen fuel. All of the University of California at Irvine's efforts stem from the University of California's effort to become more eco-friendly. Campuses throughout California have launched a variety of efforts, including Take the Stairs Day, in which students pledge to forego elevators and light bulbs can be exchanged for free energy-efficient bulbs.
The University of California at Irvine's green efforts provide a wonderful example of how the green revolution is seeping into every facet of American culture. College campuses and college students alike understand that we need to make some serious changes if we are going to continue to have a decent quality of life. As EnviroCitizen.org has pointed out before, those changes can be easy, simple steps, like living in a greener dorm room, choosing to take the stairs or switching the kind of light bulb you use.