Project Title: Steps to Making your Campus House More Sustainable
Project Participant: Sarah Jilbert
Description & Overview of Project:
I am currently living in 23 Williams Drive, the Bigelow Reed House, on the hill. When I moved into this house I noticed two recycling bins in the entire building, and they weren’t even in places students would find them. Then I looked around the rest of the building and noticed there are other steps that can be taken to make the house more sustainable. If there are aspects of this house, which was renovated just a year and a half ago, that need to be changed to be more sustainable then there has to be other houses on campus that need changes. However, the people living in those houses might not know what changes they can make. I would like to create a guide to distribute to houses on campus such as the fraternities, sororities, SLUs, and Junior/ Senior housing. This guide will have steps and suggestions in order to conserve Ohio Wesleyan’s energy and overall make campus more sustainable. It will also provide knowledge to the members living in the various houses that they can carry with them after college.
The sustainable projects I would like to start in Bigelow Reed include recycling, limiting trash, installing motion detecting lights, putting up stickers, and giving residents information of how to be more environmentally friendly. I wish I could also start composting in Bigelow Reed, but there isn’t quite a demand for that or a budget. I will discuss all of these ideas, as well as composting, in my guide for other houses. I would like to show evidence in my efforts working. So, I’ve acquired the monthly amount of energy used from Sean Kinghorn. At the end of the project I will compare the numbers to see if energy has been conserved.
Throughout this process I will keep a journal of all the problems I run into. I will also include my tips of how to be successful, and all the tidbits that students will want to know about the process. For example, I know funding for this project can be difficult. However, there are ways to receive funding that many students don’t know about. The houses on campus will have the knowledge to become more sustainable before they know it!
Another way to make students more knowledgeable and become more involved is to perform their own sustainability audit. I have done research from other schools websites to see how they set theirs up. Each student will have a checklist of things they can check around their dorm room. Then there will be a section to show how they can fix their dorm to become more green. I will combine all the checklists that I’ve found and put an OWU twist on them. This way it will be specific to Ohio Wesleyan students.
Outline of Project:
First I would like to walk around the house and assess all the areas that have potential for change. Recycling is the easiest step to start the sustainable transformation. So, I will bring recycling to Bigelow Reed and study the process, and who to contact around campus to get it started. I will take notes and put it in an easy format for other houses. Motion lights are the next step. Many houses on campus still have manual light switches that they forget to turn off. Installing motion sensor lights can save money and energy. Putting up stickers can also be a money saving technique. I’m not only a major in Environmental Studies but also in Economics Management, so the business and cost aspect is very interesting to me. By showing people that they can actually save money in the long run it will incentivize them to be more sustainable sooner. A flaw in this is that students don’t pay the electric bill, the University does. Therefore, they may not care. This is where a contest of some sort may persuade them to be more conscious. For example, a competition to see which floor has more recycling with a prize could be incentivizing. It is my main goal to make the individuals living in the house more aware of how they can be more environmental and conserve energy. A new environmental fact of the day or week could also be a great way to make people more aware. The checklist will also make more students knowledgeable. Some of the categories will be computer specifics, appliances, heating/ cooling, lights, garbage/ recycling, knowledge, etc.
“Environmental Benefits | Composting.” EPA. Environmental Protection Agency, n.d. Web. 02 Oct. 2012. <http://www.epa.gov/osw/conserve/rrr/composting/benefits.htm>.
This article by the EPA shows the environmental benefits of composting. In order to convince the houses to get composting we have to show them the benefit it has to the environment and themselves.
“Goucher College: Environmental Sustainability — Tips for Students.” Goucher College: Environmental Sustainability — Tips for Students. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 Oct. 2012. <http://www.goucher.edu/x23340.xml>.
This article is similar to the one by UC Berkeley. It explains how students can become more sustainable on campus. They are just little things that are easy for everyone to do.
“How to Go Green: Recycling.” TreeHugger. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 Oct. 2012. <http://www.treehugger.com/htgg/how-to-go-green-recycling.html>.
This article gives recycling tips. It allows me to make sure I am recycling correctly and telling people how to recycle correctly. It gives a lot of information not only on paper and plastic recycling, but all sorts of recycling that can be helpful knowledge.
“In Your Room.” - Pomona College. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Oct. 2012. <http://www.pomona.edu/administration/sustainability/students/room.aspx>.
This page gives information on ways to conserve energy in a dorm room and perform a dorm room audit. This is specific to Pomona College, but it gives a lot of great ideas for OWU students.
“Interesting Environmental Facts.” ThinkQuest. Oracle Foundation, n.d. Web. 02 Oct. 2012. <http://library.thinkquest.org/11353/facts.htm>.
These very interesting facts are to be used on the information sheets to make students more knowledgeable. It has fun facts about environmental issues that would pertain to the everyday day life of students such as plastic bags, recycled paper, cans, etc.
Monthly Data Sheet
Sean gave me an excel document with all the months electricity for 2011. He said he would soon give me the months of 2012. I can use these documents to compare energy usage from the start of the project to the finish of my project.
“NatureMill Automatic Compost Bin.” NatureMill Automatic Compost Bin. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 Oct. 2012. <http://www.naturemill.com/products.html>.
This website is not necessarily helpful to Bigelow Reed specifically, but rather to house guide. One of the subjects is composting. This gives information about composting and how much it would cost to get an easy composter.
“Planning Ahead – Green Living.” St. Lawrence University. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Oct. 2012. <http://www.stlawu.edu/class/page/38>.
This page by St. Lawrence University gives advice on how to plan ahead when buying college items. This is good information to consider in college and will be good information to include in my energy audit.
Pomona College. “Dorm Room Energy Audit.” Sustainability. Pomona College, n.d. Web. 16 Oct. 2012. <http://www.pomona.edu/administration/sustainability/resources/publications/Dormenergyaudit.pdf>.
This is an example of a dorm room energy audit by Pomona College. It is a great basis for creating an OWU centered student audit.
Sean is a valuable resource in that he’s helping me with starting recycling around the house. He is my go to person when asking questions about all of the aspects to my project. We have gone over the dynamics of the house together and he has given me great ideas of how to fulfill my project.
St. Lawrence University. “Greening Your Dorm Room.” The St. Lawrence University Green Pages. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Oct. 2012. <http://www.stlawu.edu/green/sites/stlawu.edu.green/files/DormAudit.pdf>.
This is an example of a dorm room energy audit by St. Lawrence University. It is a great basis for creating an OWU centered student audit.
“The Advantages Of Motion Sensor Light Switches.” The Advantages Of Motion Sensor Light Switches. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 Oct. 2012. <http://articles.submityourarticle.com/the-advantages-of-motion-sensor-light-switches-176551>.
This article highlights the advantages of motion sensor lights. They save the consumer money, help protect the environment, and create a sense of safety. These pros can be extremely helpful in college houses.
“Turning off the Juice.” New Lasers Bring New Precision for APOL Group. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 Oct. 2012. <http://www.ucar.edu/communications/staffnotes/0412/juice.html>.
This article explains the advantages and effects of the “Turn off the juice” stickers.
“What You Can Do.” Home. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 Oct. 2012. <http://greencomputing.berkeley.edu/you-do.html>.
This article by UC Berkeley explains sustainable tips for students. It describes how students can change day-to-day activities slightly to make their environment more sustainable.