Dorm Rooms Going Green
DU launches Green Room Certification program
All the little things that people do can add up to make a big difference. That’s the message to students from DU’s Center for Sustainability as it revamps its Green Room Certification program.
The idea is to get students accustomed to making sustainable and green decisions while they are living in the residence halls, all in hopes that they will continue these practices once they move off campus.
“Knowing that you’ve done the right thing to help the environment is a great start. But doing these kinds of things can also save you money and can save you time,” says Emily Schosid, the graduate student lead for the Center for Sustainability’s energy outreach programs. “Many of these practices have so many other benefits than just saving the planet.”
The center provides students a checklist of things they can do to make their rooms more sustainable. Some of the action items include:
- unplugging electronics when they are not in use
- opting for reusable bags, water bottles and dishes
- equipping lamps and light fixtures with energy-efficient bulbs and only using them when there’s not enough natural light
- adding plants to rooms to create fresh air
“I care a lot about my impact on the environment,” says first-year student Kayley Winkelman. “Sustainability to me means living in a way that reduces your impact on the world. Hopefully the little things that I do can add up to make a big difference.”
With helping the environment in mind, the residence halls competed in an energy challenge in February to see which dorm could conserve the most energy. The Towers won an ice cream party after reducing electrical usage by over 10 percent and cutting back on water usage by 55 percent compared to the five-year average for the month of February.
The Center for Sustainability was founded in 2012 as the hub for sustainability-related activities on campus. Some of its other programs include community food gardens, zero waste at athletics events and the PioGears Bike Shop. The University of Denver has committed to being carbon neutral by 2050.