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Greentopia Ecofest

Greentopia Ecofest

Going green. It’s a simple idea but a big process. Many students are trying to join the movement by recycling, using less plastic or paper, conserving energy, and most importantly spreading the word about why sustainability is so important.
On September 10th to the 16th, Greentopia Fest was celebrated in Rochester, NY.  This ecofestival was a great opportunity for the Visual Communication graduate students (many from the Communication Media and Technology program) to visit and enjoy a wide variety of green vendors, visit a farmers market and enjoy organic food among other green things! It was also a great venue for RIT to participate in the movement to share and gain ideas about going green.

When festival-goers stopped at the RIT tent, they were greeted by a table of Visual Communication graduate students. The purpose of this stand was to exhibit designed signage strategized by the graduate students and created by RIT student Ryan Rich for a grant funded project dedicated to sustainability on RIT’s Campus. Students had postcards, posters, laptop stickers, light switch stickers and magnets on display. Most of these contained two main messages: “Unplug” and “Lights Off.” A poster also mentioned “everyone knows it’s better in the dark.”

The goal for these Visual Communication students was to gauge reactions from the Greentopia attendees about the newly designed. The results of this research will help to define the visual campaign for the sustainability project at RIT. The first stage of the project is to determine if visual messages will have any impact on students’ energy saving practices when living in dormitories. The visual messages urge students to save more energy by switching off their lights and unplugging their chargers when they’re not using them.

The surveys conducted at Greentopia determined that festival goers found the “Lights Off” message an easier task than “unplugging” but that many of them already turn off their lights so maybe unplugging would have a bigger impact if students bought into that message. When it came to their visual preferences and preferences of medium, viewers said they liked the idea of stickers that would glow in the dark and magnets.

The sustainability project is quickly moving forward and the graduate students hope to get more students involved in creating awareness about sustaining energy at RIT. The class is starting to get some attention on campus as University News caught wind of the campaign and published a story about Greentopia and the Visual Comminications efforts, read here.


Logistics Group Enid / Kurt Meeting

Hello All,

Lisa Barber and I, on behalf of the Logistics Group, met with Enid Cardinal and Kurt Ingerick today to discuss some practical aspects of the campaign. Here is what we found:


We have access to floor plans, but considering there are three resident floors in three buildings, with the addition of a ground floor on Building 400 (making a total of 10 blueprints), I will save some space here. I also do not suppose we should publicly post floor plans to student living quarters.

  • The building consists of suites that house 4 single rooms and 1 double for a total of 6 people in one suite
  • The ADA rooms have 2 singles and 1 double for those who are in need of accessibility purposes
  • The residential hall consists of 3 floors; students have access to all 3 buildings
  • Specialty areas for students of the same major including the entrepreneur floor from the students in COB – could be targeted as test subjects

The main floor of Building 400 consists of a study room/laundry room/ and kitchen which leads into a conference room (may not be high traffic for students since that room can be reserved by outsiders – that is actually also used by executives from outside of RIT, we should make sure the campaign is generally inoffensive)

High-Traffic Areas:

Places that would receive high traffic include:

  • multiple study rooms with magnetic whiteboards  – one area on the second floor had 4 study rooms with a full kitchen
  • media rooms that include a projector/screen, primarily used to test video games
  • lobby/hang out areas with flat screen TVs and furniture
  • laundry room (includes a flat screen TV and a study room on the other side, connected by a glass window)
  • recycling and trash room per floor

Distribution Possibilities & Limitations:

  • All common areas have light sensors
  • All bedrooms do NOT have light sensors but use highly efficient light bulbs. This will definitely be our heavy focus areas to target student behavior.

Communication Avenues:

  • Writing messages on the white boards next to each suite entrance which includes a grip strip for RAs to leave notes and a small metal area for magnets
  • Global Gazette, an electronic newsletter read by students
  • Star Res, a student message center that is used to update students of inspections per month-not very dynamic
  • RAs distribute out fliers to suites
  • RAs facilitate joint programs and hold mandatory monthly meetings with food
  • Mailboxes are not within the building, they are located in the Hub across from the resident hall, but we have access to place things in individual PO Boxes.


  • the suite doors are not magnetic, the double doors in the hallway are
  • We cannot post on walls outside of Laundry or Garbage/Recycling Rooms (and in there we must use command strips)
  • We cannot post on glass
  • We ought to use recycled materials when possible
  • No stickers


  • We can use Table Tents on the many pieces of furniture
  • We can create and install light switch plates



  • Primarily Sophomores
  • Meaning they are coming from the dorms, they have not lived in Global Village previously and will not live there next year


  • Students can be narrowed down through a database that Kurt has access to so that we can target specific nationalities, interests, genders, and majors
  • The database can also target student backgrounds and has the capability to email students by floor, by building, whatever we desire


  • a mix between “responsible and slightly unaccountable.”
  • There is a universal respect for each others belongings

On-going Investigations:

  • In instituting our control we should figure out how often students mingle in between buidlings.
  • Harold who oversees the GV Hall; he would be a great person to meet with in the near future to get an understanding and natural sense of the hal

Overall, the campaign and design of the signs/stickers should be in line with the aesthetics of the building to maintain the level of prestige that exists in Global Village but still engage students.

Here are some lovely pictures that Lisa took.