Issue #21– February 13, 2012
Can RIT Students Be More Sustainable?
by: Todd Northrup, Center for Residence Life Community Advocate
So can RIT students be more sustainable in the way they use energy, remove waste and be more eco-friendly? This is a goal I am hoping to help implement or work on with residents here at RIT. My name is Todd Northrup and I am a Community Advocate for Racquet Club and more importantly I am trying to educate my residents on the importance of being more sustainable. In order to prove active outreach works with sustainability, I began sending one to two weekly emails to my residents, programming, as well as advertising tips the residents can implement. I have been more proactive with the emails and advertising in one of the two Racquet Club buildings and not the other building to see if there would be any significant differences in energy usuage/utility costs with someone actively promoting sustainability principals. If proven to be successful, it could potentially be the start of a more comprehensive sustainability representative program throughout RIT Housing.
In terms of the programming I have done thus far, the first program was a Sustainability Raffle. First, I did advertising in both buildings for this event for my own programming requirements as a Community Advocate. I hung up flyers in each building's entry way doors so residents would see the flyer everyday. In terms of the actual information I handed out to residents, it was basically a checklist that the residents could fill out. The checklist is something I had found via a program that the University of Indiana does called "Ways To Green Certify Your Living Quarters". The checklist had multiple things on it such as turrning of the faucet while brushing your teeth and proper methods for doing your laundry. The response for my building was very encouraging as a few of my residents wanted to sit there and talk with me about things they do that are sustainable such as carpooling and riding their bikes whenever they can.
Some of the emails and flyers I have hung up on each floor within one of the Racquet Club buildings range from average utility bills students will face when they leave college to information about what is your water footprint. I am hoping that the students who do view this information will develop more sustainable routines. A part of our responsibility in working with students is to prepare them to be successful individuals post graduation and to get them to develop these types of sustainable habits is another way we can do that.
Has all the increased promotion and advertising worked with the residents yet? When utility and energy usage totals are measured between the building where the tips and advertising have been implemented and the one where no outreach, programming or publicity was completed, we hope to have our answer.
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