RIT Housing Operations is committed to maintaining sustainable practices and researching new ways to improve its environmental efforts. The programs and initiatives in Housing focus on reducing RIT’s carbon footprint and educating the community about the importance of sustainability and conservation.
To view the Student Auxiliary Services Sustainability Mission Statement, click here.
Sustainability Themed Learning Community
Members of this community will interact with RIT faculty, staff, and the local community to explore the different areas of sustainability and develop a project in their favorite area. This may include field trips, behind-the-scenes tours, project meetings, and social events with delicious locally grown food. Students who participate will grow intellectually and socially as they discover how they can be a steward of our natural resources.
Low VOC (volatile organic compound) paints are used in all remodeling and renovation projects. This results in cleaner air and a healthier environment in student living spaces.
Carpet tile, in place of broadloom, is used in most housing areas. The tiles have a high recycled content, are recyclable, and allow for single tile replacement (rather than an entire room) if staining occurs.
Eco-friendly cleaning chemicals are used throughout common student living areas. This green housekeeping concept creates a safer living space for building users and is much better for the environment.
Efforts to conserve energy and water within Housing Operations are ongoing. Learn more about those efforts here.
All of Global Village‘s residential suites use tankless water heaters, which conserve energy by heating water on-demand and eliminating the need to maintain the temperature of large water tanks. Global Village also makes use of solar light pipes in lobbies. Solar light pipes channel sunlight into rooms, providing more natural light and reducing lighting expenses.
Vegetative swales (also called bioswales) were constructed along Charles Perkins Road adjacent to the Perkins Apartment complex and along all three buildings that comprise the Global Village complex. The vegetation in the bioswales filter contaminants in runoff water in order to prevent contamination of the watershed.
LEED certification for the Global Village housing complex is pending.
Clothing and Book Donations
At the end of every quarter the Center for Residence Life coordinates a clothing recycling drive. Blue Goodwill collections bins are put out to collect unwanted clothing, shoes and books. The drives have been very successful. Collection totals for the past 3 years have been:
2011 – 12,975 lbs
2010 – 11,750 lbs
2009 – 12,800 lbs
Old furniture from newly renovated units is donated to Flower City Habitat for Humanity to sell in their retail store. Proceeds go toward the construction of new Flower City Habitat for Humanity homes.
A majority of forms and notices have been recreated online and Housing Facilities Operations staff now receive all work requests though iTouch devices. These initiatives reduce thousands of pages of paper waste annually, as well as improve departmental efficiencies.
Air hand dryers are installed in all newly constructed public restrooms, eliminating paper towel waste.
The fleet of gasoline-powered utility vehicles has been replaced with electric vehicles.
What You Can Do
It is important to remember that individual decisions and actions have an impact. Here are some easy ways for you to help:
- Turn off lights and other electrically powered equipment, like computers, when not in use.
- Unplug chargers when not in use.
- When purchasing a mini refrigerator for your residence hall room, make sure that it is Energy Star compliant.
- Use energy efficient lighting, such as LED and compact fluorescent bulbs.
- Save water by taking shorter showers and turning off the faucet when you are brushing your teeth.
- Keep windows and exterior doors closed during times that air conditioning and heating systems are operating.
- Dress for the weather so you can turn your thermostat down in the winter heating season and up in the summer cooling season.
- If you can’t reuse something, donate or recycle it!
- Get involved with sustainability on campus and stay informed on the latest sustainability topics, news and events.
Have an idea or want to help Housing further their sustainability efforts? Contact Kurt Ingerick, Director of Facilities, Sustainability & Conservation for Student Auxiliary Services.