Projects & Initiatives
Quarterly Sustainability Initiatives
Campus Conservation Nationals
Energy is, at its most basic, our ability to make things happen and is the foundation of civilization. Today, we have more energy available at the tips of our fingers than at any other point in human history. Electricity in particular has helped to redefine our relationship with power as it makes access to a variety of energy uses almost ludicrously easy; and inevitably, with such ease of access comes a propensity for waste. Much of the wasteful behavior is a result of poor understanding of both the importance of energy conservation and how to go about conserving; and fortunately, combating such sources of waste is as simple as education an outreach. In that spirit, the Stanford Green Living Council leads Stanford in our participation in Campus Conservation Nationals, a joint effort by college campuses across the nation to reduce our consumption of electricity wherever possible. The event takes place in spring quarter, with an emphasis on education and outreach.
Water is perhaps Earth’s most precious resource, the compound most fundamental to the existence of life; and unfortunately, it is quickly becoming a scarce one. Water is often called a renewable resource, but such a title is a bit of a misnomer. In truth, water exists in only a finite quantity, only a small fraction of which is fresh; and unfortunately we are now using water at a much more rapid pace than it can be replenished. However, despite the serious environmental and social threat posed by overdraw of water sources, many don’t recognize the need to conserve water. Water Wars is an inter-dorm competition employing modern water monitoring technology to educate residences about the importance of water conservation.
A crucial part to sustainable living is, without doubt, recycling, or repurposing the raw materials of no longer desired products. Recycling, among other services, keeps waste out of landfills, preserves natural resources, facilitates acquisition of natural resources for manufacturers, and even creates jobs. In other words, recycling provides both environmental and social benefits. However, just as recycling is invaluable as a practice, it is also highly variant across regions. Stanford students in particular, having come from a variety of backgrounds and areas, have widely disparate experience with recycling. Thus, we kick off the school year with an education initiative to bring students across Stanford’s campus up to speed on the state of recycling at Stanford.
Throughout the year, we organize public screenings of environmental films including full length features and episodes. The purpose of these screenings is to provide students with a fun study break and to help spread awareness of a variety of important issues related to sustainability. We generally attempt to organize the screenings three times a quarter in the Arrillaga Family Dining Commons.
Earth Day at Stanford
Earth Day is a national day of sustainability outreach and education celebrated April 22nd. Each year, both the Stanford adminstration and the sustainability student groups orchestrate a campus festival to celebrate. The precise details of the event generally vary from year to year, but consistently include behavioral pledges, free give aways, sustainability crafts, education, and of course free food.
SEED (Spreading Everyday Environmentalism in Dorms) projects present opportunities for the Green Living Coordinators to implement their personal sustainability initiatives in their residence halls. Previous initiatives include placing removable timers in showers, facilitating usage of hand towels in place of paper towels, and providing residents with laundry racks to use in place of dryers. The Green Living Council provides funding for project supplies, and each Green Living Coordinator generally champions one of the several initiatives we begin each year.
Resources for Pilot Projects in Student Residences
For students that have designed pilot projects and behavior change interventions in the GLC Training Course, we offer access to funding and other resources to help members actually implement their projects.
Promoting Behavior Change at Stanford: The Fall Quarter GLC Training Course
In order to provide Green Living Coordinators with the training and resources to maximize their effectiveness as sustainability advocates, the GLC offers a 1 or 2-unit course in the fall quarter which focuses on strategies for successful behavior change campaigns. Taught in partnership with Professor Tom Robinson at the Stanford School of Medicine, the course draws on scientifically-tested ideas from the fields of psychology, sociology, social marketing, communications, design, and others. Students learn the basics and apply them to a final project by designing a sustainable behavior change intervention, focusing on at least one behavior or habit they'd like to address in their residence.
Last modified Fri, 21 Jun, 2013 at 20:43