energy efficient college campus

How Do You "Green" Your Dorm?

Here in the next few weeks freshman and college students will be moving into their dorm rooms anticipating the start of their college adventure. Parents and their kids have now spent a lot of time in stores looking for what is needed for the dorm room, but two questions still linger...did I buy too much and do I really need it?
But lets back up and start with the basics of college dorms. The standard dorm room is around 228 square feet. How in the world can we spend so much time searching for the right items to bring and buy? Maybe we should be looking at minimizing clutter and going "green" this time around. It might just save parents and kids a lot of money and stress.   
"Greening" of dorm rooms is becoming a very large trend in the larger universities within the United States. Many common items that you would buy for a dorm room come in a "green" form. Those items can include: organic sheets, bed set, biodegradable laundry detergent and cleaning products. 
Besides the many items that come in "green" form schools are actually taking it one step further. Schools are now tailoring dorms to those that would like to live in a sustainable environment. Such universities as Duke, Brown and Stanford have paved the way on this initiative. Duke University set's up a green dorm room for visual teaching during the summer months when prospective students are visiting the campus. These new dorms feature LED lighting, smart power strips, energy efficient appliances and drying racks. Some universities have even go so far as to place composting toilets and geothermal heating in dorm rooms.
After universities starting converting dorm rooms to be more sustainable students thought it may be a good idea to continue the green theme and have a green dorm checklist. For this green dorm checklist each student would go through their daily behaviors and check the boxes that applied. Once it was completed they would discuss the habits with a Dorm Eco-Rep and see where they can improve. 
Some universities have shared their energy saving statistics so we would like to share them with you and show how the dorms are making a difference. 
  • 20% Estimated reduction in energy use at Stanford's green dorms.
  • 968,073 Pounds of CO2 Tulane could save annually by creating green dorms across the whole campus.
  • 30% Estimated reduction in energy and water at Tufts University green dorm room building.
Green dorms may not be for everyone and the universities know that, but if you are an eco fan and heading to college do some online searching. You may be very surprised that the university you are interested in has a green dorm building.

Energy Efficiency in March Madness

My brackets were busted before the first point was scored in March Madness 2013. My commissioner failed me and The Hulk Hogan Hair Club for Men (don't judge me by the company I keep) failed to host a pick'em pool.  Apparently traveling for work trumped getting the group page up and going, and there were promises up to the 11th hour that there would be a pool, yet here I sit--at my desk late in March with no score feeds downsized on my computer screen for the first time in 12 years.  Hell, there are games on right now--AND I'M WORKING!  All is not right with the world.

The most exciting thing I have going for me is our friends over at the Alliance to Save Energy came up with the EE Eight, the eight most energy efficiency campuses in the NCAA tournament.  I would not have chosen any of these to go to the Big Dance, but it's a nice list all the same.

For the record I would have seated Gonzaga and Louisville--I always send Gonzaga beyond where a reasonable person should and I don't even have  good cause for it, but this year--THIS YEAR! they're going in ranked #1 in the West. As for Louisville, well come on now, wouldn't you? Oh probably did and you're probably loving it.

Photo Credit: Gonzaga University