Going Green, One Room at a Time – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Going Green, One Room at a Time

For a second year, the Colleges will offer the opportunity for students to have their rooms certified “green.” The Green Room Certification program is designed to help students not only gain a basic level of knowledge about the Colleges’ sustainability and environmental practices, but to create a campus of sustainable living spaces.

“It’s exciting that we will be able to talk directly to students, to change their day-to-day lives and habits,” says Eco Representative Anna Dorman ’14, who is working to coordinate the program.  “To have that direct contact is really important in educating on environmental and sustainability issues.”

Students who are hoping to become “green certified” must meet a checklist of standards that will serve to dramatically reduce waste on an individual level – creating a high impact in the long term. In addition to the Green Certification, if entire floors, quads or houses achieve “green” levels, the residence will be awarded Gold Certification. By the end of September, the Offices of Sustainability hope to have 25 percent of the residential spaces on campus green certified.

Those who decide to participate in the certification program will be commended for their efforts. Not only will each certified room receive a seal and letter of thank from the President’s Climate Taskforce, but the first floor in a major residence hall to have every room certified green will receive a free breakfast buffet for the entire floor.

Participants in the certification program can prepare their room by equipping it with any number of items. The Colleges’ Office of Sustainability suggests that participants have reusable water bottles, travel mugs and shopping bags on hand.

Energy efficient light bulbs or LED lights as well as EnergyStar certified appliances – including refrigerators and televisions – will also aid the certification process. It is also highly recommended for students to have cleaning products that are biodegradable and environmentally friendly.

Students are asked to think about the amount of energy used to power an inkjet, and are urged to consider doing all printing at network printers located in the library. If participants should choose to bring a printer, FSC certified office paper is encouraged. For those really hoping to cut down on their carbon footprint, bringing a bicycle to ride to campus can make a marked difference. If a student does not have access to a bicycle, the Colleges’ Yellow Bike program provides a simple way to rent.

For more information on the Green Room Certification program, the Office of Sustainability will have a table during the annual Club Fair held on the Quad. In addition to tabling, all Residential Assistants will have sign-up sheets.

In addition to the Green Room Certification, the Office of Sustainability hopes to launch a Green Office Certification program this semester, which would allow faculty and staff to participate in the Colleges’ sustainability and environmental efforts. Beginning the year with 36 members, the Eco Representatives also plan to continue many of their popular programs including Green Handed, Recyclemania and Mug Shots.

In the photo above, students participate in sustainability efforts during a “Green” lunch during Orientation 2012.