It has been a pretty busy few weeks for the Residential Sustainability Program! Our coordinators and our volunteers have been working diligently during this time on a number of new projects! This has been a pretty productive time for us, and we encourage you all if you haven’t been able to make it out to join us on these projects and offer your input!
One of the most common wastes of energy that takes place in the residence halls is the use of elevators, especially amongst those who live on the first three or four floors of a building. We have successfully completed fliers to go in all of the residence halls that will discourage residents from using the elevator when they don’t have to and to encourage them instead to take the stairs and save energy! Our fliers include information on calories burnt versus watts burnt – and the numbers are significant!
One of the nice things about living in the Bay Area is that our water is of very high quality! With that said, it is one of the resources we waste most – via unnecessarily long showers, leaky faucets and shower heads, excessive loads of laundry, etc. As such, we’ve been working on fliers for permanent placement in bathrooms all across the residence halls that will promote smart usage of waters. Just as a note, for any leaky faucets and shower heads, please tell your Resident Assistant or submit a maintenance request at http://maintenance.housing.berkeley.edu!
This project is still in development, but following one of the Environmental Professor Panels that our Coordinator Louis Spanias held there has been expressed interest in holding a panel about Energy specifically. The panel would consist of both professors and other energy industry professionals that would discuss new technologies and practices that help to save energy! Additionally, Louis gave a presentation to the Residential Sustainability Program (which will be posted on the website soon!) about energy use! This is something that we hope shall come to fruition!
One of our other coordinators, Tiffany, has been working extensively with Cal Dining on a number of different issues – including the implementation of Meatless Mondays across the Dining Commons, as well as working on serving higher quality food to students, reducing portions, and increasing student input! We have already taken the time to observe the habits of residents at Cafe 3 and see which foods they were throwing away more than others – the first step of many in increasing the quality of food and hopefully making dining at the DCs more sustainable!
We haven’t gotten started on this yet, particularly because there isn’t too much to grow this time of year. However, going into the Spring, we will be making the effort to reinvigorate and bring back the Foothill Garden in Unit 4 so that we can sustainably grow excellent vegetables that can be accessed by residents and volunteers alike!
Recycling Bins – Bowles and Stern Halls
Louis successfully worked with the facility manager in Unit 4 to install Recycling Bins in all residential living spaces in Bowles Hall for the first time in its 84-year history! He is currently working on the installation of bins in Stern Hall as well, and will ultimately be heading up a number of other projects in Unit 4 which include bringing back the battery / cartridge recycling stations, and implementing paper towel composting going into next year!
There is a whole lot more that we’ve been doing – so please keep your eyes open! Our next meeting is next Wednesday, February 27th at 7 PM in Unit 2, Towle L-11!