This page is a record of events organized by sustainability commissioners from past years. It is intended to assist current commissioners with developing program ideas and encouraging participation. To have your event included here, fill out an event form.
The Environmental Commissioners of Farley Hall conducted an energy audit of each room in preparation for the Dorm Energy Competition. Around 63 rooms participated by running through an energy checklist: Energy Star Appliances, CFL Light Bulbs, Unplugged electronics/surge protectors, No recycling in garbage, Task lighting, No water bottles/ reusable water bottle/ Brita water filter, Plants, Windows closed, Thermostat not taped up. A point was given for each category if present in the room. Rooms that earned five or more points received a Grab ’n Go bag and candy. Farley totaled to 335 points with many rooms impressing the commissioners.
During the month of the Dorm Energy Competition, Farley Hall hosted a Glee watch in the basement. They provided breadsticks to encourage people to turn off their televisions and their lights and come to the basement to watch this popular television show. Educational Funding was used for the breadsticks and it was a great success!
Parietal lights were turned on and the whole dorm was lit with glowsticks on doorknobs. Glowsticks were also distributed to about 10 people who were walking around the Hall. This event was to remind people that Dorm Energy Competition was still going on and to turn off the lights they do not need. It had varying success because a lot of people were not in the dorm and the glowsticks did not provide that much light. Educational Funding was used for the glowsticks but there was not enough to buy a glowstick for every door. It did accomplish the goal to raise awareness, but it was rater late in the competition.
Each floor in Farley was teamed up with the corresponding floor from Siegfried (1st floor and the basement were grouped with the 4th floors) and competed to see who could collect the most recycling per person. There was a total of 445.2 pounds of recycling collected in Farley. The third floor was the winner and they received pizza and ice cream along with section of the year points! Educational Funding was used for the pizza and ice cream. It was a huge success!
The Sustainability Dinner allowed students to taste food from the farmers market, learn about helping their local economy, and see the impact that eating from a nearby market has on both the community and the environment. The dinner looked at eating seasonally with a focus on the ramifications of eating meat versus a primarily plant-based diet.
Recycling Bin Painting
Housekeeping staff provided us with extra trash cans around the dorm, and we painted them blue and drew white recycling symbols on them. We also made recycling posters to hang up around the dorm, reminding people to recycle and enjoyed Panera bagels, cream cheese, and orange juice. Our funding came out of our dorm’s environmental budget. The event was very successful, had great attendance, everyone who came loved it, and received awesome reviews at Hall Presidents’ Council. The only area of improvement I can think of would be having stencils to help paint on the recycling symbols. We did them free-hand and they still turned out pretty well!
Green Christmas Decorating
This event was to help decorate the dorm for Christmas while using recyclable materials. We had a competition of who could build the best wreath out of recyclable materials. The wreaths were judged and the winner received hall apparel. In order to get more wreaths built in the future I would suggest providing different recyclable materials after a section meeting so that everybody could then build theirs then and hang it on their door.
During the Dorm Energy Competition, we celebrated mass in our chapel with candlelight, rather than our usual lighting. We reused candles from previous events so there was no cost (and no additional consumption). The event was put on in conjunction with our Liturgical commissioners. We had a fairly good turnout to mass, so in that respecs it was successful. Also, the candlelight was a great way to bring awareness about our dependence on energy consumption and the ethical implications that arise with this dependence.
Water Taste Test
There was a table set up in the front lobby of the dorm during prime dinner hours, and samples of three types of water (tap, filtered water fountain water, and bottled) were distributed to passers-by. It was up to the tester to determine via ballot which water was which, purely by taste. Facts about the costs, both ecological and literal, of bottled water were posted. After the event, the results were tabulated, and percentages of correct guesses for each type of water computed. These were Emailed out to the dorm and posted in Stall Notes. The test results showed that a plurality, but not a majority, of respondents correctly identified the type of water they were drinking. Interestingly, many mistook tap water for bottled water, probably thinking it tasted different, but not really knowing what tasted “better” than another. The event was a solid success, and was the talk of the dorm that night. People were walking around the hallways asking if others had “tried the water yet?” My rector and hall staff were very much into it. The event was sponsored only by Stanford Hall Government as an academic event, and was fairly cheap. In terms of possible improvement, I see two issues: the cups used were paper, and that may have affected the taste of the water in them. Also, despite my drawing the water fountain water 6 hours in advance so that it could it could sit and attain the same temperature as other waters used, it was still somewhat colder. This could have affected the tasters, though only a few remarked on the difference in temperature as they filled out their ballots.