Positive Peer Pressure Greens Campuses

Positive peer pressure and pizza were apparently what helped interns from the Alliance to Save Energy‘s Green Campus Program motivate college students to save energy during the  Campus Conservation Nationals, a  a nationwide competition between college and university residence halls.

The inaugural competition, sponsored by Lucid Design Group, lasted for three weeks in November 2010. During this time, a number of residence halls competed against one another for the title of greenest dorm, and for the title of greenest school (taken, this year by DePauw University). Among them were six Green Campus schools in California – Cal Poly Pomona, Humboldt State University, San Diego State University, UC Irvine, UC Santa Cruz and UC San Diego – which, all told, managed to save their schools $485,000 in utility bills.

Campus Conservation Nationals

image via Alliance to Save Energy

According to the Alliance to Save Energy, interns at UC San Diego met with Residential Advisers in dorms that would be participating in the challenge months in advance in order to build support; after the challenge, winning dorms were rewarded with pizza or ice cream parties. At Cal Poly Pomona, an online pledge got students to publicly commit to energy-saving behaviors during and after the competition. And at UC Berkeley, interns actually started teaching a class called “Energy DeCal” during a teacher furlough period that has now become a regular course offering.

All of which is aimed at educating college students – particularly incoming freshman – about the big effects that simple habits such as using a power strip, turning off lights and taking the stairs (rather than riding the elevator) can on have on the environment.

Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.

    • Anonymous

      Spend thrift University of California Chancellors bleeds resources from greening. nn(The author who has 35 yearsu2019 consulting experience, hasntaught at UC Berkeley (Cal)nwhere he was able to observe the culture & the way senior management work)nnnu00a0nnnUniversity of California BerkeleynChancellor Birgeneau ($500,000 salary) has forgotten that he is a publicnservant, steward of the public money, not overseer of his own fiefdom (thesenare not isolated examples): recruits (uses California tax $) out of staten$50,000 tuition students that displace qualified Californians from publicnuniversity education; spends $7,000,000 + for consultants to do his & manynvice chancellors jobs (prominent EastnCoast university accomplishing same 0 cost); pays ex Michigan governorn$300,000 for lectures; in procuring a $3,000,000nconsulting firm he failed to receive proposals from other firms; Latinonenrollment drops while out of state jumps 2010; u00a0tuition to Return on Investment drops belowntop10; NCAA places basketball program on probation: absence institutionalncontrol.nnnItu2019s all shameful. There is no justification for suchnpractices by a steward of the public trust. Absolutely none. u00a0nnnu00a0nnnBirgeneauu2019s practices will not change. UC Board of RegentsnChair Sherry Lansing and President Yudof must do a better job of vigorously enforcingnoversight than has been done in the past over Chancellors who, like Birgeneau,nsee the university as their fiefdom.nnnu00a0nnnUntil action is applied by the Board of Regents tonchancellors, like Birgeneau, u00a0the University of California shouldnu2019t come to thenGovernor or public for support for any tax increase. u00a0nnn