Rooms to be labeled as green
The Certified Green Room program, a part of the Campus Sustainability Initiative that recognizes students who pledge to take environmentally friendly measures in their rooms, was launched Oct. 9, according to Sustainability Coordinator Janna Cohen-Rosenthal '03 in an interview with the Justice.Students who register on the Green Room Web site must commit to practice at least 10 of the 20 measures in order to get their rooms certified. The items that students can select are divided into five categories: energy, food, waste, laundry and "get involved."
Around 100 students have signed up to register their rooms as Green Rooms, Cohen-Rosenthal said.
The Green Room program is an effort to bring more awareness to campus about sustainability ahead of a planned program in November that will challenge students to lower their energy usage, said Cohen-Rosenthal.
The Campus Sustainability Initiative was also involved with the Climate Action Plan's release on Sept. 15. The plan, which pledges to lower the University's carbon emissions, was an inspiration for the Green Room program, according to Cohen-Rosenthal, because it discusses the importance of lowering energy consumption.
"Over the next five years, we want to see a 5-percent reduction from students' energy use, and we had researched that with a sustained effort like this, that would be doable," said Cohen-Rosenthal.
"Obviously we would love everyone to have a Green Room," said Cohen-Rosenthal.
She continued, "That is probably some time off, so we are just working on educating the community about different steps and trying to make those things simple and easy to do."
Students registering for certification must pledge to do things such as use fluorescent light bulbs, practice good recycling habits and keep bottled water out of their rooms.
Eco-rep Aka Kovacikova '11 said that eco-reps were involved in compiling the criteria for a Certified Green Room. "The eco-reps are students who are paid to do peer education about energy conservation and recycling in their quads," said Cohen-Rosenthal.
"We found things that students are already doing and using things that they could be doing, and we kind of compiled a list and went from there. We wanted to make it really accessible for students," Kovacikova said.
At this point, there is no set system to ensure that registered rooms adhere to the Green Room standards, according to Hannah Saltman '12, the vice president of Students for Environmental Action. "Depending on how many people sign up we may have some sort of check-in point in a few months, but I think since the program is just starting, we haven't hammered out those details just yet," said Saltman.
"I think the idea is to keep on the people who sign up, to keep on inspiring them to do more green stuff. . We're not going to follow up in a kind of a Big Brother way, [but in] more of an inspirational way," said Cohen-Rosenthal.
She also said that the program would be beneficial financially to both students and the University. "A lot of actions on the list are things that would save students money, like not owning a car, or would save the University money, like keeping your windows closed when the heat is on," said Cohen-Rosenthal.
Saltman said that while the eco-reps are the students who will be most involved with the day-to-day workings of the program, SEA is working to educate students about the program and other sustainability initiatives on campus.
-Harry Shipps and Nashrah Rahman contributed reporting
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