William & Mary has been harking upon the green, but you may ask, what has Residence Life been doing to be more sustainable?
New and Continuing Initiatives
- Since 2010-2011, Residence Life has expanded its recycling services to include collection areas in common area kitchens and other specially designated areas in the residences. Residents are able to recycle cans, glass, plastic and paper in these locations. To make recycling even more convenient and easy small personal recycling bins are provided in every student room and the exterior collection containers remain stationed adjacent to trash dumpsters.
In addition to these new collection points and in cooperation with Facilities Management, the Residence Life recycling staff also services the small exterior recycling containers across campus. Thirty new exterior collection sites have been added for the 2012-2012 academic year.
- In 2011-2012, we partnered with interested students partnering a composting program in Sorority Court, which will continue for the 2012-2013 academic year.
- This summer, we continued our mattress recycing program with National Mattress Recyclying (NMR), a company that specializes in recycling mattresses and 'soft' furniture. This will mean 204 less mattresses and 9,996 poundsof rcycled materials are not in local landfills. NMR is able to reccle 90% of every mattress they receive.
What can you do?
- Make sure that the appliances you bring from home are energy efficient and carry the "energy star" rating.
- Turn off appliances when you aren't home. Plug in all of your chargers into one power strip so that you can turn them off when not in use - that way they won't be pulling power all day!
- If you have an approved window AC unit - turn it off or down when you aren't in the room. It doesn't take long to cool a room and even though most people think you should always leave a room cool, you actually use less energy leaving the AC off while the room is unoccupied.
- Use the recycling container in your room to recycle paper, cans, and approved plastics.
What We Have Already Done
- In 2009-2010, the initial year of the Eco-Ambassador student program, two of our staff worked with an Ambassador to research additional green furnishing products and options for recycling old furniture.
- We collaborated with the College's Committee on Sustainability for the local Goodwill to staff a collection during move-out.
- We collaborated with the College's Committee on Sustainability to install plastic sheet covers in public bathrooms for flyers providing information about energy conservation and other efforts to improve sustainability.
- This summer, we continued our program of mattress recycling with a company that specializes in recycling mattresses and ‘soft' furniture. This will mean 300 less mattresses in a local landfill yearly.
- Several years ago, when we renegotiated the laundry services contract, we replaced all of the top load washers for front loading models. Front loaders use less water and the spin cycle leaves the clothes drier - which mean less energy is required to dry the clothes.
- In cooperation with Facilities Management, we have funded the replacement of toilets, showerheads and sink aerators with low flow models designed to conserve water in all of our buildings. All of our current and replacement fixtures meet the low flow standard.
- With the help of Facilities Management, we have also funded the replacement of our public area lighting in the halls with fluorescent fixtures. This includes the replacement for the small incandescent lights in the decorative chandeliers fluorescent bulbs (CLF) in Barrett, Chandler and Landrum.
- For several years now, we have worked with the Student Environmental Action Coalition (SEAC) and funded the distribution of a fluorescent light bulb (CFL) for every entering freshman at check-in.
- During the summer of 2008, we partnered with the Residence Hall Association to place energy conservation stickers on light switch plates in all of our buildings.
- Although the initial grant from the Student Assembly was exhausted years ago, we have continued to fund the purchase of blue recycling bins for each student room.
- All of the refrigerators, microwaves and stoves that we purchase for use in our kitchens are "Energy Star" rated.
- The Jamestown Residence Halls are LEED Silver certified. This means that the construction, design, furnishings and upkeep meet specific standards in green construction and operations.
- All new porch furniture and picnic tables are made of recycled plastic materials.
- As much as possible, older furniture is recovered and/or repaired for use in the residence halls. The lounges in some of our buildings are completely furnished with refurbished items.
- We have worked with charities to find homes for older and obsolete room furniture. Working with a former resident and staff member, we were able to provide room furniture for a new halfway house for recovering drug abusers.
- We partnered with the College's Committee on Sustainability to provide hangers for public bathrooms encouraging students to strive for less than five minute showers.
- We are committed to reducing our own use of paper and have converted many of our operations to online processes. Our staff is encouraged to print double-sided, double paged, and on recycled paper.
- The toilet paper and paper towels used in all public restrooms in the residence halls are green seal products. We have been using them since 2005.
- Paper products purchased for use in the Programming Resource Center (PRC) are from recycled products. The copier paper is 30% post-consumer waste, and the construction paper is 50% recycled fibers.
- We have posted more of our information online and have discontinued the printing and mailing of our Housing Contract and Resource Guide.
What we are doing now?
- As a pilot project in DuPont, we are working with students who are trying to determine if the addition of a dedicated trash container in each room (in addition to the recycling bin already there) will result in more recycling and less disposal of trash.
- We are looking into more efficient ways to recycle or reuse older furniture either through donations, reuse or recycling materials.
- As funding allows, we are installing motion sensors in public spaces. This will allow us to save energy by not burning lights in unoccupied rooms.
- In summer 2009, we installed new hand soap dispensers and a green soap - Symmetry: a green product that foams when used.
- We are investigating and testing new products which are green seal. They include floor stripper (RUBY) and floor finish (PEARL). These were used in Tazewell Hall and promise to give us more wear (several years between stripping times), better shine, and when removed, an earth friendly by-product.
- A bulletin board competition for RAs was held in conjunction with America Recycles Day.