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April 22, 2009 -
For a college campus to successfully go green, the students must buy-in to the green culture. There’s no better time to start that education than in the freshman year, when most students are housed on campus.
One place to start is to tap into the competitive spirit students have. In the dorms, students never see a utility bill. Having no idea how much water or electricity they’re using can lead to waste. Some universities have begun providing students with incentives to reduce energy use, water consumption and waste.
For example, a friendly competition between dorms could offer prizes like a pizza party to whichever one can lower its energy bill the most. The prize could be paid for by a percentage of the savings, so the more savings, the better the prize.
Some facilities have energy management systems utilizing computers for students to monitor their own energy consumption. But simply posting the utility consumption as a dorm, either in dollars or volume, at the front desk will help the students understand their consumption and fuel the competition.