Indiana University pushes for green living in residence halls

Indiana University in Bloomington has begun a program that enables students to have their residence hall rooms certified as “green.”

The university's Green Dorm Room Certification Program specifies 40 criteria (see criteria here) that students can review to determine whether their rooms qualify as green. A room must meet at least 20 of the criteria to be certified as green.

The university says in a news release that the purpose of the program is to:

  • Provide students living in the residence halls a model for living sustainably in their rooms and beyond.
  • Connect students to sustainability-related community and campus organizations, as well as faculty working on sustainability-related projects.
  • Provide students a framework for educating their peers about sustainability and to connect with one another.

Criteria are organized in eight categories -- energy, water, transportation, recycling, computing, laundry, involvement and other -- to provide students a model for living sustainably in their rooms and beyond.

"Our goal is to have at least 100 students certify their rooms by the end of the fall semester," says Bridget Flynn, the sustainability and the first-year experience coordinator with the IU Office of Sustainability.

Some criteria, such as "I open shades or curtains to utilize natural light when indoors, instead of using more lighting" and "I turn off water while brushing teeth," provide students simple actions for reducing their ecological footprint while living in the residence halls. Additionally, the program encourages engagement in sustainability-related activities outside the residence halls through criteria such as "I take sustainability-based courses" and "I am a member of a sustainability-related extracurricular group."

The university says it hopes the Green Dorm Room Certification Program will empower students to form healthful and sustainable living habits.

To learn more about the program, click here.

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