This is Jarrett. Jarrett is a really smart and conscientious first-year who, with his roommate Wendell, decided to take on the Sustainability Fellows' Green Audit. Jarrett and Wendell were very successful in this endeavor-- they earned an overall score of 90% green for their room, which earned them giftcards to locales such as The Going Green Store and Village Coffee, along with some other goodies.
Completing the Green Audit required that Jarrett and Wendell read the Green Audit Guide that was released this semester by DSF. This guidebook contains a handful of checklists related to sustainable living. Water usage, energy usage, appliances, accessories, and lifestyle habits that are sustainable are all detailed and assigned a certain number of points, which are then factored into an overall score. Sustainability Fellows visit the rooms of first-years who have given this challenge a shot, and recognition and prizes are bestowed upon those who manage to create rooms that are 60% or more green.
Jarrett and Wendell reflecting on how they can help better their environment.
The lifestyle changes suggested by the guide are pretty easy to implement. Some of the criteria include setting your fridge's temperature to between 36 and 39 degrees, consistently using a reusable water bottle, and unplugging your coffee maker when you're not using it. You even get points for liking DSF on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/DenisonSustainabilityFellows) and following us on Twitter (https://twitter.com/DSFgoearth)!
Other than the fame and glory that come with surmounting this challenge (and giftcards), there are several reasons it is worth reexamining your habits and the small, easy ways, you can modify them in order to be more ecologically conscious.
For example, using cleaning products and personal products that are biodegradable and toxin-free is not only good for the natural environment, as doing so helps reduce toxin and waste buildup, but it's good also for your immediate environment! By reducing your exposure to toxic chemicals, you reduce your chances of contracting a slough of nasty diseases. Although as college students we don't yet have the responsibility of paying bills, reducing electricity and water usage can cut those costs by a lot. By committing yourself to use less plastic (by bringing your own fork to meal-ex, or drinking water from your own re-useable bottle), you're essentially saying no to the gross overuse of oil in our economy.
While the Fellows are finished conducting audits for the fall semester, look out for us again in the spring!