Green Dorm Pilot Launches in Stouffer

March 20, 2013

Students' daily choices impact the University's overall sustainability initiatives. With the enthusiastic involvement of Stouffer College House, the Green Campus Partnership has introduced the Green Dorm program, a tangible acknowledgement of students who exhibit exceptional environmental conscientiousness on a personal level.

Participating students can earn points for their green lifestyle choices, which are assigned values based on their impact and level of difficulty. Some examples includeeating with re-usable dishware and utensils, using cold water settings when washing clothes, taking showers less than 5 minutes in length, or joining an environmental group on campus. A minimum of 40 points is required to achieve certification. "All participating students will receive a decal celebrating their achievement, which can be placed outside their room or in another visible location," said Julian Goresko, Sustainability Student Outreach Associate. Outcomes of the Stouffer pilot will be reviewed over the summer, to plan for a roll out to all College Houses in the near future.

Kristin Zuhone, one of three Eco-Reps in Stouffer, along with Michael Schatz and Emily Gurniak, elected to pilot Green Dorm as their Eco-Rep Group Project for Spring. They believed that the Stouffer community would prove receptive to Green Dorm for two reasons: a heightened interest in environmental sustainability following their victory in the Fall 2012 Power Down Challenge, and a persistent spirit of competitiveness among the residents. According to Ms. Zuhone, they are presenting the launch of Green Dorm as a competition among the floors and sections of the College House (in both buildings, Stouffer and Mayer). "Our previous successes with the Fall 2011 composting competition and Fall 2012 light-counting competition during the Power Down Challenge attest to the effectiveness of competitions in our community," she explained.

The floor or section with the highest percentage of residents achieving Green Dorm certification between March 16 and April 13 will receive environmentally themed gift baskets for all its residents. The Eco-Reps in Stouffer will concentrate their efforts on collaboration with their ten GAs and two Faculty Fellows, online publicity of the Green Dorm program, promotional events and advertising campaigns, giveaways and educational initiatives, as well as follow-up surveys as metrics of success.


Penn’s Climate Action Plan 2.0 includes a goal to increase the University’s recycling rate to 30% by 2019.

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