|Submission Date||June 30, 2017|
|4.00 / 4.00||
Office of Environmental Policy
EcoMadness is a month long competition, held in 37 residence halls across six dorm areas around campus, encouraging mostly first- and second- year students to reduce their usage of energy and water. Students who are particularly interested may volunteer to be EcoCaptains to motivate their peers from within the dorm. Examples include putting posters up throughout the dorm, organizing hallway study sessions to conserve energy relating to light fixtures, and holding events to raise awareness and provide ideas of what students can do in their dorms to conserve energy and water. At the end of the competition the dorm buildings that were able to reduce their total and per capita consumption of energy and water the most receive certificates of recognition and an ice cream party. Additionally, energy offsets are bought by the university for the amount of carbon offset by the competition.
EcoCaptains communicate with a student Office of Environmental Policy intern who instructs them of their duties and provides a variety of ways to reach out to their fellow students. They may also email the student intern with any other questions to supplement their training throughout the course of the competition. EcoCaptains are also required to e-mail a weekly update on how the competition is going for them (what they're doing, what they plan to do, achievements they've had during the week, challenges they've had, how they've used provided marketing material, etc.).
RA's are provided with a handout describing EcoCaptain duties that they post on their floor. Additionally, any student that volunteers to be an Eco-Captain receives frequent e-mail communication and tips from student interns at the OEP. Finally, EcoCaptains are directed to the EcoMadness web page on the OEP's site that includes marketing and outreach material.
There is no right or wrong way to be an EcoCaptain, and whatever the EcoCaptains want to do to promote water and energy usage- may it be posters, information or study sessions with their floor, etc. is supported by the Office of Environmental Policy, given it follows school rules and policy.
At the end of the competition, EcoCaptains are invited to all the ice cream parties whether their dorm building wins or not as a way to say thank you for their hard work.
The Office of Environmental Policy provides compensation for the interns in charge of running EcoMadness, buys the offset certificates, and supplies ice cream for the winning dorms. The total charge for materials is $475, and the total charge for intern compensation is $11/hour.
Every year, the EcoHusky student environmental group holds an ongoing sneaker recycling program for 5 weeks in the spring, and also hold intermittent clothing swaps. After the sneaker recycling drive comes to a close, the shoes are all donated to Walkable Collections, which is a company out of New York City that works to distribute donated shoes to areas where they are needed most. Last year, almost 1000 pairs of shoes were recycled and donated! The most recent clothing swap occurred during Earth Day Spring Fling, which is a campus-wide celebration of Earth Day and sustainability. All the leftover clothing was donated to a local charity as well. Both of these programs prevent items from entering landfills, and also provide clothing and shoes to those who need them.
Examples of peer-to-peer outreach include the EcoHusky student group informing their fellow students about the programs. This takes form in various ways including, but not exclusive to, tabling, presenting information during meetings of other environmental student groups, writing and promoting blogs about the program and the benefits the program brings. EcoHusky works with other environmental groups such as ECOalition and EcoHouse to raise awareness of the programs, and encourage more students to become involved.
Sneaker Recycling volunteers can be anyone who is interested in the program, whether they are a member of EcoHusky or not. The main coordinators of the program are the executive board of EcoHusky, who are also the lead educators of the program. As part of the program, EcoHusky leaders and other sneaker recycling volunteers educate the UConn community about the benefits of reusing clothing and diverting material waste from landfills and incineration. The executive board of EcoHusky is voted on by the members of the club each year.
The student educators are trained using formal guidelines provided by Walkable Collections, which details proper sneaker recycling. They also educate themselves on the facts associated with Walkable Collections shoe and clothing recycling. This allows them to inform other students about where the shoes go after they are donated (e.g., how many shoes are diverted from the landfill because of programs like this one, etc.) and the benefits that come from participating in re-use programs.
No monetary support is needed, as the donation company picks up the shoes free of charge and the program is purely volunteer run through the EcoHusky student group and other interested UConn students.
In the fall one football game and in the spring one men's and one women's basketball game are selected to be “Green Game Days.” For these selected games interns at the Office of Environmental Policy partner with the Athletics department to include the recycling initiative in the game advertisements. Students from EcoHouse, a residential learning community, and EcoHusky, a student-run environmental organization, volunteer to be peer educators and welcome fans to the games, provide them with information about sustainability at UConn, and encourage them to recycle during the event. After the game is over the peer educators walk through fan sections to collect any recyclables that have been left behind At each game the fans are engaged as much as possible to educate them about sustainable practices.
Students from the EcoHouse residential community and EcoHusky student group volunteer to come to the game and educate others about recycling and general sustainability. These student educators are regularly engaged in learning about sustainability and the environment and are enthusiastic about the task.
Prior to the start of the game, the student educators are briefed by student interns from the Office of Environmental Policy on specific goals and the purpose of the event. Additionally, they are trained on how to approach fans and the best methods of promoting recycling
Typically no funding is needed for this program. Any required funding comes from the Office of Environmental Policy and the Campus Sustainability Fund.
The number of degree seeking students was restricted to undergraduates.
The Number of students served at the Green Game Days was estimated by counting the number of seats in the student section at Gampel Pavilion which is 1,731. Since we do two games at gampel, with some student overlap, we multiplied this number by 1.5. Additionally, Rentschler Field has 5,000 student seats with overlap so we multiplied this number by .75 The student section at games tends to be full, and even if not completely full, there are students that have season tickets who sit in the ticketed seats as well.
The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE
staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.
The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.