Residence Hall Resources

You're the Leaders

Environmental sustainability is a part of CU Boulder. It’s also part of an RA or student leader's duty to promote it in the resident halls, just as it is a duty to promote diversity, safety and education. As leaders in your communities, you have the ability to make a difference. By educating residents through passive or active programming, spreading knowledge through conversation or simply by example, you’ll encourage sustainable behavior among residents for their time in the resident halls as well as the rest of their college career. Check out the topics below to explore all resources that the Environmental Center provides for housing, including advice for sustainable advertising or programming, posters, bulletin boards, EcoStar challenge, and even the opportunity to request funding for programs.


EASY TIPS FOR RESIDENT ADVISORS:

There's always a way to make your everyday actions, including what you do in your job, more environmentally friendly. Follow these simple pieces of advice to reduce your staff's impact.

-If you save old fliers, the back can also be used in the future.
-Sometimes there are better ways to advertise than with paper. Try writing with a dry-erase marker on whiteboards, mirrors and windows (for will vill) to get simple information or messages across. Emails or facebook groups can be effective as well.
- A program that isn't about sustainability can still be sustainable. Get a compost bin for paper utensils, plates and food at major events. Depending on the season, it is even possible to provide local and sustainable food for a program.
-Provide incentives, rewards or recognition for residents who show sustainable behavior. Even verablly recognizing how a resident reycles or turns off lights can go a long way.
-RAs use lots of plastic bags when shoppng for programs. If available, use cloth bags at the store. Sometimes you might not even need a bag.
-Start collecting chip bags, candy wrappers or used printer paper to make crafty door decs or bulletin boards. It looks cool and cuts down on the supplies used from your resource room.

RA sustainability liaisons

BULLETIN BOARDS AND POSTERS:

 

We’ve started them for you. These were made by CU resident advisors and residents to be passed on to others.

Energy and Climate Change

Recycling Bulletin Boards

Recycling Poster

Day of the Dead

Space Based Power

EcoStar Challenge Info

FUNDING SOURCES:

 

For funding sources beyond your Hall Council and RHA Funding Board, the Ecenter has a few options.

EDUTAINMENT FUND: All Hall Council Eco Chairs may apply for the edutainment fund to access funding for programs that will educate or inspire sustainable behavior in the resident halls. After filling out the form, funding will face a pending approval. 

SUSTAINABLE CU GRANT: Any CU student may write a proposal to recieve funding from this grant. Every month are applications for the small grant (under $2,500) and every year are applications for the large grant (over $2,500). This is your opportunity to fund any program that promotes sustainability on campus, big or small.

PROGRAM IDEAS:

 

Need a program with Sustainable Learning Outcomes? We can help. The Environmental Center has plenty of resources for you to use. If you like the following ideas, or have one of your own that you need help with, email us.

 

1. "DORM" STORM - Promote sustainable behavior in your hall. This is somewhat of a passive program that consists of knocking on doors and asking to enter a resident's room with the goal of educating that resident on how to effectively recycle or reduce one's energy usage. This can be integrated with the Ecostar challenge guidelines (see below). It is advised to provide candy or snacks for the residents who learn something or are already showing sustainable actions.

 

2. MOVIES - If you don't have access to these films, Williams Village North has several environmentally-focused films available for RAs to check out, including The Cove, Food Inc., Tapped, Planet Earth, Bag it, and If a Tree Falls among dozens others. RAs or Hall Councils may show these films in the televisions in their main lobbies or lounges as academic programs. 

 

3. RECYCLED CRAFTS - You can make a bracelet out of can tabs and broken iPod headphones, flower pins out of rolled up newspaper or spare fabric, wall art out of old t-shirts and blocks of styrofoam. Plan this as an active program, or simply set up in the main lobby with all the supplies and start making things, allowing anyone who wishes to join in to do so! You can search the internet or email the Ecenter for more ideas, which there are many of.

 

4. HALLOWEEN - When pumpkins are in season, purchase a few locally harvested pumkins at Sprouts or a farmers market. Then, in time for halloween, grab some residents and carve out some jack-o-lanterns (remember no candles are allowed in the halls. There are other methods of lighting them up. Then, as far as knives go, the blades must either be under three inches or specific carving tools). After halloween, you and your residents may compost the remains of the pumpkin in the compost bin behind any of CU's dining halls, at Will Vill North, or in the UMC. 

 

5. WATER BOTTLES - You can get funding to provide free reusable water bottles for residents who attend a program. Also get markers, stickers and whatnot so residents can decorate their bottles. This can be done actively, complementing another program, or passively at the desk or a table. For cool, quality local water bottles, check out Polar Bottle brand. You can also get cool stickers at the Ecenter for free, for any programs.

 

6. ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE - This is a less-known issue that involves the unfair distribution of environmental conditions, such as pollution or water rights. This involves both sustainability and social justice. To have the Ecenter's amazing EJ team present at your event, email michelle.gabrieloff@colorado.edu.

Ecenter staff member and a Libby Hall resident advisor hand a resident CFL lightbulb.


Have questions or need a resource not posted?

General:   ecenter@colorado.edu, 303-492-8308, UMC 355

Rayna Oliker, Residence Life Sustainability Coordinator, rayna.oliker@colorado.edu