STARS Factoids and Best Practices: Conservation and Outreach
This December, the STARS team continues its monthly blog post on facts, trends, and best practices in campus sustainability, based on data submitted by over 130 STARS Participants as of November 2011. With a focus this month on resource conservation and outreach, we hope to recognize a job well done and share ideas and inspiration on advancing sustainability in higher education. This month’s blog will highlight ER Credit 2: Student Sustainability Outreach Campaigns.
Student Sustainability Outreach
ER Credit 2 recognizes institutions that hold sustainability outreach campaigns that yield measurable, positive results in advancing sustainability performance.
Did you know?
88 percent of all STARS-rated institutions participate in at least one sustainability-related outreach campaign directed at students. Of these, 41 institutions reported outreach campaigns for the national Recyclemania competition, the most popular campaign mentioned for this credit.
*Two institutions participated in a single outreach initiative for water & energy conservation and are included in both categories
** “Other” includes campaigns for pledges, web/social media, affordability, investment, public engagement, and sustainability overall
The most popular categories for student sustainability outreach are waste reduction (59 campaigns) and energy conservation (52 campaigns).
More institutions mentioned campaigns for water bottle reduction initiatives (five campaigns) than for water conservation initiatives (three campaigns).
Only six dining campaigns were mentioned.
Only four transportation campaigns were mentioned.
- University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (STARS Silver, January 2011) competed with rival NC State to conserve water, beginning with the schools' football game in November, and lasting until the basketball matchup in February. Students at UNC trimmed their daily water use by 24 percent during the challenge.
- At Carnegie Mellon University (STARS Reporter, August 2011), StepGreen is a student outreach campaign designed to track environmental impacts of students’ behaviors and actions. Students record their daily actions throughout the semester on a website, and these actions are then evaluated to present improvements to lessen students’ environmental impacts.
- At Moraine Valley Community College (STARS Bronze, January 2011) in Illinois, Cy-Rides is a free, internet based, carpool matching and tracking program open to students, staff, and faculty. The Cy-Rides campaign involves email communication, student outreach, and event displays. Based on user surveys, the 2010 campaign is estimated to have reduced CO2 emissions by over 45,000 pounds.
- Macalester College (STARS Silver, July 2011) founded and annually participates in the Minnesota Campus Energy Challenge, a statewide energy reduction competition that compares individual schools' results with previous records for each institution. In February 2010, Macalester College achieved a 6% overall energy reduction in comparison to the year before.
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