Sustainability for RAs
Resident Assistants have the ability to play a large role in how students are educated on and exposed to sustainability. They act as role models and educators for students on a variety of issues, one of which is how to create more eco-friendly habits. By incorporating sustainability into conversation and events, students will become more knowledgeable about recycling, saving energy, and more. Use the ideas below to help your residents live a green lifestyle in the residence halls and beyond.
How to Educate Your Residents
Below are easy tips to encourage your residents to be more sustainable. A big part of these intiatives is changing your own habits as well. It takes effort to begin to live more sustainably, but it's part of our responsibilty to be men and women for others. Reducing your carbon footprint ensures that everyone can have access to a healthy, clean environment.
- Be a resource for students and make yourself a point of contact for questions. Be knowledgeable about sustainably living tips, how to recycle, clubs, and where they can get more information. Don't hesitate to contact or have your residents contact firstname.lastname@example.org with questions, ideas, suggestions, etc. A big part of making BC more sustainable is making sure everyone knows this information, especially RAs who play a significant role in freshmans lives on campus.
- Have residents get their dorm rooms Green Certified. Get yours certified as well! Make it a competition among residents on your floor or with another floor! Whoever has the most residents certified at the end of the semester wins!
- Announce and encourage students to attend sustainable events on campus
- Put "Turn off the Lights" stickers on all of the common area lightswitches, including bathrooms. Hand them out at floor meetings for students to put in their rooms. (Email the sustainability office to obtain these stickers.)
- Encourage your residents to turn off the lights when they leave the communal bathrooms.
- Tell students where to get a plastic charlie card. Not only will the fare be cheaper, but you save a paper ticket every time you ride.
- Before the start of a floor event at which there will be food, teach your residents how to recycle and compost. Grab a few items from the dining hall and show them which goes in which bin. As the event continues, make sure everyone is recycling and composting the correct items.
- Suggest ebooks if residents are worried about purchasing all these new textbooks. They are cheaper than text books and save paper! Many are also available instantly on amazon.
- Engage students in conversations about sustainability, the environment, what BC is and isn't doing, and their opinions/suggestions
- Promote BC Clean during move out
- Encourage participation in competitions like Recyclemania
Incorporating Sustainability into your Floor Events
Getting your residents to develop greener habits can be as simple as incorporating some fun activiites into your floor meetings! Use these ideas as fun bonding activities while integrating sustainability. It can be as easy as simply mentioning to your residents how the activity they are taking part in is helping save electricity, landfill space, reusing old materials, or healthier for them.
- Have the Sustainability Office come talk to your residents at a floor meeting. We can provide recycling games and food or other handout for students. Plus, you won't have to plan an event!
- Decorate mugs. This stresses reusable containers.
- Plant little plants or decorate plant containers
- Make banana ice cream (blend bananas and almond milk). This shows students a healthy snack that doesn't contain chemicals or additives.
- Make your own trail mix - using organic or environmentally conscious brands.
- Have students check out the Lucid Dashboard where they can see how much energy their dorm is using. Partner up with other floors and dorms to compete on who can save the most energy! Have a pizza party as a reward. (Pro tip: order cheese instead of peperoni. Reducing meat consumption is great for the environment).
- Hold a zero-waste event where everything can be recycled or composted.
- Attend a sustainability event as a floor. (Harvestfest, film screening, Earth Day Fair, Night Market, etc)
- Take a nature walk (reservoir, hammond pond)
- Outing to a sustainable restaurant (B.Good, by CHLOE., Clover)
- Clothing Swap - have residents swap clothes that they don't wear anymore
- DIY face masks, lotion, scrubs, and hair masks! They use simple ingredients without the use of chemicals or artificial ingredients discussed on our personal health page. Find some recipes here or make up your own. One of the easiest is an efoliating scrub made out of sugar, lemon juice (optional) and water!
- Make christmas ornaments out of plastic bottles. Instructions can be found near the middle of this article.
For more information on how to successfully plan one of these RA floor event ideas, contact our office at email@example.com.