Sophomore Jolene Goldsmith, an environmental studies major, dumps an apartment bucket into a residence hall compost bin, part of a new program in Loyola Village to encourage recycling, composting, and living green.
might be the world’s best-known algebraic formula, relatively
speaking. It’s also the name of a new eco-friendly competition underway
at USF’s Loyola Village this semester.
“It stands for Energy
Saved = My Conservation2
,” said Joe Murphy, USF environmental safety
director. “The concept being that with a little effort people can save
a lot of energy.”
consists of two components, one aimed at
encouraging Loyola Village residents to conserve electricity by
tracking and reporting how much they use, the other focused on making
it easier for residents to recycle, compost, and conserve water on a
Residents can win $1,000 in flexi cash from Bon
Appetit, a $150 gift card for the USF Bookstore, and a yearlong Zipcar
membership and one day’s free car rental, among other prizes. Both
residences and individuals can win awards, the former by cutting back
on power and the latter by keeping a log detailing the amount of
recycling, composting accomplished as well as water saved by turning
off the faucet when brushing teeth or energy saved by shutting down
A primary goal of the pilot program is to educate
Loyola Village residents about how much their lifestyle impacts the
environment as well as their pocket book when they are responsible for
paying the full utility bill, Murphy said.
competition, the amount of power, including the associated cost, is
tracked for each Loyola Village housing unit then reported to the
residents at the end of each month in a mock utility bill. As those
charges are paid as part of Loyola Village’s flat-rate room and board
costs, most residents never see their electricity and water consumption
“This contest gives students and residents the
opportunity to see their electricity usage and the associated cost and
experiment with what they can and cannot do to bring that figure down,”
The idea is to encourage residents to develop
good habits and carry them on after they leave USF, said Christin
Anderson, Well Life Program manager and USF Green Team co-chair. “We
want to institutionalize this type of behavior and include it as part
of the university’s orientation,” she said.
In addition to
educating the USF community about green living strategies, E=MC2
designed to illustrate that a sustainable lifestyle is a daily set of
choices involving the use of resources and the consequences of those
decisions. “Sometimes, those consequences are immediate and other
times, as with global warming, they take a while to manifest their full
effect,” Murphy said.
runs through Nov. 12. Winners will
be announced in early December, after which USF administrators will
evaluate the pilot program’s results, Murphy said. The feasibility of
to other residence halls and university offices will be
part of the evaluation.