For Starters, Shorter Showers

Hydration stations. A symposium on sustainability in health care. More aluminum and cardboard recycling bins. Shower timers. A screening of the movie A Recycled Life. Signs encouraging people to use the stairs rather than the elevator.

These and other “green” ideas from students, faculty, and staff are being supported through the relaunching of the Sustainability Incentives Fund, a mini-grant program sponsored by the Office of Sustainability Initiatives.

Students make up the majority of the grant recipients. For example, Stephanie Mundel 15C, copresident of the Woodruff Hall Green Action Community—a sustainable living community on Woodruff’s fourth floor—proposed installing shower timers on campus.

“These are simple timers that stick to the shower wall, and you press it when you start your shower, then it flashes when you have been in the shower for five minutes,” says Mundel. “Taking shorter showers is one of the easiest ways for people to go green, but it is often difficult to gauge how long you are actually in the shower.”

Her group is planning to install the timers in Woodruff Green Action Community suites.

“The people who understand the students, their habits, and what is a realistic change in those habits are the students themselves,” says Mundel, a political science and music double major. “The Sustainability Incentives Fund gives students the ability to put their ideas into action.”

Other grant recipients from the Green Action team are Elise Riley 15C, an anthropology and human biology major, who will be putting on a series of sustainable educational dinners, and Ariel Kay 15C, who suggests increasing the number of aluminum and cardboard recycling bins in Woodruff Hall.

Rachael Cogbill 15C, an anthropology and journalism double major, is starting the Emory Sustainable Food Leadership Alliance.

“Through a series of activities and events, ten undergraduates chosen to be part of the program will become educated about sustainable food issues, with an emphasis on how these issues affect the Emory community and how they are being addressed,” she says.

Howard Chiou 15MD/PHD, a graduate student in anthropology and a Piedmont fellow in teaching sustainability and curriculum, proposed a lunchtime symposium on sustainability in health care at the School of Medicine for medical, nursing, global health, and allied health students.

“Environmental sustainability is an increasing concern in health care as medical delivery becomes more complex, resource intensive, and technologically advanced,” Chiou says.

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