Residence halls kick off Conservation Challenge
Author: Jenny DuVander, Institute for Sustainable Solutions
Posted: February 6, 2012

Eating by candlelight isn’t typical in a university dining hall. But next week, Portland State students will dine in the dark, one of many events to raise awareness for the Conservation Challenge that runs through April.

The challenge: set new benchmarks for reducing energy and water use, while increasing composting and recycling in Broadway and Ondine Residence halls. Energy and waste data collected this year will be compared to data from the same period last year.

Leading the effort are twelve student EcoReps, student leaders trained to educate their hall mates about environmental issues and host activities in residence halls.

Danielle Grondin, part of the Sustainability Leadership Center, is the student in charge of the EcoReps. “We want to show students that it doesn’t take much to make an impact,” she said.

The Conservation Challenge combines last year’s Energy Challenge and Recyclemania programs, with the addition of measuring compost and water use.

Grondin hopes this year’s challenge will set the stage for next year’s Campus Conservation Nationals—an opportunity for Portland State to compete against more than 150 colleges across the nation for resource reduction.

Upcoming Conservation Challenge events:

  • February 6: Blackout board games, 8-9 p.m. in the Ondine lobby
  • February 15: Candlelight dinner, 5-8 p.m. in Victor’s Dining Hall
  • February 22: Take the stairs challenge, 5-7 p.m. in Ondine Hall
  • March 8: Water Bottle Crafts with Take Back the Tap, 5-7 p.m. in Ondine Lobby

Other events March-April:

  • March 1: Recycling games
  • April 5: Blackout, park blocks after dark
  • April 14: Hands-on composting workshop
  • April 15: Repurposed crafts
  • April 12: Green cosmetics
  • April 16: Clothing drive and campus swap meet
  • April 22: Meatless dinner on Earth Day in Victor’s Dining Hall

For more information, visit the PSU ecowiki.