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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Dorm dwellers push planet

    Kaleb Badger, a media arts sophomore, purchases a drink behind Manzanita-Mohave Residence Hall recycling area, located in the kitchen, yesterday. The dorms are trying to raise awareness about the environment by heavily promoting recycling.
    Kaleb Badger, a media arts sophomore, purchases a drink behind Manzanita-Mohave Residence Hall recycling area, located in the kitchen, yesterday. The dorms are trying to raise awareness about the environment by heavily promoting recycling.

    The Eco-Reps, a new club comprised of students living in the residence halls, have organized efforts over the next two days geared toward making their peers more conscious of their energy usage.

    The club is showing “”An Inconvenient Truth,”” Al Gore’s global warming documentary, on the UA Mall tonight at 7 p.m.

    The following day, club members urge dorm residents to turn off their lights and unplug their belongings between 8 and 9 p.m. as part of the National Earth Hour.

    “”We owe it to Tucson to be environmentally friendly to keep this place around for a while,”” said Caleb Weaver, vice president and treasurer of the Eco-Reps and an environmental geosciences freshman.

    The club’s work underscores Residence Life’s attempts to acknowledge the importance of being green.

    It has put up low-flow showerheads and water faucets in the bathrooms of dorms to illustrate ways to conserve water, and the custodial staff is switching out their cleaning products to more environment friendly ones, said Liz Zavodsky, Residence Life’s coordinator of sustainability education.

    In addition, dual-flush toilets are being tested in the offices, and burnt-out light bulbs are being substituted with more eco-friendly ones, she said.

    Zavodsky is developing an “”Eco-Wise”” education series for students. One event in the series is a trip to Biosphere 2 tomorrow.

    “”We are trying to create a more sustainable culture in residence halls,”” she said. “”Making residence halls greener is a priority.””

    All 22 residence halls and their 6,000 residents have been participating in Recycle Mania, a nationwide contest of more than 400 colleges, since Jan. 17. It ends April 5.

    So far, the halls have recycled 40,442 pounds of material, Zavodsky said. Yuma Hall has recycled the most with 4,675 pounds, about 27 per resident.

    Maricopa Hall is in second with 1,214 pounds, about 12 per resident.

    Each week, the UA recycles 8,000 pounds a week of paper, plastic, aluminum, cardboard and “”chipboard, which is what cereal boxes are made of,”” Zavodsky said.

    “”Since we won Recycle Mania last year, we have recycling bins in all of the dorms, so that is pretty helpful,”” said Amelia Kwong, a Yuma resident and a freshman majoring in molecular and cellular biology and pre-pharmacy. “”We keep our bathroom light on all the time because I guess it uses less energy. A lot of people in our dorms support recycling. Yuma is really into recycling because they are trying to win.””

    Other students varied in their opinion of Residence Life’s green commitment.

    Michael Duke, a resident of Manzanita-Mohave Residence Hall and a music composition freshman, said he’s noticed plenty of signs informing about environment-friendly practices, as well as easy access to recycling bins.

    Hunter Wilson, a Graham-Greenlee Residence Hall resident and biology freshman, said he sees little more being done than making recycling containers closer to dumpsters.

    “”My roommate and I keep the (air conditioning) on 24/7,”” he said. “”There have been no recommendations from staff or announcements against this behavior.””

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