Nearly 4,000 students will participate in this year’s Sustain-a-bowl, which encourages residents of Auburn’s campus to reduce the amount of water and electricity they use and increase their recycling.
This February is the second annual Sustain-a-bowl sponsored by the Office of Sustainability. Emma Mulvaney, the communication and outreach coordinator from the Office of Sustainability, said the idea grew out of RecycleMania, which is a national competition that Auburn has been participating in for the last four years.
“Increasing recycling is really good and it would be interesting to see if students could reduce their water and electricity as well because they have a very big environmental impact,” says Mulvaney.
Running from Feb. 1 through Feb. 28, the Office of Sustainability and Residence Life will promote the competition through a series of events.
The events include sheet painting to promote Sustain-a-bowl for the week of February 1. T-shirt painting, where students are encouraged to reuse old t-shirts to create a shirt that will promote the event, and a movie night with a movie that promotes sustainability for the week of February 8.
On February 23, the Office of Sustainability will hold a trivia night from 6 to 7 p.m. on the first floor of the Student Center. Winners of the trivia night will get the chance to tour Stanford clock tower and have their pictures taken at the top of tower.
In 2009, the first Sustain-a-bowl had 22 residence halls participating in the competition. The students were able to save $5506 for electricity and $2785 for water. All of the 22 halls that participated in the event last year reduced the amount of water and electricity used and increased their recycling.
All the residences in the Quad, Hill and Village are participating in Sustain-a-bowl, totaling 30 halls, making this year’s event substantially larger.
At the end of each week, the Office of Sustainability will announce how much each hall has reduced their energy and which hall is in the lead. At the end of the month, a winner in each residence area will be announced as well as an overall winner, who will receive the Sustain-a-bowl Trophy and a dinner.
“We want to let people know that individual actions really count and really add up when we all do it together we can make a big impact,” says Mulvaney.
The Office of Sustainability offers these helpful tips for reducing your environmental impact: turn off your lights when not in use and use natural light when possible, switch to LED bulbs, unplug appliances when not in use, turn off the water while brushing your teeth, and avoid anything you cannot reuse.