SLUstainability Month 2016 a Success
Facilities Services’ Department of Sustainability and Benchmarking coordinated a number
of engaging events throughout the month consisting of three themes: energy conservation,
alternative transportation and food waste diversion.
This year’s SLUstainability Month concluded on Oct. 31.
"This year we had an increased attention on SLUstainability Month with our three themes,"
said Brandon Verhoff, director of sustainability and benchmarking. "As a result, more
students know and are reducing their energy usage through their participation in the
SLU Energy Madness competition, are utilizing alternative methods of transportation
like SLU's new CarShare program, and understand the social implications for food waste
on our campus.
"With this increased attention, we are able to better achieve greater good for our
community and see our mission being fulfilled," he said.
Under the theme of energy conservation, the SLU Energy Madness Competition Kick-off
on Oct. 3, was the featured event. The competition’s goal was to lower students’ electricity
and natural gas (heating) consumption by placing the 10 north campus residence halls
in a tournament that began on Oct. 3 and will run through Nov. 22.
Each round, the residence hall’s energy consumption was tracked through established
electricity and natural gas meters. After round one, the six residence halls with
the largest decrease in energy consumption moved on to the next round. Round two followed,
with only the top two residence halls moving on to the championship in round three.
The winning residence hall will get to choose a prize. Last year's tournament champion,
Grand Forest Apartments, chose to place hammocks around their apartment complex. The
winner of this year’s competition (currently between Griesedieck Hall and the Village
Apartments) will be announced on Dec. 2.
The alternative transportation theme of SLUstainability Month featured two key events:
an Alternative Transportation Fair and a Scavenger Hunt. The fair, held on Oct. 20,
allowed organizations in and around the SLU community like STL MetroLink, Citizens
for Modern Transit, SLU Shuttle Services, Great Rivers Greenway, Velofix, TrailNet,
and DPS to set up booths to offer students, faculty and staff opportunities to learn
about the different ways to navigate St. Louis through alternative means. Additionally,
Enterprise introduced its CarShare program with its Blue-Ribbon Cutting ceremony.
The Scavenger Hunt ran from Oct. 11 to Oct. 31. It was based on using different modes
of alternative transportation to visit interesting places around the city and then
posting a picture of the place on social media with #SLUgreen16 to earn points. Several
people participated, but only the top three point-earners received prizes, such as
gift cards to Green Alliance Dining restaurants, free beer from Urban Chestnut Brewery,
Green Billiken t-shirts, reusable utensils, SLUstainability tumblers and other gifts.
Food Waste Diversion
The final theme, Food Waste Diversion, was comprised of three main events: Weigh the
Waste, Empty Stomachs Campaign and a screening of Just Eat It. On Oct. 26, food waste
from individuals eating in Griesedieck Dining Hall was collected and weighed. A total
of 69 pounds of food waste was amassed within four hours, which could have fed at
least 17 people for a whole day. On the following day, the Empty Stomachs Campaign
featured students and staff members volunteering to stand in front of Griesedieck
Dining Hall with orange tape to represent hunger over their mouths. The goal of the
campaign was to bring awareness of the food waste happening on SLU’s campus every
day, especially in dining halls such as Griesedieck.
Lastly, on the night of Oct. 27, the Department of Sustainability and Benchmarking
hosted a screening of the award-winning documentary "Just Eat It." The documentary
highlighted how the world wastes 40 percent of all the food it produces, and it provided
ideas about how to combat this growing issue.
"Of all the events from SLUstainability Month, I enjoyed participating in the Empty
Stomachs Campaign the most," said Spencer Ruggles, graduate assistant and sustainability
coordinator. "The event proved that you can bring awareness to the issue of food waste
without having to speak a word. During the event, numerous students, faculty and staff
came by our demonstration site and gave their approval of what we were doing or showed
their appreciation. I think event resonated with many people."