Hannah Hollinger

Hannah Hollinger

Lake Claire brings sustainability to the forefront

“How green are you? Show your love for the Earth and get Green Room Certified!”

The on-campus community apartments, Lake Claire, hoped to capture residents’ interest in the sustainable measures that the housing and residence plan incorporated this semester… and the comeback has been auspicious. The community implemented the first Sustainability Committee Program amongst the other living communities, with the goal to be more environmentally-conscious. This initiative comes to no surprise considering the community’s close proximity to the Lake Claire Recreation Center, an outdoor refuge that offers various activities free to students such as kayaking, canoeing, paddle boarding, beach volleyball, and picnic areas.

Green Room Certification was dubbed as the committee’s inaugural venture. It started on September 20th and its positive response amongst the community has made it ceaseless to date. Students are able to visit the community office and sign up to have their apartment inspected to be Green Room Certified. To pass the inspection, the residents must meet at least six of the following criteria:

  • Having a flat screen or TV under 25″
  • Having only one TV per room or suite
  • Using a water filter and reusable water bottle instead of bottled water
  • Using CFL bulbs in any lamps
  • Having windows closed with the A/C running
  • Using recycling bin for recycling
  • Turning computer monitor off if not in use
  • Having an Energy Star TV, computer, or other device
  • Unplugging unused devices or plugging them into a power strip with the switch turned to “Off”
  • Using linens with organic or recycled content
  • Re-purposing old items in a creative way
  • Having shared appliances instead of one per roommate (For example, one microwave per apartment

If the apartment meets the criteria during inspection, the residents are granted a hanging Green Room Certification notice for their door. If the apartment does not meet the criteria, the residents are offered tips on how to make greener choices for a follow-up inspection and also provided a visual reminder via a bulletin in the community’s laundry room. The residents are also asked five ways in which they live sustainably to ensure dedication to the cause. The program’s goal was to allow the residents to recognize the impact (or lack of impact) being made on the environment, offer awareness to living green, and provide alternative ways to improve sustainability efforts within their daily lives.

Lake Claire residents continue to apply to have their apartment inspected despite having no incentive in becoming Green Room Certified. This refreshing turnout in demand motivates the Lake Claire Sustainability Committee Program to provide the residents with more. In following weeks, the committee plans to supply each apartment with individual recycling containers. Not only is this venture a great advance for UCF Recycles, but also an opportunity to foster a habit of recycling in residents who often overlook such action.

This program is similar to the prior campus-wide Green Room Certification opportunity under the Department of Sustainability and Energy Management, in partnership with Housing and Residence Life, and the Residence Hall Association.
Residents, keep an eye out for sustainability initiatives through your on-campus residence hall in the near future!