While many Colonials have heeded calls to recycle more and use less electricity, one group of students has everyone beat.
Revolution Green, the Living and Learning Cohort that occupies Building JJ on F Street, held an open house Friday to show their efforts at reducing energy usage and their plans for the future since their inception this academic year.
The LLC prides itself on cutting electricity usage in Building JJ by one third and water usage in half. Every week, they weigh the trash waste from the building to calculate a trash ratio of pounds of trash to pounds of recycling.
Jordan Phillips, president of Revolution Green, said the LLC is trying to make Building JJ “as eco-friendly as possible.” They have also been working to reach out to the community and have taught conservation strategies to high school students at D.C. public schools.
“We want the students in Building JJ to always be working towards greater conservation,” he said. ‘We are developing an application process for future students to apply to live in the building.”
With the help of the facilities department, the students have installed motion sensors so that the lights are off when the hallway is empty. All the light bulbs in the building are now fluorescent, which creates a 75% savings in electricity. For laundry, the LLC tries to use as many cold water washes as possible and they dry their clothing on drying racks instead of drying machines to save electricity. New showerheads save one gallon per minute of water compared to the old showerheads in the building.
The LCC is working on creating a publication for the spring that will help the University get a better understanding of what worked and how these strategies could be implemented throughout the University.
The LLC has also implemented a Revolving Energy Fund, which raises money from donors to use toward future energy saving initiatives.
“This will allow us to keep funding green initiatives into the future,” Phillips said.
Phillips pointed to a solar panel the LLC hopes to obtain that will help them both reduce energy usage and save money that can then be used towards future projects.
Students who live in Building JJ said the University has actively facilitated their energy-saving efforts.
“The best part of this whole experience has been how well the University has been working with us to make this happen,” said David Dreebon, a sophomore and the chair of the housing committee. “Whether it was President Knapp or the facilities department, they have done great work.”
The students who toured the building on Friday were similarly impressed. Freshman Caroline Adegan called the house “so warm and welcoming,” while graduate student Marissa Jacobus was intrigued by the Revolving Energy Fund.
The emphasis on sustainability caused freshman Leandra Karikari to consider her own dorm’s energy policies.
She said, “I would like to see more recycling bins in the hallways of Thurston because nobody knows that you can recycle in the laundry rooms.”