Housing challenges encourage conservation and competition

TiffanyHughesShowers around the residence halls have been getting shorter, lights have been burning only when needed and faucets have been turned off for the teeth-brushing rituals of many students calling Marshall University’s Huntington campus their home away from home.

It’s all a part of a friendly competition to see which group of on-campus residents can conserve the most water and energy during their daily routines. Tiffany Hughes heads up the Sustainability Committee for Housing and Residence Life. She and her crew devised a contest that would last two months beginning in February. The idea was to educate the students about water and energy conservation. Hughes is tracking and comparing which residence hall reduced its usage the most from the previous year.

“There are bragging rights and a trophy up for grabs,” Hughes said. “The big reward, though, will be top-of-mind consciousness of how to conserve water and energy. It’s something our residents can take with them wherever they go.”

Students were given 5-minute shower timers and were encouraged to make a gradual difference in their overall usage. The committee posted signs around the residence halls with facts like: You can save up to 25 gallons of water a month if you turn the faucet off while brushing your teeth. And: If you shorten your showers by just one minute, you can conserve up to 150 gallons of water a month.

“The goal is to make us all a bit more aware of the little things we can do to make a difference,” Hughes said.

Residents, faculty and staff also were challenged to sign a Green Pledge at the start of this competition, which is co-sponsored by Housing and Residence Life and Marshall’s Sustainability Department. There will be a closing event where the winner will be announced on April 14. The festivities will include a spur-of-the-moment fashion show during which students will be given some recyclable material and a short time to make something wearable out of it. Goodwill Industries is sponsoring that competition.

Yalmaz Siddiqui will be the featured speaker at the event. He is the senior director of environmental and supplier diversity strategy at Home Depot.

“He is a really dynamic speaker and the residents are going to really respond to what he has to say,” Hughes said.

To round out the semester, there will be a yard sale for students Saturday, April 12, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the parking lot between the Physical Plant and the Recreation Center on 20th Street.

“Students will have the opportunity to make some cash off of items they don’t want to take back home with them at the close of the semester,” Hughes said. “At the end of the sale, Goodwill Industries will haul away anything that isn’t sold.”

Students must register for the yard sale at http://tinyurl.com/m53uxww.


Photo: Tiffany Hughes is leading the Sustainability Committee for Housing and Residence Life.