Seventh Green Dorm Initiative launches Feb. 5

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Niki Parekh

The seventh annual Green Dorm Initiative is around the corner for Rice students. The three-week event will be held from Feb. 5-26. Each week has a different theme and challenges, all dedicated to increasing environmental awareness and being eco-friendly. Participants can sign up using a Google Form, prompting daily emails with questions and links, allowing participants to record daily waste or shower length. Saturdays will be make up days, and Sundays will be rest days.

Week one’s theme is “Consumption”. Focus on how much you are consuming and how much energy you are expending. Did you take a less than five minute shower? Topics include water, energy, and carbon footprints. The prize for this week is a tour of the steam tunnels and the Jones College roof.

Week two’s theme is “Impact”. How can you have an impact on your community and on Rice? This year, the Green Dorm Initiative falls during midterm recess, a purposeful decision intended to encourage people to make a difference at home. Topics of this week include fair trade and volunteering for nonprofit organizations. The prize for this week is a picnic at Harris Gully.

Week three’s theme is “Lifestyle”. Did you recycle? Did you use reusable products? Topics of this week include waste and wellness. The prize for this week is a tour of a servery kitchen and an opportunity to cook a green dinner with a Rice chef using ingredients from the Farmers Market.

Students get points for every question they answer. They can also get points for posting on social media. The social media winners will receive lunch at the Cohen House with Director of Sustainability Richard Johnson. Overall top scorers will win cookies and tea with Y. Ping Sun. The top college will earn a cinnamon roll party.

The Green Dorm Initiative is a way for students to become aware of environmental causes and how their daily activities can have a major impact. The GDI is a way to educate the Rice community. Head EcoRep Conrado Asenjo said he believes it is a fun way for people to get involved and have a hands-on learning experience.

“Even if students learn just one thing,” Asenjo said, “that’s one thing that they’re participating in and making a difference.”