As a part of Belmont's environmental sustainability initiative, Residence Life has implemented new sustainable practices. These energy efficient products and practices help us keep utility costs down, and thus keep living costs down, while also protecting the environment. Our efforts include replacing light bulbs with CFL light bulbs (compact fluorescent light), utilizing recycling stations in each residential complex, and exploring new technology options to reduce our carbon footprint.
Energy Conservation Efforts
Below are the steps we are asking our students to take in order to contribute to our conservation efforts.
- Refrigerators purchased by new incoming freshman are required to be Energy Star rated, and they must be less than 4 cubic feet and 1.8 amps. Products that bear the Energy Star meet strict energy efficiency guidelines set by the EPA and US Department of Energy.
- Residence Life uses CFL light bulbs and requires students to use these bulbs in appliances that accept them. CFL light bulbs use 75 percent less energy and last about 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs.
- Residence Life also requires students to purchase Smart Strip Surge Protectors. Devices such as cell phone charges constantly draw energy when plugged in; this is the reason these devices are often referred to as "electricity vampires". These surge protectors are different than regular surge protectors because they automatically shut off power to devices that are not in use. Residence Life hopes to have Smart Strip Surge Protectors available for purchase beginning in the fall of 2010. In addition, there is a web link on our website that students may use to purchase these surge protectors on the internet.
- Recyling is provided in every residential complex
- Using recycled wood furniture in our apartment complexes
- Forming a Sustainability Committee of Residence Life staff to further our sustainable efforts and support the efforts of the University
- Energy effeciency competitions among all Freshman complexes for Fall 2010
- Hosting guest speakers and events on campus to educate students about sustainable living and energy effeciency
- Participated in Caldwell and Gregory's "Green Laundry competition and recieved runner up recognition
- Contintued participation in the University's community garden on Compton Avenue
Continued participation in Earth Hour each spring
What Students Are Doing
After two years of hoarding glass recyclables until she could bring them home to Oak Ridge, Tenn. on breaks, Ashlyn Hall decided to do a bit of research about glass recycling in Nashville.
She quickly found out that the nearest drop-off center accepting glass was only 2.5 miles from campus behind Hillsboro High School.
As an apartment resident dabbling in the culinary arts, Hall realized that other students in the Commons probably didn't know how to recycle Prego jars and IBC Root Beer bottles, either. So with the support of Residence Director Anne Rinearson and other members of the Commons Community Council, Hall initiated glass recycling in the Commons Clubhouse. Students can drop off clean, lid-less containers to desk workers, then Hall collects them and drops them off down the road.
An active member of Belmont's ONE Club, Hall said she hopes to encourage the Bruin Hills and Hillside community councils to follow suit so that students have another opportunity to help Belmont Go Green!