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Behavioral Change

Awareness and support for sustainability-related programs and practices have increased dramatically over the past few years. Much of this increase is the result of targeted outreach campaigns by groups across the University.

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Carolina Green

One of the strengths of the sustainability initiative on campus is its ability to bring together students, faculty, and staff to work cooperatively across traditional departmental lines. In 2009, UNC debuted the new “Carolina Green” logo and campaign to denote these University-wide, interdepartmental efforts. Carolina Green information is distributed to new students at orientation sessions, via bookmarks at Student Stores, recycled magnets during the Week of Welcome, and BPA-free reusable water bottles at select events.  In 2011, the 'Carolina Green pledge' was taken by more than 2,500 students, staff, faculty, and alumni in its inaugural year.  P)ledge categories include energy and water conservation, transportation and purchasing behaviors, waste management and investment practices, and community involvement.

The Carolina Green website now provides a comprehensive directory of “green” programs at UNC. Reference guides, such as the Green Events Guide, help individuals and departments implement more sustainable practices. Select campus activities as large as FallFest and as small departmental meetings are eligible to implement and advertise Green Event practices.

Carolina Green has also partnered with the 54 organizations of Carolina's Greek community, forming the Greek Sustainability Council.  Current projects include purchasing local and organic food and contributing waste oil to biodiesel production.

Resources:
Carolina Green Logo & Brand Standards
Green Event Guide

Links:
Carolina Green - http://carolinagreen.unc.edu

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MakeMeSustainable

At Campus Sustainability Day 2008, the Institute for the Environment's Environmental Resource Program launched a local group on the national MakeMeSustainable website. This online social networking tool enables people living in Chapel Hill and Carrboro to track and reduce their carbon dioxide emissions.

Links:
MakeMeSustainable - http://makemesustainable.com/
UNC Institute for the Environment - http://www.ie.unc.edu/

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Residential Green Games

Green Games is an environmental competition among residence halls organized by students and the Office of Waste Reduction and Recycling. Halls are divided into teams based on housing communities. The purpose is to stimulate conservation of energy and water and reduce the amount of trash generated while increasing recycling and promoting student awareness with regards to campus sustainability.

Housing communities receive points for each percentage point of reduction in their energy and water usage. They receive points for each percentage point increase in recycling and for battery recycling. Communities also receive points when students from their community participate in Green Games recognized events. In addition there are individual contests such as: an essay contest, an oratorical contest, and a photo contest, and team contests such as: recycled art contest, t-shirt or bumper sticker contest, and a bulletin board contest.  Green Games aims to instill both a short- and long-term interest in environmental issues among the 9,000 residential students at UNC.

Links:
Green Games - http://owrr.facilities.unc.edu/GetInvolved/ResidentialGreenGames.aspx
Office of Waste Reduction and Recycling - http://owrr.facilities.unc.edu/

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Energy Conservation

A 'Please Turn Off the Lights' PlacardFor a comprehensive energy management program to be successful, the people who work, study, or live in the building must be active participants. Regularly turning off the lights in unoccupied or daylit spaces, lowering the blinds to keep out the summer sun/heat, closing the sash on laboratory fume hoods that are not in use, and shutting down computers at the end of the day could save significant amounts of energy.

Visual cues, training, and feedback on energy consumption can help influence behavior. A number of programs exist to create awareness for responsible consumption.

  • More than 15,000 "Please Turn Off the Light" stickers are affixed to light switches across campus to encourage the last person out of a room to darken it. These are provided free to departments and building managers from the UNC Sustainability Office.
  • Lab researchers in the four buildings with variable air volume fume hoods are taught that the sash (or door) should be closed when nobody is using it. Just one fume hood can use as much energy in a year as five households. The Caudill physical sciences building alone contains 108 fume hoods. This effort includes signage and education campaigns, and is lead by the Renewable Energy Special Projects Committee.
  • The Energy Management Program hosts the University's "Save Energy" website, which documents current campus practices and savings, as well as offer energy saving tips for the campus community.
  • Energy Services is currently working with a wide range of campus partners to develop a building dashboard program that will create better transparency of energy consumption for building occupants.  This will be an important tool in the future as students and staff will be empowered to monitor and reduce their energy usage in real-time.

Resources:
 "Please Turn Off the Light" Sticker Request Form

Links:
Renewable Energy Special Projects Committee - http://respc.unc.edu/
Energy Management Program - http://save-energy.unc.edu/
Energy Services - http://www.energy.unc.edu/

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Water Conservation

A bathroom faucet with a conservation sticker on the mirror To stimulate water conserving behaviors during the 2007 drought, the Chancellor at N.C. State University challenged the Chancellor at UNC-Chapel Hill to see whose students could save the most water between the football matchup in November and the basketball matchup in February. Lots of publicity and high levels of engagement resulted in Carolina students trimming their daily water use by 13 gallons, or 38 percent.

Current efforts at behavior change include "Every Drop Counts - Conserve!" stickers provided free to departments and building managers by the Sustainability  Office, and incorporation of water usage data into the building dashboard program currently being developed by Energy Services.

Resources:
 "Every Drop Counts" Sticker Request Form

Links:
Energy Management Program - http://save-energy.unc.edu/
Energy Services - http://www.energy.unc.edu/

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Recycling

Trash receptacleWidespread involvement is key for the success of campus recycling and waste reduction programs.  Beyond offering tips and news online, the Office of Waste Recuction and Recycling works with numerous groups and departments to develop and promote recycling programs using campus signage, special events, educational workshops, and promotional contests.

Links:
Office of Waste Recuction and Recycling - http://owrr.facilities.unc.edu/

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Stormwater Management

Launched in 2007, a new stormwater management website hosted by the Environment, Health and Safety Department makes Carolina’s practices and accomplishments accessible to a wider audience. This website communicates the importance of stormwater management, clarifies the roles of different departments, and provides resources for planners, project managers, and construction/ maintenance staff. A coordinated stormwater management training program has reached more than 950 staff members, and currently over 65% of illicit discharge reports come from trainees.

Links:
UNC Stormwater Management Overview - http://ehs.unc.edu/environmental/stormwater/index.shtml
UNC Environment, Health and Safety - http://ehs.unc.edu

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