Fun and Easy Event Ideas for...
Energy Wellbeing Waste Water
Why Energy? Auburn University spends over 23 million dollars a year on energy and water. That is the largest line item in the budget. And much of the fuel used to generate our electricity is fossil fuels, which contribute significantly to climate change. Individual and collective actions can make a big difference by using energy conservatively and efficiently.
1. Energy Movie and Scavenger Hunt—Watch the movie “Kilowatt Ours”. Then measure the energy use of various electrical devices that are plugged in and find out how much energy each one uses. Talk afterwards about what was learned about how much energy each device uses and think about ways to conserve. (Each Area Director will have this event in a bag for you to borrow)
2. Power Down/Light’s Out—Try an electrical device-free activity: no computers, cell phones, etc. Play card games, board games, chat, share a pizza, etc. Just be together, and connect by disconnecting from electricity using devices.
3. “Candlelight” Dinner--Share a meal with your res hall family in a candlelit ambiance.
"Waste" and the 3 Rs: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Why Waste and Recycling? “Waste” is an interesting concept in that it is a human invention. There is no such thing as waste in nature, where “waste” always equals food for something else. The goal is to reduce the waste stream and increase practice of the 3 R’s: Reduce the acquisition of stuff that could turn into waste; acquire things that can be Reused; and Recycle everything that is recyclable. Practicing the 3 R’s will keep stuff out of the waste stream.
1. Hold a “Trash to Treasure” event. Have residents collect things they don’t and swap with others who might have use for these items. Donate unwanted items to organizations like Goodwill.
2. Get students together to Tie-Dye old t-shirts and turn unwanted clothing into something fun and wearable.
3. Watch “Wall-E” or “The Story of Stuff” and afterwards talk together about the messages of those films and what they might mean for how we could reduce waste and improve the 3 R’s in our hall.
4. Invite the Waste Reduction and Recycling Department to come and talk with your residents about waste reduction and the 3 R’s (add contact information).
Why Wellbeing? Individual wellbeing is essential to a sustainable community. Setting aside time to nourish and care for ourselves can give us the inner peace and strength we need to be our best for ourselves and others. Taking care to create surroundings that are conducive to mental, emotional, and physical wellbeing is important. A daily discipline of self-care is easier in this kind of environment. When a group of people do this together, they can create a healthy, happy, and thriving community.
1. Creating and nurturing health-giving surroundings. Perhaps over a group dinner, have a conversation with residents about the characteristics of a hall environment that are conducive to individual and collective wellbeing. Record these characteristics and commit to working together to create and nurture health-giving conditions.
2. Visit the Arboretum or other places of natural beauty. Sit alone on a blanket under a tree and be still for one half hour. Quiet your mind and notice the world around you. Notice how you feel at the end of the half hour.
3. Organize groups devoted to wellbeing. Have students support each other on their journeys to wellbeing by organizing groups to take yoga, mindfulness, dance, or exercise classes together.
4. Valentines. Notes of gratitude to others have amazing health-giving results for both the sender and the receiver. Valentine’s Day provides a great occasion for such expressions.
Why water? Water is essential for all life on earth, and the global supply of fresh, clean water is surprisingly small. Yet we don’t tend to give it much thought: we turn on the tap and water flows. In fact, in the United States we are very blessed to have ready access to abundant supplies of fresh, clean water. Water demand is growing here and elsewhere, and using water conservatively and efficiently will ensure that sufficient supplies of fresh, clean water will always be there when we need it.
1. Conserve water: commit to showers lasting no more than 5 minutes; conduct a hall inventory to identify dripping faucets and running toilets. One drip per second can waste 2,000 gallons of water per year!
2. Go to Waterfootprint.org and use the water footprint tool measure the water footprint of the food you eat, the clothes you wear, the stuff you have. Get a group of residents to join you and add up the total water footprint of the group for the things that were measured.
3. Make a commitment to give up bottled water whenever possible, and use refillable water bottles. Do research to learn why this is a good thing to do (among other things, tap water is much cheaper, is regulated more strictly for quality, takes less energy to produce, and creates no waste). Do a blindfolded-water-tasting competition of different brands of bottled water, tap water, and water from a hydration station. Talk about the results.
4. Learn how water is in everything: Watch the Hidden Water video at: