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Eco-Friendly Living in the Residence Halls

Nov 1, 2011

posted in: Office

Not many campus residence halls come outfitted with a butterfly garden or worm-composting bin, but the Green Living and learning community (LLC) housed in Maple B has both.

LLCs are residential communities with special emphasis on an academic major or an area of special interest, the Green LLC brings together students who are interested in sustainability issues and who would like to participate in a variety of green campus projects. Nineteen students volunteered to live in the Green LLC this year, opting for an eco-conscious stay while studying at USF. 2011 marks the third year that the Green LLC has been operating and it is thriving now more than ever.

“The first year [was a struggle], we did not have an RA that had any background or interest in sustainability, thus it was a rough start,” said Liz Kaplon, Assistant Director of Housing and Residential Education. “The second year, and this year, the students are more engaged and want to be involved with some green projects and issues on campus.”

According to Kaplon, about 40-50% of the Green LLC residents are Environmental Science majors and almost all of them had participated in some green causes in high school or in their community prior to coming to college. To assist students in their efforts, the housing staff staged an eco-friendly room that showed students how to make eco-conscious choices about the items they placed in their dorms.

This year the Green LLC residents took a building tour of the LEED certified Dr. Kiran C. Patel Center, with their faculty advisor and Director of the Office of Sustainability, Dr. Christian Wells. They are also planning a field trip to Sweetwater Organic Community Farm, a nonprofit community-supported urban organic farm and environmental education center.

“The Green LLC may have started out small, but they’ve quickly risen to become one of the most popular living and learning communities at USF,” said Wells. “This growth matches a national trend where students increasingly want to be more meaningfully engaged in campus culture, and to have an impact on the sustainability of their schools. As the faculty advisor for the Green LLC, I couldn’t be more proud of our students! They’re really our best advocates and exemplars for green living and green learning at USF.”

For more information on the Green LLC go to their Facebook page.