At the Taylor Street House residence hall at Bucknell University, students are making a concerted effort to reduce their carbon footprint. Five-minute showers are considered long. Clothes are dried on a clothesline. And residents pedal an old Schwinn hooked up to a blender when they want a smoothie.
The students and Dina El-Mogazi, the director of the campus greening initiative, hope to set an example for other students and to raise awareness about energy conservation and sustainable living in general.
Many of the students who live at Taylor Street House have been involved with other efforts at the Bucknell Environmental Center, which opened in 2007. Some are majoring in environmental studies or environmental engineering or were part of the environmental residential college special interest housing.
"This is definitely a small version of what we'd like to see happen on campus," says Ali Blumenstock, a junior from Haverton, Pa., who also is majoring in environmental studies. "We are looking to conserve as much as possible. We turn off lights all the time. We've tried to do things on campus to change the amount of consumption, like putting signs on paper towel dispensers saying, 'These come from trees.' There are little things like that to do step by step."