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Green Room Program

Interns in the Office for Sustainability developed a Green Room Program that provides UR students with a framework for adopting sustainable living habits in the residence halls and apartments. There are two checklists, one for students who live in residence hall rooms and another for those who live in a suite or apartment.

Green Room application reviews this semester will begin after Fall Break. 

How It Works

Simply go to the checklist that matches your living situation and check off the actions you are performing. You must answer "yes" to 15 of 29 total checklist items to become a certified green room. If you answer “yes” to 20 checklist items and all starred items, you earn gold room status. A Sustainability Advocate will contact you to provide your "Green Room Certified" door decoration.

Please note: Whether you are in a room, suite, or apartment, all roommates should participate in filling out this checklist.

The Checklists  

Students who are applying for certification of a room, use the Green Room Checklist.

Students who are applying for certification of an entire apartment or suite, use the Green Living Checklist

Not sure whether you qualify? You can get a sneak peek at the items on the checklist and adjust your behavior to get certified. 

Energy Conservation

A response of "yes" signifies the completion of the more-sustainable action. If a question does not apply to you, answer "no" or skip the question.

  • Do residents consistently turn off lights when the space will be unoccupied?
  • Do residents use natural lighting (from windows) as much as possible to avoid turning on lights?
  • Do residents “power down” before going on breaks? A room "power down" includes unplugging TVs, computers, and powerstrips. Refrigerators should be unplugged with the door open and a towel underneath them to prevent molding.
  • Do residents keep windows shut while heat is on?
  • Do residents hang clothes or use drying racks instead of the dryer? Please answer yes if 20% of clothes or more are dried without the use of the drier
  • In auxiliary lighting, do residents use compact fluorescent (CFL) or light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs?
  • Are automatic sleep settings activated on computers?
  • Do residents use power strips? Even when a device is turned off, it may still be drawing energy from an outlet. This is what is known as a “phantom load.” To reduce phantom loads, plug devices into a power strip and turn off the strip when devices are not in use.
  • Do residents use cold water settings to wash laundry as much as possible? By washing your clothes in cold water, you save energy that would have been used to heat water.
  • Are appliances in the room Energy Star or EPEAT rated? EPEAT and Energy Star determine if a device is energy-efficient. To find if your computer is rated visit the EPEAT website and look up your computer under the “Full Search” tab. Popular gold level EPEAT-rated computers include Macbook Air and Macbook Pro.
  • Are power-saving modes enabled on laptops, TVs, etc? Power saving settings can change the brightness, sleep mode, and other settings of a device to decrease the amount of energy it uses on a daily basis.
  • When possible, do residents keep blinds closed at night in the winter? Windows are one of the biggest ways in which heat can escape from a building. Keeping blinds shut will conserve energy used for heating.
  • Do residents set up or back thermostats when the room will be unoccupied to decrease energy usage? For heating, keep temperatures at 68 degrees when you are you in your room; 62 degrees when out for the day; and 60 degrees when away for the weekend. For cooling, set to 75 degrees when you are in your room; 80 degrees when out for the day; and 85 degrees when you are away for the weekend.
  • Do residents avoid the use of residence hall elevators?

Apartments/Suites Only:

  • Do residents walk, not drive, to do laundry?
  • Do residents unplug countertop appliances (coffee makers, blenders, etc.) when not in use?
Water Conservation

A response of "yes" signifies the completion of the more-sustainable action. If a question does not apply to you, answer "no" or skip the question.

  • Do residents turn off water while brushing teeth?
  • Do residents limit showers to 10 minutes or less?
  • Do residents turn off water while shaving?
  • Do residents only run full loads of laundry?
  • Do residents minimize water usage while washing dishes? Avoid leaving water running while you do dishes. To save water, you turn off water while soaping dishes or fill the sink with soapy water, wash dishes, then fill again with clean water to rinse dishes.
Waste Disposal and Reduction

A response of "yes" signifies the completion of the more-sustainable action. If a question does not apply to you, answer "no" or skip the question.

  • Do residents understand campus recycling guidelines? Campus is now single-stream, meaning all recycling goes into one bin.
  • Do residents only use reusable water bottles, not bottled water? Not only is bottled water more expensive and creates plastic waste, but the process of making these bottles involves using large amounts of fossil fuels and water. Tap water is also more highly regulated and, thus, often cleaner.
  • Do residents have a designated recycling bin? Having a designated recycling bin means waste will not need to be sorted later, and is more likely to be properly sorted.
  • Do residents have and use reusable shopping bags?
  • Do residents properly dispose of electronic waste (or e-waste)? Battery recycling is available in the library, and every spring an event is held on-campus where e-waste can be properly disposed of.
  • Are any printers set to automatically print double-sided?
  • Do residents use reusable dishware?
  • Do residents keep a tray for scrap paper re-use?

Apartments/Suites only:

  • Do residents buy groceries in bulk as much as possible?
Other Green Behaviors

A response of "yes" signifies the completion of the more-sustainable action. If a question does not apply to you, answer "no" or skip the question.

  • Do residents use green cleaning supplies?
  • Do residents avoid the use of dryer sheets? Dryer sheets contain numerous chemicals with toxic side effects when exposed to humans and the environment. Wool dryer balls provide a safer alternative.

Apartments/Suites Only:

  • Do residents buy secondhand furniture, appliances, etc. instead of new when possible?
  • Do residents use local farmer’s markets to buy groceries?

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Is Your Room Green?