Life

House Life

Living Sustainably in the College Houses

Go Green in the College Houses is Penn’s environmental sustainability initiative in residences. Its mission is to increase awareness of waste reduction, energy conservation, and best practices for living a sustainable lifestyle at Penn.

Eco-Reps in the College Houses

Eco-Reps is an environmental leadership program that focuses on raising awareness of environmental issues and impacting the behavior of individuals across the campus.

Select students, faculty, and staff will work as a group inside their respective College Houses along with Eco-Reps in Greek chapters and University departments and offices to develop educational events, activities, and campaigns aimed at supporting the University’s environmental goals and Climate Action Plan. Participants will also meet other students, staff, and faculty throughout the University who are passionate about environmental issues, attend trips throughout the Philadelphia area, and work to develop programs and events that challenge their peers to adopt more sustainable behaviors.

The Eco-Reps program is managed by sustainability staff in Facilities and Real Estate Services and is part of Penn’s Green Campus Partnership of students, staff, and faculty throughout the University, promoting better environmental practices and policy.

For more information about this program, see the Eco-Reps website.

Tips for Residents in the College Houses

Reduce and Recycle

 • Great news! Penn now recycles all plastic containers, plastic types numbered through 7. Penn’s recycler, Blue Mountain Recycling, has installed new equipment that is capable of sorting and recycling beyond #1 and #2 plastic to include #3 through #7 containers as well. Number codes for plastic recyclables are typically found on the bottom of the container. Plastic wrap, plastic bags, Styrofoam, and PVC are still not recyclable at Penn, but many supermarkets recycle plastic grocery bags through take-back programs.

• Expanded plastic recycling should help provide another boost towards Penn’s Climate Action Plan goal to reach a 40% campus recycling rate by 2014. Currently, our campus rate is just over 24%, up about 4% from last year.  

• Find out where your House collects recyclables (see chart below)

• Speak out against litter; pick up and dispose of litter you see blowing around

• Establish a waste reduction ethic — minimize unnecessary copying, reuse scrap paper and envelopes, print double-sided, etc.

• Consider what you buy: is it something you really need?

• Avoid products with a lot of extra packaging; recycle what packaging you can

• Support consignment, thrift and charity shops by donating clothing and household items

www.collectivegood.com

www.charitablerecycling.com

• Support the PennMOVES charity drive instead of trashing unwanted items when you move out

•Recycle old cell phones; don’t just leave them in a desk drawer!

•Recycle used batteries and compact fluorescent bulbs! See locations below.

Purchase Green Products

• When possible, buy only computers, office equipment and appliances compliant with EPA Energy Star program. Information on Energy Star program found at: http://www.energystar.gov.

 

Water Conservation

 • Minimize water wastage during bathing times and while brushing your teeth

• Refill personal water bottles with tap water

Energy Conservation

• Minimize electronic usage (ie fans, televisions, etc) and equipment run times

• When not in your room, make sure to turn off lights

• Unplug or turn off wall switch to any electronics not in use

• Replace regular light bulbs with compact florescent light bulbs

• Wash clothes in cold water; air dry clothes whenever possible

Hazardous Materials

• Recycle hazardous waste-containing products such as batteries, computer monitors and televisions, etc.

• Use integrated pest management techniques to minimize or eliminate use of poisons.

Transportation

• Consider public transportation, bicycling, walking, carpooling (i.e. PhillyCarShare)

www.upenn.edu/transportation

www.septa.com

www.phillycarshare.org

www.amtrak.com

• Keep car tires properly inflated to improve gas mileage; car pool for longer trips

Food and Food Service

• Support local organic farms including the Farmers Market that visits campus

www.farmtocity.org

• Minimize the use of disposable dinnerware

• Utilize a reusable mug and/or drinking bottle

• Avoid wasting food; take home leftovers from restaurants whenever possible

• Take reusable shopping bags along when you go to the market

• Refuse bags for small purchases if they are easily carried

Recycling in the Houses

 Facilities for recycling are available in all of the Houses. Here's where you can recycle in your House:

  Where to recycle Where to recycle Compact Fluorescents and Batteries Where to take trash
Du Bois Can on steps near Uchoraji Lounge   Trash chutes located on west side of building
Fisher Hassenfeld Foerderer Arch, Upper Quad gate, or Speakman trash rooms Mail Room Trash chutes located in Graduate, at 37th St., or Speakman trash rooms 
Gregory (Van Pelt) Lobby Piano Lounge Trash chutes located on every floor 
Gregory (MLP) Lobby    Trash chutes located on every floor 
Harnwell Recycling alcoves on every floor  Lobby Trash chutes located on every floor 
Harrison Recycling alcoves on every floor  Lobby Trash chutes located on every floor 
Hill Recycling alcoves on every floor  Services Center Trash chutes located on every floor 
Kings Court English (KC) Recycling alcoves on floors  Lobby Trash chutes located in common areas throughout the building 
Kings Court English (English) Recycling alcoves on floors  Lobby Trash chutes located in common areas throughout the building
Riepe Appropriate trash chutes located in Graduate, Upper Quad gate, or Speakman trash chutes  Mail Room Trash chutes located in Graduate, at 37th St., or Speakman trash chutes 
Rodin Mechanical rooms on even-numbered floors Lobby Trash chutes located on every floor 
Stouffer (Stouffer) Recycling cans in vestibules  Next to Guard Booth Trash chutes located in common areas throughout the building 
Stouffer (Mayer) Directly outside the building in green can by the dumpsters  Lobby Trash chutes located on every floor 
Ware Appropriate trash chutes located in Graduate, Upper Quad gate, or Speakman trash chutes McClelland Hall Trash chutes located in Graduate, at 37th St., or Speakman trash chutes 

 

Other initiatives in the College Houses and at Penn

Green Roof at Kings Court English College House

The roof terrace of Kings Court English College house is covered in vegetation! A green roof, in which the roof area of a building is covered in plants and the soil in which they grow, is an ecologically sensitive and sustainable construction method that combines benefits for the building (such as extended roof life and enhanced drainage and insulation) with benefits for the environment (like reduced stormwater runoff and a lower impact on carbon dioxide levels.)