Communication and Outreach focuses on recruiting students, faculty and staff to be active partners in sustainability efforts. Outreach efforts target increasing recycling, reducing waste, conserving energy and water, and providing education on how each of us can make a difference. Our annual programs include:
The Dorm Energy Race- A month-long competition between Alderman Rd and McCormick Dorms to see which dorms can reduce their energy use the most. Sustainability Advocates, RAs and residents work together to turn off lights and electronics and come up with creative ways to save energy. Energy use is measured at the beginning, middle and end and winners are determined on a per capita greatest energy reduction.
EPA Game Day Challenge- For two years, UVa has participated in the EPA’s Game Day Challenge in an effort to increase recycling and reduce waste. In 2011, UVa achieved 1st place in two awards, Greatest Greenhouse Gas Reduction and Highest Recycling Rate. By engaging fans and tailgaters with over 60 student volunteers, UVa collected 22,125 pounds of bottles and cans at the game, along with 6,010 pounds of cardboard.
America Recycles Day- A national event, America Recycles Day at UVa draws hundreds of attendees, including students, faculty, and staff. The event raises awareness about the benefits of recycling and buying products made with recycled materials and how to re-use items that normally would be thrown away. Creative crafts, recycled art and recycling games are all on the agenda for this year’s event on November 15th.
World Water Day- Held annually on March 22nd at UVa, International World Water Day serves as an opportunity to educate students and focus attention on the significance of freshwater conservation. UVa focuses on global, local and individual efforts that advocate for sustainable management of freshwater resources. Students learn everything from what a watershed is to ways that they can help reduce their water consumption. A student water themed photo contest is planned to bring together the arts and sustainability.
UVa Eco Fair provides numerous activities for participants featuring community and University representatives from other groups such as Charlottesville Public Works and UVA Dining. The 2012 UVa Eco Fair featured a "Wild about Sustainability" Photobooth where participants could take their photos with cardboard animals and other fun props. The week leading up to the event, volunteers participate in The Cabell Campaign, which showcases recyclables left on the floors and desks in Cabell. These items are collected each night and displayed at the Eco Fair. The “CAN You Guess?” Contest demonstrates the relationship between energy conservation and recycling by asking how long you can run a mini-fridge on the energy saved by recycling 400 pounds of aluminum cans. FYI- it’s more than 18 years!
Recyclemania is a national competition between 600 universities to see which schools can recycle the most materials for the spring semester. This friendly competition works to raise awareness of recycling and waste minimization and brings together multiple UVa student groups to run events and educate the UVa community on recycling.
Chuck it for Charity is a recycling drive that collects close to 30,000 pounds of donated materials from on-Grounds students leaving for the summer. The drive allows students to donate all of their unwanted appliances, school supplies, non-perishable food items, clothing and furniture. Fourteen charities collect and redistribute the donated items to the local community. This recycling drive helps divert materials from the landfill and helps us reduce our environmental impact at UVa.”
UVa Saves Hour- To garner greater electric reduction for the Demand Response Program, UVa Saves Hour engages the community to reduce electric consumption through turning off lights and electronics for one hour. It was designed as a practice run of energy reduction, so that in case of an energy emergency, U.Va. will be prepared to reduce its consumption from electric utilities. With the additional reduction from end users, UVa met its 10 MW goal and engaged community members all across Grounds.
Energy Day - As a part of Earth Week, Energy Day focuses around energy-related issues and developments from companies, government organizations, and UVa Student groups. Students engage community energy leaders in discussions concerning technological advances as well as hands-on learning about solar and electric cars. Presenters include RideForward, EcoMod, Dominion Power, Eck Supply Co, Sylvania, Lutron Electronics, UVa Sustainability, and the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy.
Sustainability Advocates - Student volunteers from all resident halls on Grounds are an integral part of the outreach efforts. SAs disseminate information about sustainability to their dorm/residence area, throughout the University, and act as a source of information for their peers. SAs participate in their house or area councils, making them an important link to all of the UVa student body. SAs also collect concerns and questions regarding recycling and conservation issues from students and volunteer at all of the sustainability outreach events.
Reusable Office Supply Exchange (ROSE) Program - The ROSE Program collects gently or never used office supplies from departments throughout UVa and distributes these materials to anyone who wants them. A cooperative effort between the Sustainability Students and UVa Recycling, the ROSE Program provides students and the community at large access to free office supplies while diverting materials out of landfills.
Volunteer Recycling Days - Volunteer students help sort recycling at the UVa back site every Sunday after a home game to learn about the recycling process and other sustainability measures at UVa. Run by Sustainability Student Employees, volunteer recycling days provide an excellent hands-on learning opportunity for students to learn about waste streams and waste minimization.
Earth Week- E&U Outreach works closely with UVa Sustainability, Student Council and University Program Council along with student groups across round to coordinate and promote almost 40 sustainability events on Grounds and in the community during Earth Week. Bringing together students, faculty and staff around sustainability, Earth Week is an integral part of integrating sustainability into the UVa community. The events range from panel discussions on water conservation to outdoor hiking trips to community service days and Eco-markets to promote local businesses. E&U hosts many events during the week such as the UVa Eco Fair.