graduate housing and establishing sustainable communities

Graduate Housing and Establishing Sustainable Communities

By Chloe Ney

After meeting again with Daisy and Addae, our team felt that we had hit a small roadblock, albeit a positive one for Graduate Housing’s transition towards sustainable-living. Plans to establish the gardens for our locations were already underway. After the initial scare off starting back from square one, our stakeholders reassured us that there are still opportunities for sustainable-program development in other areas of graduate housing. With plenty to do, the team immediately got to work.

In order to gauge what kind of services residents would be interested in, we decided to conduct a series of surveys, questionnaires and audits that would provide us with a clear direction for our project.  A waste audit, for example, would ask residents which foods or waste items they most commonly toss out and why. After analyzing the results we could prioritize which eco-friendly services would be best to incorporate into the Graduate and Family Housing facilities, such as community gardens, composting units, sustainable cooking classes, or a donation-based food pantry.

A priority of ours is to meet with the Undergraduate Housing Department on “The Hill” to discuss the waste audit methods they have implemented in the dining and residence halls. Also of interest is their plan for installing composting units in the Undergraduate Student Housing facilities. Ideally, we could collaborate ideas and incorporate similar practices into our own plan for Graduate Housing.

The implementation of gardens and sustainable programs for residents in the University Apartments seemed to be a very interesting and complex project due to the decentralized nature of the apartment system in itself. However, with an open mind and positive mentality we are starting to piece together a more complete and precise picture for the future of Graduate Housing sustainability and cannot wait to see where our future research will take us!

Above are a couple of photos showing part of the composting techniques we are hoping to use and teach to residents.