By Abbey Marshall and Matthew Marvar
Sustainability Specialist Sam Crowl is planting environmentally friendly habits into Ohio University students.
The Office of Sustainability was provided a grant in 2005 to kick-start an off-campus residence option for students committed to living efficiently with what nature has to offer.
The Ecohouse is equipped with a variety of features to assist students in their sustainable living. The solar panels situated near the house have dual purposes: to both heat the water unit and to sell energy back to American Electric Power to offset costs for the house. Students can also use natural heat and sunlight to dry clothes outside, collect rain in a barrel to water their plants and flush their toilets, throw away biodegradable materials into their compost piles, among other features.
Students interested in applying write essays on their commitment to sustainability. Three applicants are accepted to live in the house at one time. According to Crowl, typically these students are studying environmental science or related subjects, but there are other opportunities for underclassman who cannot yet live in the Ecohouse.
“Something really fortunate is that there are a series of new dorms being built on campus and there is going to be a sustainable living floor,” Crowl said. “Students will have the opportunity…to live on the sustainable living floor and learn a lot about the sustainability activities.”
Crowl said he hopes sustainable ideas carry over into the entire student body and their everyday lives.
“We do a lot of events throughout the school year on campus,” Crowl said. “Students see those, but hopefully, the sustainable living floor will really be a boost in students who are learning about sustainability, learning about behaviors, and we can begin to see that culture change throughout most of the student body.”
Originally published on scrippsworkshop.org on July 18, 2015.