EcoReps are student peer-to-peer educators for sustainability. The mission of the Eco-Reps program is to support the development of sustainable behaviors among the student population at Wake Forest University.
EcoReps serve as ambassadors for sustainability on campus. They deliver presentations to fellow students, volunteer at events hosted by the Office of Sustainability, and conduct assessments of sustainability in residence halls. Through participation in the program, EcoReps earn a certification as Sustainability Peer Educators.
If you have questions about becoming an EcoRep or would like to request a presentation or outreach program, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Many members of the class of 2013 will leave Reynolda campus behind this spring, but all Demon Deacons carry Wake Forest values with them wherever they go. These values include our campus-wide commitment to sustainability. For a third year, the Office of Sustainability is asking graduating seniors to solidify their commitment to environmental stewardship and social justice by signing the Green Graduation Pledge.
In asking seniors to make this voluntary commitment, Wake Forest joins over 100 other colleges and universities in a nationwide campaign, led by the Green Graduation Pledge Alliance, to build a global community of responsible graduates. Laura Coats (’13), a former EcoRep, sees the pledge as an opportunity to to reflect on how she will apply the values she developed over the past four years in the next phase of her life. Coats, who will begin her career in an Americorps position at Keep Knoxville Beautiful, says “It’s important to be conscious of the impact we have on our communities. I’m excited to continue to build on the environmental and social consciousnesses I cultivated at Wake Forest as I enter the workforce.”
Seniors will have the opportunity to sign the pledge when they pick up their tickets for graduation from the University Bookstore on Friday May 18th and Saturday May 19th from 9-4pm. The first 250 signatories will receive a coffee mug printed with the Green Graduation pledge, which reads: I pledge to take into account the social and environmental consequences of any future endeavors and to work to improve the sustainability of the communities in which I work, live and play.
Though we say goodbye for now, we know the class of 2013 will always fly the colors black and gold and live the color green.
Get ready, get set, reduce! This spring, students can join their peers around the nation in cutting down their electricity and water consumption during the Campus Conservation Nationals. With about 200 participating campuses, students compete against one another on each campus, and between campuses nationally.
Starting on March 18, at the kick-off event, students can sign up to participate. During the first week of the three-week competition, students can sign up for efficiency assessments of their rooms. A volunteer EcoRep will come to each student’s room during the second week to survey their daily conservation habits and to teach them how to become even more efficient. Students who sign up for an assessment at the kick-off event will get a free t-shirt.
In a battle of the residence halls, students at Wake Forest University will compete to reduce rates of consumption. The winners will be treated to a frozen yogurt party catered by Brynn’s and will have the satisfaction of doing their part to cut down energy consumption. To stay updated on each building’s progress, individuals can visit buildingdashboard.net/wakeforest. The site allows students to learn more about different conservation habits and to commit to new, more efficient changes. Throughout the competition, residents will also learn more about the sources of our campus electricity and the effects our choices have on climate change.
The Campus Conservation Nationals brings to light the importance of conservation, and incentivizes the development of good habits. The national competition started three years ago. Ravish Paul, the Energy Manager in the Office of Energy Management in Facilities and Campus Services, facilitates Wake Forest’s participation in the competition in partnership with Residence Life and Housing. Junior Claire Nagy-Kato, an intern for the office of Energy Management, will lead this year’s efforts.
Claire encourages everyone to attend the kick-off event, where everyone can look forward to engaging in fun activities and enjoying free food. Participants will be able to trade in their incandescent light bulbs for energy efficient replacements and learn more about conservation opportunities. She looks forward to seeing the effects of the competition on our campus because she sees it as a “good way to get students interested in something that is an important and pertinent issue.”
If you are interested in taking the next step in reducing consumption, contact Claire Nagy-Kato at and sign up to be a hall captain for Campus Conservation Nationals. The competition will end on April 7, 2013.
By Kiana Courtney, Office of Sustainability Communications and Outreach Intern
Peer education, long a well-loved tool in the field of public health, has inspired curiosity from sustainability advocates in recent years. As research in psychology and marketing continues to affirm that environmental awareness alone does not result in environmentally preferable behavior changes, those seeking to foster sustainable behaviors hope to tap into the power of peer influence to affect necessary change.
On campuses across the United States, groups of peer educators, many of whom operate under the title EcoReps, are pioneering peer education programs in collegiate settings. Wake Forest University’s own re-imagined EcoReps program, launched in the fall of 2012, is off to a promising start.
Last fall the EcoReps kicked off the semester by giving a presentation at the Monday Talks series hosted by the Health and Exercise Science Department. Their presentation, titled “A Day in the Life of a Sustainable Student” highlighted the surprising impacts and perks of adopting simple behaviors, like using a reusable water bottle or shopping at thrift stores.
The EcoReps also played an integral role in Energy Bowl 2012, where they performed personalized room assessments and staffed kiosks promoting the competition. In addition, the EcoReps performed educational outreach at events hosted by the Office of Sustainability, Outdoor Pursuits, Residence Life and Housing, and Campus Dining.
Through their participation in the program, EcoReps earn points towards a Peer Educator for Sustainability certification. The Office of Sustainability designed this 100-point certification to ensure that EcoReps develop both sustainability literacy and outreach skills, which are crucial for their success as peer-to-peer educators and future sustainability professionals. Lauren Formica, a first year student, became the first EcoRep to complete the Peer Educator for Sustainability certification at the end of last semester.
This spring the EcoReps gave an expanded version of their Day in the Life presentation as part of the Monday Talks series on January 28th. They will also present at the Sustainability Theme House’s weekly spaghetti supper on February 21st.
Delegates from the Wake Forest EcoReps program will head to a regional conference for EcoReps in the Southeast in February. In March, the EcoReps will support the Campus Conservation Nationals competition sponsored by the Office of Energy Management.
For more information on how to become an EcoRep, email . Enrollment in the program closes on February 14th.
By Annabel Lang, Wake Forest Fellow for the Office of Sustainability
On November 1st we kicked off a residence hall energy conservation competition against Notre Dame — Energy Bowl 2012: Lights Off, Lights Out. We’re now at the halfway point of the competition, which wraps up on November 14th.
The first half of the competition has been a successful exercise in cross-campus collaboration. Facilities and Campus Services is the sponsor of Energy Bowl 2012 and Office of Energy Management interns , Allie Gruber and Joey Matt, are planning and managing the competition. Hall Captains recruited by Residence Life and Housing are serving as Energy Bowl ambassadors in their residence halls, reaching out to their fellow students through posters, e-mails, and word of mouth. Hall Captains are also assisting the EcoReps, our campus peer-to-peer educators for sustainability, in conducting personalized energy conservation room assessments.
Although we have reason to celebrate this early success in getting everyone involved, one hard cold fact still remains: Wake Forest University is currently losing to Notre Dame. Luckily, we are not far behind, and our residential students still have plenty of time to reach the energy conservation goal of 6%. Here are 4 quick tips for students living on-campus to reduce their energy consumption in the residence halls:
- If you’re able, take the stairs. Give the elevator a rest until November 14th – and beyond. You’ll save energy and even get a little work out.
- Turn it off (all of it). When you leave the room, turn off your lights, turn off your power strip (or unplug your electronics), and turn off your heat if you have in-room controls.
- Put on a sweater. If your room feels chilly, try to add more layers before cranking up the temperature, especially in Palmer and Piccolo, where the heating source is electric.
- Tell your friends. Update your friends on the status of the competition, and ask them to consciously conserve over the next week. You can refer them to the Building Dashboard, where they can keep up with the results of the competition in real time.
Look out for a traveling kiosk promoting the competition in residence halls around campus this weekend and early next week.
Lights Off, Lights Out. Let’s Beat the Irish.