In January 2012, the residence halls participated in Kill-a-watt, an annual creation care awareness program and energy competition. Students earned “points” by conserving electricity and participating in other program elements.
Students “DREAM” (Dorm Room Environmental Awareness Movement) certified their rooms by doing things like eliminating extra appliances, unplugging cords not in use, having plants, or using natural light instead of electricity. Students, faculty, and staff also participated in “Lifestyle Challenges”, trying out a new sustainable habit like going without meat, dryers, bottled drinks, or room refrigerators for all of interim.
The dining halls offered many new meatless options and displayed signs pointing out alternative protein sources, for the students were seeking to eat less meat. Student leaders organized a number of campus-wide and residence hall-based educational events related to creation care, such as “Sustainability U” (a conversation with Gail Heffner and Dave Warners), faculty lectures, plant-potting, clothing swaps and field trips. Students created recycled works of art using found objects and displayed them in their residence hall lobbies.
Senior Emma DeVries offered a compelling and theologically grounded creation care perspective during chapel. Many students also received points for attending the DCM film Forks over Knives and “Wake Up Weekend”, Matt Halteman and Adam Wolpa’s annual gathering of animal advocacy organizations. Residents of the winning hall (Boer-Bennick) decreased their electricity consumption by over 16%. For more information, visit the Kill-a-Watt page on Facebook.