1) What is the Eco House?
This Eco House will provide Agnes Scott College and the surrounding Decatur community with an environmentally friendly residence, and promote an opportunity for educating students, faculty, staff and community members about sustainable living. This house will encompass the objective of sustainable living by incorporating the three E’s of sustainability—environment, economy, and equity—into the residents’ goals for the house.
Ultimately, residents will experience sustainable living in the best ways possible through educational experiences and actions towards conservation. The Eco House can help spread awareness about environmental concerns and educate the rest of the campus about ways to live more efficiently and become more conscious about how their choices affect the world. This house will embody the ideas of sustainability on campus through example.
2) What will the Eco House be used for?
The Eco House will serve as an educational opportunity for students as well as community members by showing the residents’ efforts to reduce their energy and water consumption, to reduce their waste, and to participate in other activities that they may choose, such as gardening.
3) How do I apply to live in the Eco House?
Interested and eligible students must complete an application that lists their interests, goals and past experiences as it relates to sustainable living while agreeing to all additional requirements made by the Theme House application such as providing activities and programs to the campus community. Applicants must also adhere to the lifestyle guidelines for the house and the expectations for residency. Candidates from all areas of study should apply in order to bring a wide variety of disciplines and ideas to the house. Please also submit the following:
· A completed Eco House application page
· Formal resumé
· A 2 page (double spaced) essay stating why the candidate would like to live in the Eco House and how their skills/abilities would contribute positively to the living environment.
· Completed “Eco House Reference Form” from a faculty member, college staff, director of an off campus organization, or supervisor of past employment or volunteer position.
· Interview required with the Residence Life Director and Office of Sustainability. Interview will take place during the week of March 5th.
4) Why would living in the Eco House benefit me? Wouldn’t it be more of a benefit to the college that I participate?
Living in the Eco House will give you an idea of how you can live after your career at Agnes Scott. It will teach you money saving ways to reduce water and energy consumption, which will come in handy when you are the one paying the bills. The Eco House will be more than just saying you are recycling, it will be a change in mindset.
5) Do I have to find a group of students to live with?
No, after all applicants have applied, the Office of Sustainability and Residence Life will interview candidates and the house residents will be then be chosen.
6) What if I do not know how to recycle?
You will learn! The goal of the Eco House is to educate students about the accessibility and benefits from recycling, but it is up to the student to fully commit by learning what can be recycled.
7) Doesn’t compost smell? Why would we compost in such a small house?
Composting is really just recycling organic material. If taken care of properly, it will be no smellier than the trash can that already inhabits your kitchen space. In a confined space, such as the Eco House, it will be easier to maintain.
8) I like taking long showers. Will I have to take shorter showers if I live in the house?
Students living in the Eco House will not be expected to take shorter or “navy showers,” but it will be encouraged or suggested to try. There will be shower timers for reference and education to increase overall awareness.
9) Will we have to attend or volunteer at all the events put on by the Office of Sustainability?
It is not expected of you to attend all events, but there might be a minimum of three events a student must attend and/or volunteer for. The more events attended, the more the student will invest in her understanding of important issues and how to explain to others these issues. It is a learning experience!
10) Do we have to have lights out by a certain time to reduce the amount of electricity we use?
There will be no restriction to when you are allowed to have lights on or off. As with other aspects of the house, residents will be encouraged to change their personal consumption behaviors as well as provide support to each other as they learn about living sustainably. The Eco House will participate in EarthHour, which is one hour in the spring where you turn off all the lights to prove how much energy the world is saving by simply reducing. It will be suggested that you try to limit the amount of excess lights turned on. The goal is to not hinder your ability to work, but make you rethink how much light you need to work.
11) Are we expected to dry our clothes on a line outside?
Line drying is a great option to an electric dryer, but it will not be expected of you to line dry. Access to line drying will be made available inside and outside the Eco House for those who would like to participate.
12) I like driving my car everywhere. Will I be required to take MARTA?
While it is encouraged that students walk, carpool, or take MARTA, it is not expected of the students to give up their cars while at the house. That being said, residents should make the effort to carpool and walk/bike whenever possible. One of the events the Eco House residents will participate in is the promotion of the Zipcar, carpools and local bike routes.