The Problem   Through research and help from USF faculty, we found that the school collects about 34 tons of waste material at the end of each school year from the dorms, 86% of this waste could have been reused or recycled. First year students have formed a habit of purchasing items with the intention of disposing of them at the end of the year. We want to get rid of this mentality of temporary use items and get students to think about the life span of dorm room items by creating an easy way for students to shop more sustainably. 
  The Solution   After surveying students about our initial ideas, we came up with a three part initiative that reaches students before, during, and after the school year.    Part 1   The first part includes a mandatory education course that students must take before entering the university. The course will piggy back off of the already in place Think About It Course. The course will discuss ways to be sustainable on campus including using reusable mugs, composting rules, and other tips. The course will also go over student testimonials on dorm room purchasing. At the end of the course students will be asked to sign a commitment to be sustainable and will receive a dorm room sticker badge to show their commitment. To keep students accountable for their commitment, they must attend two events throughout the school year. Events will include a visit to the Recology Center and volunteering at a donation center. 
Pledge (left), Dorm Badge(right)
  Part 3    The third part of the initiative is an annual yard sale for students to sell dorm items. The sale will allow students to easily discard of unwanted dorm items on campus in order for them to be resold to the next years incoming freshman class. The sale will take place during move in week in the campus quad. Having items sold on campus will create an easy way for out of state/country students to get items upon arriving at the University and takes away the need to transport goods. At the end of the year, sale items will be held in storage units on campus and brought out for the yearly sale. 
 Communication about all three parts of the Sustainable Living Initiative will be communicated via email and included in the acceptance package. We found that parents make a majority of dorm purchasing decisions, so it is essential to get messaging out to parents as well as students. All information will also be available on the USF website. The goal of our campaign is to reduce the amount of waste produced each year from the dorms by getting students to actively think about their impact on the environment. We want to help build sustainable purchasing habits for students that they will keep throughout their lifetime beyond USF.  After completing the presentation to fellow students and faculty members, some members of staff are interested in taking some of our ideas forward to create change on campus. 
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