A Look Back at Green the Greeks

By Daniel Noakes

As has been previously discussed in other ART on ART team blog posts, our team is in the process of completing “mini-projects” in which we look back into past teams’ successes and failures over the existence of ESLP ART. This past week I worked on my mini-project regarding the Green the Greeks ART team from 2011. Back in 2011, this team set out to make the Greek System at UCLA more sustainable. Their main project was the installation of low flow shower heads and faucet aerators at the Zeta Beta Tau (ZBT) Fraternity house. This house has a total of eight showers and 10 faucets. The Green the Greeks team replaced four shower heads with low-flow heads and replaced all the faucets with faucets that incorporate sink aeration.

When I went to the house this past week to take a look at these installations, I was glad to see that all were still in place except for one of the faucets. There were still all four low-flow shower heads and nine out of ten of the faucets were still in place. One of the sinks broke in years past and was replaced with a different model of faucet. There was also a shower that was broken. This broken shower was one of the standard flow shower heads. It will be interesting to see if a low-flow head or a standard flow head replaces this shower head.

A brother of ZBT named Sam Hirsch was showing me around the house. While looking around at the shower and sink appliances, I asked him how receptive the brothers were to having these low water waste appliances. While he heard no qualms regarding the faucets, he mentioned that he has heard many complaints from brothers regarding the soft water pressure of the low flow shower heads. This being the case, when multiple showers are vacant, the brothers will likely select the standard flow shower head instead of one of the low flow shower heads. If this is the case, perhaps the installation of the new shower heads is having a smaller impact than was originally projected. Sam, a very sustainability-minded individual himself, understood that there was a necessary sacrifice in giving up some some convenience in order to live a more sustainable lifestyle. It was great to see a member of the Greek Community so passionate towards green living and sustainable practices. Hopefully his passion for these causes will be able to spread through his house to other members and maybe even spread to other houses within the Greek Community.

One of the nine faucets in the ZBT house with an aerator.

One of the nine faucets in the ZBT house with an aerator.

The low flow shower head model that was installed into the ZBT house in 2011.

The low flow shower head model that was installed into the ZBT house in 2011.