By Alex Caryotakis
It’s the beginning of Spring Quarter: the sun is shining, flowers are blooming, and the ART on ART team has finished its stakeholder survey. Our surveys will be sent out to their lucky and prestigious recipients by the end of this week. Meanwhile, our team is moving on to observational studies.
For my part, I recently performed a walk-through of UCLA dorm buildings searching for traces of ART influence. Although I didn’t find any “save water” stickers on bathroom mirrors (a recommendation of the 2013 Water Action Plan Team) or the legacy of the 2011 Hill Energy Metering Project’s thermostat reminder stickers, I did gain insight into how sustainability is done in the dorms…at least through signage.
First, I found that most dorm buildings, such as Rieber Vista and De Neve Dogwood and Cedar, have some sort of signage or educational material on sustainability. For example, floor 1 of Cedar had a great display on ways to be green in the dorms (lower right corner of image). It included suggestions to turn down the A/C and to purchase used clothing in order to save energy and water. In addition, the lobby of Rieber Vista had a prominent display on what residents can do to save energy (bottom left corner of image).
A second conclusion I came to was that there is some inconsistency in waste disposal signage in the dorms. Some buildings have signs reminding residents to recycle (see top left and center of image) while other buildings have nothing at all. This could be an interesting topic for future ART study. Do the recycling rates in dorm buildings differ? Could these rate differences be correlated with the amount of recycling signage present?
Overall, my observational study was a fun and educational experience. We’ll see what the rest of my team members think next week!
Photograph courtesy of Alex Caryotakis.