|Submission Date||Oct. 8, 2012|
Northern Arizona University
ER-3: Sustainability in New Student Orientation
NAU Sustainability Coordinator
Office of Sustainability
Does the institution include sustainability prominently in new student orientation?:
A brief description of how sustainability is included prominently in new student orientation:
Freshman and transfer students will take part in new student orientation in the month of June at Northern Arizona University. The Office of Sustainability collaborates with NAU’s orientation team to infuse sustainability into the orientation informational expo, new student assemblies, and orientation handouts. New student orientation stresses the importance of meeting the university’s goals, including goal #3: to create a vibrant and sustainable community.
One new student orientation assembly in particular focuses on the university’s sustainability efforts. Every new student (both freshman and transfers) attend an hour assembly put on by the NAU Bookstore, NAU Office of Sustainability, and NAU reads program. At this assembly, the NAU Bookstore focuses on minimizing waste and consumption. Reusable bags and bottles are highlighted, the textbook rental program is emphasized, and the ability to shop electronically for e-books and other no impact products is advertised.
The Office of Sustainability’s sustainability coordinator explains to the students and their families the university’s commitment to carbon neutrality and goal to become carbon neutral by 2020. “True Blue on our way to Green” is shown, a video explaining the multitude of sustainability initiatives, programs, and projects taking place on campus of which new students can take advantage.
The NAU reads program introduces the new freshman year book. This year the program chose Colin Beavan’s No Impact man, which outlines the lifestyle of one man and his family as they attempt to live an entire year with zero environmental impact. New freshman will read this book and participate in NAU’s No Impact Week challenge, an initiative that works with the author’s team to educate students about the impacts they make while on campus.
In addition, all student orientation participants recieve a reusable backpack and aluminum water bottle at check in. This is to discourage the purchase of bottled water and use of platic bags on campus during their orientation session. Students are then informed of bottle refill locations on campus including water bottle-specific stations in the Residence Halls and the reverse osmosis fill station in the University Union.
Other strategies for including sustainability in the orientation experience include move-in day education. Students recieve both a magnet outlining the 10 best ways to live sustainably on campus as well as a reusable shopping bag to take around campus. The shopping bag comes with information on why NAU dining does not use plastic bags in its retail locations.
The website URL where information about sustainability in new student orientation is available:
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