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Are you Sustain-A-Bowl? The Newest Student Sustainability Competition

leaf with an electric plug

October 2011

Many college students consider themselves to be relatively sustainable, but how do you know who’s the best? Well from October 14th through November 11th, student sustainability group Grassroots is hosting the Sustain-A-Bowl competition – a contest between residence halls to find out who is the most sustainable!  Based on a program run at Auburn College, residence halls will compete to see who can save the most energy, in a points-based race. This new event is branching off of Grassroots’ previous program “UR Unplugged”, a competition that scored campus residential areas based on a reduction of their energy usage during a given time period to that of the same building on the same dates the previous year. UR Unplugged won the the Rochester Center for Community Leadership’s Excellence in Programming Student Life Award in the spring of 2010!

The Sustain-A-Bowl maintains the same goal, but expands upon UR Unplugged by adding the element of participation to the scoring system, allotting points to the areas which have the highest percentage of involvement given the number of people living there.

“Instead of being such a passive competition,” explains Grassroots Fall Program Chair Colleen McHale, one of the creators of this event, “we wanted people to get involved and be active.”  In keeping with this spirit, residential areas will have opportunities to earn additional “sustainability points” for hosting their own events, or attending scheduled ones, such as a green photo contest, the EPA’s Game Day Challenge, and a Halloween costume party…with costumes made of only recycled materials!

This program’s goal is, not only to have a blast, but to raise awareness for sustainability on campus and throughout the University! Below is a tentative schedule of just some of the events that competitors can earn points for attending:






7:00 PM- 9:00 PM


Kick-off Event


11:00 AM- 3:00 PM

Wilson Commons

T-shirt Tie-Dye


5:00 PM- 8:00 PM


Oktober Fiesta: Flexitarian Dinner


2:00 PM- 4:00 PM

Georgen 101

Meliora Weekend Sustainability Panel


1:00 PM- 4:00 PM

Fauver Stadium

Game Day Challenge


6:00 AM- 4:30 PM

Park Lot

E-Cycle Day


5:00 PM – 7:00 PM


Halloween Sustainable Costume Contest


8:00 PM

Hoyt Auditorium

WALL-E Movie Showing


2:30 PM

High Acres Landfill

Landfill Tour and Compost Facility

Visit the Sustain-A-Bowl Facebook page for a full detailed schedule of events and program updates. If you would like to know more about the Sustain-A-Bowl program, please contact Colleen McHale ( at or Catherine Lambert (  Let the games begin!