Student involvement inspires and informs sustainability initiatives, programs, and policies on campus. Student engagement is the strongest asset in positive change efforts at the college. Student organizations not only encourage collaboration on broad environmental and social justice issues, but they also host events and workshops, and foster sustainability on campus and in the greater community. The Sustainability Office offers a variety of programs to help you learn about different sustainability issues on and off campus.
Sustainability Scholars address critical sustainability issues through real-world, immersive summer projects. Working anywhere from skyscrapers in Charlotte to community gardens in food deserts, students integrate problem-solving skills through a wide range of community-based projects. Apply to be a 2015 Sustainability Scholar.
Summer applications are available at the beginning of spring semester.
You are placed with community partners across many different sectors: corporate, government, and non-profit. You and other students constantly share insights on the opportunities and challenges unique to each other's organization and sector with the student group. These multiple perspectives fuel debate and discussion around the roles of these sectors, and through their cumulative experiences students explore how effective change efforts happen in this region.
The immersive project, coupled with extensive enrichment activities, are designed to transform students academically, professionally and personally, and ultimately, to provide you with the tools to translate your Davidson experience into a career with social impact.
If you are a first-year student who is interested in promoting sustainability in your residence hall and becoming a sustainability leader on campus, fill out an application. Previous sustainability experience is not required.
Additionally, there are a number of established student organizations related to different aspects of sustainability, including the Environmental Action Coalition, FreeWord, Food Club, Patterson Court Sustainability Council, Davidson Investment and Financial Association, EcoTeam, the Responsible Consumption Working Group, and more. See the Student Activities page for more information.
Two interns each semester focus on environmental justice in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg region. These interns collaborate with the director of sustainability and sustainability fellow to establish a semester project that bridges the gap between social justice and sustainability.Additionally, any students who qualify for federal work-study can ask to be placed with the Sustainability Office. These students manage social media and communications, analyze energy and water data, create educational materials, and manage their own creative projects within the Office.
The Sustainability Office offers Green Grants ($100-$2,500) for innovative sustainability projects. You may apply for independent grants, or work collaboratively with student organizations, faculty, or staff. Applications are due in the fall.
To apply for a Green Grant, please complete an online application. Please read the frequently asked questions below before applying.
How much can I expect from a Green Grant?
Grant amounts will vary considerably - grants may range from $100 to $2,500. There is no representative sum because of the variety of applications received and the limited funds available.
Does my proposal have to be a major project?
No, any project - big or small - will be considered for a Green Grant.
What are elements of a successful grant?
All successful grants demonstrate a clear and tangible way that the project will continue on after the student leaves. Additionally, all successful grants show a thorough plan for implementation. For example, if the proposed project involves staff at Physical Plant (carpentry, grounds, etc.), the student must have already gained approval from Physical Plant staff.
What if my plans change?
You must alert the Sustainability Office to any changes in your project or else risk losing your grant. In some cases, adjustments to your project will change the size of your award.
Are there any other requirements to receive a grant?
There are no formal requirements, but we encourage you to consider how you might communicate your project with others. Your achievements will have greater longevity on campus if you can share your experiences. Reviewers will look favorably upon proposals with a communication aspect.
Can I receive funding for a project with a faculty or staff member?
Yes, the Green Grant program encourages collaborative work with one or more faculty or staff members, or student organizations.
Can seniors receive grant money?
Yes. However, if the project will not be completed before graduation, seniors must identify who will inherit their project.
Can I receive funding for a project that has already received Green Grant funding?
No. Green grant funding is intended to be "seed" money for projects that can sustain themselves. No money will be awarded twice to the same project, unless the project is considerably different.
The Residence Life Office and the Sustainability Office oversee the Davidson College Eco-House, a unique on-campus living experience for ten students interested in sustainability-minded cooperative housing. The Eco-House is paired with a number of required educational programs which are determined by residents and the Sustainability Office at the beginning of each semester. To apply to live in the Eco-House for the 2015-2016 academic year, please complete an online application. Applications are due on Friday, Feb. 6 at 11:59 p.m.
Check out these ideas to make your dorm room an eco-friendly space.
Davidson has a commitment to purchasing only Energy Star appliances. Support our commitment by choosing Energy Star when you have the option.
Light up your life!
Compact fluorescent light bulbs are now available in all sorts of shapes and wattages, including dimmable designs. CFLs use one-fifth to one-third as much energy as a traditional bulb! Be sure to choose a lamp that is compatible.
Catch some Zs...
Choose linen products with natural and even organic fibers. Wool and cotton are often healthier alternatives to synthetic blends.
Use a power strip to prevent phantom loads from electronics and appliances that draw energy even when they are turned off! Not to mention, you'll clear up that tangle of chords. Make sure you still switch off your power strip when you leave the room.
Use phosphate-free laundry detergent made with natural products instead of harsh chemicals to help keep local waterways clean.
Drink to Hour Health
Avoid plastic water bottles by using a water filter and a reusable canister. Get a Cat CUPPS sticker and put it on a reusable mug or bottle to use in your room, Commons, and the Union Café—it saves you money.
Get a house plant! Choose one that promotes good air quality, like Areca palm, Reed palm, Dwarf date palm, Boston fern, Janet Craig dracaena, English ivy, Australian sword fern, Peace lily, Rubber plant, and Weeping fig.
Grab Some Grub
Get inexpensive metal or plastic plates, bowls, and utensils that can be washed and reused. Check the camping section at local hardware stores.
Choose whole food snacks like fresh fruit, cheese, and veggie sticks. Check out the Davidson Farmers Market for fresh local produce! Every Saturday, 8 a.m.-noon behind Summit Coffee and Ben & Jerry's, year round.
Take a reusable bag to the bookstore, the supermarket and other shopping excursions so you don't need paper or plastic ones.