Issue #4: Dorm Sinks are Wasteful?

Dear Sustainable Abigail,

There’re still many people who don’t turn off the faucet when applying soap/brushing teeth etc. Is it possible to change all the faucet to the kind we have in the new dorms, and at least put up signs to remind and educate people to be aware of their behaviors?

-Thinking about water waste

Dear Thinking about Water Waste,

Thanks for writing! You bring up a really important point, there are a lot of quick and easy behavioral changes that can be brought about both through structural changes as well as education initiatives. The Ecoreps can absolutely help out with making the signs that you bring up, however excitingly you actually have the power to make such structural changes as changing the faucets in different buildings! All it would take is applying for a Bates Green Innovation Grant. These grants are set up to give students the agency to make sustainable changes to the Bates Campus, and entail simply designing your project and then applying by November 17th. The design and application process includes a project description, measurable benefits of project, the implementation and timeline, and an overall budget. If your innovative project gets chosen, it will be funded in between $200-$2000 and then implemented. Your idea about changing the faucets could become a project that you lead, and in doing so, take on your role as an important agent in furthering Bates sustainability.

The Bates Green Innovation grant is a huge opportunity, and may even seem intimidating, but it is quite accessible. Here are some success stories! Last year, one Bates Green Innovation Grant participant proposed hand dryers in JB to confront the issue of needless paper towel waste, and in doing so helped an older building like JB to stay up to date on sustainability. Because of this motivated student and the Green Innovation Grant, every student who lives in JB from hereon out leads a less wasteful lifestyle! Another neat product of a Green Innovation Grant last year was the bike repair station located right outside of the library. The bike repair station was a project proposed by an avid cyclist who combined his experience with bikes and his knowledge of what cyclists on campus needed with an inspiration to contribute to a more sustainable campus with less waste and consumption of bike parts. This station also contributed to a larger narrative of biking on campus, collaborating with the green bike program to change behaviors and make biking more accessible and exciting! These are just two of the countless projects that were proposed and accepted last year, just two of the initiatives that were led by Bates students to contribute to campus sustainability.

With the Bates Green Innovation Grant, you could change the faucets in bathrooms and in doing so start changing behavior and awareness, and become an important advocate for Bates sustainability yourself. In fact, you are already halfway there by writing to Sustainable Abigail! This grant exists because of people like you who care about sustainability and observe where it could be better all around you, and would benefit greatly from your consideration! If you are interested, here is the link to learn more and maybe even apply by November 17th:

In any case, thank you so much for writing, and keep thinking sustainably!

-Sustainable Abigail


*Content originally published in The Bates Student Newspaper*