Institute for Sustainable Development

The coveted Green Cup

To join our 2015-2016 team contact Sustainability Coordinator Fletcher Alexander at


Our Sustainable Future - CSU, Chico

The Wildcat Sustainability Showdown

The Wildcat Sustainability Showdown is CSU, Chico’s take on the nationally coordinated energy conservation program Campus Conservation Nationals. For the third consecutive year we’ve coordinated participation in this Program in two of our residence halls – Shasta and Lassen. For three weeks the two halls compete for the greatest reduction in electricity consumption. This reduction is measured against a two-week baseline of average electricity consumption in both halls taken just prior to the competition. The two halls compete against each other for the greatest reduction – with the winning hall hosting the Green Cup for the next year – and with their combined average reduction our campus competes against others across California and the nation. We’ve built out a number of key components to the Program – all intended to foster awareness and a culture of conservation with our first-year students. The Program and its message of conservation has been very well received by the students. The first year the two halls reduced their electricity consumption by 12.3% and 13.1%, with a combined campus average of 12.7% which took first place in the CSU / UC PowerSave Campus League. The second year the two halls reduced their electricity consumption by 23.7% and 23.9%, with a combined average of 23.8% which again took first place in the CSU / UC PowerSave Campus League and first place nationally of over 100 participating colleges and universities. This year the halls reduced by 23.8% and 27.8% , with a combined average of 25.9% which took first place in the inaugural year of the CSU Conservation League.

Coordinating Team – Under the direction of the Campus Sustainability Coordinator a team of student coordinators work collaboratively to implement this Program. This team includes two paid Eco Rep Coordinators working out of the Institute for Sustainable Development, the five members of our chapter of the PowerSave Campus Program, and the Residence Hall Association’s student Sustainability Liaison. This team works closely with Eco Reps in the halls for the duration of the Program.

Eco-Representatives — A team of Eco Reps is recruited each year from each participating hall. These students act as peer-to-peer educators, conservation leaders in the halls and liaisons between the coordinating team and the rest of the student residents. They are recruited with assistance from the halls’ RA’s and RCC who identify student leaders with an interest in sustainability. We attempt to recruit at least one Eco Rep from each wing on each floor in each hall. Generally we recruit 15-20 per hall. Eco Reps receive an Eco Swag package including Klean Kanteens, Eco Rep t-shirts, Chico Bags, Eco Rep stickers, and free Zipcar memberships. The Coordinating Team works closely with the Eco Reps, meeting with them twice a week before, during and after the competition. They are empowered to take direct action and motivate their peers in the halls to take action for conservation as well. They table, host events in their halls, develop and distribute informational materials and posters and set the tone for conservation through example.

Eco-Resident Certification — One of the primary tools for engaging residents in the halls is our Eco Resident Certification. This Program recognizes residents for their commitment to conservation. To achieve the certification residents must post a ‘Sustainable Living Tips’ poster in their room, take our PowerSave Campus Team’s Conservation Pledge online, read the Chico State Green Book and discuss it with their Eco Rep, and recruit another student to apply for the certification. Upon submitting their application card, which is verified by their Eco Rep, they are awarded a laminated Eco Resident Certification for their door and entered into a raffle for various eco prizes.

Chico State Green Book – Developed by the Institute for Sustainable Development, this 16-page booklet is an introduction to campus sustainability for first-year students. It includes a welcome and overview of CSU, Chico’s commitment to sustainability as well as information and tips for sustainable college living across a variety of categories. These include transportation, energy, water, food, purchasing, social equity, getting outdoors, academics. The Book also includes information on opportunities for involvement in sustainability on campus and different sustainability events held throughout the year. Each year a limited number are printed and distributed as part of the Eco Resident Certification Program. Additionally, business cards with a QR code linking to an online version of the book are distributed more widely.

Outreach & Events – As a part of the Program each year we develop, print and distribute a series of posters promoting conservation. We also work with the Eco Reps to custom design posters, often including memes, and social media content for their halls. Facebook and Instagram have become integral platforms for outreach during the competition. The coordinating team also works closely with the Eco Reps and Housing staff to host events including kickoff parties in both halls and a series of themed nights including game nights in the common areas to get residents out of their rooms. Many of these events have attendance in excess of 50% of the hall residents.