Recent Press on the San Francisco State University 'Green Apartment' by chenmeixiu


									Recent Press on the San Francisco State University
               ‘Green Apartment’

Eco-Friendly Apartment Opens to Public
(From the SF State Campus Paper)

by Kendra Hartmann, staff writer
MARCH 16, 2007 5:46 PM

SF State marked its latest foray into the environmental movement in a cermeony Friday,
when the Green Apartment was unveiled before about 70 students, staff and faculty.

"As stewards of our environment, we should make sure we're doing things to provide an
environmentally friendly experience at this university," said Robert Hutson, associate
vice president of facilities and enterprises on campus. "We're setting the footprint for
where we will be in the future."

The Green Apartment features a variety of tools for an eco-friendly lifestyle, from carpet
and paint to electronics and household products. Funded by a grant from the Lisa and
Douglas Goldman Foundation, it was the joint project of SF State's housing department
and the non-profit organization, Strategic Energy Innovations (SEI).

Leroy Morishita, vice president of administration and finance and Jan Andreasen,
executive director of housing and residential services cut the (green) ribbon to the
apartment, opening the way for guests to tour the unit.

"We want to be a leading campus for sustainability. We have a long way to go, but we're
committed to doing that," Morishita told the audience. "It is important for the future of
generations to come."

Dre Dominguez, the apartment's inhabitant, felt slightly nervous about having so many
people in her personal living space, but is supportive of the project.

"It's a little weird. I'm normally so introverted," she said. "But in the end, it's a good

Students touring the apartment thought the demonstration was impressive, but hoped they
would see it implemented in the rest of the on-campus housing.

"It's so awesome, such a progressive idea," said art major Elisa Wallin, 22. "But without a
doubt, as soon as possible - like tomorrow - it should be extended to all of housing."

"It's definitely a step in the right direction," agreed Evan Spurrell, 20, a biology major.

Caitlin Fager, project coordinator for SEI, was pleased to see the comprehensiveness of
the Green Apartment. SEI has worked with three other campuses on similar green
housing projects, but none as inclusive as SF State. Even eco-friendly clothing was
donated and put on display at the last minute. The clothes, made from organic cotton,
were donated by Wildlife Works, which also put out 10 percent discount coupons for
online purchases.

"With each project, there are so many new developments," said Fager. "You never know
what's going to come out of it. The clothing only arrived today, and that's something
we've never done before."

The apartment featured signs next to every item, explaining its environmental impact. Jim
Bolinger, associate director of facilities, who coordinated the project for SF State's
housing department, eagerly pointed out to viewers just how much of an impact they
could have in their own lives if they switched to some of the products in the apartment.

"We are bombarded by toxins in our cars, our homes, our lives," he said. "We are taking
a proactive lead to reduce those toxins, and it just seems to be the right thing to do."

Allam Elqadah, owner of many of the cafes on campus, came to the opening to show his
support for more things green on campus. He incorporated eco-friendly plastic products
into his cafes recently.

"It's so great to see the campus doing something positive and leading the way. With
sustainability, we all need to not just say we'll do it, but really support it," he said. "This
is just one apartment. Imagine if every part of campus did this."

For the full story of the Green Apartment, go to

Individuals and classes may take tours of the Green Apartment. For information on times
or to set up an appointment for a tour, contact Alicia Lewis at

» E-mail Kendra Hartmann @

Green Apartment showcases eco-friendly campus living
(From the SF State Campus Paper)

by Kendra Hartmann, staff writer
MARCH 10, 2007 8:48 PM

For those who think it’s not easy being green, think again. SF State’s housing department
is determined to show students that eco-friendly living is not as difficult as it may seem.

Say hello to the Green Apartment. SF State’s new residence demonstration, located in
Centennial Village, was built to show students that environmentally-friendly products are
just as cheap and available as the products they’ve always used.

“We really want to show that it’s possible to be sustainable without there being any
added inconvenience,” said Jim Bolinger, project coordinator for SF State’s housing
department. “These things can become a part of our everyday life.”

The idea for an eco-friendly housing demonstration was conceived by Strategic Energy
Innovations (SEI), a San Rafael-based energy consultant group, which started the project
in 2004 at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. There, the attention was focused mostly on
Energy Star appliances, and was funded by the Department of Energy.

Since then, SEI has worked with California State University, Chico and University of
California, Berkeley. This time around, SEI received a grant from the Goldman Fund to
create green residences at two universities in San Francisco. So when Robert Hutson,
associate vice president of facilities and services at SF State, approached them about the
project, they jumped on it.

SEI will be involved in the creation of the residence until its grand opening, at which
point the school is expected to take over control. In addition to observing how well the
products work in a real living situation, the housing department will also conduct
monthly tours of the residence.

Dre Dominguez, the student who will be living in the apartment, said she was initially
reluctant to open up her personal space to the public every month. She realized, however,
the effects such a project could have on the campus.

“This has definite potential to be a very positive thing. It could influence a shift in the
way that people buy,” she said. “People will see how they can be greener in their own

lives, and depending how it works out, it could influence the entire university.”

SEI’s projects have progressively become more complex, and SF State’s apartment will
be one of the most extensive to date, incorporating water conservation and a wide array
of sustainable household products, according to Caitlin Fager, project coordinator for

“Each time, the dedication and commitment from the campuses has grown,” Fager said.
“What’s great with SF State is that they’re actually working independently from us as
well, and the result is that the project is much more comprehensive.”

Fager hope is that the campuses will continue to develop and expand the projects once
they are handed over. At Berkeley, the green dorm room initiated by SEI spawned
various other green residences, such as a green apartment and a green suite, which houses
25 students.

SF State’s Green Apartment will feature everything from environmentally-friendly carpet
and paint to energy saving lamps and electronics to low-flow shower heads and a toilet. It
will be outfitted with some eco-friendly furniture and will even have sustainable personal
care products.

Bolinger said almost everything in the apartment was donated by local retailers. Shaw
Contract Group donated carpet made with 40 percent recycled materials and no PVC,
while Kelly Moore donated paint that contains no volatile organics compounds and no
polluting solvents. Lowe’s gave an energy efficient range and microwave to the project
and Best Buy contributed a Sony Energy Star stereo system. The Body Shop, EO
Products, Walgreens and Bed Bath & Beyond all donated items such as shampoo,
conditioner, soap, cleaning products and facial cleanser. Baltix, a sustainable furniture
company, donated four dining room chairs when Hutson purchased a dining room table,
coffee table and two end tables from them.

“The point is to showcase to students that these products are available and affordable, and
that it’s not hard to live more green,” said Fager. “Then the other side is to work with the
campus staff to change purchasing decisions. We make connections with these local
retailers and then people will know that those products are already there. They just have
to ask for them next time.”

Some students granted that an exhibit that showed students how to live greenly would be
useful, but they weren’t sure how effective it would be if significant lifestyle changes
were expected.

“Students are always trying to find new products to buy, and it’s good to offer the appeal
of green living,” said freshman and Mary Park resident Samantha Elemento. “But a lot of
students have a routine, so they might not make those adjustments if it’s not convenient.”

Fellow dorm resident Michelle Iki agreed that students would need other incentives, such
as price or ease to make them want to adopt green practices.

“Students are really stubborn in their habits, though I’m sure there are a select few who
would pursue those products,” said the 18-year-old cinema major. “But a lot of people
would probably buy them as long as it’s convenient.”

Convenience is just the message that SEI has tried to convey with their green living

Desirae Early, a student at UC Berkeley who has been involved in the various green
residence exhibitions on her campus, said the whole point of the projects is to
demonstrate to students that eco-friendly living is not much different from what they’re
used to.

“When we have tours through the residences, what I hear the most is students saying it’s
not that big of a deal,” Early said. “But that’s the point. We want to make it known that
these products are not that unusual, but they do make a big difference.”

SEI’s partnership with SF State has demonstrated that the campus is eager to take the
initiative to make that difference, Fager said.

“This is the most inclusive project we’ve done. It’s a whole other level from what we
expected,” she said. “It takes a lot of work and dedication, and it is my hope that with this
project, the whole campus will be inspired.”

The Green Apartment will be unveiled Friday, March 16 at 3:30 p.m. Visitors who tour
the apartment can view all the options they have for an eco-friendly lifestyle, and
products will be labeled with the name and nearest location of the retailer that donated
the item. Tours will also be conducted monthly and by appointment.

» E-mail Kendra Hartmann @

The ‘Green Apartment’ on Local TV News:
The Bay Area (Channel 11) NBC Affiliate covered the 03/18/07 Green
Apartment opening at SF State. You can follow this link to view their write-
up (also pasted below) and video segment on ‘Cost-effective Sustainable
Living at SFSU”:

Posted March 20, 2007

Here’s an interesting experiment:

The college has equipped a dorm room with almost everything imaginable: low toxicity
paint, carpet tile with high recycle content, low flow toilets and faucets, high efficiency
lighting, Energy Star appliances, even environmentally friendly cleaning supplies and
toiletries. It's quite impressive and we wondered if the addition of dual pane windows
might have helped.

Aundrea Dominguez, an art major with a family history of conservation practices,
showed her room in order to promote eco- friendly living.
Dominguez told us her mother taught the family to be environmentally aware. She has
been recycling and composting for years. SF State plans an expanded eco-living program
this fall with a total of 58 student participants. The school also offers a Bachelor’s Degree
in environmental studies and an MBA with an emphasis in sustainable business.

This program is a collaboration with Strategic Energy Innovations (SEI), a non-profit
organization formed in 1997 to help communities embrace a sustainable future. SEI has
already established green residence hall rooms at the University of Hawaii, among


To top