The Go Green Challenge

In light of yesterday’s Earth Day awareness and celebration activities, I decided to put yet another one of my “crazy ideas” in print. I’ve had this idea rattling around in my head for about three months now. It’s part fundraiser, part cost savings, and part sustainability. The idea I’m referring to is a fraternity or sorority Go Green Challenge. If you’re looking to implement some sustainable initiatives within your chapter house while raising some additional funding, this challenge may be a solution.

The Concept:
During the next academic year, your chapter adopts strategies aimed at conserving resources within your chapter house. By reducing the amount of gas, water, electricity and other resources used by members within the chapter house, the cost of operating the house will undoubtedly be reduced.

Additionally, you seek out the support of your housing corporation, landlord, host institution, or whomever happens to serve in the “landlord” role of your chapter house. Ask your landlord to assess the utility usage over the past three years to put together an average operating cost of these services.

Here’s where the challenge comes in. By reducing their impact, the chapter will be saving the landlord money in utility fees. By benefiting their landlord, the chapter is well within their rights to ask for a favor in return. That favor is the heart of the Go Green Challenge.

After a years worth of intentional conservation, the chapter would be given 50% of their total savings back, while the landlord keeps the other 50%. The Go Green Challenge is a mutually beneficial, collaborative agreement between your chapter and your landlord.

Let’s assume that by implementing a variety of resource and energy saving initiatives, the chapter is able to reduce their utility bills by $1,000 over the course of the year. They would then be given $500 as a reward to be reinvested back into the chapter. Despite giving the chapter $500, the landlord would still walk away with $500 that they were not anticipating.

The Go Green Challenge creates incentive for conservation; the more resources the chapter saves, the larger their payout will be at the end of the year. Does your chapter need a new lawnmower, TV, or washing machine? This might be a unique fundraising solution.

That’s the Go Green Challenge concept. It makes a whole lot of sense to me. Do you think your chapter is ready to try it?

If your chapter is looking to reduce their impact on the environment and save money at the same time, you’re not alone. Many fraternity and sorority communities across the country have implemented green initiatives. Here are some of my favorites that will provide your chapter with real solutions for obtaining your conservation goals:

Looking for even more ideas? Check out this comprehensive list from the U.S. Department of Energy.

Like this idea? Do you think it would work? Leave your opinions in the comments section!

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Are You Ready for Some Football?!

Your chapter is a collection of like-minded individuals with a shared goal, full of challenges as well as support mechanisms… Just like an NFL team!

So let’s break this down…

Your Team:
Your team has plenty of unique individuals, with many different roles to play. Allow me to elaborate, and try to see where you fit in.

  • The quarterback is the leader of your team, calling plays, and making the important mid-play decisions to guide your team towards it’s ultimate goal.
  • The running backs and receivers are the faithful players that your quarterback trusts to give the ball to in order to move forward. The QB knows they can’t do it all by themselves, and thus, this delegation is necessary.
  • The defense works to ensure the team stays on top. They are always on alert for dangerous plays that can harm the team. Recognizing dangerous situations, they work to rectify the issue and get the team back on track. This protection doesn’t get the glory, but it is absolutely essential to a successful team.
  • The special teams players are great at what they do; they are, by name, specialists. Although they only get on the field a handful of plays a game, they have mastered their techniques to ensure a successful play every time. These are the players that are often being groomed to take over on the first string offense and defense.
  • Despite all of the amazing players you have on offense, defense, and special teams, sometimes you’ll get a diva, who is all about themselves. This player could care less about the success of the team, they just like to wear the uniform and get their time in the spotlight.

The Coaches:
Luckily, your players aren’t all on their own when it comes to deciding which plays to run. You have some experienced elders to help train your team and advise them to make the best decisions for the betterment of the team. These “advisors” are usually former players who have experienced the trials and tribulations of being in the spotlight. Learning from their personal successes and failures of the past, combined with experience gained through years working with generations of players, these coaches are an amazing resource for the players, and a absolutely essential part of the team.

The NFLPA:
This one I love! The NFL Players Association is the governing body for all players. Their mission statement reads, “We, The National Football League Players Association … Pay homage to our predecessors for their courage, sacrifice, and vision; … Pledge to preserve and enhance the democratic involvement of our members; … Confirm our willingness to do whatever is necessary for the betterment of our membership – To preserve our gains and achieve those goals not yet attained.”

Seriously, HOW GREAT IS THAT??!!

This governing body, or “council” of players, selects deserving individuals to represent the entire community of players in order to “do whatever is necessary for the betterment of [their] membership.” The players, recognizing the importance and value in this representative body, pay annual dues in order to allow for the association to work collectively to improve the experience of every single player.

The Commissioner:
The NFL Commissioner, as head of the league, is entrusted with the duties of protecting the NFL brand, ensuring the leagues success, serving as the spokesman for the league, and disciplining teams and players who violate the rules of the league. Players and teams who receive admonishment can sometimes harbor ill feelings towards the Commissioner. Meanwhile, most players and teams respect the tremendous, and complex duties of the commissioner. Though the Commissioner may sometimes have to serve as the heavy, he or she is always looking out for the best interest of the league. Through small tweaks to the rules, and implementation of new policies and programs, the Commissioner hopes to create the best possible environment for shared success for all involved.

Just in case you haven’t figured it all out, here is your cheat sheet:
The Team = Your Chapter
The Coaches = Your Chapter Advisors, and National Staff Members
The Players Association = Your Governing Council (IFC, NPHC, MGC, Panhellenic, etc.)
The Commissioner = Your Campus Fraternity and Sorority Advisor

I hope this post was thought provoking and enlightening for you. Feel free to leave a comment, and as always, Go Steelers!

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