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.
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:
- University of Florida – Greeks Going Green
- Indiana University – Greek Energy Challenge
- Missouri University – Student Sustainability Tips
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!