Rachael Robertson has the same things in her dorm room as any other student. She just spends 35 percent less energy using them. The University of California at Berkeley sophomore volunteered to live in the Green Room, the campus showcase for sustainability, and tout its improvements--including an efficient refrigerator, compact fluorescent lights, and ecofriendly toiletries--to tour groups and fellow residents.
Q: What is the goal of the Green Room project?
A: People form consumption and energy-use habits during their college years. If we make students aware of the importance of lifestyle changes, they will carry them on as adults.
Q: What kinds of changes have you made in your everyday routine?
A: When I leave for the day, I'll take an extra moment to turn off the power strip for my appliances. And I try to be very conscious of what I can reuse rather than throw away.
Q: What's next for the Green Room?
A: To start more rooms like this! --interview by Catriona Stuart
(Photo by Lori Eanes)