This year several River Stewards had the opportunity to live in Sustainability Special Interest Housing. Now many people may think that special interest housing is just a nice way to get a house in the south student neighborhood (“the ghetto”), however our groups made an extreme effort to live in a simple, eco-friendly manner. In addition to leading by example, the four houses (22 students) educated other students about environmental issues through events and dinners (free food always encourages participation :))
I lived in “The Treehouse” at 124 Evanston. Six of us reduced our energy and water usage, line dried our clothes, ate locally, gardened, and composted! We lived without air conditioning for those few tortuous weeks in August and September and have been living with little heat for the past couple weeks. We purchased fresh produce and eggs weekly from our friends at Patchwork Gardens as well as grew our own herbs in a garden that was installed behind our house! We installed rain barrels and a compost bin behind our home to water and fertilize the garden. We also held an event in September where we gave out potted herbs and educated other students about the importance of eating locally!
Next semester we will be involved in planning events for Earth Day as well as working with several groups to decrease campus energy usage and potentially installing a green roof on the KU patio! Also we have recently discovered that next year 6 River Stewards will be residing in the Sustainability Special Interest House at 406 Stonemill!
For more information regarding our house you can check-out our blog - http://seetreehouse.blogspot.com/
Happy Holidays! - Milena