While it's become apparent recently that college students' have been turning to thrift stores in drastically increasing numbers as a way to save both cash and the environment, some at Pitzer College in Southern California have been hard at work along with members of the faculty and administration to plan and see through the construction of their new, eco-friendly dorms.
The dorm itself, according to one student, "looks like a resort", with muted colors to help it blend in with the mountains behind it, organic gardens run by students, a cactus landscape to conserve water, and rooftop gardens to help conserve energy and reduce runoff. They've also chosen to include a solar energy system to both create electricity and heat the pool, low-flow shower heads, dual-flush toilets, and even windows that include an automatic shut-off that cuts the hi-efficiency heating and cooling systems when the windows open.
It's been built to Gold LEED standards, using recycled modular steel, carpeting, insulation, cement, and gypsum board, over 80% of the materials used were sourced within 200 miles to cut down on the high amounts of energy required to ship them long distances. And with such a high amount of recycled material, I suspect it must have been an interesting treasure hunt to locate the stuff
Now it's true that they're just a small school with enrollment under 1000, but student Alec Lentz told NPR, "By construing these buildings in such a so-called green fashion we're making a statement that yeah, we're serious about it and we want others to follow in our footsteps."