Auburn University to hold annual Sustain-A-Bowl competition to encourage sustainable living in campus residence halls

AUBURN UNIVERSITY – Throughout the month of February, residents and Residence Life staff in 30 Auburn University residence halls will participate in the annual Sustain-A-Bowl competition, which challenges each hall to reduce energy and water usage by 10 percent.

The competition will engage more than 4,000 campus residents in activities and programs challenging them to live more sustainably by reducing utility costs and increasing recycling for the four-week period. Over the last four years, students have saved more than $36,000 through energy and water reductions. Organizers said the competition is not just about using less, but also about learning more.

“The ultimate goal and purpose of Sustain-A-Bowl is to deepen students’ understanding and appreciation of sustainability as a way of thinking and acting that we can express every day, that has positive impacts for ourselves, for others and for the world around us,” said Mike Kensler, director of the Office of Sustainability at Auburn. “Embracing the principles and practices of sustainability is one way to act on the phrase ‘I believe in Auburn, and love it!'”

Throughout the month of February, residents and Residence Life staff will earn points for their halls by participating in events that educate residents about sustainable living. Each week provides a different theme: week one will focus on energy; week two will focus on personal wellness; week three will focus on recycling; and week four will focus on water.

Events will include a stress reduction workshop, a recycling town hall meeting and opportunities for involvement in the restoration of Parkerson Mill Creek, as well as residence hall-specific activities throughout the month.

“Sustain-A-Bowl is a dramatic example of how individuals, when joining together in community with other individuals, can make a significant positive difference for the common good,” Kensler said. “In this case, conserving natural resources and saving money and reducing waste and pollution.”

In March, results will be tallied and the winning residence halls will be recognized.

Sustain-A-Bowl is hosted annually by Residence Life in the Division of Student Affairs and the Office of Sustainability, with the support of Facilities Management and the Waste Reduction and Recycling programs.

For more information about Sustain-A-Bowl, go to or email

(Written by Carol Nelson.)

Contact: Jennifer Morse, Office of Sustainability, (334) 844-7777 ( or,
Mike Clardy, Office of Communications and Marketing, (334) 844-9999 (