Eco-my-flat is a four-week competition and workshop programme aimed at helping university students save money and become more eco-friendly. The competition aims to promote sustainable student lifestyles, with a workshop each week covering the themes of energy, waste, transport and consumption. The workshops, run by a professional facilitator, addressed specific barriers to behaviour change and gave participants and a chance to learn from discussion with their peers at the workshops, as well as incentives in the form of prizes. In addition, flats are 'audited' by eco-inspectors at the beginning and end of the competition in order to gauge how much improvement they have made.
The first eco-my-flat competition was held at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand, in March 2008. In all, 34 flats took part, which ranged from those who were already eco-conscious to others who had no idea of their environmental impact. Competitors keenly embraced a more eco-friendly lifestyle, through driving less, reducing their power consumption, growing vegetables and - in the case of one group of industrious engineering students - building their own wind turbine (out of recycled materials, naturally).
Find out more about the competition at the Eco-My-Flat website: http://www.sustain.canterbury.ac.nz/ecomyflat/ or read competitors' blog entries: http://carboncreditcollector.wordpress.com/category/eco-my-flat