last year, in my three courses - intro to media studies, digital media production, and eating san francisco - i included the following rule:
No drinking out of non-reusable containers. Be creative with your thirst-quenching solutions.
at first, a few students grumbled and complained but within a week or so, students got the hang of it. students began bringing to class beautiful, multicolored, reusable bottles filled with homemade tea and canteens filled with coffee they brewed themselves or bought at the campus cafe. substituting glass bottles filled with delicious - and free - california tap water for plastic bottles of water and soda, we saved a ton of money over the course of the semester. but best of all, we all became a bit more mindful of our daily actions and the need for all of us, individually and collectively, to change our behaviors and change them quickly.
as i begin to think about my fall course, i'm curious to hear other strategies for a more green classroom. i'm also curious to hear from students - both those who have taken my courses and those who haven't - about what they think about such rules.