The energy reduction competition, hosted by the Office for Sustainability and sponsored by the Residence Hall Association, was concluded on Nov. 18 with an outdoor unplugged party. The Village at 115th and the new Stephanie Tubbs Jones Residence Hall (STJ), formerly known as “the new residence hall,” won the competition with an energy reduction of seven percent during the two week competition.
Starting after Halloween, the competition was hosted among residence halls on Northside and Southside, The Village and STJ. It challenged these residence buildings to reduce their energy consumption and rewarded residents of the building that save the most energy.
According to Erin Kollar, assistant director of the Office for Sustainability, the second place went to the North Residential Village, with a reduction of about four percent. The South Residential Village ranked the third, reducing their electricity usage by 3.5 percent. The overall energy saving from these three residence units was measured in an interesting way: the cost of energy that was saved during the competition equals 82 Chipotle Mexican Grill Burritos per day.
The unplugged campfire party, held in The Village to honor the competition winner, gathered more than 200 students on Friday. As winning prizes, free shirts were given out to residents from the winning residence halls.
First-year student Tessa Stevens thought that the event was very meaningful. “I feel that it’s very important to bring attention to saving energy and global warming, especially given the political climate where we have a president who claims global warming is a hoax, when in reality it could be extremely damaging to our planet,” she said.
Maggie McClarren, a sustainability ambassador, encouraged more students to save energy in their daily lives, although sometimes saving energy just requires a small effort like switching off the light, unplugging chargers or using stairs instead of elevators.
“We aimed to incentivize students on campus to reduce their energy consumption, as even the smallest personal contributions can make a big difference in our campus’ energy usage”, said McClarren.
It is one of the Office for Sustainability’s goals to encourage students to reduce their own energy load on campus. “We want our students to be aware of their energy usage. And energy usage impacts not only our campus, but also the environment,” said Kollar.