By Pat Lane
USGBC Students Lead
*Knock Knock* That’s the sound of an RA stopping by to ensure you have committed to participating in Campus Conservation Nationals. CCN is the first nationwide electricity and water reduction competition on college and university campuses. Now in its second year, participating schools compete to achieve the greatest possible energy reductions in residence halls.
Last year, 120,000 students saved 500,000 kilowatt-hours in the first annual Campus Conservation Nationals.
This year we are going to save a Gigawatt!
What does this mean for you? For some, it may mean small changes, like taking a minute shorter shower and using the stairs instead of the dorm’s elevator. But the main goal is to engage, educate, motivate and empower students to conserve resources in their residences. Schools will choose to compete against buildings on their own campus, in a state or regional competition or against a select group of peer institutions, with savings from all participants accumulating as we strive to achieve our national goal.
In 2010, 40 participating colleges and universities in the United States and Canada reduced electricity consumption by 508,000 kilowatt-hours, saving $50,200 and averting 816,000 pounds of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The event was the first real-time, nationwide electricity and water use reduction competition. With a 25.8 percent reduction in electricity use, DePauw University became the top campus reducer.
This year we are going even bigger! In a partnership with Lucid Design Group, the National Wildlife Federation, Alliance to Save Energy, Oberlin College, and with generous financial and in-kind support from United Technology Corporation, Sloan, Constellation Energy and Sterling Planet, we are going to save over a gigawatt of energy and prevent nearly 200,000 pounds of CO2 from entering the atmosphere.
Dorms will be pitted against dorms, schools against schools and conferences against conferences in a combined effort to reduce energy consumption amongst college residential buildings across the country. Students will mobilize door-to-door and through social media, encouraging peers to make commitments for three weeks that will put their school at the forefront of the sustainability conversation.
USGBC and the Center for Green Schools are excited to be part of this competition, which offers valuable educational, environmental and economical opportunities to students across the country. The Center hopes CCN will empower future generations of energy and environmental leaders, and foster a culture of conservation within campus communities.
The deadline to sign up is Nov. 1, 2011, so don’t delay! The competition begins Feb. 6, 2012, and runs until April 23, 2012. We hope you will join us!
To learn more, visit competetoreduce.org