A student energy conservation competition was a winner in two ways this spring – it lowered the college’s carbon use and placed it in the top 10 in the Campus Conservation Nationals.
Students at 125 colleges and universities throughout the United States worked to reduce their electricity and water consumption in college residence halls. The Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council in partnership with Lucid, the Alliance to Save Energy and the National Wildlife Federation announced the results of their competition. In its fifth year, more than 343,000 students and staff participated in CCN 2015, which saved the schools more than $290,000 in electricity and water.
“I am delighted by the news that Concordia finished in the top 10 in the national conservation finals,” says President William Craft. “I am pleased because this project was the work of student leaders – pleased because the quality of their work affirms Concordia's dedication to developing leaders in environmental sustainability.”
Eco-Rep Coordinator Nicole Schmiedt '16 facilitated the competition with the assistance of seven student eco-reps from residence halls across campus to put on the “It’s Electric” energy competitions.
“We worked on student engagement through direct student outreach and advertising in each of the dorms,” Schmiedt says.
Students found quick ways to reduce energy including unplugging unused appliances, shortening showers and using cold water when doing laundry. They also found ways to make energy reduction fun including a “Glow-in-the-dark Dance” where they used glow sticks for light. Concordia ran two competitions: upperclass housing and traditional residence halls.
Concordia competed against local, regional and national schools for this honor. The 10 schools with the largest overall percent reduction of electricity produced were (listed alphabetically) California State University – Chico, Concordia College, Dickinson College, Eastern Mennonite University, Georgia State University, Hofstra University, Northwest Missouri State University, Oklahoma State University, San Diego State University and Western Technical College, with the highest-performing school reducing its electricity use by 30.6 percent during its competition.
According to the U.S. Green Building Council news release, over the five years of the competition CCN participants have saved 6 million kilowatt hours (six GWh) of electricity, equivalent to averting more than 9 million pounds of CO2 from the atmosphere.